Fill your mind with the meaningless stimuli of a world preoccupied with meaningless things, and it will not be easy to feel peace in your heart.
— Marianne Williamson
The Moon reached Her fullness this morning at 2:30 am, Dec. 2nd, Eastern time (or 7:30 am UTC; or 11:30 pm last night, December 1st, if you’re in the Pacific time zone).
Astrologer Dan Furst notes that this Full Moon is in Gemini, and therefore opposite the Sun in Sagittarius. He tells us that it is typically one of the year’s most festive and joyous, combining as it does the hearty enthusiasm and cheer of Jupiter, ruler of the sign of the Archer, and the quick communicativeness of Mercury, who rules Gemini. Both are, “aligned at the feast-while-you-can moment just before the onset of winter.”
In Celtic, Druid and Pagan calendars, this December Full Moon is called Oak Moon. It is also the Moon of the Long Nights, as it precedes the observances of Mother Night and the Winter Solstice.
It certainly reminds us that we are nearing the threshold of Winter, and traveling through the very darkest part of the year (although our friends below the equator are gearing up for High Summer). It seems appropriate, then, that we are now going to be facing some of our most stubborn, pernicious blocks on The Artist’s Way.
These are the truly toxic choices we make, and then defend with righteous indignation. So often, we can see how this occurs in other people, but are blind to how our own behaviors sabotage our creative efforts.
For instance, Julia notes that for some blocked creatives, food is a major contributor to shutting down the artist within. The frightened artist may feel that things are going too fast, the creative process is too intense and out-of-control. So they reach for the junk food. All those heavy carbs, sugar and fat result in a system that clogs up, slows down. This can slam the brakes on all that energy and possibility of — yikes! — change! Quick – back to the comfort zone of dullness, low energy, fuzzy focus, and the set point we discussed earlier.
In other words, we stay blocked.
It’s no coincidence that The Artist’s Way is formulated in a 12-step format. For many, many blocked artists, alcohol is the number one preferred block. You may recall Julia describing her own dance with drink earlier in the book. For years, she used alcohol as a jet fuel for her writing, using its brief window of expansiveness and intensity to scribble out her work, before the buzz wore off, leaving her sick and empty. The same launch and crash ride is also available in a number of drugs, again, often widely used by artists telling themselves lies about their creativity and talent.
Many others turn to workaholism as the block of choice. “Busy, busy, busy,” she writes knowingly, “they grab for tasks to numb themselves with. They can’t take a half hour’s walk. ‘What a waste of time!’ Must-dos and multiple projects are drawn to them like flies to a soda can in the sun. They go, ‘Buzz, buzz, buzz, swat!’ as they brush aside the stray thought that was the breakthrough insight.”
Pretty grim stuff. Well, hang in there. Tomorrow, we’ll examine a couple more of these deeply rooted, and very common demons. And then we’ll talk about how to recognize and heal our own.
For now, though, I invite you to just notice. Do you see any of this in yourself? How about the ways that these behaviors play out for more public artists? I welcome you to share your thoughts and observations.