The last full moon of the calendar year occurs tonight. Native American tribes called it “The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon. During this month, the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. (But some years, it happens just after Solstice celebrations, like this year). The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.” (The Old Farmer’s Almanac) Have you heard the North Pole calling? Will it be a harsh or mild winter? Last year was a doozy here. Some of the answers may be found in the patterns identified in the annual edition of the Farmer’s Almanac. So much of life is unknown, although there’s more clarity these days with technological advances, even meteorological predictions are still included in that category of uncertainty. By definition, all predictions are undetermined outcomes forecast based on potentials. We can prepare all we want for shifts in the weather and or the climate of our lives, but often, we won’t know if we are on track until it happens.
The ocean tides and I both feel the pull of the moon’s orbit, which is of equal intensity, whether it is a new or full moon phase. For example, King Tides were predicted on the California coast during this moon cycle at the time of the new and full moon. And I’ve become very aware that my own monthly cycle (my sleep, my appetite, my weight, my mood, etc.) fluctuates along with the moon’s cycle. The ancient world was in tune enough with these rhythms that, in terms of fertility, all men and women cycled in unison with the moon. Feeling the force of the moon so strongly in myself is the reason I began to research and write about it. A new moon is the polar opposite of a full moon. A new moon is the beginning of a moon cycle. A full moon is the apex. Then it wanes again to a sliver of a crescent moon, completing the cycle moments before it’s a new moon again. It sometimes seems confusing to track since it’s not something that happens on the same date every month or every year, and although subtle, the moon has clear patterns. That’s partly because annually, the moon has thirteen cycles, but modern time is based on the Roman papal calendar year of twelve months. Other calendars (Islamic, Mayan, Jewish, Asian, etc.) are more aligned with actual universal time.
Our sun and moon are both timekeepers aligned exactly with the zodiac wheel of twelve signs that dates back to ancient Mesopotamia and is oriented to the constellations of stars in our sky. Earth is now in the astrology of the sun in Capricorn, having changed signs a few days ago in conjunction with the Winter Solstice. Cardinal signs are on the axis of equinoxes and solstices. The full moon is rising tonight in the opposite sign of Cancer, which is its own sign and is ruled by the flow of liquid elementals. Moon cycles are always associated with water in addition to the corresponding astrological sign in any given month. But December’s full moon is always extra potent when these watery symbols coalesce. The Earth itself and all its inhabitants are made up mostly of water. The moon pulls on the tides, the weather, and the life force in plants, animals, and people. Water is the primordial fluid of all life, and humanity must work smarter to protect it amid climate change. When it comes to water, neither too much nor too little is beneficial. It’s important to seek balance within the ebb and flow of the currents and of the moon. While we are in wintertime in the northern hemisphere, Earth is covered with snow, the cycle of frozen water. As warm-blooded beings, we must do what we can to stay safe amidst the power of the elements of this season.
We come to this point, resolving out with the old, while looking forward to next year. We honor the successes and reflect on the failures in order to create our to-do list of the possibilities for the New Year. In our world, our focus remains steadfast. We know there is still a long way to go toward full cannabis decriminalization, but we can celebrate some wins for 2023. More states legalized, medicinally and recreationally. Federally, the government is in discussion about reclassification. Personally, we would like to see declassification. But we know democracy is filled with small steps of compromise, even as some of the steps seem circuitous and gratuitous from our perspective. The National Craft Cannabis Coalition has a proverbial seat at the table and consists of so many small businesses we will be a mighty force for change as we move toward Federal legislation. Like the Origins Council in California, the NCCC provides pivotal support on issues of cannabis in agriculture, banking, interstate commerce, the Congressional SHIP Act, and more. Our industry trade organizations are working hard to effect real solutions using action that moves policy forward. We remain active and hopeful. Thanks to community outreach, the State has recently become the lead agency for Mendocino County in a novel partnership and is producing an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) that should assist small farms like ours in licensing. Locally, we have passed tax reform and ordinance updates and more than doubled the number of permitted operators. There is still much work to achieve our ideals, but we are here for it. The economy of cannabis is already happening; the policies must be made more sensible to support it. Using CBD and/or THC products, as well as other cannabinoids and even psilocybin and entheogenic compounds, has become far less taboo with easier access. A plethora of new research now supports the centuries of anecdotal stories. Plant medicines can provide folks with comfort, relaxation, creativity, rest, and realization, often with far fewer side effects than lab-made pharmaceuticals. Using these substances medicinally or as a sacrament is, for many people, the right way to mindfully engage with physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Microdosing may help the multitudes.
‘Tis the season of festivities and often overindulgence; whether it’s too much cheese or cookies at parties, champagne at midnight, or spendy gifts we give others. It is what it is. Be gentle with the critiques. ‘Tis the season that we are hopefully also more aware of bringing peace and joy to the world! It will be what it will be. Be mindful of each other’s vulnerabilities, and really, just be kind. We have all likely been recently engaging in some form of holiday cheer. Conversely, taking time out to intentionally turn inward now, even for a few moments, is a good way to prepare for the New Year. Introspection is often associated with the new moon phase, but the long dark nights of the season and the soul give us time to ponder this full moon. What needs attention right now? What are the seeds buried deep within that we can let germinate throughout the winter while awaiting warmer days? Both questions require us to spend some time making our New Year resolutions. Re-soul-utions! Whatever our personal situation, whether we’re holding on for the ride or letting go with wild abandon, or maybe both at the same time, it’s a good time to reflect on our truths in the light of the full moon. Be aware Mercury retrograde is also in full force for a few more days, which may heighten everything even more. But when we allow ourselves to be open, this moon beams strong, light-filled insight. In so many ways, it’s a good time for review, revision, reflection, and resolution. It is not an easy-going energy. But if we get into the flow and make the most of it, we will know that we are where we need to be, and that, in itself, is something to celebrate. We can put this revelatory energy to good use.
An activity to guide us toward moving more fully forward into the future: Get out get a match or candle, a bowl or other safe receptacle, a pen, and four pieces of paper, large or small. We shall be taking some notes. First, make a list of good things that happened this past year. Next, on the second paper, make a list of things that no longer need attention. For example, on it are completions or aspects to let go of. Now, safely burn both lists. Send them off into the ethers with appreciation. On a third piece of paper, write the feelings that come when the previous papers burned (relief, regret, etc.). Take a moment to feel these feelings. Then burn them, too. This action of working with language and fire allows for purification and makes room for a restoration of balance within. Last but not least, using what’s come up during this experience so far, write down a resolution for the coming year, preferably one word. Put it somewhere you will see it regularly; repeat it often. Make it meaningful. This word is your new mantra for this New Year. This is not a silly exercise subscribing to toxic positivity. Affirmations are not just inspirations; they add focus to the direction of the universal flow of energy. Words have power, and writing them down, as well as speaking them aloud, creates vibrations. Let’s speak truth to ourselves with kind words about our bright light.
My beloved teacher, Ralph Metzner, was a luminary in the field of consciousness and a pioneer in the field of psychedelics. It’s phenomenal to see his life’s work coming out of the shadows as ideas around using plant medicines for healing are being studied at universities and debated in national politics. He was the first person to tell me I should fuse my knowledge and love of marijuana and the moon. He was right! Thanks to this publication, over the course of this year I was able to write a biweekly series of articles on these subjects in what’s known in the cannabis industry a prestigious periodical with a large circulation. I have so much appreciation for Skunk magazine. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and the project itself has been a labor of love. I dedicate this body of work to Ralph’s blessed memory. He was a scholar, an artist, a scientist, an environmentalist, a humanitarian, and a lover of learning who continued throughout his life to both teach and attend workshops to develop new skills. This is an aspect of personal growth I think we can all be inspired to pursue. He created a prolific catalog of books, lectures, music, and more, making valuable contributions to a wide range of subjects. He coined terms like Maps of Consciousness, Alchemical Divination, and Green Psychology, which are also titles of some of his books. He was a part of the infamously removed from Harvard core trio. Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and Ralph Metzner used LSD and other hallucinogens to develop the concept of “set and setting” as well as pioneer the therapeutic practices that go with it. He quietly continued that research for the rest of his life. His archives have been donated to Purdue University. Honestly, many of his teachings came through in my writing, as I now really see how much I have incorporated them into my daily practice. He was my psychotherapist for a decade. At a tough turning point in my personal life, I was blessed to be his client and, as he often called me, an eager student. Although he’s left his body, he is always here in my heart and mind, and I believe in the universal field of consciousness, the spiritual realm of ancestors, and the afterlife. It’s up to me and others he influenced to share what we learned from his wisdom. I still ask his advice, especially during mediation, and I still get often-surprising answers.
Life is full of patterns, and galactic systems like the sun, moon, and stars also consider influences like ritual, coincidence, or synchronicity. How we understand them depends on our preferred perceptions. Contained within a supernatural framework are often “aha” moments that serve to remind us that we are on the right path. We can use cycles, like days, months, and years, to better our self-awareness and increase our intelligence in ways that can only be learned through experience. Holiday traditions and seasonal transitions into a winter wonderland are happening now. A frosty cold moon is rounding out the calendar year. Remember that along with endings, always come beginnings, full circle.
2024 is sure to be interesting… Happy Happy Everything Always!!
Follow on social media:
FB @LoveLight Ink
Photos credit: Martyjuana™
Laura Clein once upon a time worked as a recreational therapist in retirement communities and an event coordinator on college campuses. While in graduate school for an MSW at the University of Southern California she wrote a term paper for a Social Policy class on medical marijuana in 1996. Although now disabled and living with complex chronic illness for many years, she, alongside her husband, Marty, has created a lifestyle that works. Laura is proud to be patient #1 at Martyuana™ and often says, "Thank goodness, cannabis helps."