Full Moon Year End Sensual Reflection and Touch
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
For the Senses
May the touch of your skin Register the beauty Of the otherness That surrounds you. May your listening be attuned To the deeper silence Where sound is honed To bring distance home. May the fragrance Of a breathing meadow Refresh your heart And remind you you are A child of the earth. And when you partake Of food and drink, May your taste quicken To the gift and sweetness That flows from the earth. May your inner eye See through the surfaces And glean the real presence Of everything that meets you. May your soul beautify The desire of your eyes That you might glimpse The infinity that hides In the simple sights That seem worn To your usual eyes. @JohnO'Donohue The Shortest Day And so the Shortest Day came and the year died⠀ And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world⠀ Came people singing, dancing,⠀ To drive the dark away.⠀ They lighted candles in the winter trees;⠀ They hung their homes with evergreen;⠀ They burned beseeching fires all night long⠀ To keep the year alive.⠀ ⠀ And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake⠀ They shouted, reveling.⠀ Through all the frosty ages you can hear them⠀ Echoing behind us — listen!⠀ All the long echoes, sing the same delight,⠀ This Shortest Day,⠀ As promise wakens in the sleeping land:⠀ They carol, feast, give thanks,⠀ And dearly love their friends,⠀ And hope for peace.⠀ And now so do we, here, now,⠀ This year and every year. #SusanCooper via @kristalii found and shared with me by @profgmm
Female Sensual Qigong Movement. Tune in, feel, desire, gather, direct and receive. Music "Il Gigante e La Balena" by Fabrizio Paterlini
Hello my love, How are you feeling? In these last few days of the year under a full moon. Jen Fountain writes so beautifully and poetically about it in one of her IG post: "2020 has been quite an emotional rollercoaster of a year, to say the least. We've been holding on for dear life, riding its tumultuous waves and learning to navigate the oceans of our emotions through uncharted territory. How prescient is this last Full Moon of this strange year rising in the watery and emotional Cancer. Let us straddle this last Lunar Wave of the year with stride. This long year has unraveled slowly and erratically at our feet. Here at the end of its unfurling, it's hard to ignore the restless yearnings for excitement and burst into the New Year. The horizon holds secrets we may or may not be able to bear. Let us pause a moment right here. Let us pause and reflect on the year that just transpired, before diving into the deep unknown. This year has tested the strength we carry in our bones, the structures of our lives and the worlds within us and around us. Some of these bones were broken. Some of these bones need time to heal. How different are you today than you were this time last year? How have you broken? How have you healed? When it feels like your ship is sinking, what do you jettison and what do you keep? One of the gifts of this year was the gift of distillation. When your life is stripped down to its bare bones, what are you left with? Only what matters. Cancer Moon asks us to sit still for a moment to reflect upon the watery surface of our emotions until that which is lurking beneath reveals its face. So we may reconnect with this face and recognize it as our own. This year may not leave us feeling like we have much to celebrate, and our hopes for the future might be overshadowed by the clouds of ominousness, with the deep knowing that we have much work to do. But right now, in this moment, it is enough to mark the metamorphosis you have gone through. To honor your endurance. It is only when we align ourselves to the cycles within that we can align ourselves to the cycles without. In your reaching out into the world to find something to pull into yourself. In your reaching into yourself to pull something out to offer back to the world." I especially love these last words Jen wrote. They connect beautifully with an excerpt from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home” by Toko-pa Turner. She writes in her IG post: "If I have learned anything from this time, it is that we are more resilient and resourceful than we know. Even when things are at their lowest we have so much yet to give. I want to share a special passage from Belonging that started the writing of the book. It’s the idea that we must be that which we are longing for: “Where you long for the friend who calls only to find out if you’re well, be that caller for another. Where you long for eloquent prayers to be made of everyday things, let your own clumsy words bless your meals out loud. Where you wish for ritual under the moons, be the one who holds the heartbeat of gathering. Where you ache to be recognized, allow yourself to be seen. Where you long to be known, sit next to someone and listen for insight into what they love. Where you wish you felt necessary, give those gifts away.” I am so grateful for all of you beautiful women because we have done just that my dear ones. We have sat together this year albeit virtually. We have blessed each other, celebrated each other, cried and laughed with each other. Shared of our love, support, stories, care, energy and sensuality with each other. We have spoken and listened, we have gathered, taken up and held space, we have connected to ourselves and each other's dreams and longings. We have reflected and manifested together. We have touched ourselves and each other deeply. Moved with each other and moved each other profoundly. As I will sit tonight with the full moon and reflect. l honor all of you and thank you from the depths of my heart for walking with me this year. It is your love I will take into the New Year with me and the beautiful memories we have created together. Maybe you will reflect and journal with me in the next few days and ponder some of the beautiful questions below I found @Shaneymarie. I love to practise the Sensual Qigong Movement above while I reflect on what I desire to bring with me into the New Year. I love how this movement makes me feel. How it connects me to all my senses. The sound of the music, the touch of my hands, taste in my mouth, smell, inner and outer vision. I love the soft flowing grace when I move my hands around, tuning into what I desire and wish for. I love the inner power I feel when I gather and direct what I long for to my heart, receiving into my womb. Planting the seeds of my dreams and manifestations. I love to play with the speed of the movement, the quality of self touch and the rhythm of my breath. I will practise this movement tonight under the light of the full moon and call in all I desire and long for. Maybe you would like to do it with me. I hope you will come this Saturday in the new Year to practice this movement with each other. Below you will find some music, art, an article about touch and self touch, an article about the full moon and about the season of Capricorn. I hope you will enjoy this newsletter as much as I have loved creating it for you. Much love and my wish for you to step passionately, openhearted, filled with the energy of possibilities, trust and courage, connected to your senses, creativity and intuition towards all you desire and wish for.
MUSIC INSPIRATION "Memories" Original by Maroon 5, co-written by Adam Levine Performed by@onevoicechildrenschoir
One Voice Children's Choir
One Voice Children's Choir (originally known as the 2002 Winter Olympic Children's Choir and Studio A Children's Choir) is an American children's choir in Utah.
The group was founded by Masa Fukuda in 2001 after he composed the song "It Just Takes Love" for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. He asked students to help make a commemorative CD for the Olympics. Some of the students also were "children of light" performers for the Olympics, whom he volunteered to help train. After the Olympics, 25 students wanted to continue singing together, and Fukuda formed the choir as a nonprofit organization to continue working with them. They have grown into a choir with 140 members ages 4-17.
It is their mission and collective passion to help people overcome adversity, hard times and life's challenges through music and uplift and inspire through the power of their voices.
MUSIC INSPIRATION G.F. Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus performed as never before More than 350 voices united, virtually, in a great hymn to optimism.
"At ”la Caixa” Foundation we believe in people and their capacity to grow, work and overcome adversity. We believe in education, culture and research as drivers of progress. We believe in a society with more opportunities. We believe in a better future for everyone and we work in thousands of projects to build such a future. In collaboration with hundreds of organisations and thousands of volunteers, we join forces to combat poverty and exclusion, to promote excellent medical research, to bring culture within everyone's reach and to improve the education of children, both today and tomorrow.
#ISing Hallelujah is a new participative digital project that has brought together more than 350 people performing the 'Hallelujah' chorus from Handel's Messiah from their home.
With a novel visual proposal by Igor Studio, the participative choral video merges the images sent by the 352 participants with those recorded in the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona in which a group of people discovers how the participants appear integrated into the wonderful architecture of the gothic basilica. In the same way, the audios of the amateur singers have been integrated into the audio recorded by the Orquesta Barroca Catalana and the choir Barcelona Ars Nova.
Before submitting their recordings, the participants followed the instructions of the video-tutorials published on our website without having details of how the final video editing would look like. On this final video is where they all get together, meet for the first time and discover the result of their work.
A total of 352 people between the ages of 14 and 82 were encouraged to live the experience of performing this master piece of the symphonic-choral repertoire by sending their recordings.
This project represents the second time that our participatory musical activity, which has a long tradition of more than 25 years, goes digital after the success of #ISing Viva la Vida."
FULL MOON INSPIRATION
"colors of the Moon" @Marcellagiuliapace
Full Moon in Cancer
Words by Tanaaz @foreverconcious
"2020. What a year it has been. Even though this year has turned things upside down for so many of us, it is important we look back on the gifts, even if they are hard to find.
What gifts were sent your way this year?
What did you learn?
What did you discover?
How have you grown?The December 29-30 Full Moon arrives in the sign of Cancer. There is this sense of heightened emotions bubbling under this final Full Moon of the year.
It seems that whatever emotional weight we have carried may feel extra heavy, and in this heaviness, it may crash to the shore like a wave, drowning us in its weight.
Even though this sounds a bit intense, it is actually more cleansing and freeing.
There is this sense that whatever we have been carrying on our backs, whatever weight of the world we have felt on our shoulders, is now being washed away.
Let it go. Let the flood gates open. That’s what this Cancer Full Moon whispers to us as we bring to a close the year of 2020.
Cancer is ruled by the Moon, so the Moon shines in its element on this night, big and full for all of us to see. As the Moon returns to its favorite spot in our sky, it is able to express its powers to the fullest.
The Moon represents our emotions, but also what makes us feel safe and secure. It represents our ability to nurture ourselves and to take care of our emotional needs.
So much of our safety and security has been up for evaluation this year, but the Moon reminds us that all is not lost. It reminds us that we always have the power to create safety, comfort, love, and warmth right within this bodily vessel we call home.
We are being called within. We are being called to nurture the home of our soul.
Take time to listen to the needs of your body, heart, and soul. There has been much attention, and even fear, placed on the state of our health this year, so take pause to honor, nourish, and attend to your own well-being.
If you remember all the way back to the start of the year, on January 10, 2020, we also had a Cancer Full Moon, however, this Full Moon was a Lunar Eclipse and its energy was much stronger.
It is interesting that we opened the year with a Cancer Full Moon and we are now closing the year with a Cancer Full Moon. The difference between then and now however, is that things have softened, the energies are not as strong, there is this sense that we can rest.
Cancer is the 4th sign of the zodiac, and 2020 was also a number 4 year in numerology. The number 4 represents the home. It represents the heart of who we are and feeling at home within ourselves.
Most of us have spent so much more time at home this year. What has this shown us? What have we discovered along the way?
The energy of this final Full Moon of 2020, reminds us that we don’t need to prove ourselves to anyone.
We don’t need to hold the weight of the world on our shoulders. We don’t need to try, we can just be.
Where are you over-extending or overreaching in your life? Where are you burning the candle too fast or strong? Where are you trying too hard?
We very often measure our productivity based on the concrete things we have achieved, but why not measure it on how much we have loved, shown gratitude, and practiced kindness. How much have you grown and how much love we have poured into the world.
The Cancer Full Moon will light the path for the new year. It calls for us to let go of all that is weighing us down and all that feels heavy.
It asks for us to let go of anything we no longer wish to bring with us into this new chapter we are about to begin. It calls for us to let it go, not through struggle or effort but through allowing ourselves to just be.
Allow the waves to crash and fall around you. Allow the waves of your emotions to be washed away back out to sea.
Let the vibrations of the Cancer Full Moon soothe you and free you. Allow the energies of the Moon to guide you to your inner home, where all is safe and all is well."
How Our Sense of Touch Keeps Us Radically Connected to Ourselves
Photo of me @oliviafrassinelli
"We simply can't live without touch.
When we are not touched, we become irritable, aggressive, dysregulated, and depressed. We need touch to feel safe and to establish secure attachment. We need touch because it signals trust and connection.
We need touch because it soothes and is pleasurable.
Pause for a moment. As you read that, did you immediately think of the touches you’ve shared with another person?
Read it again now and think about the sense of touch you share with yourself.
In the last twenty years—as we’ve transitioned to often connecting more with people online than in person—have you felt a sense of touch hunger?
In this year—as connection with a stranger has gone from an opportunity for spontaneous engagement to an opportunity for spontaneous contamination—has that touch-hunger become touch-starvation?
For the foreseeable future, sharing touch with others comes with side-effects: danger, paranoia, frustration when we accidentally trespass our new regulations, and defiance if and when we make our own rules.
But one of the hardest side-effects has been loneliness, especially in the moments when we’ve needed touch the most.
Nothing can replace holding a loved one’s hand, a tight hug with an old friend, a first kiss, or sitting next to a kind stranger. But this period of distance from others has given us an opportunity to explore a type of physical intimacy we often neglect: that which lives inside of us.
Not only can self-touch help us through this moment, it can have lasting effects on the relationship we have with ourselves. Self-touch, whether through massage, masturbation, or tuning in to the way the elements feel on our skin, has always been about self-soothing. These days, it has also become our safest and most powerful tool for self-care.
In the beginning of life, touch is the first sense that we develop.
As babies, we suck our thumbs, twirl our hair, and clutch a blankie. We seek softness because we like the way it feels on our skin. Each of these self-touches are a baby’s search for self-soothing when skin-to-skin contact with another isn’t available. In these moments, we learn to calm ourselves, lower our heart rate and cortisol levels, and to release oxytocin. A baby doesn’t know the science, but is unmistaken for what feels good and what feels bad. That dynamic follows us into adulthood. We know what we like and don’t like even when we don’t have the words for it.
That’s because touch itself is a language, our first one, and it’s comprised of an intimate vocabulary that includes pain and pleasure.
When someone touches us and we recoil under their fingertips, we’re communicating that we’re uncomfortable. When someone touches us and our muscles relax, we’re saying “I feel good. I feel safe.”
The same goes for when we touch ourselves.
When we give ourselves a warm touch, gently rubbing our belly or scratching our head, we calm our cardiovascular stress and activate the body's Vagus nerve.
This is intimately involved with our compassionate response—both giving and receiving, to others and to ourselves. So when we touch ourselves kindly, we’re communicating tenderness and care to our whole body.
When we smack our palm to our forehead upon realizing a mistake, we’re saying “I messed up.” When we masturbate, we’re reminding ourselves that we deserve to feel good, to relax, to be turned on, to take time for our own pleasure.
Our Sense of Touch Develops in a World of Mixed Messages
When we think of touch as a language, we can go deeper than good versus bad touch, touch that gets green light or red light.
We can also look at the societal, cultural, and interpersonal messages that inform the language of touch. We grow up and live in a world of mixed messages about physical touch, and particularly self-touch.
The fundamental physiological, emotional, and psychological reasons for touch evolve as we do, but we often learn to suppress the need.
In the western world as we enter school-age, we may be told that masturbation, a natural self-soothing practice, is a no-no. In junior high, Sex-Ed tends to focus on penetrative sex or no sex at all, cutting out the wide range of options in between or with oneself.
The concept of pleasure doesn’t even enter the equation.
By the time young Americans begin sexual activity, the vast language of touch —what sexologist Jaiya breaks down as affectionate touch, healing touch, sexual touch, and erotic touch—has been lost.
It’s not just sex-ed. From our teenage years into adulthood, our dominant sexual model focuses so much on orgasm that many of us, when we don’t want to engage in the full production, block off the basic pleasures of touch altogether.
This dynamic often manifests as a disengagement from the self-soothing tools with which we are born.
The body begins to forget how natural and good it feels to take care of itself.
We forget the power we have to make ourselves feel valued, satisfied, worthy—even loved. Unfortunately, certain sectors of society count on this, and not just to sell beauty and wellness products.
At a very basic level, our internalization of negative messages about our bodies—and prohibitive instructions surrounding our agency—block our ability to turn to ourselves for a sense of well-being.
This is particularly so for people whose boundaries have been infringed upon and violated, those whose bodies have been radically changed by illness, and those for whom society’s biased standards reinforce unworthiness and shame.
Perpetuating the idea that pleasure, acceptance, value, and care can only come from an external source keeps us dependent on people, companies, governments, and systems—not to mention loads of products—that don’t serve us.
Go Ahead and Touch Yourself
Turn the computer off. Put your phone out of reach.
Declare to whomever that you’re taking time for yourself.
Find a few items that you might love to touch. Maybe it’s a silk scarf, a stress ball, a leather-bound book, a body oil, or crystal. Try to connect to how each of these objects feel on your skin and what makes the sensation pleasurable.
Now that you’ve tuned into how something else feels on your skin, explore how your own hands feel.
Experiment with different touch.
Fast and slow, shallow and deep, circular and linear, back of palm, front of palm. Reverse your palm up and use your index finger to trace a path from the tip of your middle finger to the crease of your elbow, with a slow—even slower—circular motion.
What is the slowest you can go until you reach your elbow?
If you do this with your eyes closed, you’ll think you’re there long before you are. See how many tries it takes to accurately sense it.
As you engage in these exercises, think about the places on your face and body you never touch.
Take note of how, when you touch yourself, you’re giving and receiving at the same time. How does sensual contact with yourself make you feel?"
SENSUAL QIGONG STUDENT HIGHLIGHT
About Touch @Gabriellaespinosa
Beautiful words by dear Gabriella Espinosa, a Sensual Qigong Student in our circle. Gabriella guides women to connect with their bodily wisdom & take charge of their hormonal health.
"Touch is fundamental to the human experience…all our constructs of safety are about touching the world and the world touching us. by Steve Haines
"Science is showing us how responsive our nervous system is to the healing power of touch to lower cortisol levels and provide a sense of safety, love, closeness and feeling of being at home in our body.
Touch can enliven our sensual engagement with ourselves and the world around us, creating the opportunity for meaningful connection, pleasure, vitality, creativity and joy.
We can disconnect from this powerful self care resource amidst hormonal shifts, isolation, global crisis and uncertainty. “Skin hunger” - the deprivation of touch is very real for many of us who are not allowed to travel to be with loved ones during these times.
Knowing that you can take matters into your own hands, reconnect with your body and engage in practices that remind you that joy and aliveness is always accessible can be incredibly empowering and healing.
Here are 5 ways that you can gift yourself the power of touch.
•Caress your skin like the gentle strokes of a painter’s brush using your finger tips, a soft brush or silky cloth.
• Wrap yourself in warm, comforting fabrics and enjoy the sense of calm and safety.
• Massage a lovely scented oil into your skin with smooth long strokes.
• Gentle dry body brushing softens and improves blood flow to the skin making you feel energised.
• Rub your hands together vigorously and then place them on a part of your body that needs this warm and healing energy.
•Cuddle with other living beings such as dogs, cats, horses.
Sending all you of a warm loving embrace for this holiday season."
Beautiful words @spiritdaughter⠀
“The season of the Goat falls between December 22nd and January 19th reminding us of our strength to endure and our capacity to overcome.
Capricorn teaches us resilience.
This is Earth energy- stable and strong.
Capricorn reminds us that with the right focus and commitment, our energy can achieve absolutely anything. We also can survive any blow life may hand us, rising stronger than ever before.⠀
This season began with a bang as Jupiter and Saturn met in Aquarius, adding in the energy of change.
Saturn teaches us through hard work we can climb any mountain to reach our highest potential.
Jupiter asks that we have faith in our journey and that we don’t sell ourselves short.
The energy of Jupiter and Saturn meeting will last into March.
Align with this vibration and the start of Capricorn Season along with the December Solstice to honor the light you can bring to this world. Then feel the work you need to do to shine your brightest. ⠀
Be open to receiving information about your path forward. Spend some time in quiet meditation, ready to attract guidance about your highest potential. ⠀
What mountain are you ready to climb in 2021 that will be challenging but will ultimately bring you to your greatest potential in this life?⠀
What will allow you to feel fulfilled and aligned with your soul?
And what do you need to leave in 2020 to help you reach the highest vibration available?"⠀
"White Hart" 16”x20”, acrylic on canvas, 2017
Art and words @autumnskyeart
"Digging into this winter work, this liminal space of depth and mystery, this threshold between the dark and the light and the grey that weaves them together.
Witnessing myself and the world around me in the shedding of old stories, molting layer upon layer of calcified ideas and ideals, and coming to terms with the ever shifting currents of this life and that of the world.
We are in those dark days, and we knew that they were coming.
There is frost on the ground and things appear dead, a solemn hush over the once colorful gardens. However the earth is still warm beneath the chilled crust.
Underneath we are composting the past and the pain to fertilize tomorrow’s growth, planting seeds of intentions, fortifying our faith and our connectivity to life.
We are grieving and giving thanks. We are allowing the spaciousness between the in-breath and out-breath to unfurl in our lungs and whisper its silent wisdom.
This is winter work. This is brave work. Going in and getting familiar with the dark.
In these long nights, we must tend the inner flame of our awareness. Attune to the heartbeat of the earth deep under our feet. Be patient. Be kind.
We know this cycle in our bones and blood.
And we know that the light on the horizon is returning."