GEMINI NEW MOON SOLAR ECLIPSE GUEST CONTRIBUTOR : PHILLIP LEAMON
WED 10 JUN 11:52 - Mooning Monthly sunning itself under the solar eclipse....
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Welcome to another edition of MOON LIT, the international platform for lunar influenced new literature, this month graced by the sun drenched summer poetry of folk lore enthusiast and Green Man incarnate, Philip Leamon.
And what does this Gemini New Moon have in store for those of a moonish persuasion? Well, it's our first solar eclipse of the year for starters, when Lady Luna perfectly blocks the face of Lord Sun to create the heavenly visual spectacle of a perfect ring of fire. This phenomenon will only be visible at extreme northern latitudes so if you're lucky enough to find yourself camping by the North Pole at sunrise on Wednesday, don't forget to set your alarm.
Astrological tradition suggests that any new moon is a propitious signal to sow seeds of conscious intent, confident that with nurturing, a bountiful harvest may be gathered under future full moons. When you add a solar eclipse into that creative equation, the opportunities for mindful manifestation are magnified manyfold.
The planetary alignments of this particular solar/lunar axis have got those in astrological circles all hot under the collar, some going as far as to suggest it's in the running for the most powerful galactic event of 2021. That said, it might be considered rude not to utilise such readily available cosmic influence to optimal effect....so let's give it a go.
Gemini has great mental agility reflected in its silver tongued communication skills. Feeling the full clout of a solar eclipse we are likely to be a fountain of new ideas and plans. Key to their fruition will be clear, concise communication and maintaining concentration. Gemini can be a little bit flighty (understatement) and as a solar eclipse consequence we may find ourselves temporarily bored, listlessly searching for the next tantalising tit bit of interest without seeing anything through to completion.
This week we could benefit from setting ourselves the target of improving the clarity of our communication. This includes the not very Gemini skill of listening. And I'm not talking solely about communication with those around us. I'm suggesting we should be just as focused on the internal dialogue that ceaselessly rattles along within us, usually without being paid any attention at all.
The relationship with the Self is quite often ignored in favour of a relationship/obsession with what we think the self needs or desires. This imagined wishlist has nothing to do with the simple innocence of the true Self which actually requires very little to find a tangible experience of Love - the feeling/thing/experience most of us claim we're ultimately after.
Many wisdom traditions suggest that the experience of Love arises as soon as we let go of what our minds think we need and let our hearts do the talking instead. But how many of us take time out to listen to it's gentle, reassuring commentary? This is the perfect week to start reacquainting ourselves with that internal conversation, the one that accompanied us unabated as small children.
This is the week to listen hard to the stories we're telling ourselves that often hijack the positive intents we're trying to encourage into being. We are currently in the middle of a three week Mercury retrograde which tends to play havoc with message misinterpretation and tech issues. A strong recommendation would be to distance ourselves from all social media during the next fortnight for fear of getting the wrong end of various sticks. Many of those sticks are the ones we use to beat ourselves up, the classic being the I'm Not Worthy birch whip. Give up the self flagellation, along with any media involvement that makes you feel small in comparison to others. This is a new moon under which to genuinely fall in love with the You you know yourself to be.
Under this Gemini New Moon Solar Eclipse we are perfectly poised to rewind and reassess the life messages that we may have misread. Social and cultural conditioning may have persuaded us that happiness lies in an ever expanding desire for 'improved' largely material circumstances but how many consulted the heart about those stressful, anxiety boosting, joy restricting parameters?
Ultimately this is the new moon of second chances. An astral window in which to revisit, remember and reappraise in order to align with the eternal goal of the heart which is to love - EVERYTHING. If you don't love who you think you are or the circumstances in which you find yourself, commit to being something different - which logically, is simply to love. This is a subtle but seismic shift of awareness. It is but a choice. In Love we merge into all there is and ever was; we are whole, together and healed; a recognised vital, integral part of this miraculous unified experience of life that could just as easily be called Love itself.
Let's take every opportunity under the forthcoming Gemini New Moon Solar Eclipse to listen to, connect with and act upon the message of Love in our hearts for the benefit of Love in All.
I am thrilled in this midsummer month to introduce the inspirational work of Philip Leamon to the MOON LIT forum. Phil is an English teacher and Head of Sustainability at Cranleigh School, tirelessly striving to transform institutionalised consumer habits into an easily accessed, practical and progressive eco-awareness. His poetry has been published by Dempsey and Windle and he has co-curated the Illustoetry schools exhibitions of illustrated poetry for the Cambridge Art Festival.
Phil has been writing poetry for decades that weaves English folklore and legend into the experience of contemporary living. Eternal, primal characters, reawaken and flex their formidable muscle as he stumbles across their sleepy hollows, in woodland valleys, by rivers and sea. He is most often a chance voyeur, yet for fleeting moments, caught in impeccably structured verse, he enters their realm carrying his own distressed culture and connects with the strangely detached otherworld of their wisdom. There is however, no personification or separation. The extensive cast includes his mortal family, the indwellers of matter and those without form all unified in the landscape that holds and moulds them, and which they share - some more considerately than others. Nature then is the great bestower, the sole progenitor. Its limitless generosity births us all.
Phil is currently completing a new book The Mouth of the Valley in collaboration with visual artist Mark Weighton due for publication later this year. Two years and a couple of lockdowns in the making, the book details their respective poetic and visual relationships with the River Wey Valley that runs through their home town of Godalming, Surrey.
One of the poems offered here Sun and the Moon at Midday comes from the forthcoming book. Of the others Eterne presents as a cyclical love song (follow its circular path with glee) and The Nest in the Meadow as a children's poetic story, both written exclusively for MOON LIT for which I am hugely grateful.
....chase me love pursue me, catch my light at night shine through me bathe me love ignite me, with your burning touch excite me calm me love and soothe me, cool and kind to me don't use me fill me love and grow me, sow me full and ripe and holy wake me love daybreak me, make me feel you rouse and shake me eat me love consume me, let me feel your power subsume me wrap me love protect me, in your mantled arms accept me guide me love direct me, when I stray sternly correct me in your eyes reflect me, when I'm sharp as shards respect me when I wax won’t you adore me when I wane again restore me when I grow so cold and old and lonely warm me with your love and only you are who I unendingly, adoringly, restoringly need you to....
THE SUN AND MOON AT MIDDAY
It is so hot I have never known a month like it, I say. The sun heaves itself languidly And time is like syrup dripping from a silver spoon I lay like a toad in the heat And look Look at the moon, have you ever seen it so big? you say. Why is it so hot? And the moon at midday? Are we closer to the sun? Closer to the darkness beyond? I stay silent, sick to my stomach In those hazy memories of my own childhood of empty lanes I walked alone and now are all houses and cars, it was never so damned hot as this. But memory is only a story told over and over, each time diminishing. Those leaves are torn from the spine lost that world is never, ever coming back no matter how much we rant and toil and tear our hair. My child, you have never lived a cooler midsummer so it has never existed.
I stay silent, sick to my stomach.
THE NEST IN THE MEADOW
Mouse lived in a tiny, tight-stitched nest of grass, on a tall stalk, in the meadow.
At the fresh breath of dawn, grasshopper came to see his friend.
"Are you coming out to play, mouse?" he chirped.
"Not today," came a tiny voice.
"But the sun is just awake and we should wash ourselves in warmth and sing - as we always do."
But there was no reply. (So grasshopper went on his way).
At noon, bird bobbed down to mouse's nest to see if she was there.
"Are you coming out to play, mouse?" she sang.
"Not today," came the tiny voice.
"But the sun is high, and you should try and spy me as I fly and dive in the bright, blue sky - as we always do."
But there was no reply. (So bird went on her way.)
In the dimpsy, dusky evening, moth came to meet mouse.
"Are you coming out to play, mouse?" you could hardly hear her say.
"Not today," came the tiny voice.
"But the sun is all sleepy and we should skip and flit in the long, low shadows - as we always do."
But there was no reply. (So moth went on her way.)
At midnight, the meadow was sleeping and quiet. The May moon poured down her cool and lown light.
Another mouse came nervously to her nest.
"Are you ready, my love?" he asked. "Is it time?"
From inside her woven home, a pink nose poked and smelled the still night air.
Mouse came out, leading four tiny, shiny new faces to meet the moon for the very first time.
Philip Leamon 2021
Once again we open the doors of our very own art gallery MOON LIT DISPLAY, exhibiting drawings, paintings, prints and sculpture by artists with a lunar bent. Each month, alongside our literary guests, visual artists share their most recent creative output, ensuring our exhibits complement the contemporary, enquiring nature of the poetry.
In tandem with the poems of Philip Leamon I include a selection of my drawings from our forthcoming collaboration The Mouth of the Valley which publishes later this year.
More of my art work can be viewed at www.markweighton.com
carbon ink, newspaper, acrylic on cardboard box
27 x 20 cm 2019
TO LOVE OR NOT
charcoal, newspaper, acrylic on cardboard box
36 x 26 cm 2019
RITE OF PASSAGE
carbon ink, newspaper, acrylic on cardboard box
27 x 20 cm 2019
Just so you know, MOON LIT seeks to present literature and artwork that celebrates and reveres, marvels, champions and cherishes, whilst never shirking the necessary excavation of life's rich shadows in search of the priceless shining diamonds within. Each edition is a poetic invitation to contemplate our reading of, and reaction to, circumstance, that we may more consciously direct our thoughts, words and actions toward positive benefit for All.
Throughout 2021 MOON LIT will offer a monthly meditative pause under the poetic guidance of our distinguished literary guests. It is hoped readers will find time in hectic schedules to unhurriedly savour their literary craft; to read and reread these new perspectives on the miraculous, beguiling life experience to which we all belong.
MOON LIT publishes at new moon alongside its full moon sister publication MOONING MONTHLY that offers loosely astrological lunar forecasts for the coming month. (Mooning Monthly 117 'BEYOND BELIEF!' still available here) Subscribe for free HERE at your leisure to ensure both emails hit your inbox when it matters.
And of course, do please share MOON LIT with friends and family of similar lunar sensitivities, in the hope that this illuminating endeavour brightens our currently challenging, darkened times with the light of beauty and Love.
With love 'til next time
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