The New Moon in Scorpio is an ideal time to take a peek under the psychic hood.

What patterns and drives, identities and dreams are floating in the depths? Scorpio can help you sink deeper, pinpointing what’s working and what’s not so you can use the New Moon/fresh start energy to your advantage.

Looking to your astrological chart is a great place to start. It can help you spot patterns that are perhaps so second nature to you they simply feel like the way things are instead of something that could actually be changed.

You might look to where Scorpio is–what house or houses does this sign rule in your chart? This is an area of your life where you can get extra curious this New Moon.

​Ask your spirit guides​, ​your tarot cards​, or ​your dreams​ before bed to show you what, in this area of your life, wants attention right now.

If you’ve used my ​Inner Sanctuary guide​, you might create a temple representing your astrological chart with doors for each of the houses. Knock on the door of the house in question, and see what insights await on the other side.

Have a little more time? Look at whether there are any planets in this house. If houses are where action is taking place, planets are who is taking action, and how Mercury handles a presentation at work or goes on a date is going to be different than how Pluto would.

Constriction and Expansion

Unio Mystica (1973) by Johfra Bosschart

In my case, my guides have been spotlighting the relationship between Saturn and Jupiter, which are conjunct in my chart, meaning the planets are super close together. Like anything in astrology (and in life) conjunctions can be experienced in different ways. It’s too simple to say “conjunctions are good” and “oppositions are bad.”

Conjunctions can signal a harmonious relationship between planets, but they can also make it tricky to tell one planet from the other–like a cosmic codependency.

So, what happens when Saturn, the planet of rules and limits and lessons, is in bed with Jupiter, the planet of expansion and luck and potential? Things get interesting!

One aspect of this planetary dynamic I’ve been exploring is the concept of enoughness.

When Saturn says, “Alright, that’s good, we’ve done enough,” Jupiter swoops in to exclaim, “But we’re just getting started!”

My relationship to limits has been complicated from the get-go, something that played a big role in my drinking. Before I got sober, when the pain of not being able to do it all–to be it all–became too acute, I’d drink. And drink some more. Alcohol became a way to pretend limits weren’t really real, that somehow I was special and could ignore my mortal finitude.

Saturn and Jupiter are in my ninth house, which is concerned with philosophy and religion, abstract thinking, trying to figure out the meaning of it all, and higher education and travel.

What does this mean?

Well, a strooooong pattern for me is the belief that I can somehow figure my way out of limits. This can be a superpower, in that I often excel at seeing the big-picture view of what to change and how to do it (if you’re into Human Design, I’m a Projector), and I’m naturally suspicious of claims that something “just is” (why? Does it have to be? How about if we…?).

However, it can also lead to rejecting the simple fact that life, on this mortal plane, is one of limits. When I refuse to accept that, I run myself into the ground with sky-high expectations pelted by a hellfire of not-enoughness. So fun!

Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan

To bring in one more astrological piece, I’m a Sagittarius rising, and your rising sign says a lot about your approach to life in general. Astrologer Howard Sasportas likens the rising sign, or ascendent, to “the path leading to [your] Sun.” (33) If your Sun sign is what you’re growing into in this lifetime, then your rising sign is how you’ll get there.

The Twelve Houses by Howard Sasportas ​This is an affiliate link. Your purchase supports this newsletter–thank you!

When I can’t figure my way out of all limits, it can feel like I’m failing at life, that nothing is working. Instead of recognizing that limits are intrinsic to being human, their sheer existence feels like something I’ve personally done wrong and need to figure out how to remedy ASAP.

And I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.

Culturally, we’re bombarded with pressures to buy more, do more, know more, be more–more more more. We scroll through social media and see “proof” that everyone else has figured out how to life hack their way to a perfectly optimized life of açai bowls and 5 a.m. workouts–so what’s our problem?

Really, though, none of us can do it all. We just can’t.

This is the thrust of the excellent Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman, who advises us to “decide in advance what to fail at. You’ll inevitably end up underachieving at something, simply because your time and energy are finite.”

Given that that’s the case, when you “nominat[e] in advance whole areas of life in which you won’t expect excellence of yourself,” you free up time and energy to focus on what actually matters to you. (237) Because it can’t all matter, or else nothing really does.

Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman​

Squirrels and time management

Have you played the board game Everdell? I discovered it during lockdown, and I could. not. get. enough. (Sorry, husband.)

Everdell is what’s known as a worker placement game, a term I only learned while obsessing over every Everdell thing I could find. Basically, you have a finite number of workers, represented by little wooden animals, and you have to choose, very carefully, where you’re going to place your squirrels in order to maximize resource gathering and spending during each turn.

You can’t sweep the pie-eating contest AND have the most unique buildings in your city. You have to choose.

What I’d never thought about until this week, though, is that the whole worker placement thing is basically a low-stakes way to figure out how to get Saturn and Jupiter working on the same page. You only have a finite number of workers and turns (Saturn), and you have to figure out how to squeeze the absolute maximum of awesomeness from them (Jupiter).

Yet, it’s not just the low stakes that makes this Saturn-Jupiter interplay fun in the context of Everdell, as opposed to frequently maddening in the rest of my life.

The main difference?

My expectations. When I sit down to play Everdell, I know lots of limits-versus-expansion shenanigans are in store. The rules aren’t a personal attack, nor a sign that I suck at life. They’re precisely what I asked for.

“I was peeling a red apple from the garden when I suddenly understood that life would only ever give me a series of wonderfully insoluble problems. With that thought an ocean of profound peace entered my heart.”

Christian Bobin, poet

This week, I decided to apply the Everdell mindset off the board game when I chose not to renew a certification that I’d worked really hard to obtain.

In a nutshell: After working as a massage therapist for a while, I trained to become a Structural Integrator (if you’ve heard of Rolfing, that’s a type of structural integration). It was hard AF and not cheap, and also a totally amazing experience!

Even though I sold my bodywork practice a few years ago, I’ve been maintaining my bodywork licenses and certifications, just in case. In truth, I know with 99.9% certainty that I won’t ever practice again, but relinquishing those official little pieces of paper felt deceptively hard.

Well, more accurately, the struggle was so unconscious that I hadn’t even questioned whether or not I’d renew my certification. It simply seemed like the only option.

But simultaneously, I’m often ruing the fact that I don’t have more time for the things that matter.

So…why would I devote hours and hours on continuing education for a certification I don’t want to use? In Everdell terms, I only have six hedgehogs–why would I send three of them scurrying off to school for something they don’t need to learn??

Meditating on this inner tug-of-war, I saw how scary it was for my ego to let go of something that, it was convinced, helped prove my worth. But, but, but…what if five years from now I’m at a party and the topic of Structural Integration comes up (‘cause that happens all the time).

If I keep my certification, I’ll get to say, “Ah, why yes, I’m a board certified Structural Integrator.” [cue wide-eyed astonishment and gracious applause]

Also, for some reason I’m wearing a monocle in this fantasy.

Okay, seriously?

The reality is this conversation has a .0003% chance of ever occurring, and even if it did, the most likely response would be, “Huh…neat,” before the conversation moved on to something far more interesting. And yet, this unconscious driver would’ve had me slogging through recertification just in case.

I say this with compassion and not self-shade: that’s really silly.

I’d be much better off donating the monocle to Goodwill for somebody’s Halloween costume and choosing to focus my finite time and energy on what really matters–and that sure as hell ain’t maintaining unused certifications.

Today on the New Moon, ride the Scorpionic current and get curious:

Is there a pattern that’s monopolizing your precious time and energy?

What’s one step you can take today to call back some (or all) of that energy?

Is there something you can stop doing or do less of or finally give yourself permission to do?

Do that. ❤️

Happy New Moon!

Melissa xx

Spellcasting mastery

That’s what this month’s Portal lessons are all about. We’re exploring:

  • inner parts that can trip up your spells before you even start
  • how to track your magical campaigns (and why this makes you a stronger practitioner)
  • how to use principles from Atomic Habits to supercharge your spellcasting
  • …and so much more.

Spreadsheets are so much cooler when spellcasting is involved…

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