I’m always nosy about other people’s spiritual practices, the stuff they naturally gravitate toward on a regular basis, not because they think they should but because they can’t not do those things.
For me, writing is a key part of my daily spiritual practice and definitely something I can’t not do, but I also have cyclical rituals, like how I spend every New and Full Moon.
I let my intuition lead me to the tarot or oracle deck that will be most illuminating for me, and then I cast a magic circle and shuffle the cards.
I then seek to connect with two streams, what Jung referred to as the “spirit of the times” and the “spirit of the depths.”
While I can’t offer a set-in-stone definition (explore The Red Book to come to your own nuanced understanding of these spirits), for me, the spirit of the times is akin to a zeitgeist. It’s what’s in the culture, in the air, in the moment.
The spirit of the depths, on the other hand, is much more eternal, rooted deep, deep, deep in the collective unconscious, the infinite realm of the archetypes, and this spirit of the depths gives rise to the fleeting moods of the spirit of the times, like the temporary flowerings of an underlying energy.
Both are important (and finding balance between them befits today’s Libra Moon), and in my own practice, I tend to personalize the spirit of the times as shorthand for what is wanting to be born through the vessel of my life, in this current time and space.
What books and essays am I meant to write this month? this year?
What relationships are seeking my energy?
How do I want to speak, dance, dress, play, and in general, express myself, allowing this expression to be my very own snapshot of a larger, collective unfolding?
Music is a huge part of my spiritual practice, and I use it to tap into different states of consciousness suitable for the task at hand, whether casting a spell, writing my romance novel, or dancing in my kitchen. Right now, I’m bopping in my desk chair to this:
But back to my Moon practice.
After shuffling the deck, I imagine these twin streams of energy, the spirit of the depths and the spirit of the times, streaming into my cards, and I draw cardsto represent each spirit.
The spirit of the depths I place on my upstairs altar, the one I begin and end each day at by connecting to my gods, my guides, and myself. This card carries a more overarching lesson or directive, like the theme of this Moon cycle, something to keep in the back of my mind as I move throughout my days.
I typically refresh my crystal grid while I’m at it, choosing stones and an arrangement that embodies how the cards make me feel, asking the crystals to help me usher these energies into tangible shape and form.
The spirit of the times card I place on a smaller altar downstairs, one I pass many times throughout my work day, a reminder of how I am going to translate the depths into the here and now. This card carries a more practical, “roll up my sleeves and make something today” energy, and I have regular pit stops at this altar to reconnect to its tangible, get-shit-done vibe.
Together, these two cards create a fluid container for the current Moon cycle, a space in which to focus my energies, to whittle my life down to a more manageable size, to paraphrase Susan Orlean in The Orchid Thief, while ensuring that this bite-sized chunk is still rooted in the Whole.
And speaking of the spirits of depths and times…
…this month in the Portal, we’re exploring the interplay between “above” and “below” through a very specific lens. There will be some tarot, some Jungian Magic, and something called the “nexus of magic,” all with the aim of helping us actually do and create, as opposed to just thinking about doing and creating.
You have miraculously unique things within you, just waiting to be born, and the world is a little less awesome if they stay locked away in your head. Join us in the Portal, and start translating those gifts into electrically alive tangibilities in the here and now.
Happy Full Moon!