Leo New Moon and Lammas ranting!


It’s the new moon in Leo today, and Lammas, the Pagan festival celebrating the first fruits of the Harvest (traditionally this is the time for break-making and corn-dollies).  

I’m hopeful that the turning of the wheel will bring smoother days ahead, and the new moon cycle will support this!

The last eclipse cycle was potent, and I am still going through the releasing of the old to make way for the new. Not only is my physical body doing a lot of releasing – I’ve had a relentless cough for the last week, as I cough out the rubbish that stops me from fully speaking my truth - but mentally there’s been the letting go of outdated concepts too. 

I was lucky to attend a workshop with the inspiring Stewart Gilchrist over the weekend as we considered how we can apply the yoga yamasa and niyamas from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (philosophical framework) from 2,000 years ago to life today. 

This was truly enlightening, not only in how we might make these ancient scriptures and teaching more relevant to our modern day living (or excuse for living) but in listening to Stewart speak his truth, which was also fairly much my truth, but I don’t have his courage to always talk so openly, for fear…for fear of being ridiculed, or challenged, or made to feel that I need to get a grip on reality (because this reality is serving us so well isn’t it?!).

This last moon cycle has fairly much been about the heart and throat chakras for me, and as I am part of the collective, and collectively we go through things, even if we sometimes think it is just us going through it all on our little own, then it’s highly likely that your throat and heart chakras have been making themselves known to you too. 

New people have been entering my life and others have been dropping away. What once was aligned is no longer and so there has been (and continues to be) some shifting to accommodate this change. You just know sometimes, don’t you, that things have to change, but making the change is often the tricky bit, as it demands courage. The Leo new moon will give us that courage, so those changes can be made with more conviction this month. 

Where does this leave us? I’d like to try and stay positive and say that once the debris has settled from the eclipses then we’ll be in a much better place as a civilisation and humanity, but with recent political events, I’m not sure we’re through the other side just yet. 

The question remains, will we ever be? We’ve got to hope so haven’t we, but still we’re buying into the illusion. Yoga is a case in point. While I enjoy visiting city studios because of the energy they imbue, I am also tickled and slightly irritated by the commercialisation of yoga and the fact it doesn’t reflect the underlying philosophy.

I pad £3.80 for a small cup of chai! That’s stealing in my opinion! Let alone being charged £17 for a drop-in class (admittedly there are deals that can be had) when you know the teacher is being paid a pittance per hourly rate. It’s not only that, it’s the branding that drives me mad, that yoga has to look a certain way now, Lululemon and Spiritual Gangster are the epitome of this! 

Admittedly, back in the day, long before yoga, I was a surfer and branding meant something to me then. It was really important that I accrue as many t-shirts as I could with the Billabong or Rip Curl logo. It made me feel like I was a proper surfer. Or something like that. As surfing grew in popularity, my interest in it waned. Or at least my interest in the commercialism of it waned.

 It got to a point where I loved surfing for surfing, not for the clothing that came with it. I suppose what I recognised was that I was only ever trying to buy into an illusion. If I wore those branded Rip Curl clothes then I may look the part and be good at surfing, and maybe attract myself a lovely surfer boyfriend in the process. It was a story I played out in my head.

As it happened I was OK at surfing in the end, coming second in the University Nationals my first year at Uni, and I did have a surfing boyfriend for a while, but by then I’d grown weary of the branding and the commercialism of surfing, because I had recognised that none of it was real. What was real was being out in the water, and catching waves, and the feeling that came from this. 

Maybe because of my surfing experience, or maybe because I discovered yoga before it became trendy, and had learned from my surfing experience, I have never bought into the commercialism of yoga. I have a mat. What more do I need? I certainly don’t need clothes that have been designed for yoga and cost an absolute fortune. 

Just like I don’t need a named eye pillow promoting someone’s business (the give-away is in the ‘business’. “Yoga is a spiritual practice”, I want to cry out to anyone who will listen! What right does anyone have to try to ‘own’ it in any way). For some reason the branded eye pillow especially tickles me, it’s like you just can’t escape it, even in Savasana! 

So where was I going with this? See throat chakra has been affected somewhat recently, I’ve started ranting again!

I suppose my point is, that if we buy into the illusion of it all as yoga practitioners (who, in theory are meant to be addressing the five kleshas, the five obstacles, the first of which is ignorance) then there really is no hope. I mean obviously there is always hope, but really, we need to be discerning. This is so important.

Of course this is relevant to all of life, not just the commercialisation of yoga. Discerning what is true for us, not what some marketer has fed us (…often an illusion to sell us a product and make someone money).

So I think this brings me back to my point, if I even had a point, as I feel like I may have just need to rant and get that all off my chest, the bit about the commercialisation of yoga and selling out…ah yes, buying into the illusion.

Let’s stop buying into it! Let’s stop buying what we don’t need for a start. Maybe we need to start saying no more frequently too, Just say no! No more wars. No more trees being cut down for developers gain. No more children being separated from their parents at the US/Mexican border. No more refugees dying as they try to escape to Europe. No more politicians messing with our children’s education. No more wasting food. No more turning our backs on the homeless and people needing help. No more turning a blind eye. No more putting our heads in the sand. No more cruelty to others, animals, humans, plants. No more buying into the commercialisation of yoga (no branded eye-pillows, please!).

Let’s see where the new moon energy lands. If there’s one thing for sure, this new moon is definitely bringing out the roar of the Leo lion!

Happy New Moon and Happy Lammas.



Emma DespresComment