(See a blog version of this episode below the show notes.)
Society places a heavy emphasis on “solar” qualities that are prized in corporate settings, where more “lunar” qualities are not as well-respected in our culture. This can leave us feeling pretty imbalanced. In this episode, Kristen takes you through five ways you can embrace your divine lunar energy, guided by the tarot. Before that, Kristen discusses the recent Oatly drama and helps you decide whether it’s the right milk alternative for you.
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We all have a relationship with the moon. I talk about lunar bodies and solar bodies in reference to how our menstrual cycles resemble the moon and sun cycles, as a more inclusive way to discuss what’s conventionally referred to as the female and male hormonal cycles, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have access to the other’s energy.
A lot of people refer to masculine and feminine energy. Qualities that we all embody regardless of gender. But as I learn more and as I work towards being more inclusive with my language, I question what those words really mean, since we are still assigning character traits and behaviors to binary terms.
More of an accurate embodiment of the concept is the Chinese yin and yang, the receptive and the active. I believe it’s still also explained in gendered terms here too, but I like that it gives us additional language to use.
To quote Wikipedia, because I like the way it’s described there and don’t think I could say it any better: “Yin and yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. “
Discussing this dualistic concept as solar energy and lunar energy as I prefer to do is still binary, but since we all have relationships with these celestial bodies, and can understand their energies using those archetypes, that’s the language I’m going to use today.
Society focuses on solar qualities
Everyone has both solar and lunar energies within them, and as the description of the yin yang implies, when you know how to embrace each one, you can be one pretty powerful being.
The thing is, our world is heavily focused on what serves the solar cycle and those who live in solar bodies. Confidence, action, extroversion, drive, discipline, productivity, individualism — these are all traits that are revered in society. They set us up for success in the corporate world.
More lunar energy traits (empathy, intuition, creativity, nurturing, sensitivity, receptivity, collectivism) aren’t as respected and are often dismissed as less important.
In your lunar body, the result of focusing so much on the solar traits is that you can feel deeply imbalanced, which can have mental and physical consequences. The world revolves around these patriarchal standards of living. You probably already know the harmful emotional toll that this can take, but on the physical front, it can throw off your hormones because it encourages you to actively resist your cycle.
Mentsruator’s cycles are more complex than the 24-hour cycle that governs the hormones of people without ovaries or a uterus. Their bodies repeat the same cycle day after day. Our hormones fluctuate over the course of 28 days on average, and so we change through each phase of our cycle — our energy, our metabolism, our interests, digestion, immunity, and more.
When you try living out of harmony with your natural cycle, it can kind of feel like you’re a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. If you’ve ever felt guilty about not being productive every single day, or for resting even though you needed it, or if you’ve ever been told you’re too sensitive, that it’s all in your head, listen up.
Embracing your lunar energy
Your hormones dictate a lot about your health, so it’s really important to honor your ebbs and flows, tune in to how you feel, and adjust the script accordingly.
Otherwise, the more you try to fit into space that wasn’t designed for you, the more stressed you’re going to be, and chronic stress sets off a cascade effect of elevated cortisol, suppressed thyroid, estrogen dominance, and other hormonal issues.
So let’s talk about some practices for embracing your lunar energy, guided by the tarot. I pulled five cards to give us some ideas.
King of Cups
This is about strong emotional intelligence and sharing your gifts with others. What does that mean to you? This is a good archetype to embody when embracing empathy and sensitivity to others.
How can you tap into your creative gifts in order to help uplift others around you?
There’s also an emphasis on order and peace. What have you learned about managing emotions or maintaining stability through chaos? Where do you find peace show up in your life or what do you turn to when you need to feel calm and collected? How can you share those lessons with others?
Maybe your creative gift is poetry and you offer your readers solace through your words. Or you’re an artist who wants to channel your energy into a painting that can be gifted to a community center. Or you’re an energy healer and your gifts are shared with the community as often as you feel that it’s available to you. Maybe you’re an actual teacher, or a therapist, or another practitioner who helps guide others.
The King of Cups encourages you to impart your wisdom through that exchange. Not necessarily in a master-to-student type relationship, more as a peer-to-peer thing.
This card is about having a good balance between the head and the heart, and inflated egos are not part of it, and that’s more of a solar quality anyway.
So how do we stay on the watery, service-focused side with our shared wisdom?
Maybe that’s not your role. Maybe you aren’t feeling like you’re in a place to offer any wisdom to anyone. Sometimes it can feel like we’re flailing and we’re all just trying to figure it out and don’t feel like we have any advice.
Have some compassion for yourself. Sometimes, instead, we lead by example. Caring for yourself can show others how to care for themselves. Self-care can also be communal care if we’re filling up our own cups in order to pour them into others.
This is the card of self-care and fertility. Fertility doesn’t always have to relate to your cycle.
Where are you well-resourced? Think of all the places in your life where you experience abundance. Abundance of material things, abundance of love, happiness, pleasure, knowledge, skill, creativity, friendship, etc.
The Star is also about trusting in whatever higher power you believe in. Trusting in the process. You are intelligent and level-headed. You don’t have your head entirely in the clouds but it’s up there, trying to get a peek!
Think about this card in the sequence of the deck. It comes after The Tower, which is all about tumbling structures, shaky foundations, destruction in order to rebuild. The Star is what comes after. It’s faith that the universe has your back. You got through the destruction of the Tower, you came through, you had all the power you needed inside of you to do that.
So to embrace your lunar energy here, take some time to daydream.
What would you do if you knew you would be supported no matter what? What’s something you always wanted to do but were afraid of failing? What part of you is hiding because you’re worried about what others would say?
Dream up all the people you could be and the experiences you could have if you knew, and you trusted, that everything would work out.
This doesn’t always mean it will work out. We don’t just wish things into existence. We have to put work in to make things happen, but getting over that barrier of fear is such a major step in achieving anything that we do.
Do a little daydreaming. Write a story about the person you wish to be and embrace it. Make a bucket list. Do some shadow work. And let go of any notion that the universe punishes you for anything — negative thoughts, misguided actions, situations from the past that you regret — the universe doesn’t punish.
Daydreaming might feel best in your menstrual phase, or during the new moon, when we start to plant seeds for our intentions. It’s also when you might feel the most intuitive, so you may come up with new ideas for things that you never would have realized you wanted for yourself.
If your menstrual phase is more of a time for mental rest, the follicular phase (particularly in the latter half towards ovulation) is a great time to brainstorm as your energy is growing.
Ten of Pentacles, Reversed
This card brings us back into the material realm, and maybe a little too much so. There’s a heavy focus on the solar qualities here that we talked about earlier. When this card is upright it’s a lot about security for the future, abundance, making sure you have all the necessary plans in place to ensure future-you is taken care of. Reversed, I’m thinking more about how such a focus on the future is taking away from your present reality.
A practical example is if you’ve experienced low income in your life, when you finally feel secure with your bank accounts, you still might find yourself obsessively checking your savings account to see if it’s still there, as if it might magically disappear one day.
That’s one way it can manifest, where you’re hyperfocused on accumulation and feeling like it’s never enough. That takes you away from appreciating what you do have in the present.
Maybe it’s an accumulation of wealth that you’re focused on, or maybe you’re worrying about your 401K or saving for your kid’s college fund, or keeping up appearances and living beyond your means.
The point is, if you are hyperfocused on material things that are giving you excessive worry or taking up a lot of mental space, it may be good to ground yourself a little bit and embrace some of that lunar energy through practices that keep you in the present moment.
This doesn’t mean to ignore your finances or future plans, especially if you’re working on putting things in the right place, but it is an invitation to pause.
Get sensual. Come home to yourself and this moment.
You can do this with food by experiencing a meal through each individual sense — sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. I love having clients do this while they eat so they can see how a more relaxed and present time with food can really change their experience of a meal.
It can also be a practice as you move throughout your day. Take your time with things. Slow down and pay attention to your senses. You can do this not just with food but maybe also in your daily shower or bath. Take a little extra time to lather up, feel the water on your skin, pouring over your head. Massage yourself with oil or a fancy lotion when you get out.
Could your relationships stand to have a little more presence in them too?
Think about the people who you want to be in your future, not just the 401K. How can you slow down and give your full attention to those people too?
8 of Wands
The 8 of Wands feels fast, and fast can feel like too much or it can feel exciting, but it’s generally considered a positive card. It’s definitely about some transformative action, movement, and regardless of which way you feel about it, it calls for your bravery in action because the pace is picking up.
These things are decidedly on the solar, yang end of the spectrum, so how do we access lunar energy through the 8 of Wands?
The speed of this card suggests you gotta get your shit together because time’s a wastin’. What do you need to do to be able to go with the flow with as little friction as you can? What could stand to be more in alignment?
What I find interesting about this card is that there is really nothing else to it. There are no people depicted in the Rider Waite Smith version, and there is nothing getting in their way. The wands travel together and get to their destination together unobstructed.
If we want to take a lesson from that and embrace it in a lunar fashion, what about joining forces with others for a common good? What can you offer to eliminate obstacles for others who are trying to achieve a mutual goal? Collectivism over individualism.
Pick a cause that you care about. Maybe it’s organizations that support reproductive justice, or groups that are fighting for a more inclusive sex-ed curriculum or ones that supply menstrual products to those in need.
Maybe it’s trans-rights groups fighting against the recent wave of anti-trans youth legislation. Maybe it’s prison abolition or police abolition, or supporting the families of Black people who have been murdered by the police.
We move forward together, and offering your support helps clear the path towards progress bit by bit. You can donate to these causes financially, offer your time or your amplification if you have an audience, or talk about these issues with friends and family and being vocal.
If you identify as a witch, this is a highly recommended practice. The witch identity carries with it a lot of responsibility, not just in reverence to our craft but also to give voice or redistribute privilege to those who have less. Witchcraft without communal care is not true witchcraft.
Witches were once known as healers in their communities. They shared their gifts with people in need and I believe if we take on this craft and this identity then we have a responsibility to continue that tradition, both in the material and metaphysical realm.
Magic and mutual aid. That’s how we move forward and the more of us that contribute the faster we can get to that destination.
The final card — I love it — is The Fool. What better way to embrace our lunar energy than to be fully receptive to the experience of being in this world?
The Fool has a childlike wonder. The Fool is flexible, young in spirit, full of potential. It’s the first card in the Major Arcana and the beginning of a cycle.
I like that this is the last card especially when we’re so focused on our cyclical nature because when this comes up, it’s a reminder to forget everything you know. To embrace not being an expert in something. To leap before you look, within reason and safety, of course.
It’s a reminder that nothing matters, no one cares — in a good way. To not be so serious about everything and to feel confident in trying new things without worrying about being embarrassed.
For this one I say, plan to not have a plan.
Solar energy vs. lunar energy is the same idea as human doing vs. human being. We never really take the time to just be. To be open to witnessing and fully experiencing life rather than just trying to get through the day.
So do something rebellious, like a teenager would. That’s the Fool’s energy. Think Big Teen Energy — plan NOT to be productive for a day.
Let your intuition guide what you do for the day. You might find it takes you places you never would have consciously chosen. And by letting your intuition guide you, I mean really checking in with yourself for each decision, ask yourself if you’re doing it for you, or for someone else.
Are there external expectations at play or are you honoring what you want to do?
Of course, this isn’t realistic for every situation, but if you can give yourself a day to just let your intuition do the talking and the deciding, you might have some fun! Clue your friends in on what you’re doing and see if they’ll indulge you in this, too, and it could be a great experience together getting weird and really embracing your authentic self.
Lunar energy is powerful as hell. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that yang, solar energy, we’re just forced to use it more often to get by in a capitalist society and so we become imbalanced and neglect this side of us.
So let’s embrace the lunar and bring ourselves back into balance. Learning how to harness this power allows you to better integrate the two in your life and intuitively know when each is needed.