When I was a kid, Are you Afraid of the Dark was a show on Nickelodeon, where a bunch of teenagers, who called themselves “The Midnight Society”, sat around a camp fire in the woods and told scary stories. I was way into it. Spooky stories, campfires, unsupervised youths…it was basically what I imagined being a teenager would be like.
Although as an adult it begs the question, where were these kids parents and why were they allowed to start fires in the woods alone at night? Aren’t forest fires a concern? Do most teens even know how to start a fire?
But enough motherly questions…
I was thinking about this show as we entered into Pisces season on February 19th. The tarot card that coordinates with Pisces is the Moon and the moon card is all about sitting with discomfort and embracing our shadow side. Less of the thing that goes bump in the night, and more the thing that goes bump in all of our interpersonal relationships. This kind of scary is what we try to hide in all our close friendships and intimate interactions.
The fact is we are all afraid of this dark.
During their transitional time of the year, when the weather is starting to warm (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), it can be a time of deep reflection. We are far enough away from our entry into the new year to have lost touch with our goals or resolutions for the year, which can bring about a lot of shame.
The moon card is all about exploring deep truth within ourselves. Are we ready to make the changes we might have agreed to at the beginning of the year? Do we want to hold these resolutions for a real reason or do they just sound good to us? Why might we be struggling to focus on goals that are supposed to be important to us?
These questions and this exploration can bring up deep shame that is self-imposed or even learned from our family system. Remember, you don’t need to have a background that is rife with trauma for shame to be an expertly wielded weapon in your world.
The fact is we are all afraid of this dark. The uncomfortable things that come up in our daily lives. We all struggle to be ourselves because we’re afraid of being judged. We crave connection and we all sit in our own little pods, hoarding the dark and heavy things about ourselves and presenting just the parts that we access to be socially acceptable.
Even the way people present those things on social media is very curated and neat. A picture of a woman saying how she struggles with depression with one single, beautiful tear streaming down her cheek, all while the rest of her makeup is perfect.
Give me a break, Instagram Ingrid!
I’m currently participating in a business incubator program to help me authentically create and market my first ever full tarot reading course. I’m in the program with ten other creators and entrepreneurs and I’ve been watching the moon card play out in real life over the first month of our interactions.
So many of these folks are coming forward with deep shame and imposter-syndrome about their own experience-level or their product itself. So many of us deal with very real emotional wounds that keep us afraid of stepping up as the most authentic version of ourselves. It is hard work and I’m so honored by the vulnerability and raw honesty of the people in this program with me, because so often they are voicing the things that I’m feeling, but struggled to articulate.
It’s been enlightening for me to notice and be coached out of the ways in which I hold myself back. I haven’t even fully shared my Facebook business page because I’m worried what people from my “old life” will think. I’m worried all those ex-boyfriends, old co-workers, high school friends will think I’ve gone off the deep end.
Modern American society is focused almost entirely on achievement, wealth, and doing as much as possible to succeed. We tend to glorify an underdog story of hard work and strife and we vilify those who things come easy to. But only if that underdog story isn’t too messy. Only if it’s short-term and fits into a lovely little story package.
We have so much programming that working harder, longer, or faster is the solution to everything. We embrace a culture of business. How many times have you asked a friend how they are, or been asked yourself and go automatically and without really thinking to the phrase “I’m good, just soooooo busy.”
These are things we all do.
The moon card invites us to slow down and take stock of the things that make us uncomfortable. It’s an invitation for us to observe the less social-media-ready side of ourselves. It reminds us to turn away from the cult of busy-ness and acknowledge what comes up when we sit still and take stock of how we are spending our time and energy or how we are showing up in our work and personal life. The moon is a reflection of what is just under the surface, that we might be unconscious of, but if we take a moment to pause and look at our behavior pattern, might come to the surface with a host of unpleasant emotions.
The more we can do this work and not feel afraid of the messy thing that might come up, the more we grow and change. This shadow work is about showing up and starting to see ourselves in clearer light, to understand our behaviors, and to begin to anticipate when shame and doubt come up for us.
When we face the darkness, it loses its power. It becomes less frightening.
This month, I am doing an in person Moon Card Tarot Embodiment Workshop at Nectar Yoga Studio in Phoenixville, PA on Saturday, March 7th from 1:30-3:30 PM. This workshop will combine discussion and theory on the Moon Card, pranayama and breathwork to release shame, yoga, meditation, and journaling. I am looking forward to holding space for deep emotional processing. With this type of radical self-honesty we can release ourselves from being a prisoner of shame. There are still a few spots left in this workshop and you can sign up here.
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