How do you hold the space to work out your intentions and life problems? I have tried various methods. I’ve prayed, affirmed, spell-casted and altar-ed my way through some of my life’s biggest dilemmas and quandries. Pulling on the power of a spiritual force bigger than I has worked wonders. I’ve discovered that spiritual work that actually *works* takes discipline, focus, imagination, creativity…and a strong container. A good practice is well-designed. It’s design, by nature, cares for and holds the space for transformation.
There are many big huge changes and shifts I’ve wanted to effect in my life, and these are things I’m really excited about so I have the motivation and drive. However, lately when I go to do something, they often sort of flop (technical glitches, or life takes a different course), or I myself flop (I had motivation 5 minutes ago – where did it go?). Even though the personal work I’ve been doing yields huuuuge breakthroughs – I have ’em – then I float onto something else and it’s hard to grasp that big breakthrough I had a mere few days ago. Huh? In short, it feels like Neptune’s doing. Right now, I feel many who are experiencing that dazed, confused and tangential feeling about how to enact our life goals are under the spell of Neptune’s consciousness-widening guidance. I tell clients, During Neptune periods, we’re receiving guidance and we don’t even realize we’re receiving it. Even though we’re doing behind-the-scenes work, to the World with its outer world standards (like: What have you accomplished today?), Neptune looks a lot like treading water.
When you’re a doer, under Neptune’s auspices, how do you work with that? Well, even Neptune asks us to do something, though in a intangible realm. When we’re feeling off-track and fuzzy it’s time for spiritual, inner space work. Consider that, during a Neptune period we still can “do something”, and that one simply may need a container, a witness, a vessel that will help keep you on track and accountable to the glorious and life-changing but perhaps invisible process you’re undertaking.
The Alchemist’s had a container for change; it was called the alchemical vessel. The vessel held the space for transformation which included exposing the subject to extreme cold, fire, dissolution, then everything reforming in a new way. In you & I an alchemical process might look something like this: hot running passions, cold depression, disillusionment, stillness, loss, hope, redemption, faith, new life…
Project 40 came onto my radar last year (I think the lovely and beautiful Katelyn Foisy and her eye-popping Dangerous Combinations blog, in which she online journals her 40 day process, did it). What is the 40 Day Project? Jungian Astrologer Sherene Schostak’s brainchild. In Sherene’s words, it is: “An invitation to put your greatest addiction, problem, fear, demon, obsession, re-occurring issue… on the 40-day altar to see what happens when you set a sincere intention, offer it up to the gods (archetypal forces) and implement 7 core elements into your daily life…” It is an alchemical vessel. A magical container for change and transformation.
I’m a Cancer. I’m a sucker for rituals, magic, anything that gives my creative, inner life a container. Which is why Sherene’s idea to start the next Project 40 cycle at the New Moon in Cancer, July 18th 9:24 PM Pacific, July 19th 12:24 AM Eastern, I believe, is perfect. The New Moon in Cancer is the ultimate symbol of new birth, and Saturn is square this new moon. A square is a call to actively integrate an archetype into the next lunar phase, and Saturn asks to integrate structure, focus, perseverance and dedication into the next phase of what it is we’re birthing.
“Astrological Ruler Cancer: To do the magical work, one needs protection. One needs a space in which to work, not just a physical space, but a mental and emotional space as well. Like any other work area, this space must be protected from outside influences. A good home offers protection from bad weather. A good magic laboratory offers protection from negative thought forms and psychic energy which might disturb the magical work.” –Astrology, Alchemy & The Tarot by John Sandbach
Here’s another reason why I love this project. This is a way to dedicate oneself to what’s most important in your life: You. We all get lost in busy-ness of doing, or experience lost hours under where-did-my-day-go-Neptune? During these times we can feel like it’s hard to find our center. This an opportunity to re-center, daily, to receive the work we are doing for our self.
Are you ready to spend 40 days and nights with the Gods/Goddesses?
First, read about Project 40 on Sherene’s site, right here. If you live in New York City, contact her for more support. But you can do this from anywhere!
Here are some basic instructions.
You will need: a journal, or tumblr blog, or altar, a well-protected feeling space where you can safely record your process (Tumblr blogs are free, easy to use, and web-hosted by tumblr). I will be at moonkissd/tumblr blog I’ll be using for the project.
When to start: July 17 (Pacific), July 18 (Eastern), 2012 – or anytime.
Intention: put your intention, life dilemma, addiction, relationship issue, on the altar. Offer it up to the Gods and Goddesses.
Instruction: Intentionally commit to lovingly working with these 7 elements, daily. Your elements may want to change ,ie, you may find an element more in tune with who you are (for instance, you may want to make dreams an element, as K. has).
The 7 elements are: Confession, Oracle, Body, Sacrifice, Relinquish, Inspiration/Gods, Structure.
Confession: Get brutally honest with yourself about something that you did, said or thought that you would not want anyone else to ever know or find about.
Oracle: Looking for daily signs and messages each day. You can choose a random song on shuffle, pull a tarot card, open a book for a word or passage, read your tea bag quotes, or look for messages on subway signs, street grafitti etc.
Body: Commit to a loving act that puts you back in your body on a daily basis. A foot massage, a long walk, child’s pose, meditation, breath work etc.
Sacrifice: Give up something you take for granted or overly attached to just for one day. Relinquish: Let go of a negative mental attitude, thought form, habit, ugly piece of clothing, etc. each day.
Inspiration/Gods: Meditation, poetry, films, art work, sunsets, etc. Don’t let one day go by without having at least 3 minutes of beauty and inspiration that you have consciously taken in.
Structure: Look at your relationship to time on a daily basis. At the end of each day record the time you got up, what you did in between and what time you are going to bed. How much time did you spend on specific activities? How would you ideally like to restructure? You have 40 days to work it out.