Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grabbing the Tiger by the Tail

Full Birth Moon

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Welcome to the first full moon of 2012, the Birth Moon. Happy New Year! Did you have a wonderful holiday weekend, full of friends, parties and maybe a few more thoughtful moments? Have you been savoring the darkness of this time of year, incubating plans for the coming season of light? Or have you been trying to drown out the dark with lights and liquor, food, parties and go go go, fun fun fun? Yeah, I've been doing some of both, too.

Last year at about this time, I looked over the year before, did some gwishing and came up with a theme for 2011: Building a Better Teacher. As I look back on this last year I see how that theme really filled out the year. I really enjoyed my coursework, did a lot of processing with the deeper themes of equity, child development and how our public schools work, and actually spent some time in a public school classroom. I
Winter Sky
feel like so much of the rest of what I did this year helped me build a better teacher, too. The play and poetry I engaged in during the spring and summer, my trip to visit my family in Southern California, working through all the hard stuff and then more hard stuff and every bit of reading and writing I did this year all helped me become a stronger, clearer person and more ready to be a friend, mentor and leader to teenagers. 

The days between Christmas and Epiphany are considered the 12 Days of Christmas and there are many esoteric beliefs and traditions associated with these dark nights. Some people believe that the weather of the twelve days associates with the weather of the corresponding months in the upcoming year, and others use that correspondence to do meditation or planning for those months. Other people use the 12 nights to focus on the upcoming year in a more general way, on their own spirituality or on inner work they might want to work on in the coming year. No matter what, it is a time of sinking into the deep dark, bringing the magic of the Christmas rebirth into the new year and getting ready for the Epiphany, the lighting up and insight, that can come if you are ready for it. I spent some of the 12 days, and some before and after, pondering about this upcoming year, 2012.

As I worked through what I want 2012 to look like and listened intently to what the Universe was hinting at, I used some old techniques and some new. I read my Fairy Tale Tarot deck and looked at Sabian Symbols. I prayed in Meeting and in my car. I listened to the conversations I had with my friends and examined what stories were really speaking to me during this time. I brainstormed qualities and imagined scenes from the year. It took a lot of pondering and meditating and thinking, but finally… I am ready to unveil 2012.

Grabbing the Tiger By the Tail

  • 2012 will be a year of saying yes to adventure, of facing the fearsome, of just doing it, no matter what "it" is.
  • 2012 will look ballsy and awesome, effortless and amazing! Sometimes it will look as challenging as it feels, but it will always look real. 
  • 2012 will feel exciting and terrifying, hard but do-able, good like a hard work out or a tricky puzzle. 
  • 2012 will be bright orange and zebra striped. It will smell like cinnamon and snow. It will sound like big bells, the crack of a bat and the roar of a crowd, it will sound like the Rocky Theme song (being played by a Hawaiian marching band... which will follow me everywhere this year. Get ready).

2012 is going to be full of adventures. I am student teaching at a middle school, looking for a job in the spring and summer and good Lord willin’ start as a classroom teacher in the fall. I might have to move and will definitely be meeting new people all along the way. I have no idea what adventures this 
The Tiger's Stripes
summer holds for me, in fact, I don’t even know where June rent is coming from. I am going to need to step up to the plate this year and grab each tiger by the tail as it comes my way or I might miss an opportunity, either material or otherwise as they zoom by.

There are other kinds of tigers lurking in 2012, though, too. The story that I shared with you earlier in the month is a story about a man who runs from a tiger that is more about emotions than about the material world. Stefano is terrified of the columber and spends his whole life running, ending up a sad and lonely man. Almost immediately after my motto for the year came to me I had a situation where I realized that I was running from a columber. Something was scary to admit, hard to feel and I ran away from it through blame and anger. As hard as Grabbing the Tiger of jobs and teaching By the Tail might be, turning to Face the Columber is even harder.

Over the last year I’ve been thinking a lot about courage. Courage is not necessarily not feeling afraid of what you are facing, but it is working through that fear and doing something anyway. The last time I really examined courage, I realized that it is the root of all other virtues. To be generous, or loving, or loyal, kind or grateful all require facing fear of being laughed at, or rejected or judged and acting anyway. This year, I will need to draw on all of my courage to Grab the Tiger and Face the 
By Don Kenn
Columber. The Mission Statement I wrote a couple years ago declares that I am an ambassador of the Universal Divine and ambassadors are always under the protection of those who send them. I have the full backing of god in my work, and I have nothing to fear. 

“My life, glowing with integrity, shines a bright light out into the world. I am filled with the light of god and others around me see it and respond.”

What does 2012 have in store for you? Did you do some gwishing or dream decreeing during the 12 days of Christmas or at some other time this winter? What is your motto for the upcoming year, what is your year going to look like or smell like? Do you have a story about gathering your courage and Grabbing a Tiger by the Tail or Facing a Columber? Happy New Year!

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** This winter was tough and I got messed up in my calendar. I wrote this thinking it was the Milk Moon but it was really the Birth Moon. Since the post itself is more about the the new year of 2012, I just changed the tags and labels. For more on my thoughts about this, see this post. **

Full Birth Moon 2008: Outer Darkness and Inner Hope

Full Birth Moon 2009: New Year! and A Story for the Birth Moon 

Full Birth Moon 2010: The Dark of the Dark.

Full Birth Moon 2011: The Columber

Some Birth Moon posts are dated for a Gregorian year but are a part of a lunar year that mostly takes place in the Gregorian year before. Confusing.

This post is about new years, a topic I discussed in the posts The Quaker Year, New Year and New Milk Moon.

1 comment:

Elysia said...

I love this theme - I think it will be so good for you! Of course it resonates for me too - as courage in the face of fear and engaging with risk have been major themes for me over the last few years. Sending all my love and blessings for the adventures ahead of you!