One Month at a Time


Give yourself a month, and you can make real observable progress on any endeavor you choose. It's a relatively easy unit of time to commit to and measure, long enough to demand persistence past an impulse but not too drawn out to seem like an impossible endurance. And the Moon can help you out.

Stand in front of a mirror, and look yourself up and down. Stare at your face, square into your own eyes. Scan your body, and check how you hold it, and how it holds you. Feel your feet anchored into the ground, weight distributed evenly across them. Feel your head pulled upward by spiritual force, connecting you to higher places. Acknowledge and appreciate where you are.

Then, in language that rings true to your heart, say: 'I can do anything I set my mind to do. Give me a month's time, and I will demonstrate sustained effort toward achieving success in what I undertake.' State the endeavor to yourself, in clear and unambiguous terms, and determine when the starting point of your month will be. At that point, all you have left to do is show up at the earmarked time and meet your commitment.

We know a starting point is coming when we spy the Moon's light fading away to black, as it's been doing over these past couple weeks and as it does every month once the Full Moon passes. Nature in action reveals the seeds of every new creation cycle while we're still in the midst of the previous one. This palpable sense of fullness having come and gone, represented by the waning Moon getting smaller and dimmer every night, combines the subtly mournful letting-go with invisible anticipation of what will arise next.

When we are quiet and still, we can feel it. The ever-darkening Moon beckons our creative spunk to germinate. What will we do with the coming days? What new light will we make, to grow in brilliance along with the brightness in the night sky, between now and the next time we face ourselves at this edge of the track?

Wednesday's New Moon is in Cancer, an apt time for beginning a month's resolution to take better personal care of ourselves, so we feel happier and healthier and more secure. Cancer has gotten a lot of press on this site in recent weeks, due to the fact that Saturn is in the process of wrapping up its 2-year transit through this sign. In fact, during the course of the month initiated by Wednesday's New Moon, Saturn will move into Leo and more emphatically raise the serious business of self-expression in our conscious awareness. And as I wrote last week, we're in the midst of this transition from working on internal emotional maturation to putting ourselves out there more responsibly.

The best promise for this coming lunar month is in attending to our foundations—our emotional rootedness, our sense of security, our fundamental experience of home—so that we don't rush out into the world unprepared. The biggest risk in looking forward to Saturn in Leo is that we forget the emotional lessons we learned during Saturn in Cancer and, in overexcited anticipation of more outward drama, set sail without our life vests properly attached. Especially with Mercury and Venus currently in Leo and Mars in Aries (making a square to the New Moon), there's definitely a temptation to act first and feel the consequences later.

The Cancerian influence at this New Moon is a gift of self-mothering, at a time when new excitements are soon about to carry us away on new journeys to new places to do new things. We mustn't forget to pack our favorite snack, a pair of clean underwear, and an emergency phone card for calling home when the heat of the adventure gets too hot. This is the month to gather and load what you'll need to stay emotionally safe on the journey.

In a month, you can make real strides toward a goal, as long as you set the intention and stick to it daily. You can go from ignorant to wise, bloated to lithe, scared to strong and muddled to clear. The scale is relative, not absolute. The marker is your sense of pride in accomplishing development.

This month, make sure you have what you need. Circle your arms around your emotional core, and hug it. Be grateful for tender humility, and honor the part of yourself that can cry like a baby. That is you at your essence, stripped down and wholly in feeling.

Secure it. Respect it.

And please don't forget it, once Saturn's dash into Leo pulls you out from the shell and props you onto the world stage, where bravado seems to be rewarded but will just as easily collapse in on itself, if what's in your middle isn't strong and pure.