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Scorpio Full Moon: Life Lessons on Letting Go

I’m delighted to share this Full Moon offering from my dear friend and podcasting partner, Jen Braun! ~ April

by Jen Braun

I never saw it coming: The moment that changed everything.

When I woke up on that crisp Minnesota morning in the fall of 2014, it was a day like any other: ordinary, unremarkable. I grabbed my coffee, took a shower, brushed my teeth. I barely noticed my feet beneath me – or the vibrant leaves from our ancient maple tree in a continual free fall, offering an unspoken message on how to let go.

Less than 12 hours later, everything would be different for me. But that watershed moment – which I now recognize in hindsight – was a slow, steady drum, arriving over years, beat by beat; an interminable number of days spent realizing that although my right foot was still attached, it wasn’t holding me up. The container of my body – which used to work so effortlessly – had suddenly failed me.

The following months and years would bring me back to a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately as the pandemic unfolds: “When will things go back to normal? When does this end?”

Let’s hop into the way-back time machine and surveil that autumn morning: There I am sipping my coffee, clearly understanding that life is headed in a new direction – two days prior, I’d announced that I was leaving the nonprofit I’d co-founded in order to take a sabbatical year. I’d spent 21 years working in child welfare and wanted to pursue other dreams.

I had plans and expectations. And I grasped tightly to both.

So, I knew I was on a journey. I just didn’t realize I was heading into a five-year Cosmic Waiting Room, on a painful yet transformational path that would be physically and emotionally demanding. Perhaps I should have stayed safely at my job and not taken any risks. Surely then the signature of time would have progressed differently, and the horse that stomped on my foot would have instead moved two inches to the right – missing my boot-clad extremity, thereby relieving me of the nerve damage that has left me worse for the wear while I learn to walk again. Or would it?

There I was, propelled into something deep and messy and uncertain.

The following months and years would bring me back to a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately as the pandemic unfolds: “When will things go back to normal? When does this end?”

Journeys don’t always turn out the way we think they will. But sometimes, how we view the journey changes. And sometimes our outer journeys transform our inner ones, instead of the other way around.

The Full Moon on May 7th (5:45 am CDT) is at 18 degrees Scorpio and – like all Full Moons – offers us a chance for examination, to see what is in front of us fully illuminated. Scorpio is the sign of transformation. Of magic. But also – of letting go, of release, of death. This Full Moon calls us to observe: What is life showing you? Sometimes, for new things to begin, something else must end.

I know a thing or two about endings, although letting go has never been easy for me. As David Foster Wallace wrote, “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” Born with lots of Scorpio energy – as well as other “fixed” (read: stubborn/tenacious) planetary traits – I’m a person who has lived life with determination, intensity, and at times the difficult task of figuring out life’s expiration dates: Will I ever walk around the block again, on my own two feet?  Will I ever walk without pain? Is it time to stop striving toward an unreachable goal?

Meanwhile, the Sun makes its trek through Taurus, representing our material needs, our physical form, the ground beneath our feet. The Sun and Moon together ask us to balance the tangible with the intangible; the mysterious with the known; the practical, earthly realm with the unknowable things beyond this world we cannot see.

How are you doing spiritually? How can you transform the parts of your life that are ready to be released?

Scorpio is the sign of transformation. Of magic. But also – of letting go, of release, of death. This Full Moon calls us to observe: What is life showing you? Sometimes, for new things to begin, something else must end.

It’s been a hard balance, this idea of sitting in uncertainty, holding my plans without clinging to them – having them in mind yet allowing for the unexpected. As someone who tends to see things through to the very end, I’ve learned that the trick is knowing when the end is.

We never know how things will turn out, and as Pema Chödrön teaches, “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy… Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.”

Today, for the first time in ages, I walked to the end of the block, turned around, and returned home. Sure, I had help from my “speed sticks” (the staffs formerly known as crutches). And only one minute of that walk was unaided. But I did it. Literally one foot in front of the other.

Perhaps this Scorpio Full Moon is asking us to let go of our expectations of what this moment should be, and instead notice it – in all its sacred, earthly glory – for what it truly is.

When will this be over? As for me, I’ll make my plans and have my dreams.

Concurrently, I’ll pause outside my door, put my face to the Sun, and take one step into this beautiful world. I’ll let go of wondering whether I’ll make it to the end of the block tomorrow.

Like the wise October maple tree, I’ll bear spring in mind, while releasing what no longer serves.

©2020 Jen Braun. To learn more about Jen, visit her website.

Jen Braun is an astrological enthusiast and the co-host and producer of the Big Sky Astrology podcast. She spent over twenty years working with teens in the field of adoption and foster care, and co-founded Ampersand Families, an award-winning Minneapolis nonprofit that finds and supports adoptive parents for the oldest and longest-waiting kids in the foster care system. Jen lives in Minnesota with her wife and two goofy dogs, and can usually be persuaded to leave her house with promises of puppies and chocolate. Reach Jen by email.

11 comments to " Scorpio Full Moon: Life Lessons on Letting Go "

  • A beautiful sharing, thank you! It certainly puts things into perspective.

  • Barbara I. Wengler

    It is an interesting time. I agree – loving what is seems to make most sense. Life can change in a moment and yes, that’s what makes it a beautiful journey. I wish you health and happiness whatever comes your way.

  • Sheila

    Ahhhh……the fall of 2014. I knew something was wrong, but I could not pinpoint the reason for my feeling. I was taking a class in discovery at the time and the other participants told me that I kept saying, “something is wrong”, but I do not remember saying that…..just feeling it.
    My son and daughter-in-law were expecting their first child and he was born on December 3. When he was 3 days old, his mother collapsed and she was gone. It was determined that she had had a condition for all of her life that could have taken her at any time.
    The days following were intense and I became a new mother at the age of 68. Fast forward into the magical world of one wonderful little being. We have endured many things together, he and I. Our world today is just one more uncertainty on our little journey.
    We are working through this Pandemic and all of the changes it has brought about. Things are uncertain for all of us and we are all learning. We are doing preparation work for his entry into kindergarten (if that ever happens) and learning to persevere even when the going gets tough. He is learning to enjoy things he previously disliked because he felt that he was not good at them. We learn that practice and follow through in every aspect of our lives is critically important, no matter the outcome….just enjoy the process and appreciate whatever happens.
    As you say, Jen, ” There I was, propelled into something deep and messy and uncertain.”. In this case, unbeknownst to me, I was about to be touched by the grace of God, this child is my passion, my heart, and my soul. I needed him and he needed me. He is also my grounding rock in these days of uncertainty. We just keep moving forward, as you say, “one foot in front of the other”! We are learning to go with the flow and appreciate the ride as we go, to be creative and make our own world happen, one day at a time, because we have to. Things are no longer easy, time to learn our lessons.
    Thank you for your insightful article, there is much to think about in your words. I hope that soon you will be walking without your “speed sticks”, with many, many more unaided moments to come on your journey.

    • Jen Braun

      Sheila, what a poignant story. Thank you for sharing. Going with the flow is so much easier said than done sometimes, isn’t it? Sending out good thoughts for you and your little grounding rock. (I bet you’re his rock, too!)

  • I’m here balling my eyes out. I’ve been listening to the podcast. And to read this. And to see that bright beautiful face I am a soggy pile of feels. There is so much I wanna avalanche in this comment but gosh allll I can do is feel. If there’s one area I’d love to transform right now through releasing its following the rules haha or this petty idea that you’re gonna be trouble for following your heart. And my heart right now wants a wiener dog.

    • Jen Braun

      I’m definitely NOT the one to ask about a wiener dog… I am notoriously pro-puppy, and on top of that, I adore doxies! 😂 Thank you for your sweet comment, and for listening to the podcast!

  • Paula

    Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate to so much of it!! I’ve lived for my whole life with “foot problems” but I somehow managed to be active and enjoyed many thing anyway.

    Fast forward and after five car accidents I had nerve damage in both feet. I spent well over a year barely able to ambulate for necessary functions.

    After that six years of progressed injury to left foot. Wound that would not heal. A parade of doctors seen, special shoes, disability staring me in the face. Extreme worry that I would have an amputation.

    A little over a year ago I walked into the clear. A little bit. A planet changed signs (I’m trying to remember which one!) and I couldn’t believe it! Healed! I am gingerly trying to use my feet more. Also trying herbal remedies to keep feet from further outbreak. About to experiment with herbal possibilities to soothe the raging nerve pain from nerve damage. I don’t want to give up.

    Very interesting to hear/read your story.

    • Jen Braun

      Paula, thank you for reading, and for taking the time to share your story. Wishing you health and peace!

  • Suze Braun

    Great writing, Jen! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your words remind me to have a “beginner’s mind” with things and to remain as mindful as possible as I go through my day. I’m impressed by your use of metaphors and appreciate the quotes you included. I look forward to reading more of your essays in the future!

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