THE APRIL 19 LIBRA FULL MOON WANTS YOU TO BLOOM BIG

The second Libra Full Moon of 2019 is sweet and thorny, inviting us to set a boundary and go big, says Sandy Sitron

Photo: D-ng-tr-n-qu-c

Full Moon // April 19, 2019 // 7:12 am EDT // 29 degrees Libra

Rose bushes tantalize with sweet smells and bright colors. Underneath the surface are an army of bloodthirsty thorns.

Visualize this lunation as if it represents the diverse ecosystem of a rose bush in bloom. Many pathways available, many roses to be smelled, many insects, and small animals to encounter. There’s a headiness as the perfume intoxicates, and a pain that lingers when you are pricked. You can have the best time revealing in the beauty or you can get stuck in the thorns.

On Friday April 19th there is the second Libra Full Moon of 2019. This one is asking us to get it right. There’s not much time to waste. It’s time to spark the flame of your desire, go for it, and bloom big! That’s what you’ve been working on this Aries season, even though part of the time the process was foggy, slippery, and subconscious.

And this fiery evolution of the self has been punctuated by the need to be clear, communicative and reach toward another person in diplomatic action. You’ve been asked to set boundaries that help you be more of yourself, alone and in partnership. That’s the thorny truth of what this pair of Libra Full Moons are asking you to do.

The rose is the perfect metaphor because it is peaceful and beautiful, like the Libra archetype. But it is also clear about its boundaries, the way both Libra and Aries must be to create truly balanced partnership. The rose is also the symbol for the open heart, and to be truly open-hearted you must have pointy thorns to defend yourself. That saves you energy and makes openness safe and sustainable.

The overall message of this Full Moon is to work on your self awareness so that you can communicate and enjoy both individuality and balanced partnership.

I’ll be honest, the delivery of this message is not super gentle. This Full Moon might try your patience. It might ask you to find a new path through the thorny brush. You might get some scratches. But it’s all worth it if it helps you practice self-awareness.

During this lunation there is a lot of pressure. At its best, this pressure will ask you to change. The way to handle it is to be consciously open to a mental, spiritual, and even physical upgrade. Ask for a fresh perspective. As the Sun transits close to Uranus, this upgrade might come through sometime next week.

If you are subconsciously afraid and not truly open to change, you will just feel the pressure of the grand cross that’s formed between the Nodal axis, Pluto, Saturn, the Sun, and the Moon. That pressure invites regression to old behaviors that don’t serve you anymore. It might feel majorly limiting and frustrating.

Being open to change is a state of mind.

At this time, any old patterns will catch you up in the briar patch of thorns. You need new perspective and change is supported. Meanwhile, true expansion is likely with a supportive assist by Jupiter. Jupiter is your cheerleader, reminding you that …

-You can find a new way of saying yes to who you are and what you need.

-You are ripe to open up to another person and communicate your truth.

-The old way is ending and the structure for a new way is being created.

Revel in the fact that life in the rose bush is far from boring. You are under pressure, and it might hurt a little, but the chance to blossom and show your truth has never been so vibrant!

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Moon sextile Jupiter
A graceful willow.
The willow goes with the flow. There is no breakage because there is no tension. So the branches flourish and grow lush The flexibility results in strength. You have access to support without trying. There is friction and tension at this Full Moon to be certain. But remember that sometimes you get further by going with the flow instead of hustling. Look around to see where you want to reap rewards with less effort.

Moon opposite Uranus
Lightning bug.
Keep your eyes peeled for surprising flashes of illumination. You don’t need to know where it’s going to come from. And it would be impossible to anticipate. But if you look for it, you won’t miss it. The brilliant light can show you a new path to follow.

Moon square Pluto, Saturn and North Node
Putting an irrigation system in place.
You need to find a new way forward and you will need to work to create it. Without ingenious new solutions, you will dry up. you might find buried root systems that block your path and the task might take months longer than expected. but keep trying to remove the old obstacles and welcome a new way to nurture yourself and others. You can figure this out.

EMBRACE YOUR DESIRES: READING FOR THE FULL MOON IN LEO

Use the fiery energy of the lion to honor yourself and your unique desires. The universe is working with you during this Full Moon in Leo, says Hannah Ariel.

“There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the Universe…The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

A Full Moon in Leo is no silent breeze. It roars its message loud and clear. It commands our attention. It compels us to listen. It draws out our passion like no other Full Moon can. No matter what stage of the game you have been at these past two weeks, this Full Moon on January 24th will put you directly in touch with what you personally desire for yourself – desires, you were BORN to feel. With all your heart, you will uncover the truth of what makes you happy – and you will make it your mission to connect with that source of happiness. 

Leo is a fixed fire sign ruled by the blazing sun. In all its glory, it knows what lights it up without exception. This energy doesn’t ask for permission, doesn’t ask, “is this right or wrong” – makes no apologies for its intensity. Coming straight from the heart, Leo simply fixates its burning desire, outshines all doubts, and taps straight into an intuitive stream of understanding. A Full Moon in Leo never lacks in confidence so be confident – whatever is shaking you up, whatever shocks you, stops you in your tracks, leaves you with the biggest smile on your face, or whoever you’re being enlivened by this week is the Universe conspiring to ultimately nourish your happiness and get you to your destiny through divine inspiration.

When the Moon was new in Capricorn we were being asked to step up, define where we honestly see ourselves going in life, and put in the work. Do you feel yourself passionately aligned with excitement? You’ve seen the future, you’ve set your goals, but are you happy? Is your heart on fire? Do you jump out of bed in the morning? Are you in the right place with the right people for you? This Full Moon in Leo may very well be a celebration of knowing and loving where you stand! There will be no shying away from the truth your emotions will reveal. On the other hand, if your heart just isn’t in it any more, you will feel this moon strongly. You will know what needs changing and so will the Universe!

As the Sun will be in innovative Aquarius, the 11th star sign, the “11th hour” where anything goes, don’t be too surprised if you find the cosmos responds by presenting you with another option – one that deviates from conventions you subscribed to when the Sun was in Capricorn. No matter how unusual it may appear to be, Aquarius wants to upgrade and liberate you from any paradigm you subscribe to that’s getting in the way of your lust for life. Aquarian energy helps us experience our pure humanity – our ability act like the wind on a clear day, ever open to change. Aquarius works as the idealist always with its sights set on a new solution. Reality can take on a fresh new tone at this time.

Mercury will have just gone direct and will conjunct Pluto once again in Capricorn, getting us straight to the point of what could be getting the in way. We can expect to revisit thoughts we have perhaps subconsciously aligned ourselves with the past few weeks – the ones that keep us in the shadow of fear-based inaction. Refer back to the initial conjunction that took place December 18th/19th as it will clue you in to the depth of what you’ve been experiencing beneath the surface. This retrograde has revealed crucial lessons in learning how to let go of what is keeping you from moving toward your destiny with dignity and without worry that we are making the wrong choice or saying the wrong thing.

Honor yourself as an individual – a human being with real desires, and willing to break free from anything that keeps you from fulfilling them. This Full Moon in Leo brings a creative drive that can blast through any stagnation. Leo wants your personal happiness to shine. It will illuminate and encourage you to do exactly what you need to do and say what you need to say, as Leo is your courage. Leave the fear behind. You will have all the answers you need about yourself and what you need to connect more passionately with. If there’s anything you’re not happy with trust that the light of the sun will give you the energy you need to break out where you’ve been stuck.

Even if the actions you have to take initially appear to disrupt what has come before, repeat proudly: “I can’t wait to see what good will come of this.” So long as you are truly following your heart’s lead, everything that occurs will be happening to help you achieve what the Universe knows you need; to realize your destiny; to be happy. It may feel like you’ve just pulled the Tower card in the tarot, but at least there’s nothing to be confused about now! Be humbled by your desires – realize their potency, their truth. You’ve got the power to blaze your way forward.

To book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel email: [email protected]

SOUL CAMP: CONNECTING WITH MY REAL TRIBE

When Michelle Goldblum was asked to create a summer camp for grown-ups, it forced her to confront age-old feelings of sadness and un-belonging. But it was also the catalyst for the next stage in her personal growth. Images: Karolina Daria Flora

As an adult, I’ve always looked back on my summers spent at camp as some of the best times of my life. And when I met Ali, having found each other in the wellness world (I own a branding and marketing agency for thought leaders in this field and she’s a body confidence coach), and we realized we were both Camp Towanda kids, every time we got together it was like we were back, cheering on the way to the soccer field. The energy of those times lived on in our relationship, which was always very childlike and fun, and like nothing I’ve experienced with anybody else.

As it turns out, our camp director follows both of us on Facebook, and in October last year, he reached out to us to ask; “would you like to bring a mind, body, spirit retreat to Camp Towanda?” Of course, as soon as Ali and I got together, it was obvious that our soul mission (maybe it was even the reason we met?) was to accept, and in doing so bring back what we both remembered as “The Magic of Camp.”

But when we went back to Towanda, which is located in Wayne County, PA, for our first site visit, walking around the familiar grounds, the memories that now began flooding back for me were far from happy. How could it be? Instead of joy, I was overwhelmed with a long-forgotten sensation of feeling completely isolated, and I realized how alone I actually felt at camp as a kid and how I so longed to be accepted.

I remembered having to find things to do during free time, when everyone huddled together in their packs. I remembered going from group to group, trying to find where I belonged, with an intense feeling that something must be wrong with me. I felt a familiar sensation in my neck, my chest and my gut, the same overwhelming feeling of sadness I realized I experienced back then.

I even had a flashback to the camp counsellor giving me a bookmark, which said something like; “it’s not how many friends you have but the quality of friendship that’s important.” At the time, I was so offended. But she’d obviously seen the pain my ten-year-old self had thought I was hiding so well.

Camp is supposed to be where you learn how to have relationships. It’s where people get their first boyfriends, and have their first kisses. Going back to Towanda, I realized how much of that I missed out on. Was it because I was fat? As a child, I realized I felt like; “I am different because I’m bigger. That’s why I’m not going out on the raid, that is why I’m not part of the crew.”

Or maybe it was because didn’t have the Kate Spade bag that all the other girls had. But even when I got the bag and all the other “stuff” I thought I needed to fit in, I still experienced the same feelings of separateness. My way of coping? By my last year at Towanda, aged 15, I was Camper Captain. On the outside, I knew everyone, and everyone knew me. But inside, there was this feeling of; “oh wow – I slipped under the radar there.” And guess what? It turns out Ali, a couple of years younger than me, was experiencing the same thing.

This was all new to me. I was shocked that my memory could play such tricks on me, casting my experience of camp in such a rose-tinted glow. And it’s only more recently I’ve been able to join the dots – how hiding the feelings of inadequacy that camp instilled in me became part of my adult identity, manifesting in an eating disorder I kept secret for years, an addiction to Adderall when I found myself working in big pharma post-college, and a co-dependent relationship that left me needy, isolated and without too much of a social life.

The best part though, is that this realization has also been a catalyst and a turning point in the next stage in my personal growth.

Asking around, it seemed like Ali and I weren’t lone “camp loners,” either. People would tell us; “I had a horrible experience at camp, I never want to go back.” They shared painful memories of sitting alone at the dining hall and not being included in activities, and it was based on this feedback that we began to come up with the concept for Soul Camp.

Sitting in our dorm during that first site visit, we shared exactly what was going on for each other. That night we decided that our souls had signed an agreement, and that it was our job to process and heal all the pent up feelings that were rushing to the surface so that we’d be equipped to hold the space for other people to return to camp and confront their hurtful, shameful, hidden memories as well.

We set about putting together a roster of more than 30 of the most incredible speakers and healers from our pioneering wellness world – people like Nisha Moodley, Terri Cole, Meggan Watterson, Ed Harrold, Ashley Turner – to join us on our journey.

And I feel like we’ve created the ultimate alternative camp for all the people who felt weird, or different, and like they didn’t belong. And maybe that’s everybody, on some level. From the bonfire and “fear burning” ritual on the opening night, to yoga by the beautiful lake, empowering intenSati classes with one of my personal teachers, Patricia Moreno, and incredible, nourishing food prepared with love, we’ve designed Soul Camp to create new memories. Joyful memories. Memories of meeting like-minded, welcoming friends; of exploring new activities and learning new techniques; of coming together, connecting inward, and feeling a-part-of.

Of course it’s also fine to just find your spot at the waterfront and write in your journal all weekend, but the most important piece for me is that we’ll all be there together. Reliving our childhood experience, but in a way that feels completely supportive and safe. You feel “different”? So do I. And guess what – that makes us all the same.

Now that I remember camp properly, I know there were some beautiful moments too. I had one counsellor, Mindy Karp, who is my friend to this day, and when we were nine or 10 she’d put us to bed playing Joni Mitchell and leading us in a deep relaxation meditation. Not that we understood it as that then, she’d just tell us; “feel your toes, now relax your toes…” She was the inspiration for our own “bunk leaders,” who we’ve equipped with tools to facilitate community, openness and togetherness in each bunk. And thank God for people like her.

Soul Camp at Camp Towanda takes place September 4-7. For details of the full line-up and to purchase tickets visit Soulcamp2014.com. PLUS enter the code “NUMI” at checkout for a $100 discount!