odyssey: An extended adventurous voyage or trip, intellectual or spiritual quest, journey of discovery.
I always like keep a finger on the pulse of the universe and, when I check to see what’s going on ‘out there’, its a case of seeking to understand more deeply the experiences that I’m already having, not for a ‘prediction’ of something yet to happen, understanding as I do how profoundly our moods, health, outlook and energy are affected by the much bigger picture of the cosmos that we are a part of. In fact, I struggle to grasp how anyone could ever think it was otherwise; how were we ever persuaded to think we were living so detached from everything except the minutiae of our own personal mini-world? I like to think we are generally moving away from labelling astrology as the hocus pocus that it used to be laughed off as; a device that was (just more of) the whole cultural mindset used to keep us from trusting our own resources thus in reliance on what we are ‘told’ is the established reality. Its a no brainer that whatever the planets or our sun are doing, these things have tremendous impact upon our daily life and in ways far beyond the rather demeaning profile they are given by the daily horoscope column.
A few days ago, I woke with such a wave of inspiration to paint the moon that I was preparing a canvas within the hour and then laughed at myself as I realised, several stages later, that it was the build up to the full moon, something I always feel as surely in my body as if I’ve been plugged into the national grid.
This was not just any full moon coming up, I hasten to add, but an eclipse full moon that was heralding the start of an eclipse cycle culminating with a total solar eclipse on 3rd November. On top of that, in-between those two eclipses, we have just gone into mercury retrograde, mercury being the planet attributed with influencing the way we communicate with each other and so when its energy ‘pulls back’, the void left behind can have interesting ramifications for us all, whether we realise ‘why’ or not. (Actually, I have come to love mercury retrograde as the ride upon a wave of wholly intuitive rather than more measured interaction with each other, and with self, can be harvested in interesting and productive ways, if we are open to it…) Added to all that, the sun has been extremely active, sending out flares and geomagnetic storms that I always feel in my body long before they are reported on the Internet.
Anyway, back to my moon urge…what resulted was an extremely quick-fire, instinctive painting that came entirely from inner landscape (no photographic reference until I checked the patterns on the face of the moon). For some reason, I just knew the clouds needed to be that blush pink that they are sometimes straight after the sun has said adieu (and as the sun has virtually become my art signature, perhaps this honorary presence of sun-glow was a subliminal case of not wanting to buck the trend). Whatever the source of inspiration for those salmon pink clouds, it struck me as soon as I took a step back from the canvas that the title of this one was so obviously ‘Love and light‘.
It was all but finished in under two hours.
As ever, the metaphors within came pouring out after I had left the canvas to dry. It struck me that, as with everything in our physicality, the moon is yet another mirror of who and what we are…this great light in the sky, ‘reflecting’ the ultimate light of Source. And if we, all too readily, tend to forget that all-important linkage with Source and the fact that we are aspects of it, perhaps the fact that the moon is in far greater proximity to this mini-world planet of ours than the sun – is virtually ‘one of us’, popping up above our rooftops so close we can see the craters – allows for us to receive gentle ‘pokes’ from her, as from an older sibling. Its as though she is saying ‘I can do all this; create waves, dictate patterns of fertility and great surges of emotion, make momentous things happen, just by reflecting the light of source…why can’t you see that you do that too?’
What is so distinct about a lunar eclipse is that the light of the moon is temporarily ‘switched off’ as the earth blocks out the sunlight that she reflects. We are, effectively, left to go it alone for a short time…like a child learning to ride a bike as the parent lets go for those all-important moments. She stops being the surrogate for all that we are…and we feel it. At some deep, often unacknowledged part of us, we feel the absence and step into the breach, becoming all that we are, reminded of our sovereignty.
No matter that this was just a small slither of the moon that was obscured in last week’s eclipse (and quite impossible to see from my cloudy garden), at some level we all felt it…and, at some level, it was like a dress rehearsal for the full solar eclipse (when the moon will block out the light of the sun for one minute 39 seconds) in just a few days, regardless of whether we live in the appropriate hemisphere to watch it happen. All of my instincts tell me that this brief moment of energetically ‘going it alone’ is about remembering who and what we are; the individual powerhouse that we each are and our capacity to be all that we choose to be in the fullness of our own light.
Going back to my painting, I don’t know why I was so surprised at this choice of subject (more a case of ‘what took you so long?’) as its always been a favourite one of mine in other people’s art, rare as the subject of moon or moonlight is as compared with endless depictions of sun or sunlight. I even started collecting moon-images on Pinterest recently (such as this one by Arthur Wesley Dow – “Moonrise”, 1916), a couple of these being old favourites that I had pinned next to my bed as a young girl. Having received the timely nudge towards a favourite subject, one that reminds us so intimately of the light that we are, I suspect there will be more moon paintings to come.
Life itself is such an odyssey!
View ‘Love and light’ along with many more new paintings at www.helenwhite.org
- Space Weather – a resource I wouldn’t be without
- Elizabeth Peru of Deltawaves – brilliant astrological information, usefully deciphered
- Mercury retrograde – a useful and entertaining run-down
- Why Mercury Retrograde is Good For You – astrology is all about perceiving potential and opportunity!