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

"My lords, the present occasion is too serious to allow me to follow the convention that a woman should not speak in a man's council. Those whose interests are threatened by extreme danger should think only of the wisest course of action, not of conventions." --Roman Empress Theodora

These brave words spoken in the year 532 echo the courage of antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan. Indeed, this New Moon in the patient earth sign of Virgo--archetype of the Great Mother--reflects the gentle revolution begun by a bereaved mother whose son was sacrificed to war. Uranus in visionary Pisces--the planet of revolution in the sign of peace and compassion--closely opposes both Sun and Moon. A conjunction between loving Venus and expansive Jupiter in the peacemaking sign of Libra reflects the power of a mother's love to awaken hearts to the pain injustice inflicts on the lives of ordinary people. Likewise, the intensity of newly direct Pluto casts the whole drama in stark terms of life and death.

As above, so below, goes the ancient astrological axiom. Thus this New Moon presents a cosmic opportunity to take our loftiest principles and ground them in reality. So on this day and over the coming days, take time to align your soul with the archetype of peace. Because there can be no peace on earth without a vision of peace to guide us, the following meditation can be used as a source of inspiration:

Meditation on Peace

"To meditate on peace, find a quiet place to spend a few moments in contemplation. As you settle into a serene state of mind, imagine that the spirits of peace are drawing close to you. You may wish to repeat the Hebrew phrase "shalom" for peace, the Arabic word "salaam," the Hindu phrase "shanti," or simply the word peace. Next, imagine that you are sitting on the shore of a stormy lake with ruffled waves. Feel the intensity of the turbulent waters; the thundering skies. Then, imagine that the lake is beginning to calm. Slowly, the wind dies down, and the surface of the lake, like the surface of your heart and mind, becomes as clear as a lucid diamond. The storm disperses, and the sky becomes clear and cloudless. A holy presence permeates the scene. The Sun begins to dip in the sky, sinking lower into the horizon, and the stillness of twilight deepens. The presence of angels who guard the borders between the visible and the invisible can be felt.

Then, something magical transpires: a visionary landscape appears above the lake, hovering in the air. As your heart thrills to the sight, you recognize it as Avalon, Camelot, Shangri-la, the heavenly city of Jerusalem--that mystical city where all creatures coexist in harmony. Music fills the air and beauty is everywhere--in the faces of the people, in the shape of the buildings, and in the absence of malice or envy. Angels and other evolved beings walk the streets, mingling with human beings.
You see the Buddha, Christ, Mary, St. Francis, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Muhammed, Kuan Yin, Gandhi, White Buffalo Woman, and many other holy figures. Transported, you, too, participate in the life of this luminous city of peace. A visiting pilgrim, your soul drinks from the sacred well of serenity. A memory stirs as you realize that you, too, are a citizen of this city of peace.

Ever so gently, the vision begins to fade from sight. The wind picks up, rustling the branches of the trees, whipping up the surface of the lake. The darkness of night falls, drawing a veil across the golden abode of peace. Slowly, you return to your life as it was. But within your heart is a small and precious seed, a star of peace and light--a vision of the heaven that might one day become a reality on earth.

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