This article first appeared on Mooncircles. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

"Love is the Divine Mother's arms; and when those arms are outspread, every soul falls into them." --Hazrat Inayat Khan

On this Taurus New Moon (May 12), children everywhere will honor their mothers with gifts, flowers, and phone calls of appreciation. For spiritual seekers, however, it is also a day to turn one's soul to the Divine Mother - the Mother of the World. The Venus-ruled, earth sign of Taurus is the embodiment of the feminine image of the Goddess as she is found in all the religions: Astarte, Demeter, Isis, Mary, and Kuan Yin. In Her, we find the image of God as a woman. In Her, we find a different set of values to live by. In Her, we find loving refuge from the suffering of the world. In Her, we feel the heartbeat of empathy for all creatures great and small.

Indeed, as the messenger Mercury in Gemini and cosmic Neptune in Aquarius begin to station retrograde over the next few days, the atmosphere is suffused with an otherworldly aura. With these two planets in harmonious trine to each other, a spiritual message of compassion radiates through the stars. Especially during stationary periods, it is as if we stand on a threshold between dimensions. Thus it is a powerful time to practice positive vizualizations and meditations, drawing down the invisible energy of the Universe into the visible world of creation.

Amid the political and religious tensions roiling the world, a meditation on the Mother of the World could bring a much-needed healing balm. To begin your contemplation, you may wish to bring to mind an image of the Goddess closest to your own path. This may be Isis crowned with a crescent moon; Kuan Yin dispensing drops of compassion on a suffering earth; or the Virgin of Guadalupe with her hands folded in prayer over her heart and her face turned downward in a loving gaze. To draw closer to the image of the Mother of the World in the likeness you have chosen, picture Her in the temple of your heart. Imagine that Her love is radiating outward; like warm sunbeams on a winter day, all the icy defences and "cold spots" melt away in Her presence. The chill that separates you from others vanishes in Her all-forgiving light.

As your meditation deepens, allow the light, love, and warmth of the Mother of the World to spread throughout your body. Then, imagine that this feeling of compassion begins to extend outward in ripples and eddies of empathic magnetism. Like a river rising out of a deep and bottomless well, the waters of light and love spill over from your heart and into your life, healing the differences and distinctions that divide people and bringing much-needed solace to those who suffer. As this sparkling river flows throughout the world, sick children, wounded animals, and unhappy people accumulate along its banks, drawing sustenance from its spiritual waters of compassion. Even Earth's landscape, dying from pollution, revivifies at the Mother's life-giving touch.

As the river of love that is the Divine Mother rises and spreads throughout the world, imagine that all of Creation is healed into wholeness and made green with new life. For if we cannot envision a healthy, loving, peaceful, and creative world, we cannot fashion it through the lives we lead each day. Perhaps more than any other sign, Taurus is about manifestation: making the Goddess real in the small acts of ordinary responsibility common to us all.

Life is not just about paying the bills, doing our jobs, raising our children, or making our art. It's how we do those things. And if we cultivate the gardens of our lives in the compassionate, loving image of the Mother of the World then just maybe, a plant and a plot at a time, the garden-paradise of peace we long for may one day come to pass. Then our lives will be the gifts we offer in gratitude to the Mother of the World.

(Look for the Sagittarius Full Moon Eclipse May 26, 2002!)

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