It’s Croptober! At this new moon, we find ourselves in a time of adjustment, discernment, justice, wisdom, and strength, as well as all the opposing forces to those very virtues. Late last month on the Autumn Equinox, the sun moved into Libra, the sign of the scales. And the sun and moon will meet up in the sky with an eclipse during this new moon in Libra. We begin a new cycle at a new moon; each month is another opportunity to recalibrate ourselves. The winds of change in the air are highlighting the alignments associated with the elements of this month’s new moon phase. At the new moon, when there is no moon, look to the stars on dark nights to find they shine infinite insight into hearts and minds. Meteor showers are like nature’s fireworks and light up the sky with better visibility at a new moon, like the Draconid shooting stars happening now. Savor the star shine as we gather what is needed to begin the next steps in the yearly cycles.
The name of the “Ring of Fire eclipse” comes from how we see annular solar eclipses, which are like total solar eclipses, except the moon is at such a distance in its orbit from Earth, that it can’t completely block the sun. Instead, the sunlight surrounds the moon’s shadow, creating the so-called ring of fire. Depending on our geographic location and the time of day or night it occurs, we may not always see an eclipse, but the entire planet experiences an eclipse level shift. This particular solar eclipse will cross eight U.S. states from Oregon to Texas before moving across the Gulf of Mexico and over Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Brazil. Eclipses are cyclical events that happen when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured. A solar eclipse always occurs at a new moon, when the moon’s shadow falls on the Earth. And tonight’s solar eclipse will be followed by a lunar eclipse at the end of this moon cycle, at the end of this month.
Eclipse season happens two times a year in opposite seasons when the orbits of celestial bodies look as if overlap. We can think of these twice-annual eclipse seasons like mirror images. In many ways, we are being shown that what began in Spring can reach its potential in Autumn. Eclipses are rare but do happen annually, have patterns, and follow cycles. Eclipses always come in groups or pairs, and play with light and shadows in the sky, on the Earth, and in our lives. An eclipse is at its peak for only an instant in time. It can produce a flash of insight. But it’s not always an immediate revelation, the ripple effect may not be seen or felt for six months or a year. Eclipses can be reset buttons, a chance to start over. Some ancient cultures saw them as ominous signs. Earthing, grounding, and balancing ourselves can be important as the eclipse season’s intensity builds. Thinking back to the eclipses last Spring, or even last year, can potentially influence how we handle things right now. What has changed? Reflection is a great tool here.
It is a me-and-we time that points to transitions we must go through both individually and collectively. Find compassion needed for the hard lessons and gratitude for the blessings. This is how we restore integrity. This is transformation. We may believe we are irreparably broken, but no matter the situation, there are always levels on which we can heal ourselves at the same time. It is within the release of negative energies that we make room for positive ones. It is hard work. It is also an opening, an invitation, an opportunity for the realignment of a single heartbeat with the universal heartbeat. I accept the challenge. I hope you do, too. The message is to find balance by living in the present moment as often as possible. This is how we make peace with ourselves—working with attributes like forgiveness, mercy, and grace that radiate outward from deep within us to help us create peace.
Libra’s symbols of weights and measures tell us to make an accounting of wins and losses from this past year, and, by doing so, notice reconciliation is done almost automatically. Forgiving oneself and others in service to the greater good is the bottom line of what it takes to create balance. “The future depends on what we do in the present” (Gandhi) No one is perfect. We can actually honor our imperfections. Apology and forgiveness are two sides of the sacred art of lovingkindness. It is compassionate action that allows us to feel more comfortable, more balanced, and more able to respond to whatever comes next. Autumn is an incredibly busy time as we, quite literally, work to measure, cut, and weigh produce. Raising our crops and our consciousness is our intention.
On the farm, it’s harvest season, the season of hardest work. It feels like there is too much to do and too little time, but we always seem to get it all done. We glean the ganja crop in steps. We begin by bucking off the big leaves, branch by branch, into manageable sticks for hanging to dry in the barn. After a few weeks, it’s time to cut, flower by flower, off the branches and transfer to big tubs where they will continue their cure in cold storage. Next comes the fine hand trim. These tasks take a while and must be completed before the herb is ready for testing, packaging, and distribution to retailers. Our attention to detail during post-harvest production allows us to bring our single-season harvest sun-grown flowers to market all year long. It’s important to understand that a large part of our success is our dry, cure, preservation, and storage. What we do after the cannabis is finished growing helps preserve the chlorophyll, which allows the flower to stay greener longer, as well as protecting the terpenes, flavonoids, and countless other cannabinoids. That process involves the removal of oxygen, which also prevents the growth of oxygen-using aerobic microorganisms such as molds, mildew, and fungi. It is similar to preserving herbs and spices in the culinary world, like rosemary, thyme, lavender, marjoram, oregano, sage, and so many more. In fact, we are drying some of these other herbs now as well, for food and medicine.
We tune into the natural rhythms. We acknowledge that this moment assists us in this weighty undertaking. We talk it. We walk it. We live it. We love it. We do the work, and we remember to take the time to reap the reward. The eclipses remind us “Three things cannot be long hidden: The sun, the moon, and the truth.” (Buddha). What is your truth? Dreams and passions are important! Autumn always feels like time is moving faster, as the days are already shorter. Hopefully, the summer fruits and projects have ripened into abundance. Our focus now is to make preparations for the long winter ahead. Prune what needs pruning, preserve what is worth preserving. When we are more secure with ourselves and our immediate environment, we can be more ready for anything.
The world wide web of technology has made it even clearer that we really are a global village and an international community. Many nations, many cultures, many individuals, many ideas and many attitudes, but we are all the people of one planet, and we are interconnected like never before. What are the issues that affect all of us? What are the issues that call each of us to effect change? From the height of space exploration to the depth of oceanic expeditions and all points here on Earth in between, we humans have a responsibility to use our natural resources and our innate coping skills wisely. We know it will be a better world when we can live in peace. “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah) The powerfully transformative nature of this moon may be playing out in our personal lives, it’s certainly a theme presented in present society.
The modern world gives a skeptical nod to astrology, yet horoscopes still run every day in the newspaper, a sort of unconscious awareness permeates. I read mine, do you? Without this universal perspective, we are in danger of blinding ourselves to natural connections we are bound by as inter-connected beings. Yet, whether we believe it or not, we are still a part of the wholeness and the holiness of the magic within the galactic cycles. It’s a wonder the zodiac of this sun sign, Libra is represented by the scales. This is the time of the year most associated with measuring, as the crops complete their growth, ripen, and are ready. Earth’s natural cycles are awesome! We have so many blessings to count. There are potent possibilities. Lovingkindness is the clearest way through. What are we passionate about?! Where is our motivation?! How do we access our compassion?! How will we each show up for the collective?! Things are always better when we shine our light in ways that benefit as many as possible. Pay more attention than usual to the sparks of insight that may fly in during the Autumn eclipse season. The more we can heal ourselves, the more we become part of healing our world! It’s time to decide, to choose our next steps, a measured response, care-fully, with our hearts, to truly be human-kind.
All photos credit: Martyjuana™
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Laura Clein once upon a time worked as a recreational therapist in retirement communities and an event coordinator on college campuses. She was in graduate school for an MSW at the University of Southern California and wrote a paper for a Social Policy class on medical marijuana in 1996. Although she lives with chronic pain and complex debilitating illness for many years, she & Marty have created a lifestyle that works. She writes many articles, and manages the social media. She is proud to be patient #1 at Martyuana™ & she says often, "Thank goodness, cannabis helps."