Wild Iris

It’s spring! With the new moon in Taurus today, April 26, 2017, it’s a great time to plant seeds, literal and figurative. I’ll be putting my tomato seedlings in the ground this afternoon and sowing basil, too. I’ll also make a “list of intentions for the future”, as many pagans do at the new moon. For me though, that word, “Intentions” sounds prayerful and spiritual, but it’s forever wedded to the road to Hell. Intentions are vague and dreamy, full of lost ideas and things I meant to do. I intended to ride roller coasters last summer, and though I thought about it a lot, it never happened.

Setting intentions, saying a prayer, making a vision board, or doing a ritual, are all attempts to manipulate the future. For me, a large part of what needs to be manipulated is my brain. I need to understand the thing I want is possible for me to achieve. That’s easy with plants, but what about long term goals? Envisioning myself on the sailboat I will some day buy as a result of my book proceeds is helpful, but for me, it’s like click bait. I don’t often get what I came for but it feels like I’m trying to learn something. That sailboat fantasy doesn’t make me sit down at the computer to write, it makes me reach for a margarita so I can really sink into the beautiful sunset on the sea. Ahhh.

That’s why I quit setting intentions. Instead, I make plans. Want your magic to work, your prayers to be answered? Along with your spiritual practice, commit an act that brings you closer to your goal. If you keep a journal or a book of shadows, include the practical plans. Break them down. “Get my book published” is way too dreamy to take action on. Make a list of how to get to the goal, broken down into tiny bits. For me, that list clears away all the little doubts, all the “Pfft! You can’t do that!” remarks my brain chucks at me. That list is just as much a part of my spiritual journey as conversing with my deity. Why wouldn’t your god want to be in on the nuts and bolts?

So instead of setting my intention, er, creating this plan today: “Get my book published,” I’m going with “Tuesdays are publicity days. I’ll publish a post of some kind every week, goal being Tuesday.” I’ll lay odds that my deity, The Universe, doesn’t give a rat’s ass that today is Wednesday. It’s not fault finding and punitive like that. Tuesdays will work for me even if they are initiated on a Wednesday.

Which brings me to another point- flexibility. Sometimes plans change. Sometimes, better things come along. I can’t describe how embarrassing, painful and arduous it has been for me to do that sometimes, but it always hurts worse to stick with a plan that’s failing than to admit it and change. Those plan changes are much smoother when they happen in a state of action than when I try to break out of meandering stagnation. Do you set intentions at the new moon? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Namaste! Bright blessings to you!

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