Hecate and the Summer Solstice Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon

Maiden, Mother, Crone. Each of these symbolizes both a separate stage in the female life cycle and a phase of the Moon. In this weekend, I touched the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone in backwards order, reminding me of the triple-headed Goddess Hecate. Hecate stands at the three thresholds, at the place of intersections, of transitions, from the beauty of youth to the ripening of motherhood to the wisdom of the aging.

Hecate and the lunar phases

We also stood at the place of intersections, of transitions, at three thresholds this weekend. Not only was it the intersection of of the solstice and the strawberry moon, but a third, more unusual thing was happening – a major lunar standstill which only occurs every 18.6 years. This is a moment of stillness that can grant us unusual insights.

We find the Crone waiting for us at the Charming Owl in LaPorte, inviting us to begin our full moon ceremony.  Elsbeth teaches us higher wisdom in these ceremonies, wisdom she has strengthened over time and is sharing with us on this day. We leave the expected donation in the box for the energy transfer.  This offering is the way we develop generosity and open our heart chakras to receive her wisdom. We write down our hopes and prayers and place them in a bowl.

Selenite Tower with my Blue Fairy Agate Crystal charm attached

She has decorated an altar with white cloth and flowers, a tower of selenite capturing the light from outside the window. We each bring a gift for the altar, something the spirit called us to share with each other. She asks us to scoot closer and draws a circle of protection around us.  There are only three of us seeking wisdom tonight, so together we form a circle of four.  She invites the spirit guides and angels to surround us. We pass around the talking stick and share with each other what is in our heart.  Each of us brought a poem.  She teaches us about the significance of the season and leads us in a meditation. We all closed our eyes and concentrated on sending positive energy out of our heart chakras and into the bowl of hopes and prayers, which was unexpectedly full due to the buildup over months. An unexpected blessing for joy came over Elsbeth. As she shared with us, we all felt the energy running through us from our open palms.  After this, we all felt filled by the spirit and sang a song together that Elsbeth taught us before opening the circle up for us to depart.

The next night, a group of four of us joined a ceremony and drum circle on the beach to celebrate this lunar event.  On this night, a couple dozen people of varying types, but mostly women, gathered in camp chairs around a fire. A man fed the flames while the two female spiritual leaders led us in a spiritual ceremony.  After the ceremony, the drumming began.  I watched the other women during the drum circle, reflecting on their beauty. A primal feeling welled up inside me, and I had to dance and drum and move my body.  I remembered what it was like to rage inside my cage and I let it all out.

On the way to the beach, Jonna had shared a piece of art with us that depicted a woman in a womb of sand, umbilical cord reaching to the surf. With my eyes closed, listening to the surf and feeling the drums, I felt like this woman, connected to the universal Mother: the surf the blood pulsing through the womb, the drums her heartbeat.  We are mothers and we are daughters, connected by blood and soul and spirit to all the mothers before and after us.

The next day, Jonna and I were doing a hot yoga class in the Heights.  The class was taught by beginning instructors, each who took a twenty-minute turn leading the class.  The first instructor was a young, lithe blonde woman in form-fitting yoga gear with exposed midriff : the beautiful Maiden.  She had us start in a seated pose, arms before us resting on our legs.  She said that we could leave our palms up to receive energy, or have them face down to retain energy and ground ourselves.  I chose to leave mine up.  She led us through a series of sun salutations, and then left us with the second instructor to lead us through stretching moves.  I was periodically wiping the sweat off my face and attempting my best not to lose my balance in some of the poses.  This first instructor was walking around the room, helping to support the students in their poses. At one point, she placed her hand under my outstretched palm to steady me.  I didn’t want to accept her help, because I was embarrassed about how sweaty my hand was.  She held my gaze and encouraged me.  “Come on, its okay,” she implored. I wanted to look away from her because I felt too aware of my own shortcomings in light of her youthful beauty and grace.  She held eye contact with me and continued to support and encourage me, and I accepted this help because in the end, I truly needed it.

In my tarot card reading from a few weeks ago, the reader said that I should reflect on Demeter as a goddess to show me my path. Hecate was intricately involved in the story of Demeter and Persephone.  She witnessed Persephone being abducted and taken to the underworld, and helped Demeter find her by lighting a torch.  I am wondering now if this weekend I was being shown the light in my journey to find my stolen “daughter”, and what does it all mean spiritually. Perhaps in the past I had been more like Persephone, lost in the underworld, but then as Demeter, I went searching for my lost self, and the heady inspiration and divine light of Hecate helped me find my way. 

I contemplated the meaning of the references to energy through these weekend experiences.  In each of the experiences, there was a transfer of energy. The Maiden gave me strength, the Mother gave me connection, and the Crone gave me wisdom. My job now is to carry those lessons into the next chapter as I continue to seek spiritual enlightenment on my way to self-actualization.

Summer Solstice Drum Circle

Dum da dum da dum dum dum dum

The drums begin

Calling to the spirit guides

Calling to our ancestors

Honoring the Gods

Awakening the Goddess

Dum da dum da dum dum dum dum

We feel it in our bones

In the soft of our bellies

The beating of our hearts

A primal connection

To the human experience

Dum da dum da dum dum dum dum

The surf like the flow of blood

In the womb of Mother Earth

The drums, the heartbeat

A connection to the divine

Life lines to our creator

Dum dum dum dum dum dum da

The drums beat faster

Reminding us of former lives

Raging in our caves

Dancing around the fire

Legs thumping to the beat

Dum dum dum dum dum dum da

Heart matched the beat

Rising in intensity

All of us marching onward

Fulfilling our destiny

So it has always been

So mote it be

Lady Justice, Lady Power

Lady Justice rises above the skyline along the freeway. You might notice her as you are making your way north out of Houston, just as you pass the Aquarium. You might glance to your right and see her mighty stance, her afro, the blindfold across her eyes, scales of justice in one hand and a sword in the other. She looks over Congress Plaza, and she reminds us of systematic racial injustice. She is an inspiration designed to make you think and feel, to reflect on women’s ability to affect social change. And on this warm June afternoon, we have an occasion to come visit her, to pay her homage by trying to capture her in digital form.
As we stood on the street corner to get the best view, a unique piece of architecture across the street caught our eye. It was a narrow white building with red and green trim and a green spire. A patio area stretched out in the back and seemed to go on for a city block. We wandered in and found a beautiful green and flowered wall. Words in neon pink spelled out “Las mujeres no lloran, las mujeres facturan”, which translated means roughly, “Women don’t cry anymore, women monetize”. It’s a line from a recent Shakira song. Essentially it means, women don’t spent time crying over lost love, they make money off of their pain. It speaks to the sense of a woman’s self-worth, that she will rise above those who want to hurt her and find the advantage in her position.

On the way back to our car, Leilani told us stories of helping others get to the Family Law Center. It reminded her of one of her idols, a powerful woman named Poppy who was an advocate for personal freedom. This woman started out working at NASA in the early years, even earning a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work on Apollo 13. She felt a call to leave that career behind to become a lawyer who held domestic abusers accountable and looked after young people who needed help. She helped women stand up for their right to determine their own choices, to give them access to opportunities and resources, and grant them the power to control their own lives.

Found on the wall in Hardy & Nance Studios “Coyote Woman”

After this, we headed to the main event: a Portraits in June art exhibit at Hardy & Nance Studios. Our first studio stop was for drinks, but our second stop led us to Kiki Neumann. Kiki is a folk artist who makes art out of recycled materials, mostly license plates these days. She found her way to artistic expression almost thirty years ago. She was feeling lost after losing a corporate job, and was encouraged to pick up a hammer and make something. And then she did, thereby taking ownership of her own life. This first product, a bench, gave her a sense of accomplishment and energized her to do more. Her art provided her a way to make something beautiful out of the outcasts of human life. She was eager to greet her fans and encourage them to like and share her work, and even blessed us with a sign encouraging people to vote. Her actions remind us that art can be a powerful way to connect and relate to others.

A Portrait of Kiki

On our way into the rest of the exhibits, we continued to connect with each other and even strangers by placing two of our hands on a particular structure and hold hands to form an electric circuit. I took photographs of one of our friends walking through the painted hallway, marveling at how her appearance seemed to be matched and enhanced by the colors. We wandered through the art exhibits for a little over an hour, looking for pictures of naked girls for one of us to decorate her bathroom with. When women experience their body viewed through the eyes of an artist, it can lead them to a place of acceptance and help them to see their true beauty, the way our friend felt when she viewed the photos we took of her in the hallway.

True Beauty

As we reached the main gallery, a woman approached us to ask if we were all together. She explained that she had really wanted to participate in the portrait activity, where you paint a portrait of another, but you had to be paired up to do the activity and she was here solo. This was a woman who was not afraid to advocate for what she wanted, even to total strangers. I offered to pair up with her, despite having very little experience with painting. The paintings had to completed in fifteen minutes, so there was no time to worry about getting it exactly right. I sat in front of the easel, not even being quite sure where to start. She asked if I was a painter, and I told her “No, I am a poet”. Interesting choice, choosing to define myself in this way. The experience of creating this portrait allowed me to see how a stranger viewed and depicted me, and my expression helped me understand how I viewed myself. Through the experience of completing a task outside my comfort zone, I felt more confident and powerful.

The Stranger Painter and I

After this, we made our way out and over to Saint Arnold Brewing Company. There was a Summer Solstice Festival going on, hosted by a company called Thorn and Moon Apothecary. After we secured a table in the shade under the shelter of the roof on the patio, we ordered beer and food and made merry. One of my friends and I stepped out to check out the vendor booths. When we reached the booth for Thorn and Moon, someone called out my name. I realized it was a friend of mine from school, Jessica, who I had hired to be our wedding photographer 11 years ago. She was an entrepreneur now, the proprietor of her own business and organizer of festivals such as this. I remembered there had been a fire at the place of her business, years ago, and I had thought that it had a negative impact on her business. In fact, it had done the opposite, and allowed her to grow even stronger. There lies real power in owning and growing your own dreams, in creating your own destiny, forming your own empire. She is now well-known in the metaphysical shop world in this city, and in fact even a new friend of mine from across town recognized her from the photo I posted and knew her as the shop owner.


I reflect on the connection of all these powerful women: Lady Justice, Shakira, Poppy, Kiki, Jessica, even the stranger painter and these three beautiful women I surrounded myself with this night, even myself. We are all emblems of strength and beacons of light. We show each other and other women how to be strong, to value ourselves, help each other stand up against injustice, how to create our own paths, how to be brave and try new things, to step off into the void and walk away from the fire knowing we will rebuild even stronger than before. These women, they are all powerful, and they are all astounding in their own way.

Found on the wall in Hardy & Nance Studios – Coyote Woman Affirmations by Allison Currie


There’s a particular phenomenon that occurs during the waxing crescent moon, where the light of Earth reflects back on the moon’s surface, illuminating the dark spaces and allowing us to see the entire circle. The sliver of the crescent shines brightly while the darker side of the Moon lays exposed to our eyes. Sometimes this is referred to as “the old moon in the new moon’s arms”.

It was under such a moon that I walked alongside a friend and a young couple, feet touching the cool gulf waters along a recovering Fort Myers Beach. We were digesting both our dinner and the events of the day. We had spent an afternoon together at a spiritual festival in Punta Gorda, about an hour north of where we were now. My friend had a booth there, and both this young couple and I had joined her there. The young woman was my friend’s daughter, and she and her boyfriend had recently come into town to start a new chapter of their lives, direction unknown.

I also felt that I was starting a new chapter. Something new had been awakening, or perhaps it was something old that was reawakening. An old moon in a new moon’s arms.

There was something inside me that I had put aside for a while, and now I was pulling it back out and re-igniting the flame. I am not sure if I had put it aside when I let go of some parts of my past, or when I had embraced another future. The past dozen years I had spent nurturing my career, marriage, children, friendships, political activism, outdoor pursuits- all these things had come before developing my craft and getting in touch with the creative aspects of my inner self. My inner self wanted to shine brightly at this time, and cast the rest of the lot into the darker shadows of the whole sphere of me.

I had some questions, though, going off into this foray into my Self, and I had come to the festival with a specific objective: to get some clarity through a reading from a medium. It turned out that my friend Vikki’s booth was right across from the booth of an empathic tarot card reader named Sarah, so shortly after my arrival, I found myself sitting down with her for a reading. She had me release energy while she shuffled the cards, then she asked me to shuffle and then cut the deck. Then she laid down the cards, starting with the Four of Pentacles and ending with the Nine of Cups. In between laid the Seven of Wands, an Inverted Fool, the King of Pentacles, The Stars and the Seven of Swords.

Essentially, her message was that I had potential within me, but something was holding me back. “You’ve done the work to get here, what’s holding you back?” She said that I needed to work on setting effective boundaries, which is something I am working on in therapy. She also warned me to stop giving, giving, giving and keep something back for myself. I needed to sit and be still, meditate more often. Also, she mentioned that there was someone working against me, bad-mouthing me in the background, someone I would not expect. Ultimately, though, I would be successful and my cups were going to run over, but I needed to take the steps now to manifest this future.

All of these messages were very similar to what I was told at another reading that I had gotten at the Lighthouse about two months prior. I know I should focus on the positive aspects of this reading, but I found myself preoccupied with the darker portion. Who WAS this person that was working against me? If this was someone I would not expect this from, were all my friends suspect? Is this someone who is jealous, vengeful, wants my talent for themselves, wants to ruin my name and my game? I ask Vikki, I text my friends, I ask my husband – who do you think this is?, all the whole knowing that we are just guessing , and the truth is still hidden in the shadows right now.

The rest of the afternoon unfolded after this reading. I got food for Vikki and I, but then went to listen to a speaker who used sound baths for healing and talked in a “light language”. The young couple (Kathy and Josh) had arrived, and soon after Vikki’s partner Chris. Chris had brought with him supplies to customize a necklace to a customer’s specifications. Vikki had started the work, but then Kathy had taken over and saw it to completion.

Vikki and I stepped out of the convention center for a mental break, eyes blinking in the hot sun. We sat in Chris’s truck for a few minutes listening to Deep Purple. I felt like I was suddenly back in the seventies with her, and I was HERE for it. Then we had a chance to cruise around the other booths together.

The festival was a living, breathing four dimensional experience. There was a constant ringing of sound baths in the background, the occasional trilling of a bell, the “uhms” of meditating monks, a slow drumming that occasionally sped up in a rising climax, a rise in action that caused one to feel a compulsion to buy something. There was a smell of incense, patchouli, scented candles, perfumed oils, hand crafted soaps and body butters. I applied some of the samples, feeling like I was getting buttered up for a sale. I put some of the cream on my feet and they got so soft I nearly tripped on my flip-flop. Several styles of mediums sat at booths and looked right into your eyes as you walked by, some asking, “are you ready for a reading?” I kept having to turn away to keep them from scanning into my soul. I needed to keep somethings to myself, like my money at this moment.

I did want something small, though, something that might spark joy or make a good reflective piece for my meditation area and prayer altar. I let the spirit move me, and finally ended up selecting three items. The first was a small crescent moon charm lined with blue lace agate with stars and a crystal hanging below. Blue lace agate is a stone of expression and tranquility, and this seemed to fit with my desire to meditate more often to tap into my creative expression. The second was a blue lace agate wand, topped with a little miniature terrarium, a tiny world in a bowl. This is said to help with public speaking. I have a plan to start reading and sharing some of my work, and this will help me in my journey. The third was a heart of Labradorite. This will provide clarity and insight on my transformational journey. I hadn’t carried a purse, so now I was weighted down pockets full of stones and phones.

Vikki also was letting the spirit move her, and she ended up being very attracted to some singing bowls. The particular bowl she wanted was for opening up the throat chakra. Interestingly the blue lace agate I had chosen was also suited for opening up that same chakra. I wondered if there was some significance to us both feeling that particular need.

As she worked with the vendor to learn how to work the bowl, I noticed that something was familiar about their merchandise. I picked up the card at their booth, and realized that this was the very same shop that had featured so prominently in our trip last month to St Petersburg. Pegah had been attracted to the very same bowls that day, and had debated on buying one. Now, on this day, Vikki bright Chris over and they ended up making that purchase that Pegah had stalled out on back in May. There was an invitation to come by the shop for a singing bowl experience, something Vikki wondered if we might do together in the future. You never know, we seem to be moving in bigger and bigger spiritual circles together.

Soon it was time for the festival to close down. It seemed that Vikki had not made the sales she wanted, but we were full of ideas on how she could improve the booth in the future. We parted ways for a bit. They needed to pack up and I needed to recharge my batteries.

We met up again a couple hours later at a diner near the shore. Afterwards, we made our way to the beach as the sun was starting to set. The sand was soft and cool under my bare feet. A dark pink color settled above the pier and lit up the gentle waves that lapped along the shore. We walked for a ways, looking for something sparkly under our feet, something I thought we didn’t find until I looked closely at the photos Vikki took of me there, noticing pools of phosphorescence in front of my toes. Finally, I suggested we head back, as the night was getting late and I had to get up for work early the next morning.

Once back at my hotel, I reconstructed the days events in my head. I reflected on one of the last cards the medium had shared with me, a Greek Goddess to reflect on during this next chapter: Demeter. Demeter was the mother of Persephone, and is thought of in an agricultural sense. She is a reminder to plant and nurture the seeds, and also to remind us to set boundaries. She helps us remember who we are, or the light and power inside ourselves and shows us a path to growth.

The waxing crescent moon is an auspicious time to consider this growth, as it is a time when hope and optimism is high. It is also a time when creative energy is flowing. It is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. I think of that young couple, ready to start a new chapter, and about my own current spiritual and creative journey. Demeter would appreciate that it is also the time to plant seeds and set intentions. My intention is to focus on developing my light, and allow it to illuminate all the surfaces around me, to help me see the entire picture of this circle. In my quest for cosmic understanding, I’m gonna need a little earthshine in my life.