The Tantra of a New Year
Lucid is a tantrika, urban witch, and reiki master living in Brooklyn. She is a co-founder of Moon Church and spends her free time plotting ways to sexually liberate bodies the world over.
Photo by Nitsa Citrine
We are greeted into the new year by an enormous activation coming from the grand cross full moon in Cancer. In astrology, grand crosses bring crises to the forefront. They call for immediate change and action in our lives, and often have powerful lessons to teach us. Because this is a Cancer moon, we face this powerful energy while remaining connected and attuned to our emotional attachments from the past, which often need to be released before we can move forward.
It seemed like for a lot of people, me included, the energies present in this grand cross full moon started to emerge as far back as several weeks ago. December was a difficult month for a lot of people in New York City, where I live. A deep nerve was hit with the events surrounding Ferguson and Eric Garner, and we were left grappling for answers as the deep levels of injustice in our country reared their ugly heads. We held protests and created a social media uproar, outraged that the racism we have seen in this country since its infancy still haunts us to this day. It was hard to feel any warm fuzzy holiday feelings knowing that the families of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other families and individuals were living in fear and despair.
One night in mid-December, I met with a group of women to sit in a Tantric circle dedicated to releasing old stories and wounds through ritual. We opened with a discussion, during which current events including the Ferguson and Eric Garner issues were discussed at length, in addition to a number of other painful subjects that were on our minds. As each woman took her turn to speak, we listened, cried, consoled, and held each others hands. It was beautiful. And it was heavy. It became clear that this was not an easy time for any of us. At one point, a woman in the circle quoted an astrologer who had acknowledged that December would be an especially intense month, but that it would soon pass with the new year.
This got me wondering if there ever is really break from intensity on our planet. Based on the history of the earth and its creatures, it doesn’t seem like it. But where do we go from there? How can we remain hopeful and positive amid constant tumult?
As a person still in her early adulthood, I ask myself these questions often. There was definitely a hope and magic in the blissful ignorance of my childhood- hope and magic that I want to hold onto for as long as I can. I fear, sometimes, that exposure to the woes of the world throughout adulthood brings with it a certain feeling of defeat, which then leads to complacency. In those weeks of December I began to feel powerless against the issues our planet is facing. I could feel myself spiraling into depressive thoughts, wanting to hide from it all (something many people don’t have the privilege to do). To numb myself for the purpose of some kind of fear-based pseudo self-protection. I could feel myself losing whatever passion or fire I had, and I wanted to give up.
But whether or not I can ever truly bring that same childhood magic back, or witness a global revolution, I knew that I cared too much about the issues at hand to succomb to a numbed state. If there was any magic, I wanted to believe in it still. And to do that, I knew I needed to let my fear of failure go.
We ended our circle with a ritual, passing around a goblet of salt water into which we each whispered what we were releasing, allowing it to dissolve into nothingness so that we might be more free. It was felt like the perfect new year celebration. In our culture we fixate on the idea of a clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning. But in truth, we're never given a completely clean slate. Our life experiences, whether they be on an emotional or cosmic scale, cannot always be categorized as having definitive beginnings, middles, and ends. To live cyclically, as we do, is to be in a constant state of flow. In every moment, each of us occupied with our own healing, with no promise of a break from the intensity. But I think that if we try, we can maintain our hope and our magic for what lies ahead. And really, I think that's what the spirit of this holiday (and this full moon in Cancer) is all about. So Happy New Year.
Below is a simple yet powerful exercise in releasing through the microcosmic orbit, written by me but derived from the Tao.
- Sit comfortably, with your spine straight and your feet connected to the earth.
- Take a few deep, wide, cleansing breaths.
- Connect the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and begin to feel warm, glowing energy travel up your back, along your spine, up to your crown chakra.
- Now allow it to fall down the front of your body like a cooling waterfall. Continue to allow the energy to orbit your body in this way as you continue to take deep breaths.
- Allow the energy moving up the spine to feel like a building, and the energy falling down to feel like releasing.
- Continue this cycle, while deeply breathing, until you feel complete.