Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,
As we enter into Virgo season astrologically, August 23rd to September 21st, I always think of the archetype of the Virgin. Have you ever heard the more accurate translation of "virgin" as meaning whole within oneself? It was used to describe a free woman: independent, autonomous, untied.
With this definition, the question about when you lost your virginity is replaced with, "When did you reclaim it?" When did you remember the importance of honoring all different aspects of yourself? When did you remember that you are free, whole within yourself? Wholeness often requires the heart's vision to be felt because the ego's superpower is separation. While the ego compartmentalizes and creates hierarchy, the power of love accepts and unites all things beyond duality.
Can you recall a moment in your life when you relaxed deeply enough into your essence that you felt acceptance for all things and people as they are? This rarely happens through thinking alone. For me, the moments of deepest remembering happen through following the feeling of physical sensation back to its source, the wise, wild and free essence inside you, which is what each Qoya class is designed to do.
We start by setting sacred space, offering our reverence for the gift of being alive and feeling grateful for the forces, known and unknown, seen and unseen, that support us. We set an intention to co-create with spirit and plant that intention like a seed in our hearts, the time and space where we're dancing, and finally in the earth. We water the seed with circling, reclaiming the water element in our bodies and the world by flowing from one movement to the next, releasing inhibitions around what the movement looks like and focusing on what it feels like. We ask ourselves, "Whatever is going in in our inner or outer world, are we willing to open our hearts again?" then make movements that express our willingness. After following our hearts' lead, we then drop into our lower heart and follow our hips, exploring what it feels like when our hips have a voice in our conversation with our bodies. We explore how to speak our intention through the body by offering our yoga movements as prayer, doing this both for ourselves and for others, wishing that their intentions manifest and standing with them literally in our poses as a gesture of solidarity. We then explore the opposite of the theme in our shadow contrast dance, expanding our capacity to stay present in potential discomfort to embrace our wholeness, turning towards ourselves rather than away. Exercising discernment, we keep whatever information is useful and release any denser energy we no longer require through shaking. Shaking ultimately tests the hypothesis of Qoya: through movement, can we truly come back to ourselves? We then dance to embrace the power of play; like a much needed vacation, we dance for fun, for joy. We remember the part of ourselves that can heal through savoring and not just through sorrow. We set ourselves free and dance as such, returned back to ourselves. We then share our journey with a partner, honoring the importance of witnessing and being witnessed. We thank our bodies for being the vessels that make our soulful embodiments possible, blessing our bodies with stretching. And then we rest.
At its essence, Qoya means "queen," but not the queen from fairy tales in a bejeweled, emotionally distant position of inherited power. Qoya means queen as in sovereign. It means queen as in Virgin. It means queen as in whole within oneself. I also think of Qoya as the humble queen who serves the earth as a conduit of the stars. She understands that being embodied on Earth is a rare opportunity to learn from the master teacher of the consciousness of Gaia. For each question that comes into her awareness, all she needs to do is look outside at nature, and her answers will be as obvious as seeing the wind blow through the trees when she is open to receive.
If you find yourself on the path of reclaiming and feeling the call to explore what is necessary so that you may see yourself, others, and the earth each whole within itself, you just may find your individual journey is synchronistically embedded into the stars.
Our resident astrologer Virginia Rosenberg shares:
The New Moon in Virgo on August 30, 2019 (6:36am EST) is an apothecary. This Earth is a library of medicine. Materia medica: a body of useful substances with therapeutic and healing properties. These gifts are not resources to be mined or forested, but sensitive organs to be revered, allied with, and tended to with care. This Earth is comprised entirely of the Sacred. Pray on it; don’t prey on it. The Earth is not a thing. It is everything. A rich place in an infinite nowhere sparkling with lights. Harmonic and impeccable. The perfect Earth belongs to itself. The Earth is a body—a being—made up of many beings and interdependent systems of intelligence. Each element, every intricate detail, serves a function of health for the whole. This body is a self-healing system—if we support it, love it, and let it be. The nature of Earth is wellness. This planet is made of medicine. We, too, are medicine. To be human on this planet is to be like the planet herself. Whole unto ourselves. Attracting, fertilizing, growing, giving wonders. This process can not be exploited. Harvest is not the same as extraction. Offerings can never be commodified. We are not here to tamper with or improve upon this planet. Not to criticize or civilize it. Such efforts are anxious and fruitless. We are here to be stewards, cooks, craftspeople, devoted in our reverence. Putting our hands in the mud. Putting out fires. Living in service to all beings. Being patient and accepting the harvest as it comes. Fulfilling our roles of digesting life. Helping nutrients further metabolize and feed. New Moons are for setting intentions. Let this lunation be the new beginning of living your medicine Now.
To embody this energy of wholeness, we invite you to join us for a whole Qoya class! This month, several Qoya teachers have joined together to offer a class with the theme "Trusting Your Inner Wisdom." Click here to find the closest class near you.
Another option is to create some space in your home and follow this class online titled Go Within.
If you're looking for something shorter, visit our movement ritual page here to choose something that feels like it is best aligned to reclaim whatever piece is necessary to step into the embodiment of being whole within yourself.
With a whole lotta' love,
Want to become a Qoya teacher before the end of 2019?
There's still time! We have several Initiation trainings (including an online training!) coming up this autumn which leaves you with plenty of time to teach your 11 practice classes to friends and family before the Intensive with Rochelle Schieck at the Menla Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York near Woodstock this November.
Click here for all the dates and details, and please hit reply on this email with any questions.
Qoya and Writing Retreat in Miami
October 4 - 6, 2019
Join Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy for a weekend of Qoya and writing at the renowned Standard spa and hotel in South Beach, Miami.
Initiation Teacher Training will also be offered!
Click here to learn more.
Qoya and Writing Retreat in Bali
October 20 - 27, 2019
Join Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy for a week of Qoya and writing at a lush, newly renovatd private retreat center in the enchanted land of Bali.
Click here to learn more.
To continue diving into the energy of this moon, you may also be inspired to check out the Embodied Astrology: Virgo course which includes an introductory video to give you an overview of Virgo's aspects, a Qoya Movement Ritual so you can embody your own personal relationship to Virgo, an integration video with an exercise to apply in your life, worksheets with journal prompts, and a blessing for deep reflection.
Click here to learn more.
Love this blog?
Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.
RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE
Miami Retreat with Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy: October 4 - 6, 2019
India Retreat with Rochelle Schieck: October 13 - 22, 2019 - SOLD OUT
Bali Retreat with Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy: October 20 - 27, 2019
Hawaii Retreat with Rochelle Schieck: January 5 - 12, 2020 - enrollment opens soon!
Collective Retreat in Costa Rica: March 28 - April 4th, 2020 - enrollment opens soon!
INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS
Online Initiation with Sara Ballard: September 7 - 15, 2019
Miami Retreat with Betsy Blankenbaker Murphy: October 3 - 6, 2019
Studland, England with Sonja Lockyer: November 2 - 3, 2019
New Zealand Initiation with Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian: November 23 - 24, 2019
Paris, France with Claire Garin: February 15 - 16, 2020
INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS
Woodstock, New York with Rochelle Schieck: November 18 - 24, 2019
Blue Spirit, Costa Rica with Rochelle Schieck: April 4 - 11, 2020
New Zealand with Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian: October 21 - 28, 2020