September 26, 2023

Maren Larsen: From Exterior Journal, that is the Exterior Podcast. 

Renee Shetler: All the things is in fixed relationship with each other. We all know that the moon impacts the tides, proper?

Now, you’re taking that one step additional. We’re about 70% water people, proper? Now there’s that leap of belief I feel in that house there that lots of people have a tough time with. 

However I feel, the concept that astrology can affect us, its science and belief.

Maren: That is Renee Shettler, senior editor at Yoga Journal, providing her tackle why these of us who query the foundations of astrology may rethink our stance.

I am Maren Larsen: podcast producer, Gemini, and astrology skeptic. Basic Gemini, proper?

Although I could not put a lot inventory in my horoscope, I’m an ardent admirer of the evening sky. I like to sleep out beneath the celebs, or to stroll a path that is illuminated by moonlight, as a result of once I do, I get to participate in a human ritual that spans continents, cultures, and centuries. I get to search for, really feel small, and marvel what all of it means.

For as we speak’s episode, I invite believers and skeptics alike to try this with me–to take a moonlit jaunt and embrace the pull of celestial our bodies.

To assist open our minds, I requested Renee to share a little bit of her journey. As a result of whereas she now oversees Yoga Journal’s astrology content material, she was as soon as, like me, curious however unconvinced.

Renee: I used to be all the time an enormous skeptic as a child and as a youngster, as a result of you understand, that was again within the day once I’m relationship myself, however that they had newspapers and so they had the little column the place like, you should purchase a lottery ticket as we speak, otherwise you’re gonna divorce your husband as we speak. And it simply appeared ludicrous, fairly truthfully.

And I heard lots of people actually typecasting individuals with astrology too. And, I simply, that didn’t really feel snug for me, particularly. I studied psychology in faculty and the one factor I took away from that was that you would be able to by no means actually get inside another person’s thoughts or perspective.

Maren: However over time, Renee’s interactions with astrology’s adherents started to shift her perspective.

Renee: Lots of people I revered who simply have, not simply ebook smarts, however simply this innate intelligence round individuals and life and the world, talked loads about astrology and so they did not use it to typecast. They used it as details about self, about others, about society and the world at massive.

After which as I acquired older, my acupuncturist, he was good and clever in all of those historical cultures and traditions. And he talked loads about astrology.

Even one thing so simple as I would go and be like, yeah, you understand, I have not been sleeping effectively recently. He is like, effectively, nobody has, it is a full moon in two days. And I sort of checked out him like, I did not take you for a kook. however I began to hear, proper? I am like, okay, effectively that is info. Like simply be open to it.

Maren: Renee additionally realized that linking celestial actions to patterns of human conduct is not something new. In truth, it is one thing individuals all around the world have been doing for a really very long time.

Renee: So astrology is an historical science. It goes again millennia, and what we follow within the west is barely totally different than what was initially practiced in India, which was vedic astrology. There’s a number of similarities. And a few variations, however I wanna notice that cultures all over the world every got here up with their very own kind of astrology. There’s Mayan astrology, which is totally totally different from Western or vedic. And but there are these profound areas of overlap. To me, it is not not like how totally different cultures all over the world provide you with faith or a way of divinity or mythology to grasp our place on the planet.

In my years on the planet, I’ve come to grasp that what I used to be so skeptical of and would really denounce quite a bit in my early twenties, after a pair extra many years on the planet, you understand, perhaps I haven’t got all of the solutions. And if all of those totally different cultures all over the world in historical occasions over centuries, individuals who had much more connection to their instinct and who had extra time of their day to watch the conduct of others, perhaps if all of those totally different individuals got here up with this identical fundamental idea, perhaps there’s one thing to that.

Maren: Throughout all of the totally different variations of astrology, there may be one celestial physique that stands out as a significant focus: the moon.

Renee: Full moon circles have been round for hundreds and hundreds of years, and they’re practiced as a result of the moon, when it is full illuminates, proper? Not simply the land round us, however it’s believed in astrology to be a time when now we have just a little extra illumination on these darker features of our self that we would not have a look at, that we would even run from.

And full moon circles are sort of a celebration of that. It was usually individuals who would come out and have fun and be in that house collectively moderately than remoted on their very own.

Maren: For concerning the final seven years, Renee has taken half in her personal full moon ritual every month. And it began when she was feeling a necessity to attach with one thing greater.

Renee: I used to be in a relationship and it was not an excellent relationship and I’d discover methods to distract myself at evening and I’d follow yoga, however we lived in a small home. So one evening I used to be similar to, you understand what, I am simply gonna go follow yoga within the yard.

Renee: And it simply occurred to be an evening the place the moon was shining.

And I am like, you understand, that is fairly cool. I feel I even grabbed a beer. 

Um, which it’s a must to watch out with the balancing poses. 

Nevertheless it was simply so serene. And so, nonetheless, you understand. And yoga after all is all the time about turning inward, um, but additionally being conscious of your environment. Similar to mountain climbing, similar to a number of outside actions.

However at evening when there’s much less noise, you understand, much less visible distractions, it was simply one thing particular. After which I simply began making a behavior out of it. I discovered it notably calming. 

Um, I’ve but to do a full moon circle. I do know they exist. They’ve existed for hundreds of years and so they’ve been seeing a resurgence recently. I suppose I’ve my very own moon circle of 1.

Maren: Renee says that considering the evening sky lends her much-needed perspective.

Renee: I step outdoors most nights to search for on the sky. Not as a result of I am worshiping the moon per se, however as a result of I search for at one thing that thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of different individuals have seemed up at within the evening sky earlier than me for millennia.

It jogs my memory that perhaps that work deadline is not fairly so essential, proper? And perhaps I ought to take just a little additional time to make some reminiscences moderately than sit in entrance of the pc that evening.

Maren: So perhaps it is not all that stunning to you {that a} religious yoga practitioner would come round to embracing astrology after conversations along with her acupuncturist. However the reality is that each one sorts of individuals fall beneath the moon’s spell.

Michael Roberts: If this stuff can affect massive points on the planet like climate, why cannot they’ve an affect on us?

Maren: That is my boss, and out of doors’s audio director, Michael Roberts.

Michael: And that does not imply I learn astrological, horoscopes, uh, frequently. However for those who’re asking me: do I imagine that the place the moon is in relationship to the earth to the place I’m, that that will have an effect on what is going on on in my life? A little bit, perhaps my temper. I imply, I do not know why not? Like, you understand, if my meals impacts that, then why not? Like what’s occurring with the cells in my physique due to the affect of celestial forces at work.

Maren: As of late, Mike lives the comparatively mainstream existence of a husband, father, and media skilled. However as he is mentioned on earlier episodes of this present, again within the day he was once extra the free-floating long-haired sandal-wearing kind. So when he informed me he had a moon story, I wasn’t shocked.

Michael: I am most undoubtedly a Pisces, like by way of and thru.

Maren: Oh my God, you are such a Pisces.

Mike: I actually am. I am a deep feeler. Let’s simply say that.

Maren: Okay, nice. Properly then inform me your story of, um, changing into attuned with the moon.

Mike: So after faculty, like actually the summer time after we graduated, I took this lengthy sea kayaking expedition in Alaska with a good friend of mine, this man named Eric. And we had deliberate for this actually massive journey. To Southeast Alaska. Some individuals name it the panhandle. It is that little half that you understand, kind of hooked up to the coast of Canada there.

So, um, Eric had gotten us a analysis grant from his college to go research bald eagles and it was a reasonably easy mission.

What we have been attempting to do was a census of bald eagles.

And that is a part of trying on the restoration of bald eagles within the wake of DDT, you understand, many years after DDT was made unlawful. And, and, you understand, simply attempting to get a way of what that inhabitants was trying like. And principally we have been in search of nests.

And by the best way, When you’re not a scientist discovering a and recognizing a bald eagle nest is absolutely, very easy. Cuz they’re like the scale of a tub, or like a small scorching tub. They’re like monumental. In order that a part of this was simple.

And we took this journey in 1996. So we had, uh, laminated nautical charts and compasses and that was it.

I feel we have been out in our kayaks for 28 days. In order that’s a very very long time within the wilderness, proper?

We began this route that begins in Misty Fjords Nationwide Monument. After which would wrap round and finally we might find yourself within the city of, uh, Petersburg, the place we have been gonna end our journey.

We noticed a number of bald eagles, like tons and plenty of bald eagles. We noticed orca whale, we noticed humpback whale, uh, plenty of black bear. Amazingly, we someway managed to not see a single, uh, grizzly bear whereas we have been there.

However actually, what I bear in mind most from that journey, and I feel what was probably the most highly effective expertise is the tides in southeast Alaska actually, actually excessive. So The place I reside now in Northern California, you understand, on a median day the tides can rise perhaps three toes to 5 toes. However the place we have been in southeast Alaska, the tidal adjustments on the coast we have been taking a look at like 12 toes, 15 toes, generally much more than that. And so the place that basically got here into play is while you’re choosing your campsite and your little kayak and also you’re paddling it alongside, you are like, oh, that is a pleasant trying seashore.

That place could be nice. And then you definitely seek the advice of your tide chart and you are like, wait a minute, at like 3:00 AM that’s gonna be fully underwater.

And so we, you understand, we went by way of some fairly fascinating expertise studying this the place you are, you understand, you are always trying on the chart and also you’re, you are finding out the terrain, you are attempting to foretell the place you may camp and when the very best time to attempt to paddle by way of sure passes and channels are as a result of the currents are gonna be nuts.

And, you understand, for the primary couple weeks you are taking a look at that chart always. You are simply, you are finding out, you are finding out it. However what slowly begins to occur, is you begin to get in contact with the, the best way the water feels and, and the best way these tidal drops. Are simply affecting the issues round you. So I’d say within the first couple weeks, for those who had requested me what the tide was doing, I’d’ve pulled out a chart. However after the second week, I’d’ve informed you precisely what it was doing as a result of I’d’ve simply seemed round and I’d’ve seen the shore and I’d’ve simply had the sense of the place the tide was right now yesterday and what was doing.

However whilst we went farther, it acquired sort of deeper than that.

Once you’re within the water all day, cuz you understand you are in a small kayak, you are sitting within the water, it is raining on you, you sort of really feel such as you’re partly submerged on a regular basis. You recognize, the, the water sloshing over the deck of your kayak.

And we might get to the tip of the day and we’d be capable to spot seashores now not trying on the chart, realizing precisely the place the tide was gonna be.

And I can simply bear in mind feeling this sense of like, you may really feel the best way the moon was pulling on the water. And I’d simply have this sense like, oh yeah, the water’s all sloshing this fashion.

Like I can really feel the water pulling round that nook there. After which when it acquired even kind of stranger. Is in these final days when it was through the day and I simply had this sense of being within the water and you may really feel it transferring and you may, you understand, and if the tie was going out, you had this sense of it flushing out

And I’d simply be like, I do know the place the moon is, it is proper there. And I would be pointing down, you understand, like on the opposite aspect of the planet, I’ve this sense that the moon’s over there and I can really feel it pulling on the water.

And once more, I do know like that does not sound like affordable perhaps to trendy people, however particularly while you go and also you research kind of seafaring individuals. Such as you have a look at the Polynesians and the best way they moved in kayaks and open water for hundreds of miles.These Polynesian navigators, the best way they have been in tune with what was occurring was startling.

And I do not wanna in any approach examine myself to the outstanding Polynesian navigators, however what I can say is that you simply spend sufficient time in a wilderness surroundings, there’s something that occurs within you the place these kind of scientific concepts of magnetism and gravity and tidal patterns grow to be much less of one thing you look on a chart and extra of one thing you’re feeling within you. And I feel the reality is even speaking about it, what I really feel most is simply I miss that.   feeling like I do know the place the moon is, even when I am unable to see it.

You recognize, individuals speak about feeling grounded. I imply, a number of this sounds kind of woo-woo and spacey, however as that is most likely probably the most grounded I’ve ever been in my life.

Being actually in contact with what was occurring with the cycle of the moon and tides. it’s a, I do not know if I wanna name it bliss. It is extra that simply, you’re feeling simply actually balanced and centered while you’re like that. And when you’re within the surroundings I am in now the place I spend a lot of my time indoors and I am not in contact with these cycles in a approach that feels intrinsic to who I’m. We, all of us work so onerous to seek out that centeredness. We go to yoga lessons. We go meditate. You recognize, we take CBD or one thing and we hope that we are able to discover that centeredness. When the true reply is to go spend a protracted time period within the wilderness and occur to you naturally.

Maren: It took Mike 28 days in Alaska to really feel like he was in contact with the power of the moon. However for some, that connection solely takes one evening. That, and extra waxing poetic about our satellite tv for pc within the sky, after this.


Maren: The moon’s gravitational pull guidelines the tides and, in line with some, guidelines us too. However its magnificence may maintain an equally highly effective sway on humanity. At nighttime of the wilderness, the moon supplies gentle brilliant sufficient to navigate by, and a focus so compelling it is not onerous to think about why it has been worshiped by cultures the world over.

Abbie Barronian: The fact is that, I do not know that I would like any individual to inform me a full moon does X, Y, Z, or this constellation means X, Y, Z. But when any individual can inform me like, here is this constellation, and I get to have a look at it and see it after which have my very own relationship with it, It kind of offers us the instruments that we have to construct our personal kind of quiet programs of perception with regard to the pure world.

Maren: That is my colleague, Abigail Barronian.

Abbie: I’m a senior editor at Exterior Magazine. Been right here for 5 years, and I’ve a most cancers solar, a Gemini moon, and a Scorpio rising.

I am a nearly 30 12 months previous lady, and my introduction to astrology was largely by way of teen magazines. And so I all the time was like, I do not know, astrology is sort of high quality. No matter. It would not appear to be it really works for me.

After which I moved to Santa Fe. And I feel in Santa Fe astrology is kind of, it underpins so many conversations. It is quite common to ask individuals what their signal is or, yeah, notice about what’s occurring within the sky shouldn’t be unusual. I, I am having a very traumatic day, or it has been a bizarre week, however you understand, it is the total moon so. So it simply kind of appears like persons are extra, um, extra plugged into that for higher or worse in Santa Fe. 

Abigail discovered extra about astrology, perhaps initially simply to maintain up along with her buddies once they have been discussing which planets have been in retrograde and the way they have been wreaking havoc on their lives.

Abbie: And I discovered just a little extra about my entire chart and what I feel astrology really is, which is much less of a like system of describing an individual and extra of a system of thought that kind of splayed out throughout the evening sky. I warmed up just a little extra to it as a, as like an fascinating instrument and enjoyable factor to consider.

Maren: And the star of the present?

Abbie: The moon is probably the most distinguished approach that astrology has influenced my day-to-day life.

And, my basic relationship to the moon and its cycles, uh, is that the brand new moon is a time of contemporary power and peace and bringing issues in.

And the total moon is a time of, like just a little extra chaotic and cagey, potent power. It additionally occurs to be in sync with my interval. And so it is simply grow to be like a really a lot part of my very own private cycle if I am listening to the moon, which I do know is like true of so many ladies.

Maren: For Abigail, monitoring the cycles of the moon has grow to be private and practical, nevertheless it additionally helps her keep related to the pure world. Till a pair years in the past, she did not know that the total moon all the time rises round sundown. Then she had an expertise on a wilderness journey that spurred her to develop a brand new relationship with the moon.

Abbie: It actually began, I used to be on a hut journey in Canada and we have been like just a little drunk and standing outdoors and it was so stunning as sundown and all of the peaks have been lit up with alpenglow and we have been watching the road of pink alpenglow drift up this peak to our left till there was only a tiny triangle of pink.

And we had made it just a little recreation like we have been gonna watch till just like the final little little bit of pink left this peak. And the pink leaves the mountain and the 5 of us or whoever is sitting on the market are all cheering. After which we glance over and we, um, see over this like actually jagged, nearly Teton-esque peak Simply the very high blip of the moon to the purpose that none of us really knew what it was. We have been like, what’s, is {that a} cloud? What is going on on? And none of us knew that it was purported to be the total moon.

And we watched the moon rise. Behind this peak. And it was really one of the stunning issues I feel I’ve ever seen in my entire life. You recognize, this dusky pinky blue sky and this large yellow moon. And we watched it rise over this peak, like straight behind it after which come unstuck, just like the, the moon lifts off the, the purpose of the height. And I cried, once more perhaps as a result of we had been ingesting just a little bit. However ever since then, watching the total moon rise has grow to be considered one of my favourite rituals. You recognize, purely from kind of like an aesthetic and paying consideration standpoint.

I feel that spotlight has delivered to my life, uh, nearer or higher or greater consciousness of the cyclical nature of issues. So it is like this occurs and it is so stunning and I do not wanna miss it. And if I miss it, it is gonna occur once more in 28 days. And it is kind of only a, like a pleasant solution to mark the passage of time.

Maren: Even astrology’s detractors can concede that there is one thing to what Abigail is saying right here. In spite of everything, quite a few cultures proceed to observe a lunar calendar.

Because it occurs, I’ve really joined Abigail for considered one of her full moon rituals myself. I used to reside in astrologically inclined Santa Fe, and in April of 2021, Abigail despatched me a message in the course of the work day, inviting me to return alongside along with her and several other different girls to witness the moonrise.

I bear in mind it was the Pink Moon. It was the total moon and it was additionally lesbian visibility day.

Abbie: Shut up. I did not know that.

Maren: I do not forget that as a result of it was like my first actually out lesbian visibility day. And I used to be additionally newly out of a relationship, out of my first massive homosexual relationship. And I used to be heartbroken and distraught. And I feel you, you have been very sweetly attempting to assist since you knew how heartbroken and distraught I used to be. And also you invited me like spur of the second. I feel it was at like three o’clock on Monday to go do an after work hike up Deception.

Deception Peak is a 12,320-foot peak that stands simply above the higher boundary of Ski Santa Fe, our native hill. It may be accessed by a 6 mile path. Or, on alpine touring skis, by a a lot shorter however very steep grind straight up the slopes, which is what we did.

Abbie: It is not the best peak above city, nevertheless it’s the best peak at our ski space and, and allows you to, get a glance all the way down to the valleys on the opposite aspect of the height.

And I bear in mind, uh, I used to be newly in love and also you have been newly out of affection. And I feel there was different love life drama occurring within the lives of the opposite girls. And I bear in mind, yeah, simply speaking about our emotions on the best way up.

And by the point we acquired as much as the ridge, the moon had simply risen and it was like so massive and pink and yellow and so stunning.

And we stood on high of the height, and drank like spiked seltzers and talked about our, our intentions and our needs and our goals.

Maren: And howled.

Abbie: Oh yeah, we howled.

Maren: And howled.

Maren: And I simply, we had this like actually pleasant, great alternate of like simply chatting and gossiping and venting and speaking and like being in our our bodies collectively. After which going as much as the height and like seeing magnificence collectively and like ingesting seltzer and howling and did we do the factor? 

The “factor” here’s what Abigail calls a Trinity. I am going to let her clarify.

Abbie: The thought of a Trinity is you identify three issues. You identify one thing you are grateful for, one thing that you simply’re pleased with, and one thing that you really want. And the purpose is to do it in a bunch of buddies. And while you identify the factor that you simply’re pleased with, everybody says, effectively bragged. And while you identify the factor that you simply’re grateful for, everybody says thanks. And while you identify the factor that you really want, everybody says, and so it shall be and even higher.

And it is a actually great instrument. I encourage anybody who’s listening to, uh, strive it. As a result of it simply creates a very, like secure, hopeful, useful listening house with buddies. and has grow to be a, a a lot beloved instrument of a bunch of out of doors girls that I have been part of now for seven, eight, 9 years.

However yeah, we did Trinity’s on high of the mountain, and within the full moon.

Maren: After which had probably the most terrifying ski I’ve ever had on the best way down.

Abbie: Actually, I feel the worst circumstances I’ve ever skied, like full manky chopped up, actually heat spring slush that had fully frozen over.

Maren: I bear in mind describing it as rollerblading on rocks. As a result of I bear in mind getting down and my total physique simply felt prefer it had been like put in a kind of, like paint stirring, shaking drums.

Abbie: Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Maren: All of us acquired one thing totally different out of our chaotic, casual full moon ceremony, however in that second, it was additionally precisely what all of us wanted.

Abbie: I feel there’s one thing actually cute about that story too, which is that I’ve, I’ve rather more skilled woo woo buddies in Santa Fe, who maintain ceremony frequently. And I have been to full moon ceremonies earlier than with those who I’d name like extra skilled and cohesive.

However I feel it is really like exactly me and also you and us, that that is what our 4 moon ceremony seemed like. Like just a little mayhem, like perhaps too massive of an goal, like not sufficient time, just a little little bit of a rush, which I feel is kinda the entire level of it, proper? Which is that, um, you simply get to have interaction with all these things precisely the way you need to.

Maren: The concept that there is no mistaken solution to join with the moon or the celebs–that is sort of the entire level. You possibly can follow yoga solo beneath the celebs or go on a moon-cycle-long wilderness expedition or partake in a chaotic, howling ritual with buddies. You may get actually into astrology if you wish to. However, as Yoga Journal editor Renee factors out, astrology is only one of some ways to look inward and join outward.

Renee: Astrology is not not like an intention somebody units originally of yoga class. Or perhaps they learn an Oracle deck, or perhaps they simply learn a passage in a ebook that they love. To me, I do not suppose there’s that a lot distinction. If it helps you focus and present as much as your life in a approach that you really want, what does it matter?

Maren: Thanks to Renee Shettler, Michael Roberts, and Abigail Barronian for speaking to me for this episode. To learn astrological insights from Renee and her staff, go to

This episode was written and produced by me, Maren Larsen, and edited by Michael Roberts. Music and mixing by Robbie Carver.

Listener, how does astrology have an effect on your life as an outdoor particular person? Document your story as a voice memo and e-mail it to us at [email protected]. And for those who loved this episode, go away us a overview wherever you hear, or howl on the moon about it.

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