November Sabbatical Purchase

In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the time of year we naturally withdraw. Something about mid-Autumn draws us into ourselves, and into our shadows. Maybe we carry the ancestral memory of winters around fires, wrapped in furs. In this part of the world, the bear prepares for hibernation in late November, reflecting time for rest, inner journey, and dreaming. The darkness holds some of our greatest and brightest sources of light – our latent gifts, talents, passions, and desires. The power generating in our shadow is available to us, just waiting to be discovered and matured into tremendous assets. The stars shine brightest at night – we find the light fastest in the dark. Follow your own shine by light or darkness, but you may find the latter is more revealing.

In the United States, Canada, and other countries, many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving this month – a holiday tradition of expressing gratitude for the harvest and abundance of the preceding year. Almost all traditions and religions incorporate rituals, prayers, and customs in honor of the plentiful harvest; the sustenance of Mother Earth. Practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to connect with the Universe. It feeds the reciprocal cycle of giving and receiving, opening us to accept more and more joy, well-being, and abundance.

Astrologically, we have a handful of happenings! On the 5th, Mercury will enter the sign of Sagittarius, lifting our minds with renewed confidence, optimism, and inspiration. Mercury represents our reasoning mind and how we communicate. With Quicksilver in the sign of Sagittarius, you may find yourself excited to learn about new concepts and beliefs – to question your life philosophy and seek more truth. While Mercury was in Scorpio, thoughts and communication could have been penetrating and intense. Sagittarius can help us come up for air, and follow our bliss.

Venus will move into Scorpio on the 7th, reflecting our class theme of “embracing your darkness”. The planet of love, relationships, beauty, values, and personal resources is not particularly comfortable in complicated, messy, overwhelming Scorpio – she delights in comfort, sensuality, and aesthetic pleasure. But, the result is support in confronting our essential needs for intimacy, depth, and transformation. The nature of Scorpio is to ever-live-and-die, emerging as the phoenix, eliminating anything that blocks us from standing in our true power.

November brings a Full Moon in Taurus on the 4th and a New Moon in Scorpio on the 18th. When you set your New Moon intentions on the 18th, be willing to tap into your deepest feelings and desires. Scorpio represents regenerative power and the drive to merge and transform. It’s the part of you that will risk the darkness and unknown to experience and become something more. And it knows that mining is required, to find the diamond in the rough.

The Sun will enter Sagittarius on November 21st, showering us with the beneficence of its ruling planet, Jupiter. The zodiacal signs alternate between yin (feminine) and yang (masculine) – we go in for a month, and then we go out. After a month with our solar consciousness evolving through Scorpio – a fixed sign (finding value, meaning and purpose), of the water element (emotional and soul), and yin/feminine (receptive, intuitive, nurturing), we welcome the fiery levity of Sagittarius. Once we’ve accessed the power of Scorpio by confronting and transforming ourselves, it’s time to run with it and see where we can take it. Sagittarius wants to see how high it can jump and what’s on the other side of the world. It’s hard to find more truth without fresh environments and new fields of experience. We can use the month of Sagittarius, with the shooting arrow-infused Sun, to see the bigger picture, adventure (within and without), and expand our concept of wisdom and truth.

Neptune will turn direct on the 22nd, after a five month retrograde (since June). Retrograde energy pulls us inward – into reworking, redefining, and reclaiming something for ourselves, in our own way. Neptune represents everything that is out there, and the interconnectedness of it all. This is why we associate Neptune with imagination, dreams, visions, angels, other dimensions, the collective unconscious, and our connection/oneness with Divinity and nature. Neptune energy is hard to contain and define – its very nature is contrary to definition and separation. But, we are on this planet to have a human experience of Spirit – we are manifesting Spirit through our bodies. As Neptune turns direct, we are encouraged to turn our dreams into reality and share our love with the world. Neptune retrograde serves to soften and disintegrate some of our false illusions, blessing us with more compassion and clear vision on the other side.

November theme –  Evolve: Embracing Your Darkness

The darkness holds the parts of us we are less conscious of, and those we have not been ready to face in the light of awareness. We’ve kept them in the dark, and it’s very easy to create stories to explain these things we can’t see, or understand with logic. And this very place is where the juiciest, most powerful facets of you reside – charging themselves up in the shadow. We know that every light casts a shadow, so every shadow must also cast a light. They are intertwined, and inseparable, except by your own mind. With compassion, acceptance, and awareness, you can welcome your shadow as a healthy, natural, and vibrant part of your being. Energy is not “good” or “bad.” It just is, until we put it to use. When we only allow one side of anything, we inhibit its full expression. And the negated side does not dissolve – it has to work harder to make its presence known. This is true for your lightness and darkness.

November’s Sabbatical Kit is filled with tools intentionally chosen as allies to accompany you on your path of evolution. They will support you in finding your light, by embracing your darkness.

Journal Prompts:

  • What does your darkness mean to you? Can you benefit by adjusting your definition?
  • How will you commit to bringing the light of awareness to your darkness this month?
  • Choose one thing you keep in your shadow that makes you feel uncomfortable, and list three of its light aspects (e.g., anger = vitality, assertion, and renewed ability to change and choose)
  • What elements of shadow do you see in someone close to you? Is she/he mirroring your own shadow? What can you learn from your dances with darkness? What if you take the lead with a new step?
  • How is your energy evolving as you embrace more wholeness within, perhaps allowing more shades of gray than ever?  

Invoking The Prosperity Trio: Fortuna, Inari, and Renenet 

Under this November’s Full Moon, we embrace the light in our darkness, celebrating our capacity to evolve. We are always changing, and this truly is something we can count on, consistently. As we honor Fortuna, Inari, and Renenet – The Prosperity Trio, we acknowledge and embrace the infinite Wheel of Change. Growth is exciting, when we are open to the unknown. One reason we are fearful or suspicious of our darkness is because we can’t see what lies there with our usual perception. We’ve imagined so many things, and created so many stories about these parts of us, that we often choose to keep the lights off. If you truly want to grow, change your relationship with darkness.

Fortuna is the Roman goddess of luck, fate, and fortune. She is particularly associated with the fate and wellbeing of women, also linked with children and childbirth. The image of Fortuna is depicted as a woman holding a cornucopia in one hand, symbolizing her ability to bestow abundance, and a rudder in the other, representing her control over our fate. Fortuna is sometimes veiled, impartial in spinning the wheel, acknowledging that good luck does not always come to those who deserve it. At times, she is also depicted with two rudders – representing her control over fortunate and unfortunate events. Fortuna’s unpredictability symbolizes the capricious cycle of life. She reminds us, even though we are under her wings, we have also been gifted with free will. Associated with the Tarot’s Wheel of Fortune, Fortuna reminds us that luck comes when we are available for life, open to fortunate circumstances. When you’re in the game, going with changes as they flow, the Universe knows you are ready to win.

Inari is one of the most popular deities in Japan, with over one third of its Shinto shrines devoted to her. Inari is the goddess of prosperity, agriculture, and fertility. There is no complete agreement on the nature of her (or his) personality, or standard depiction. It is said that Inari appears as the image that resonates with the one seeking him/her. He has been depicted as an old man, carrying rice; a beautiful, young goddess; and even as an androgynous bodhisattva. Inari is also rumored to embody a fox – protector of the nation’s harvests. Some believe the fox is just Inari’s messenger. Inari was worshipped in the homes of warriors and merchants, as he/she is important to the rhythm of the seasons, and cycle of life. Though Inari bestows a bountiful harvest, long life, and success in business, he/she will resist fulfilling your desires in the absence of humility and gratitude.

Renenet is the Egyptian (cobra) goddess of nourishment, fertility, and harvest. She is also known as the goddess of destiny, as she offered protection, and instilled children with their names at the time of birth, granting their souls eternal life. Renenet is the Egyptian personification of Fortune. It is said that she, along with Shai (Fate), resides in the hands of Thoth, the wisest of all Egyptian gods. She is a goddess of great power – her gaze could cause enemies to shrink, or grant bountiful abundance. The best harvest yields were dedicated to her, in gratitude.