Jambalaya: Summer Solstice & Full Moon In Sagittarius

Before I went to bed last night, I stood outside and looked at the moon – big and bright, vibrating in its near-completion to fullness. I dreamed I was at a birthday party with friends, for someone I’ve known a long time. My friend who was hosting the party gave me two huge balloons, and I went out on the balcony alone to release them. It was night time, and the sky was a rich, deep navy blue, dotted with stars. The air felt alive and activated, and I could see the colorful tops of houses below. It was quiet, just me and the night sky, and I released the balloons one at a time, watching them float slowly away, into the beyond.

I woke up feeling lighter than I’ve felt in a while. It was an emotional week. Yesterday was Father’s Day, which is often bittersweet for me as I think of my father and other male ancestors who have passed on. It was also Juneteenth, a day commemorating when, in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, enslaved Africans were informed that they were now free. I’ve been dealing with my sadness about the murders of forty-nine people at the gay nightclub in Orlando last week and what that means for me as a queer person. I’ve been working in Dangriga, providing mental health counseling to youth impacted by sexual abuse and gender-based violence, exploring and naming heartbreaking stories and experiences. And I launched my coaching business on Friday, the culmination of many months of work and process, and also the many emotional layers that come with starting something new. This full moon has been intensifying all the feels.

Full moons are about expansion and release, and this one is particularly special because it brings with it the Summer Solstice this evening. While the past few days here in Belize have been cloudy and cooler as we ease further into rainy season, I’m feeling an internal shift and movement toward opening to the energy of the longest day of the year, and with it the hopefulness that the seeds we sowed during the Spring Equinox are thriving. I’m feeling especially sensitive and connected to our common struggles as we all find our way. The Solstice is a reminder that even with so much loss and darkness within and around us, there is light.

I recently started re-reading ‘Jambalaya’ by Luisah Teish. I have a history with this book. It was recommended to me by the Ifa priest who gave me my first reading when I was twenty-three, and it has been a wonderful reflection and guide for my practice over the years. My original, dog-eared copy with notes scribbled in the margins got lost in the shuffle during my move back to New York from Nigeria in 2009, and I finally bought myself a new copy last year to bring with me to Belize. As I’m reading it again, I adore it even more. It is an offering of love, about the joy of spirituality as a healing practice that nourishes us, one that is rooted in the sustaining life force of nature and the wisdom of those who came before. Luisah also speaks to the power of growing our connection to self through spiritual practice, and embracing all the messy beauty of our own process – the delicious, spicy mix that characterizes Louisiana Creole jambalaya. As I get up into the fullness of this moon, and set my intentions to manifesting and expressing my joy and pleasure, the message is right on time.

Happy Summer Solstice and full moon in Sag, y’all.

 

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