Blog

Week of September 6th-12th + Learning to Prune (or "What no longer serves" explained)

For ATL Craft

Hi Witches!

Can you feel the pressure lessening as we are released from the birth canal of the Universe, and are prepping to start some new shit? Or does it feel more like being pushed forward out into the cold, smacked on the butt to assure someone that your faculties have come with you now that you’re Earth-side? Either way, we’re here. We’re moving forward in a perfect astrological chorus. The exhale of Mercury direct, followed by an inhale and then an exhale with Mars going direct, and today, finally, another huge push and an exhale as Saturn stations direct in Capricorn. Perhaps it feels like a crescendo in the song as Saturn stations direct during Virgo season, right before the New Moon in Virgo—the first New Moon after eclipse season. Talk about harmony.

Sunday the 9th is a busy day, astrologically speaking. Of course we’ve got the New Moon in Virgo, but more subtle shifts occur with Neptune in Pisces opposing the Sun and Moon; Mars in Capricorn conjunct Lilith in Aquarius; Lilith and Mars squaring Venus in Libra; Chiron conjunct the Moon; and Saturn squaring the Sun and Moon. You’ll be feeling these happening over the course of the 7th-9th, and onward.

Neptune in Pisces opposing the Sun and Moon might show up in intense daydreams, or over-romanticizing things that are bad for us, or that feed our Egos. Be wary of using escapism tactics to avoid facing your fears and self-doubt, or otherwise contribute to spiritual bypassing. Your fears say something about your needs. Your anger shows you where a boundary lies. Your depression shows you where you need to expand. Listen to your feelings more than ever this week. Do not dull them with drugs, TV, junk food, or avoidant “self-care” techniques. Be cautious of focusing on the problems of the world around you, yet avoiding cleaning your side of the street. Chiron conjunct the Moon will help you with this task. Chiron is the great healer. The Moon helps you see through the Shadow parts of yourself. Virgo serves the collective. Understand that sitting in the dirty bathwater is necessary before you can stand up, scrub off, and rinse off before putting on your white robes. One of the hardest lessons I learned from one of my teachers is that before you can learn to lead, you must learn to serve.

Saturn does not coddle our Ego. Saturn gives a fuck about our social standing, and that does not mean how many followers you have on social media. It’s about your reputation. But how can others know you if you don’t know yourself? If you’re not stopping to question why you’re feeling like shit or what is it about this person that makes you feel good, but that person makes you feel uncomfortable—you’ll never be able to see the wounds to heal them. This is not to say you must be healed, or achieve some sort of level of “perfection” in order to lead or be an example. Far from it. Saturn just wants us to own our shit. To show up to the task of clearing out that which does not serve us. What can you do to create the reputation you wish to achieve? Who or what are you associating with, attaching your name to, supporting with your words or finances? What message is that sending to the world, and are you okay with that?

One of the spiritual “catch phrases” that we often throw around is “letting go of that which no longer serves us.” Okay, but do we really get that? How much are you willing to allow the energy of Saturn to work in your spiritual garden? You can look at a rose bush and say, “Hey, you’re doing pretty well with those blooms,” and leave it a that. Or, you can do the harder and more painful job of cutting and pruning the bush in order to allow bigger and better blossoms to burst through next season. It’s not always about cutting out toxic people or situations. It’s not all about the weeds. Sometimes it’s about pruning a really nice rose so you can have three beautiful ones later. Sometimes the space created by the cut is the only thing that will allow anything better to come through. (Three of Swords, anyone?)

For example, many of you know that I have been working with my friend Aurorah on the podcast Blood Moon Milk. At our last workshop at ATL Craft, I spoke about trying to bring in a new job. With all the beautiful energy and sincere vibrations of the group willing me to get that job, that opportunity has manifested in my life. (Amazing things can manifest when people come together in groups and open their hearts!) It’s been a whirlwind of energy and transition since then. My boyfriend and I are looking for apartments as he leaves the corporate world, and I am working 10 hour days and most weekends. With the discussions and fighting during this expansion and contraction—adjusting to new schedules, fear of where we’re going to live, anxiety over bills and feeding our animal companions, and the dramatic shift in household chores—I’ve realized that I was holding onto things that no longer served me.

The first was that my guilt over not being the primary income generator. Because of that guilt—due to a lot of Root chakra imbalances that manifest as financial difficulties, issues with mental and physical stability, and even the very right to be alive—I took on all the household chores as a means to make myself feel “useful” and not like a burden. “If I take care of everything, then they won’t want to stop sharing their home with me,” my Shadow self tells me. But that ended up with me having a meltdown and ranting in my therapist’s office about how I felt like I just wanted to be single and live alone because I’d never be able to handle a full-time job, social life, and household responsibilities, along with caring fora partner with BPD, and working through my own trauma journey and mental illness. Like, I wanted to marry this human during the last session, y’all. She pulled a Saturn on me, and told me that we would no longer move forward with my trauma work if I couldn’t become comfortable with confronting my emotions, and discussing them with my boyfriend. Basically, if you can’t handle your day-to-day issues with the dishes and sweeping the floor, how are you going to handle the deep work we have to do that’s damaged you on such a fundamental and psychological level? Good point, lady.

It was awful and messy. We both cried a lot, but because of that, we both finally got years worth of resentment and frustration off of our chests. We restructured our lives, created new boundaries and rules and agreements for our relationship. It was so, so worth it. I felt that first Sword pull out of my heart. (My Tarot teacher, Lindsay Mack, says that the first Sword in the Three of Swords is the trigger; the second two are your reactions to being triggered.) Like the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” If you are hurting, acknowledge that something isn’t right, and then adjust. Don’t keep allowing people to stab you after the first time. Or second.

The second round of pruning came this past Sunday. After pulling the Tower and Three of Swords, and after the restructuring of my relationship, I knew there was one more lovely rose to chop off of my bush. There was one more Sword to pull in order to make space for new growth. As much beauty and value that I have gotten from Blood Moon Milk—from getting out of my shell, to working with everyone at ATL Craft, Modern Mystic, and awesome interviews with people I would have never had the courage to speak to before April—the podcast was no longer serving me. It didn’t stop being fun. My relationship with Aurorah didn’t become toxic. Nothing “happened.” It just stopped fitting into my new life. And in order to bring something in that will fit into my life, I knew I had to let it go. My Ego told me horrible things. “No one will listen to you anymore. No one will notice you. No one will respect you. You’ll start isolating yourself again. You’ll lose all the friendships you’ve made. You’ll miss out on opportunities to meet new and cool and more knowledgeable people. People will think bad things about you. About the podcast. About Aurorah. You’ll fade into the background of uselessness and nothing you do with NotYourBasicWitch will ever matter and you’ll never be an independent Witch, saving the world and smashing the patriarchy! Muhahaha, you FOOL!” (My Ego is a fucking anime villain, as you can see.)

So I recorded my last episode with Aurorah on Monday. It was sad, but necessary. I had to prune. I had to make space. And the space is already being filled with even more amazing opportunities that I can’t wait to share and dive into. When something no longer serves you, there does not have to be anything toxic about it. It can be perfectly fine, and you could even keep it in your life, and you’ll stay comfortable. But if you want to expand, grow, and cultivate an Aquarius in Lilith patriarchy-smashing movement or something, you must be willing to see past the petals, and focus on clearing the way for stronger, fuller, and more gorgeous blooms. Venus in Libra will help us weigh what gives us value, even to the point of obsessively getting down to the nitty-gritty of the details of our choices. Be deliberate in your choices this week. They are foundational for expansion and cultivating a healthy Ego. This is a week of healing, and sometimes that means creating a clean cut.

I wish you well, and I look forward to checking in with everyone next week!

Arianna Page