Composite image by Paloma Todd

By Paloma Todd

May's Full Moon, called Wesak Moon, is considered the most auspicious day in the Buddhist calendar. It is the celebration of the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha.

Spiritual energies are at peak during full moons, and in Buddhist tradition the Wesak Moon is the most potent amongst these.

The origins of this celebration are connected to agricultural notions of time based on the moon. The previous New Moon before Wesak is the Sun and Moon annual rendezvous in the earth sign of Taurus.

The image is, as the Moon gets pregnant reaching the water sign of Scorpio, so our consciousness grows expanding within us.

This is the time of the year where the soil is removed and prepared to be seeded. The concept of insemination is backed up by the mirroring of the Sun and Moon, Father and Mother, in Earth and Water, blessing man's yearly labor.

Wesak is about man's union with nature and with the stars. A celebration of the divinity behind all manifestation: the infinite intelligence that lives in all. This is the feast. Man acknowledging his place. Honoring all living beings. All participants in the cycle of life.

Buddha reached inside himself and lived the same process that lives in nature. He opened himself, was fecund by divinity, and was made a man-god.

In his honor, for centuries, in Tibet, Nepal, India and South Asia, it is a time for meditation, and chanting. A powerful time of prayer and devotion with a focus on healing and enlightenment for all beings. Generosity and kindness are practiced in service of all living things. As too are dancing, painting and dramatic reenactments.

And many rituals are performed.

In Malaysia it is good karma to release caged animals. Doves, tortoises, frogs and birds are freed from small cages on the steps of temples.

A good metaphor for us.

Opening the caged and limited view of ourselves, and letting that deep connection with divinity free to manifest in us is one of the best conscious actions we can perform during this Full Moon.

Stepping out of a cage implies remembering how to be free.

This might be frightening. The step toward regaining memory implies a dark passage.

Are we proud of our evolution? Have we honored the life that sustains us? Is humanity in harmony with Earth? Can we, the human race, take full responsibility for our actions? How do we relate to the World?

Some metaphysical teachings say that during the May's Full Moon, each year, masters of spiritual hierarchy, initiates, and aspirants gather in the valley of the Himalayas. The meeting place is called the Wesak Valley, in Tibet, and the reunion happens on both the spiritual and physical level. It is said that it is a moment of collective channeling, where spiritual forces of cosmic order descend to earth and flow through humanity's body.

A brotherhood between Christ and Buddha is the axis of this powerful collective encounter. It brings us the notion of higher forces and of cosmic help.

We can help us.

The severe wound inflicted on the Tibetan nation is just a condensed reflection of the rest of the world's reality. The wave of suffering expands itself in a world more and more at war with itself.

In the context of Tibetan history, the celebration of Wesak is an active process of identity preservation and consolidation. The makers of tradition have saved ancient rituals that connect the past, the present and the future.

Taking into account Tibet's political situation, remembering is political.

And ritual too, works within a political reality because it connects us to one another, to the larger pattern of society and to the cosmos.

Thanks to the New Age movement, the Wesak Moon has become in the past decades a global celebration. In many cities around the world collective rituals, prayers, chanting and meditations are performed.

The synergetic nature of new age allows the merging of the occident and the orient, favoring the concept of unity and global responsibility. Wesak is therefore and also, a bridge to the other. It implies the healing of the concept of otherness: the false idea of separation, within ourselves, from each other, and from Spirit.

This global invitation is to use our individual power, to work, think, act, as in as a group, for a group, as a power distributor. The invitation is to forget about ourselves in the task of containing and maintaining the energy of this sacred date for all humanity.

The word World means 'the age of man'.

Like in the figure of The World tarot Arcana, we are dancing in celebration of what we really are and always have been, surrounded by cosmic forces available to us all.

Wesak offers us the gift of continuity.

So invite yourself in. Participate in the collective dance. Get connected. In doing so you are helping humanity to step out of the cage.

You are helping the World to be free.

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