The New Moon Is Here

by Maria Theresa Maggi on January 12, 2021

“Day Moon Over Ocean,” chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi

Dear Friends, I know I have been away for a while but I wanted to let you know I am hanging in and I hope you are too. I have managed to write a post for the new moon over on Substack at Maria’s Star Garden. You can find it here if you are so inclined. Take gentle care of yourselves. As Mr. Rogers used to say when times were hard and scary, “Look for the helpers”—–  the ones standing up for justice for all. Give them a hand however you can.

Maria (moonwatcher)




After The Storm

by Maria Theresa Maggi on December 22, 2020

Last night, when lots of other people were looking at Jupiter and Saturn following the sun down below the horizon, the wind was blowing rain here, and the sky was covered with massive cloud formations in another of a set of wild coastal storms we’ve had this week. But later at night, around 10:30, the rain stopped and the clouds began to break up. When I went to let Cotton out, I noticed the sky had lightened  somewhat and from the cast of it thought it might be the moon breaking through, but I couldn’t see it from my own vantage point. Still, I welcomed that eery blue light coming and then darkening. I settled into the peace of the darkness.

This morning, I had the pleasure of an impromptu socially distanced 3 way visit with two of my neighbors who are also dear friends. We happened to come together right in front of my house as Cotton and I were returning home from our morning walk. We were all grateful to be out in a morning where we could see some blue sky. My neighbor across the street said that her daughter had taken a really cool picture of the sky over my house last night, which is the photo you see above. When I look at it very closely I see the largest point of light is most likely the crescent/half moon beginning to set to the west, mostly covered up with dissipating storm clouds but backlighting the clouds below it in that ghostly magical tone of blue.

It’s a rare gift to see where you actually are from a perspective you can’t have from where you are. I have stood on the north side of my driveway and seen my house lit up inside with the moon over the roof in a different position and time of year, but at Winter’s beginning it’s hard for me to see it at all from the usual places.

I treasure this photo. I see it as a profound blessing from this most holy night of the year for me. Last night I was filled with memories of how I’ve honored it over the years, usually with others. One year at my house on Asbury Street a handful of women came at sundown. We sat in silence holding unlit candles as the sun set and the room became completely dark. Then a match was lit in the dark. First one of us lit her candle and spoke, then lit the candle of the next woman, all around our circle until all the candles were lit. Then we lit the fire in the masonry stove.

One year I had a potluck after a ceremony and when everyone left I walked through the town in the snow. Another year my boyfriend drilled three holes in a special log for white, red, and black candles–maiden, mother, and crone–and I let them burn down through the night. Another season I remember hooking arms and singing songs down the middle of the street with one of my long time Moscow besties. Even when I was growing up and steeped in the conventional Christmas holiday traditions, I loved to bake and bought a set of clay cookie stampers at a Scandinavian store that had sun wheels and other symbols of Solstice and thereafter I made those cookies on that day. I always had an innate sense of the holiness of the day even when I didn’t know it’s significance. It seemed like the magical gateway to all the festivities of the 12 days of Christmas–and now of course I know it literally is.

Last night I was perfectly content to have a quiet night sitting with all these memories and welcoming the inward time of dreaming and gestating, nurturing the incipient return of the light with my willingness to sit in the vastness of the mystery without an answer. Recently I read this beautiful interactive piece called “How We Survive The Winter,” and it seemed to speak right to my Winter welcoming soul. As I did, the wordless realization dawned that my soul wished to be born in Winter because I came to hear the stories we tell that keep the faith in the return of the light. I came for those quiet moments of listening, those moments about how things turn around just when we’re about to give up.

It’s priceless to have a photo of what my house (with me and Cotton inside it) looked like getting blessed by the sky above it on the longest night of the year. Even when we can’t gather, my neighbors were able to share the night with me in this beautiful way. It renews my trust in the darkness as a time of rich potential.

I know my posts always emphasize these moments of epiphany or illumination. That isn’t because I don’t find life challenging or a struggle. It’s because I do. Being a child of Winter born with a disability it’s a given for me that some things in my life, lots of physical things, have been hard or take the cultivation a lot of patience, deliberateness and time–also not easy. It continues to astound me even in this later part of my life that the kind of richness I am trying to describe here is available right alongside these difficulties. Or maybe I am thankful when such richness blesses me precisely because of those difficulties. The Vatican astronomer quoted in “How We Survive The Winter” as one of the many voices from around the world about the power of this time of year says the stars are more beautiful in Winter. I smiled a smile of recognition when I read that. I couldn’t agree more.

Happy Holidays, Dearest Readers. Here’s to the return of the light, and the darkness that allows us to recognize it.


Maria (moonwatcher)



Lucille’s Cookies

December 2, 2020

Long term memory is a funny thing. I never know the exact moment one will appear, but I often become aware one has arrived, sitting on my shoulder, waiting for me to engage. This pandemic year has been one of baking for a lot of us, so I guess it’s a natural development that this […]

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Beautiful Voices

October 30, 2020

Sometimes I am overcome with a sense of profound gratefulness for what a good life I’ve had. Perhaps oddly, the prompts from which this feeling arises are not what I’d expect, or what I think most of us would expect. One particular prompt that comes to mind is a scene I came upon at our […]

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The Sweet Life

October 23, 2020

Tuesday mornings, as early as possible, are the most solitary and quiet times on the beach. It reminds me that while I’d be hard pressed to say our beach is ever actually crowded because it’s nothing like popular beaches in California, Hawaii or Florida, on Tuesday mornings, especially as Winter approaches, it’s a pretty good […]

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An Invitation

October 15, 2020

My Dear Readers, I wanted to invite you to check out my new website on Substack called Maria’s StarGarden. There you will find my first post, LIBRA NEW MOON HOROSCOPES for October 16, 2020, with Musings and Art from Maria’s StarGarden. This new venture is a space for me to express my astrological insights in […]

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Cobweb Meditation

October 13, 2020

As I started looking at NPR headlines and other of the morning’s news, my heart began to sink at the likely inevitability of a court stacked against women’s rights, human rights and healthcare. Then I looked up and out the window, not knowing how what I saw there would delight, surprise and center me. It […]

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Dispatches From The Smoke

September 15, 2020

Last Tuesday night out at the coast the once in a century hot unseasonable high wind event hit us. The fires north of Lincoln City in a town called Otis were blazing and Hwy 18, the way out north to Portland, was closed because of two fires. By Wednesday, Lincoln City, the town about 10 […]

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I See The Moon, The Moon Sees Me

August 30, 2020

Pisces Moon Preface A long time ago back in Moscow Idaho, a low frequency community radio station with a left leaning bent was born. Many people of my community tribe were to be involved as volunteer deejays and I was excited at the prospect. When the station finally went on air there was a reception […]

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It’s A Sign

August 22, 2020

(Spoiler alert: this post is unabashedly in favor of the Democratic Party and the Democratic ticket. If you are a Trump supporter, you have your right to your views, and you have plenty of venues to air those views.  This is not one of them. If you air them here or  troll those who disagree […]

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