I am so excited that my third episode with Mary Grace Allerdice on the home|body podcast is out!
In this episode, we talk about dance, our connection to the more-than-human world, practicing pleasure and joy in troubled times, the ways in which we embody ritual, magic, witchcraft, and healing, and our confrontation with the invisible.
We start with a quote from Donna Haraway: "My view is that it is not possible to stay with the trouble among us without the practice of joy, that the practices of joyful collective and individual pleasure are essential to the arts of living on a damaged planet.”
We talk about adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism, and Emergent Strategy. We talk about Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Audre Lorde and survival. We talk about Phyllis Curott and the Ara Tradition. We talk about Brené Brown and Tarana Burke.
We talk about the dance artists who are inspiring us—Anna Halprin, Alkistis Dimech and the occulted body, Eiko Otake, Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno, the Judson Dance Theater, Deborah Hay, Yvonne Rainer, Bebe Miller, Tammy Metz Starr, Okui Okpokwasili, Meredith Monk, and more.
With so much isolation and experiences of separation, it feels so important that we attend to our bodies. I hope this episode can be a resource for being with your own body in these troubled times.
Also available on Apple Podcasts and other podcast platforms.
Today the Moon in Scorpio makes sextiles to Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn. The internal work with your own emotional life that will cultivate more coherence and integrity may become unavoidable. Holding our shames and fears with firm generosity has the potential to give us access to potent powers buried beneath those feelings that we often avoid or keep hidden. As the Moon then makes a trine to Mercury in Pisces, we may be called to give voice to the inner experiences we are navigating. Brené Brown writes, “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable … If we cultivate enough awareness about shame to name it and speak to it, we’ve basically cut it off at the knees. Shame hates having words wrapped around it. If we speak shame, it begins to wither.” As you encounter your own difficult feelings that limit your own experiences of coherence and empowerment, how might you give words and voice to these experiences, sharing them in ways that cut off their power to diminish or fragment you? The Moon then ingresses into Sagittarius, a more open, optimistic, and spacious sign. Take a deep breath. Even deeper. Invite that expanse throughout your insides. Although the Moon does not have reception from Jupiter here, simply moving out of the sign of its fall or depression will offer more room for hope and even joy. Finally, the Moon makes a sextile to Saturn in Aquarius. Hope and joy may require discipline, effort even, during these difficult days. Saturn may push us to develop and sustain practices today that will contribute to the worlds we are making in the days ahead.
Today the Moon in Scorpio moves through an opposition to Uranus in Taurus, a square to its ruler Mars in Aquarius, and a trine to Neptune in Pisces. In Scorpio, our longing for safety, connection, and care sinks deep into an awareness of our most vulnerable places, and can surface as armoring up, making ourselves impenetrable and unshakable. But Uranus unsettles our footing, breaks up our certainty, and demands authenticity. Brené Brown writes, “While vulnerability is the birthplace of many of the fulfilling experiences we long for—love, belonging, joy, creativity, and trust, to name a few—the process of regaining our emotional footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged … If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall; this is the physics of vulnerability. When we commit to showing up and risking falling, we are actually committing to falling.” As the Moon makes its square to Mars, we may find ourselves charged with a fight-or-flight response in the face of risk or conflict. What if the bravest, most courageous response is actually to be vulnerable and to risk failure? It is when we show up in our courageous vulnerability that we begin to find healing in the waters of empathy, compassion, and care. Moving from the square to Mars into the trine to Neptune, this journey of the Moon reminds us that if we risk vulnerability—even if we fall or fail—we have chosen to dive into deeper capacities for compassion and connection. What would be the more courageous and vulnerable response for you today?
Today the Moon in Libra moves through squares to Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn. As so many of us continue to offer what we can to support one another in these difficult days, stay attentive to your own physical and emotional limitations, remaining in your integrity by honoring what you do and do not have available to give. Standing in your own integrity while in solidarity with others will require us all to examine the ways in which the institutions that we are challenging in the world around us also live inside of us. As Judith Butler has offered, “A lot of people have thrown over the structures of their lives, only to discover that they remain their own worst enemy—that the oppressor lives within as a mechanism of constant psychic subjection.” Notice today how you are encountering oppressors who live within, the internal messages that function as persistent voices of authority dragging you down from the inside out. The Moon then ingresses into Scorpio—the sign of its fall, but with reception from Mars in Aquarius. We may feel more acutely aware of our own vulnerabilities and more defensive when faced with gestures of care or concern. We are all moving in different ways through experiences of personal and collective grieving, and those experiences may be leaving us feeling raw and exposed. As the Moon moves through a square to Saturn in Aquarius, we may feel paralyzed by our fears, but remember, as Pema Chödrön has written, “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth. If we commit ourselves to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes very vivid. Things becomes very clear when there is nowhere to escape.” What if you commit to becoming intimate with your fears, staying with them on the spot rather than retreating or trying to assuage them? What comes into focus if you remain with your fears?
Today the Moon in Libra makes a trine to Mars in Aquarius. Solidarity and justice are brought into generative relation to the drive to assert new ways of living in the world as a collective. Libra describes different perspectives and experiences brought together in ways that are balanced and just, and Mars—applying to Uranus in Taurus—propels us toward bold, revolutionary ways of being in struggle together. Mercury in Pisces makes sextiles to Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn, inviting us to communicate what we need to sustain our long-term growth and to seek out the messages that reconnect us to the depths of our own power. Finally, the Moon moves into opposition to the Sun in Aries, culminating in the Full Moon of this lunation cycle. In Libra, this Full Moon draws us toward connection and interdependency that honors the power of our differences. Audre Lorde writes, “Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependency become unthreatening. Only within that interdependency of different strength, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways of being in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters … Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.” Beneath the light of the Full Moon, how can you reach into the differences between us as a source of connection and not separation, a site of creativity where we each bring our strengths and remain responsible to supporting one another in new and unforeseen ways?
This is a relentless day for the Moon in Virgo as it moves through oppositions to Neptune and Mercury in Pisces, and trines to Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn, before ingressing into Libra. Now is the time for giving physical form to the dreams and fantasies about which we have been speaking. What small, practical steps can you take today in order to begin to live into the life that you imagine? This may be a slow, durational process, but if you are deliberate today in how you are laying foundations for what is yet to come, you become a source of power for your future self who can reach down deep and draw on the resources you are putting into place right now. As the Moon moves into Libra, ruled by Venus in Gemini, we may become more aware of the necessary way in which we must rely on one another. Libra and Gemini are both relational signs, reminding us that interdependence is more resilient than attempting to be self-sufficient. adrienne maree brown writes, “The idea of interdependence is that we can meet each other’s needs in a variety of ways, that we can truly lean on others and they can truly lean on us. It means we have to decentralize our idea of where solutions and decisions happen, where ideas come from.” The Moon then moves through a trine to Saturn in Aquarius then a trine to Venus in Gemini. Saturn reminds us to slow down, practice patience, and commit to long-term processes. Venus draws us toward union, into loving exchanges in which we can ask for what we need in mutually supportive ways.
Today the Moon in Virgo makes a trine to Uranus in Taurus. We are all facing radical change, disruptions, and upheavals in the material practices, habits, and organization of our daily lives. How we handle and make use of available resources in order to take care of ourselves and one another is undergoing a major revolution. As we move through the conditions of this pandemic, yes, it is hard. Yes, we are facing new challenges every day. And we are also being given the opportunity to develop new, more ethical distributions of resources and processes of collective care that have the capacity to not only sustain us through global and local encounters with COVID-19, but also to reshape how we live in the world in the months and years to come. Remember what adrienne maree brown writes in Emergent Strategy: “what we practice at the small scale sets the patterns for the whole system.” As you move through your day today, what can you put into practice at the small scale in response to this immense disruption that has the potential to set the patterns for whole systems in the days ahead?
Today Venus in Gemini makes a trine to Saturn in Aquarius, inviting us to develop the structures we need in order to support us in practicing open, honest communication. Saturn is dignified in its domicile of Aquarius, providing a steady foundation on which to examine and shape the boundaries we need in order to love well. The Moon ingresses into Virgo with reception from Mercury in Pisces. With the Moon in Virgo, we may be drawn toward optimizing the management of our material resources and the efficiency of our daily lives—which could be helpful under the conditions of quarantine and pandemic. But with the Moon’s ruler in Pisces, remember to prioritize allowing yourself to feel the immensity of this situation and craft practices for processing our personal and collective emotional lives as well. The Moon in Virgo makes a square to Venus in Gemini, and we may find ourselves pushing through conflict and compromise between how we are organizing our lives and how we are communicating with those we love. Finally, Jupiter makes the first of three conjunctions to Pluto this year. Following the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in January which asked us to face the operations of power that we are rejecting, to which we are saying NO, the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction asks us what forms of power do we want to affirm? To what sources of power do we want to say YES? I recall Audre Lorde writing, “In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives.” Inasmuch as intuitions and structure of power are failing us repeatedly throughout this pandemic, Lorde’s writing reminds us that there are sources of power that have been corrupted and distorted in order to maintain oppressive social systems. This first conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto asks us to begin to investigate what sources of power have been repressed within our bodies, lives, and cultures, and how might we begin to affirm and expand our access to such powers?
Today Venus ingresses into Gemini, where it will remain until August 7. In Gemini, Venus brings attention to how we are communicating in our relationships, how we are creating opportunities for an open and honest exchange of ideas, and how we are cultivating curiosity about the thoughts and perspectives of our partners, friends, and loved ones. Alain Badiou writes of love, “What kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the point of view of two and not one? What is the world when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be … is a construction, a life that is being made, no longer from the perspective of One but from the perspective of Two.” As Venus spends the next four months in Gemini, we might ask what it means to construct and live a life from the perspective of more-than-one. The Moon in Leo makes a trine to its ruler, the Sun in Aries. This trine inspires courageous action and bold revelation, making visible what has been hidden, lighting ablaze what has been in the shadows. Where might you need to generate more illumination in your life right now? Tonight, Mercury makes a conjunction with Neptune, inviting us to give voice to our dreams, to speak with figments and fantasies, to converse with those who dwell beyond our ordinary realities. It could be a time for automatic writing, for reading poetry, and listening for messages from beyond the veil of rationale thought.
Today the Moon in Cancer moves through oppositions to Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn. How can you balance your immediate, instinctual needs right now with also investing in long-term growth that is unfolding in ways we cannot yet predict? How do you center and trust the wisdom of your own body when confronting authority that potentially represents the interests of powerful institutions rather than your own well-being? The Moon then makes a sextile to Venus in Taurus, inviting us to reach out to those we love, to share our needs with one another and to show up in the ways we can to meet one another’s needs. The Moon then ingresses into Leo, and we may feel emboldened to live courageously at our own edges. But within the first several degrees of Leo, the Moon opposes both Saturn and Mars in Aquarius. If you encounter resistance or conflict when showing up more fully as your authentic self, get curious about the source of that resistance or conflict. Is it coming from rigid external systems or is this the deep discomfort of internal patterns being asked to operate in a new way? As the Moon makes a square to Uranus in Taurus, we may feel shoved into new processes and practices that break from our established patterns. As Brené Brown offered on a recent episode of Unlocking Us, “Normalizing discomfort—learning how to stay standing in the midst of feeling unsure and uncertain—that’s the foundation of courage. Imagine what it would be like to know that you can get through something that’s vulnerable and uncomfortable, that you have what it takes to survive the cringey, award moments … knowing that we have the strength to survive those moments and come out on the other side, with new information, new ideas, new habits, new skills—that’s how we get braver with our lives and with our hearts.” If you are moving through new experiences that are challenging your vulnerability and your courage, remember that this is temporary and it is how you get braver with you heart and your life.
Today the Moon in Cancer moves through a square to the Sun in Aries, entering the waxing quarter phase. Both dignified—the Sun in its exaltation and the Moon in its domicile—this aspect challenges us to pursue bold and courageous caretaking. In Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines, Cynthia Dewi Oka writes, “The home is not a private resource that we draw from to do the real revolutionary work ‘out there.’ It is the front of human sustenance that is constitutive of hetero-patriarchal, white supremacist capitalism and its limits … At this historical moment, we need to become skilled at mothering. There will be no liberation without us knowing how to depend on each other, how to be encumbered with and responsible for each other.” As many of us continue to learn how to do revolutionary work from our homes, how can we practice care and interdependency in ways that challenge the oppressive systems that operate all around and throughout us? The Moon then makes trines to Mercury and Neptune in Pisces. Now may be the time to ask for things we need that we haven’t known how to ask for before, and to dream of new experiences of home-making and caretaking, mothering ourselves and one another. When the home becomes the site from which we do so much of our work in the world, how might we re-imagine what a home can be and how we want to create it?