Just before dawn, a lunar eclipse in a Leo full moon occured. And today, you may be feeling it’s effects. I know I am. Depending on your sun sign, rising sign, and of course, your moon sign, the effects of the blue moon Leo lunar eclipse will be felt differently between people. But one thing is for sure: The eclipse can bring up different feelings, forgotten memories, and can signify an ending of one thing and beginning of another. After all, you need the dark to see and appreciate the light, and eclipses can be powerful turning points, helping you shed your old skin and become your biggest, deepest, best, and truest self.
I’m a Libra with a Cancer moon, and I am feeling this eclipse. Memories have come up, I’m mourning things I’ve lost. I’m thinking about the future. And I know sometimes, the best thing you can do during any major moon event is to take a step back, breathe, indulge in some self-care, and trust that the rhythms of the universe will add clarity.
Which brings us to self-care. It’s a huge buzzword, and it’s such a tricky concept to unpack. Is drinking a bottle of wine and bitching with friends self care? What about ordering indulgent takeout or ignoring your to-do list in favor of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix?
The answer for all those circumstances, at least in my own life, is sometimes … but try harder.
When we’re feeling emotional, when the sun sets in the late afternoon, and when we’re bundling up in our coats and scarves and mittens, it can be easy to do what feels good. But is what feels good the same thing that feeds our souls?
What I’m learning is no. In the moment, cuddling under the covers with takeout and Netflix feels awesome. But the next day? At least for me, not so much. For me, self-care has become equated with self-indulgence, and this eclipse season, I’m determined to try to separate the two.
To be clear, there isn’t anything wrong with takeout and Netflix and a lazy night ignoring your inbox. It’s the consecutive days, the knee-jerk reaction that this is something you need to feel better, that becomes the problem. I’m looking for self-care that feeds my soul, that builds on itself, that connects me to other people, the world, and the universe. Here, some strategies I’m going to explore to maximize eclipse season, which lasts until a partial soloar eclipse in Aquarius on February 15.
Journal. Eclipses can make us nostalgic. I’ve been pulling out old journals and reading through past years. This has inspired me to pick up a journal again and begin writing—I haven’t done so in awhile, and in missing out on writing things down (in handwriting!) not only am I missing a record of who I am right now, I’m also missing out on a powerful way to connect to my subconscious—which is key, since eclipses can crank up our intuition.
Forgive myself. When I’m reading those old journals, I also feel a lot of anger and annoyance at my old self. Why was I so impulsive? Why was I so afraid to say what I felt? Instead of getting caught up in the shoulds, what I want to do this eclipse is forgive myself. It’s the past. I need to let it go, honor the person I was, and step forward into the person I’ll become. We’re always changing and evolving. We will always make mistakes. And we always have the ability to change and grow.
Make an effort. Back to the Netflix thing—an example I bring up because it’s what I do most often: Instead of just watching by myself, I’m going to make an effort to invite other people over to watch me. If not, I’m going to have a few other self-care ideas for how to spend time in my back pocket. I can do a 20-minute yoga sequence, I could cook, I could read a book or write for fun. The idea is to have a rich list of ways I can spend time that can also nurture me, making me feel more fulfilled and happier.
Make the first move. A full moon in Leo cranks up our courageous side. I want to try to do something that scares me at least once a day. I want to ask for what I want, go places I haven’t been before, and get outside of my comfort zone a bit. One heart-racing task a day is my plan.
Get outside. The full moon in the early morning was beautiful. And I slept through it! But when I saw photos, I realized, who cares if it’s cold, who cares if it’s February, the best way to connect to the rhythm of the universe (which, after all, is the rhythm of us) I want to feel the cold. I want to see the stars. I want to see my breath in the air. I want discomfort, because in discomfort is beauty.
What about you? What are your eclipse self-care strategies?
Lead photo courtesy of Horoscope.com’s managing editor, Narayana Montúfar. Find her on Instagram @naramonart.
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