New Moon Musings…From India with HeatherAsh

The world is such an amazing place.

I’m sitting in my room in Rishikesh, India looking out the window at the Ganges river, and writing to you on my little iPad.

On this day before the new moon I’m thinking about new beginnings, darkness, and devotion.

Most of us are familiar with the power of the full moon: We’ve felt the tug of the bright moon pulling us from our sleep, or heard stories of how emergency rooms are extra busy on full moon nights. There is more energy available when the moon is full, and just like the tides are pulled by the moon, our body responds to the moon with an extra jolt of creativity and craziness, for good or for worse. When we mindfully use this energy the full moon is about manifestation, fullness, and expansion.

The power of the new moon is more hidden, but no less important. During the full moon the sun and moon are opposite each other in the sky; during the new moon the sun and moon and conjunct, or together in the sky. Every 28 1/2 days at this time there is no moon visible in the sky for three days. Then we can see a tiny cresent of the moon rising in the east around sunrise or setting in the west around sunset.

The new moon is a time to plant new idea, seeds, and visions. The time between the new moon and the full moon is a time of growing energy, so if you set your intent for something you want to manifest or change in your life you’ll be supported as the moon waxes.

So what new beginning do you want to seed today?

Do you have something you’ve wanted to change in your life, or something you have wanted to start? Do you have a secret wish you are ready to share with the Universe? Are you finally ready to let an old habit go?

Name your desires out loud. During this potent time of planting seeds, get clear about what you want. Ask the Universe, God, Goddess, Creator for guidance and support. Share your dearest wishes from your heart, straight to the heart of the Divine. Share an offering in gratitude: pour a little water on the earth, put flowers under a tree, or put a few forkfuls of your meal on a plate and leave it out for the spirits. Any tiny gift will do. Prayer and asking for your wishes is best embraced by immense gratitude and honoring all that you already have.

During my time in India we are visiting many sites and temples. If you would like me to say an extra prayer for you in this sacred place go to my Facebook author page and look for the post with a picture of the Ganges river… and write your prayers and requests there. I’ll speak your name and ask for blessings for you and your loved ones… And this is an extra special time in India as well! It is Shivaratri, one of the biggest festivals in India celebrating Shiva, a manifestation of the Divine. And there are three other holidays at this time:  our familiar Valentines Day (this year be your own valentine, sweetheart…time for more self-love!) and Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent. And Friday is Chinese New Year; this year we are moving from Rooster to the Year of the Dog, which seems like a good thing to me. Let’s bring more puppy playful loyal dog energy to our days, and less ego and posturing.

Once you ask for what you want, it is important to sit in stillness and embrace darkness.

Darkness is your friend.

When we plant a seed it goes into the darkness of the earth. In our light-centered society we often try to avoid the darkness. But the dark is where the magic happens. In the still void of creation, in the womb of the Mother Earth, all life is birthed. Give yourself a gift: during this dark moon time spend more time in the silence of darkness. In my apartment in New York I have dark out curtains and I used electrical tape to cover every light source so I can sleep in pure darkness. I also turn off my computer and phone at night (I have a “Zen and Now” clock for an alarm). Darkness helps us to integrate and reset, to start again.

Turn your lights off at night and notice where there are still little pinpoints of brightness: the clock on your stove. The light on your heater or air conditioner. That glowing green or blue or red electronic button. Either unplug or use electrical or duct tape to cover any lightn. Your body will rest more deeply if there is no visible light source. And you will be able to get to sleep much more quickly if you do not turn on a light when you go to the bathroom. Learn to trust yourself in the dark, and know that darkness is one of your best friends in soothing, healing, and integrating the brightness of our days.

I love meditating in the early morning darkness, or when I wake up in the middle of the night. This is actually our natural rhythm: to sleep for a bit, wake up in what is called the God Time to read or meditate or pray, and then to sleep again. My friend Clark Strand goes for a walk in the dark in the wee hours of the morning. You can read more about the wisdom of the dark in his book, Waking up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, which is one of my top ten favorite books.

Place your devotion carefully.

Each new moon is a beautiful time to learn to embrace the darkness, and also to get clear about where you are putting your devotion. Have you misplaced your devotion to confusion or worst case scenarios? Or have you given your devotion to a relationship or job or way of being that is no longer serving you?
Your devotion is sacred. It is your heart offering, your soul’s praise of what nourishes it. This new moon may you devote yourself to honoring one of the four elements: air, fire, water, or earth, and how that element sustains you.

The devotion here is India is so inspirational, and for me a homecoming. In the United States it is easy to get hooked to being devoted to shopping, television, and Facebook. Our society is geared around worshipping consumerism and status. But these things leave us unfulfilled, and often feeling like something is wrong with us for feeling empty or that we never have enough. Take a lesson from this ancient culture and turn your devotion to the trees or rivers or sacred places around you. You’ll find when your devotion is to the things that sustain you (what you eat, the sun, the water, the air…) you will feel abundant and grateful. You will remember that you are part of something vast that is working in your favor. You will remember that you are loved by the skies and the earth and the sun, and that you, like every other living creature, has a place in this world.


Maiden, Mother, Creatress 
I want to give a shout out to my dear friend Sarah Rose Marshank, founder of Selfistry and author of a great book, Being Selfish. Sarah and I are doing a workshop together (the only time this year) at the incredibly beautiful 1440 Multiversity in the Santa Cruz mountains. (Think redwoods, a spa, organic meals, peace.) Since Mother’s Day weekend (May 11th – 13th) was the weekend available we decided to teach something brand new for women. Maiden Mother Creatress: Embracing and Healing Our Female Lineage is an intensive to clear the weight of female wounding and open you to the potency of your ancestors’ magic. Mothers, daughters, friends, sisters; all women whether you have a relationship with your mother or not are welcome… All that is required is a willingness to heal the past and be part of a new future.


A conversation with PTSD, with a side of Grief, in the Desert

By Angela McPherson
Written during Warrior Goddess Weekend Sedona, September 2016 with HeatherAsh Amara and Sarah Marshank

Sarah Rose Marshank, HeatherAsh’s best friend is with us for the retreat.  I am instantly fascinated by her and can’t wait to learn some of her knowledge.  As we gather in the meeting room Saturday afternoon, I feel some anxiety enter my body and think to myself, this is going to be a powerful session, so excited!

She wisps around the room talking about energy being held within the body and I find myself nodding with each point she makes.  “Yep, she’s on the same page, speaking the same language, yet her techniques are foreign”.  “We are going to move, dance, shake, jump, whatever you feel you need to do, just go with it, and greet whatever comes up.” She announces.  There are 3 different roles you can take, observing, being with source, or moving. 

“Okay…not really sure how this is going to work, I’m open, lets see what happens.”  The music starts and 53 women start moving, pacing, sitting, praying, all doing what they are intuitively drawn to do.  I choose to walk the perimeter of the room while observing, I chuckle to myself thinking, “yep, of course you start in warrior mode”.  I softly allow myself to open up and let the music in and explore what’s going on in my body. 

My head hurts.  My hands instinctively come up and cup the back of my head as I walk.  Zoning into that area, sliding my fingers over the impact site, it takes me back to my fall in 2007, where I ended up with a minor traumatic brain injury.  Emotions start bubbling up and I start rubbing my head harder and harder, digging my knuckles into the injury site, urging it to release. 

​The tears start to flow, and I panic. “I can’t to this…not here…I can’t do this.”  The shortness of breath takes over, fight or flight kicks in and I’m done.  Triggered, I turn and literally head out of the building into the blistering heat of the sun.  Pacing back and forth in the desert, attempting to regain control of my breath, the conversation in my head starts.

“It’s okay, It’s okay, It’s okay, you are safe.”
“No I am not, I am not opening that door, it’s life threatening.” 
“You are safe, these women have you, you are safe.”
“NO…if you peel that layer I will die.  Literally die, for real, die. Too much pain.”
“Okay, breathe.  Lift your head to the sun, grow your roots and remember where you are and who you are with.”“You don’t understand, you are not listening, I will seriously die….like leave this planet, die”
Paralyzing fear rips through my body as tears stream down my face.  
“Do you remember who you are here with?  You came here to have these powerhouse women hold you. You love HeatherAsh.  Remember HeatherAsh said Sarah is strong enough to hold her?  If she can hold HeatherAsh, she can hold you.” 
“Sigh, I remember…….I can’t, it’s too painful.” 
“Okay, then why don’t we just go back in and sit in the observer’s chair?  You don’t have to go there.”  
“Okay fine, but I”m not opening up….I’m just watching.” 
“Okay fine, let’s go.”

I dried my tears, prayed for protection, and slowly walked back into the building.  I found a chair along the wall and slowly started tapping back into the energy and healing of the session.  Committed to moving some of the energy out, I found myself slipping out of my chair and sitting in the middle of the floor, allowing the women to dance around me as I stretched.  I started relaxing into the music and allowing some deep breathing to come into my body.

The voices of angels entered my soul, a deep base tone ran through my body as the speakers vibrated the most powerful “ohms” over and over and over and with each one, more and more emotion erupted through my soul. 

Waves upon waves of dizzying emotion, trauma, anger, abandonment crashed through me over and over.  

The ugly snot cry commenced and with it a blinding flash of fear. I came out of my body and back into my head and realized I had Sarah Rose to my right and HeatherAsh to my left, whisping around, doing their thing and holding space. 

Knowing my container was being held, feeling their energy tapped into mine, I let go and allowed my fear to aggressively turn into grief. So much grief;  sobs and sobs of volcanic meltdown, heart wrenching pain coming from deep within my soul. 

Grieving loss; loss of a career, loss of relationships, loss of a child still living.  

My heart ached like it was physically going to break, my right hand crossed over my chest to hold the ribs in place over my heart as I was sure they were going to snap as I sobbed.

I grieved for that child, those first couple of years after my head injury, her loss.  How profoundly it affected her and our relationship to this day.  More heart break, more sobbing, unpeeling deeper and deeper layers, praying for forgiveness and healing.  Raw, ravaging, aching pain, deep breathing in between the unbelievable amount of tears, whilst pushing my chest harder with my palms praying my ribs wouldn’t break. 

“ooohhhmmmmm aaahhhhhh oommmmm”

The pure angelic voices took over and my shredded heart started to calm.  An immense sigh emerged from my soul and sheer exhaustion started slowly creeping in.  My entire body throbbed in pain as I melted into the floor, allowing the vibration of the music sooth me as beautiful souls danced around me.  Vibrations shifted as I drifted out of my body and allowed it to clear and heal. 

“oooohhhmmmm aaaaahhhhh oooommmmmm”.

I slowly picked myself up off the floor, feeling drugged and hazy, and made my way outside into the sun. Lifting my face to the heat, completely open, I felt the energy of the Universe embrace my soul and permeate every inch with pure clarity…….

“You are enough”

“We did it…YAY…can you believe it!?  And we didn’t die!” 

“Hmmppf…perhaps you were right….this time.”

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