THE EMOTIONAL PLANE OF REALITY IS AS VAST AND MYSTERIOUS AS THE PHYSICAL.
The elemental model of our human nature teaches us to give attention to, and to seek balance between, four aspects of our being. The four elements ‘manifest’ in us as body (earth), mind (air), spirit (fire) and emotion (water).
We live in confusing times. The predominant mainstream culture preaches a scientific, materialist, rational take on the world, with spiritual and religious perspectives sidelined. The internet reveals that many people the world over are involved in the alternative subculture of mystical, new age, astrological exploration. Amidst the melee of voices and offerings, it stands out to me that the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of being are widely explored and discussed but the emotional level of existence is under appreciated and poorly understood. I see people who have pursued and found rewards from spirituality and self-development but who do not appreciate the very real, visceral, effect of the ever shifting waters of the emotional field of reality and who do not seem to get that the Goddess has given us a great big barometer to use in order to understand the emotional plane – the Moon.
Through pagan practices we can shift ourselves away from the soul-denying mainstream culture and from the often body-denying, sex and pleasure-phobic religions, towards a reconnection with the natural world and the eternal cycles of the cosmos, We can re-engage ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally with the Creation of which we are both a product and an integral part. We are not separate from it, but our minds have in general been so conditioned to believe that we are isolated individuals, that separation is all we usually experience. Through the emotional body we can have the most direct experience of interconnectedness.
Through understanding the nature of the element of water we can gain insight into the emotional reality. The planet’s oceans and tides are under the influence of the Moon and so it is with the emotional body. At Full Moon emotions are strong and demand expression, at Dark Moon there is a strong inward pull, and we can feel emotionally, and energetically, low. When the emotions are heavy or very inward, it reduces the amount of physical energy available to us. While the Moon is waning there is a gradual inward shift, then an outward move again after the New Moon.
The Moon moves each month through the 12 signs of the zodiac, reflecting back to us the various aspects of being as it does so. Spending 2.5 days in each sign, the Moon – and the emotional field – moves through a repeating pattern of FIRE – EARTH – AIR – WATER. If we follow the path of the moon in our awareness, eg using a moon diary to know in which sign the moon is each day, and to deepen our knowledge of the qualities associated with that sign and its element, we will soon get to notice the repeating patterns in our own energy bodies.
Fire and Air Moons are more expansive and outgoing than Earth and Water Moons, for example. Fire Moons can get us energised, creative and active, Water Moons often call us to rest, dream and take care of ourselves, they give us chance to deepen relationships and also to release old or stuck emotions from our energy field. Earth moons are very focussed and practical in their spirit, while Air Moons can call us to share our feelings, our hopes and visions.
The key to happiness or suffering about this ebb and flow of the emotional field lies in the mind. The stories we tell ourselves in our head are heard by the subconscious, which then feeds back an emotional reaction. If we frame our experiences in dark tales of suffering and self-judgement we create more dark feelings in our own being. Of course the inner being knows that we are in reality not these dark tales, it knows we are in fact bright light and divine love and nothing else, so it is also holding on in there and waiting for us to turn our thoughts around and bring ourselves into alignment and inner harmony.
Attuning to the Pagan Wheel of the Year and knowledge of the Moon and other cosmic cycles re-integrates us into the divine plan, gives us the tools to drop the fear that the belief in separation engenders in our subconscious. Astrology as a practice is not necessarily about knowing what’s coming in the future – though once we have an understanding of the powerful underlying elemental energies that are constantly influencing our feelings we can hope to navigate life’s seas more effectively and joyfully – it exists to help us know our part in the vast unified play of consciousness, it helps us explore archetypal energies, the interrelation of physical, emotional, spiritual and mental energies, revealing that we are all reflections of each other and of the cosmos, weaving patterns in our lives just as the planets dance through the constellations in the sky.
The most direct way to know and experience ourselves as an interconnected being, part of a collective consciousness, is through our feelings, through the emotional body. It helps to take on board that on all levels of reality – physical, spiritual, mental and emotional – we are partakers of a greater unity. Our body-minds are equipped not simply to know ourselves as individuals, but as the Whole also, if we choose to access that part of our nature. Psychedelic and sacred medicinal drugs can be a fast route to understanding this, but applying that knowledge practically and effectively in our lives requires dedication and self-awareness on our part. The Pagan Path attunes us to the greater whole and gives us the tools to do this in very practical ways.
A great challenge on the spiritual path is to become the master of our own emotional body. Energetic waves – energy in motion – rise and fall, hitting our consciousness, threatening our balance and equanimity, taking us on emotional roller coasters. The very linear focus of many spiritual paths tell us we should be aiming for a goal of enlightenment and awareness that is usually presented as a static state. But we do not live on a stable, static planet – it wobbles on its axis – and we should not expect our emotions, or our lives, to be any different. Water is the element of emotion, and the amount of water vs land on this earth should tell us that the emotional level of being is very real, very important and central to our experience here. Paganism reveals to us the cycles of life and how to align with them for maximum benefit, for oneself and the whole.
We are challenged while here on Earth to grow in all four parts of our Being – to grow physically and discover what we can do with these bodies; to develop our minds, our intellect and understanding; to expand spiritually on the journey of self-discovery and self-realisation; and to build a strong emotional body. The soul in us wants experiences that make it grow – it treats all life’s events with an equanimity our minds can usually only aspire to – because through emotional experiences, both dark and light, we grow in strength, character, wisdom, passion and the ability to channel the powerful vibrations that the soul seeks to bring into this world.
The emotional plane is a level of reality in which we all partake. Eventually we reach a point in ourselves where old emotions from our past no longer bother us, and the ebb and flow of happiness, sadness, anger, emptiness and love are accepted, even enjoyed. At that point we are free to raise emotional energy consciously, to connect ourselves body-mind-emotion in order to positively and generously add to the abundance of joy, love and bliss in the world, also to add tears of compassion. We can connect our own emotional field to the collective field, to the universal emotional plane, which is as vast, as complex, as fascinating and as divine as the physical universe, and is awaiting our explorations and our offerings of love, compassion and joy as we each help to raise the frequencies of the collective human emotional and spiritual planes.