Wolf Moon and calling in what we want for 2023
The Queenager: Eleanor's Letter (January 8th 2023)
Well I don’t know about you but I am deeply relieved to have Christmas in the rear view mirror. Tomorrow it feels like we go back to business as usual; the kids are back at school/uni it feels like the New Year is a clean slate, a fresh page – a new canvas to create on.
What will that mean for you? What are you calling in for 2023? Once I would have scoffed at the very notion. Now I am a firm believer that really defining and thinking about what you want makes it happen.
That is easy to say and harder to explain, or define. On Friday I was having one of those days which felt full of prevarication. I had to go to the hygienist – teeth and eyes are the true barometers of midlife; I can’t see to read anything now without glasses, I have become my mother, always asking others to read the back of packets or the scale on a measuring jug. Worst of all I am getting to the point where I can’t read in the bath without glasses, which steam up irritatingly! And when it comes to teeth – is there anyone out there over fifty who doesn’t have some of the dread gum disease or who is fighting against it? I’m beginning to think that the true Queenager accessories are (and this is not glamorous, sorry) those multi-coloured interdent mini brushes – yellow and blue for me – and a pair of reading glasses!
Sorry I digress! After the hygienist and a swim and a meeting in town, I came home intending to do all sorts of things, got distracted by emails and then my great mate who texted saying: I’m in the car outside your house, let’s go up to the Heath and make some intentions for 2023 at moon-rise (the January full moon, called the Wolf Moon rose that night). So I found myself up on the tumulus, also known as Boudicca’s mound, where my wise friend tells me two powerful energy lines cross (I didn’t know that till recently but it has always been my favourite spot) in my Dry Robe and about three jumpers, calling in what I want for 2023.
We couldn’t actually see the moon, it was pretty cloudy. But I have seen it a lot since. It is luminous but cold – it was called the Wolf Moon because the pack would howl with hunger near settlements in January as the food became scarce and winter tightened its grip. There is that harsh quality to this time of year; there is so much suffering amidst the festivities; the season’s insistence on cheeriness. It’s not all mulled wine and wassail. Any sadness at this time feels magnified, more intense in contrast to the charade of happy family fun.
One dear friend was about to get married and got dumped just before Christmas, I had a long walk with her after the dentist and was so impressed by her bravery and positivity in the midst of the total annihilation of her plans for 2023. Another mate had completely come to bits; I got an email from her saying she could do nothing but cry and was cancelling everything (her mother died last year and it has been hard). She found Christmas unbearable in her loss.
We begin the year from where we are. And what I have learnt myself in the transitions of the last two and a half years is that it is impossible to know the minutiae of where we want to go. The only real compass, the best guide, is tuning into our own true wishes. but sometimes amidst all the ‘shoulds’ it can be hard to fathom what they are.
I wrote after my silent retreat last year of learning to ask yourself: What do you feel, my love? How are you really, my love? And really listening to the answer with compassion as you would someone you love.
Well, when it comes to what do you really want to do this year, where does true happiness lie for you? The answer lies in a similar kind of exercise.
Up on the Heath invoking the moon, we were talking about my friend’s new path. She said she was full of fear that her biggest earning days were behind her; that she wasn’t sure what purpose, wealth and happiness even meant for her anymore, or what she really wanted, or what that looked like. We talked about that sense of being in flow – when everything seems to align, when everything feels good and how we get there.
For me that has come from really pursuing wholeheartedly what I love and believe in. Of feeling like my whole life is pushing in the same direction, of really listening to myself when I do something and noticing if it feels a bit off, or inauthentic, or wrong. Of noticing what elements make me happy and keep me in a state of joy and wonder. For me the bedrock of that now is swimming in the cold water. But by doing that I have also become far more alive to nature, to birds, to their singing, to the sunshine and the parakeets, the light on the water, the feeling of the sun on my scarlet freezing skin, even in January.
By feeling more attuned to the natural world I feel more in flow. I live in the middle of London – but I put myself in nature every day and even here in my office typing I can hear parrakeets screeching in the trees outside and a wood pigeon answering. These days I always clock the cormorants in the pond and look out hopefully for the heron, and am always so glad to see him. He is like a sign that things are going ok, that all is well. He always comes when I am most in need of a positive portent.
Being out on the Heath in the dark felt like an extension of that. The joy of talking intensely without withholding anything. Both of us grasping to articulate honestly what it is we want from this year – sure – but also from the third quarter of our lives. The obvious things of course – health, and the health of our loved ones. Abundance (girl gotta pay rent), but also creativity and purpose, feeling our time here is being well spent. She was saying she’d been doing British Military Fitness but it was grim and muddy ‘too much time with my head in the dog shit’; she’s going to switch to hot yoga instead, she says she likes the meditation and the way it brings her calmly into her body. makes her feel joy. I want to try Five Rhythms, a kind of meditative dance, (there is one round the corner and so many people who I respect have mentioned it to me I reckon I’ll give it a go, any tips gratefully received).
I also want to sing more. And write my Queenager book. And get all our Noon projects – events, the trip to Morocco and others, Noon Circles, financial stuff – going. Think of us all tomorrow as we settle in to a massive Noon planning day – more of that to come!
When I think back over the last two years, I didn’t really have a plan so much as an instinct. I described it to my friend as it feeling a bit like catching a wave when you are boogie boarding. You wade out to the right spot – you know that from instinct, from experience, of knowing what kind of a wave you want to catch (for me not too big and terrifying, my kids think I am a wuss). Then you hold your board, everything ready, and wait for the right moment. And then pushing off as hard as you can, and kicking frantically you mount your wave and hope you catch the surge, the amazing heady movement of being carried along on a body of water bigger than yourself, ecstatically whizzing towards the shore.
When we set up the elements of our lives – our intention, our purpose, our experience, our skills, our expertise and wait for our wave, all magic is possible. Another way of thinking about it is to imagine falling backwards into the biggest, softest hug – trusting that if your heart is true, the thinking is good, you really want it, you’ve set it up right, then you can just lean into it and you will be supported and all will flow. It is the trust – in the universe, in yourself, in your idea, in your instinct in the new life, the destiny you are creating that makes it come true.
The process of re-invention of starting a new chapter in life is about welcoming in that uncertainty, opening up to it, trusting that by doing what you really care about, what matters, what you love and letting that guide you, you will end up where you want to be! It’s working for me so far – which is why I share it.
It’s a metaphor in the Noon Book Club book Go As A River which we’ll be discussing on January 18th at 7pm. It’s free, it’s online and you can sign up for the link on Eventbrite.
Good luck for 2023 – go and do some shouting at the moon. It’s fun and it can only help. As my dad always used to say: it’s jolly important to know when you are having a good time, because you always know when you are having a bad time. In the same way – it’s important to think about what you DO want, because you certainly know imwhen you get what you don’t want.
Maybe it’s as simple as just trusting, asking and calling it in!
Have a great 2023
By Eleanor Mills