living among the moon and the sun

This week’s session with The Institute for Mindful Agriculture aligned with an emerging knowing in my body: I am a lunar being, a being of Earth and also of the cosmos, a being connected to the pushes and pulls of fiery masses and freezing rotating rocks lightyears away.

We are all beings in this way.

In the spiritual and esoteric languages I often find myself drawn to, notions of the cosmos and ‘universal oneness’ infuse each teaching. I’ve even caught myself using this language to describe anything in deep resonance or alignment with my values (my current favorite phrase is ‘cosmic rightness’). While I may intellectually understand these teachings, how can I feel the cosmos in my seemingly Earthly body?

I’m (slowly) learning to open myself up to the greater possibilities of being alive on this planet, to ebbs and flows of planetary movements that have and forever will impact the embodied vessel in which I find home. I remember someone once said to me: if the Moon holds the power to pull and push the oceans of this planet, mustn’t the Moon also hold the power to pull and push the matter in our own bodies?

For the past few months, I’ve paid deep attention to the lunar cycles and how I’m existing—emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually—with each new moon and each full moon. I’m observing my own ebbs and flows—with my menstrual cycle in particular— to look for patterns that connect my happenings to the happenings in the sky. With each new moon, I’ve observed that I’m a bit less stable, deep in introspection, and in search of groundedness. With each full moon, I’m ready to bring ideas into action, to release myself from habits that no longer serve me, and to move forward with exciting projects in my life.

Similarly, in the IMA session this week, Rachel spoke of the alignment between other Earthly beings and movements in the sky, in particular about the gestures of plants in relation to the gestures of the planets. As the stalks of certain plants grow in an upward spiral towards the sun, Rachel said, they mirror the paths of certain planets in orbit. And as certain planets orbit a star or other planet, their path mirrors the patterns of certain plants. Here’s an example of Venus’s orbit around Earth, which has incredible resemblance to a common rose:

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What I’m realizing is that these patterns and alignments are everywhere, it’s just a matter of paying attention. I’m paying attention to the rhythm of Jewish Holidays (which I’ve only recently learned are in alignment with the cycles of the sun and moon)…paying attention to the patterns of the enneagram (in which the connective lines look a whole lot like this orbital pattern of Venus)…and paying attention to the stage of the moon in relation to each day’s activities. It is no coincidence at all that today, as I’m deep in introspection, brings in the new moon of September. To use Anna Tsing’s language in The Mushroom at the End of the World, I’m learning to see all beings and happenings as inextricably enmeshed in cosmic assemblages… all parts of some web of “contaminated diversity.”

So, to revisit my earlier question —how can I feel the cosmos in my seemingly Earthly body?— I think the answer is simple: invite in the possibility of feeling! By inviting the moon into my own cycles, by grazing soft fingers amidst sunflower spirals, by honoring the full and new moon with praise and ritual, the cosmic connectedness simply manifests.

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I’d like to offer my gratitude to all cosmic beings for the forces, lights, and rhythms you provide for us Earthly creatures.

Lila Rimalovski