The new moon in Sagittarius on December 18, 2017 gives us plenty of opportunity to let go of what no longer serves us in preparation for the coming new year. This new moon happens just a few days before the winter solstice on December 21st, and the darkness of the new moon combined with the yearly celebration of the darkest day of the year signifies a cosmic urge to turn inward, look carefully at our shadow, and surrender whatever we deem no longer of use.
This call to surrender and let go comes to us on a variety of levels. Alongside the new moon, we find a collection of planets that urge for transformation in the realm of structures and systems, sensuality and relationship, as well as communication and personal truth. We are urged to examine any dogmatic beliefs, and explore new ways of thinking that may expand our consciousness in alignment with our goals.
The darkness of this time of year is deeply symbolic. Representing the deepest layers of our unconscious, the darkness is where the greatest potential for growth and transformation lie. Without exploring our own darkness, we have no hope of a return to light. The winter solstice has long been associated with a “return of the sun,” or a redeemer that brings the light. For us mystics, that redeemer is ourselves, and our ability to unite with a Christ-consciousness is the ultimate symbol of light’s return. Of course, this light is within, and when the symbolic moon (unconscious) moves aside to reveal the light (conscious), we find ourselves on a new level of awakening.
This process is constant, and cyclical, which is why we find opportunities to explore darkness and shine brightly every month with the cycles of the new and full moon. We also find this in a grander fashion with the yearly cycles of the solstices. Never more than right now is this cycle amplified with the new moon and solstice being three days apart — three, a powerful number of revelation and resurrection — is important here, because it is just enough time to let old ways of thinking die, before bringing our new level of consciousness to life.
In whatever way you need to move into the darkness now, do it. On whatever level your soul calls for release and rebirth, answer the call. Pay heed to the planets and the stars that dimly shine upon you to give just enough light to show the way, but not so much to prevent you from finding your own light within. Now is the timer and the cosmos are clear on the request: Let go, and shine on.
As a fire sign, Sagittarius is known for its vivacity, tenacity and exuberance. On the low side, this easily becomes egotistical, dogmatic and aloof. This new moon ritual for Sagittarius highlights the high side of Sag which allows us to explore our inherent belief systems and expand fully into an authentic expression of joy.
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, who is known for his joviality, and zest for life. Jupiter encourages expansion in all areas of life, so it is important to ensure what we expand is the highest expression of this new moon energy. Otherwise, we can get caught in a vicious cycle of negativity or callousness toward others.
Alchemical Ritual for the Sagittarius New Moon
Gather blue stones such as topaz, amethyst or turquoise, and place them in the center of your ritual space. If you have essential oil of myrrh, or myrrh resin, use it to scent the air as you prepare for your ritual. Use essential oils of myrrh, clove or anise to anoint your hips and thighs (ruled by Sagittarius) before and after your ceremony. Use sage, sweet grass or palo santo to cleanse yourself and the space by casting the smoke over yourself and encircling your own body three times. Light a few candles and dim the lights. Bring into your ritual space a symbol or talisman of your inherent or childhood belief system. Place it just in front of you as you sit down and close the eyes, coming into a quiet, meditative state of mind.
Say the following invocation out loud: "Sagittarius and Jupiter, help me expand the wisdom of my spirit, and let my soul’s deepest truths be focused outward in an authentic expression of my life."
Feel the presence of the symbol or talisman and allow it to appear in your mind’s eye. Focus on the breath and tune in to its image. Allow for any messages or feelings from the image to arise. Rather than engage in dialogue with it, simply let the image speak to you. Spend a few moments quietly listening to the image. Sit with the message given to you by the symbol or talisman. Absorb it, and reap the fruits of the message in your body. When complete, take a few breaths, then chant Om three times, and snuff the candles. Place your talisman in prominent view and whenever you see it, let it remind you to stay connected with your soul’s fullest expression of authenticity.
This image (and others) serve to be outward expressions of our deepest truths. It is a reminder of how we use symbols to make sense of our world and bring to life that which is within us. Let it help you bring forth the light that is within you.
By Alanna Kaivalya
Alanna believes Yoga is for everyone and each student can develop the self-empowerment needed to embark on a personal journey to meaningful transformation. On this principle she founded The Kaivalya Yoga Method, a fresh take on yoga emphasizing the individual path while honoring tradition. Teaching students since 2001, teachers since 2003, Alanna has written and developed teacher trainings worldwide for top studios and independently. In January she debuted a comprehensive 200hr-online teacher training with YogaDownload. She holds a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, has authored numerous articles and two books: Myths of the Asanas, an accessible practitioner’s guide to stories behind beloved poses; Sacred Sound, a yoga “hymnal,” illustrating the role of chant and mantra in modern practice. Look for her third book, Yoga Beyond the Mat. She lives in New York City with Roxy the Wonderdog.
Alanna is also the head teacher of Yoga Download's 200-hour Online Teacher Training Program. Learn more and enroll here!
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