Hello April! My birth month. Is it greedy to have a whole month of celebrations? Surely not when it’s a “special” birthday – and when I’m not sure I’d call some of the ways I’m marking it celebrations as such. Rites, journeys, turnings, reflections, experiences, ceremonies, activities: yes. And celebration yes too, but it feels like a time that calls for a lot more than that.
I’m tempted to dismiss thirty as being just another number; is it really so special? But something somewhere in me says yes; yes to me it is significant. I’m not sure why, but yes it is. The first decade of my life was pretty happy, probably pretty normal. The second decade for the most part was pretty unhappy and challenging. My twenties, for want of a better cliché, have been a rollercoaster of rock-bottom dips, and of beautiful, magic. super-fun peaks that kinda sprinkle glitter and sunshine over all the less-rosy stuff if I so much as think of them. And there were a lot of things that were great at the time but I wouldn’t do now. And so, so much learning and change.
Many people I know have also experimented with this and that in their twenties, finding their path towards the end of those years – or soon after thirty. In their thirties they’ve then really walked their walk – danced it even – with a lot of fulfilment and sense of being where they’re called to be, doing what they’re called to do. Obviously this is no guarantee that the same will go for me but it makes me feel very positive about this decade ahead.
And then astrology reminds me of the Saturn return: a period of about 2-2.5 years when Saturn travels through the sign that it was travelling through when you were born. Saturn takes around 29 years to orbit the sun so this will be its first “full circle”. The period of the Saturn return has the reputation of being a bit of a tricky time of obstacles and challenges but with a lot of learning and self-development gained by the end of it. I’m prepared to believe that the year either side of the return period may be a little choppy too, particularly because my Saturn return started exactly a year (to the day!) after the somewhat challenging birth experience I had with my son and the start of a very turbulent and difficult time – but one that my life is so much richer and more beautiful for.
So during this month, I’m attending to my body, soul, head and heart. With the hope of addressing a few little health niggles, I’m having a sugar-free (lunar) month. “Sugar-free” has many interpretations; mine for the purpose of what I hope to achieve is no “sweeteners” (sugar, honey, molasses, agave, xylitol etc), no white carbs, no dried fruit and minimal fruit (especially those like bananas and soft fruit) and veggies like squash and parsnip. It’s going ok so far; I’m quite enjoying stretching my willpower a little. I’ve given up trying to create a sweetener-free hot chocolate substitute. Yuck! I’ll just wait! I also plan to spend a few days more purposefully detoxing, perhaps on a mung bean soup detox or similar.
I have an Ayurvedic massage booked next week which I know will make me feel lovely on all levels (I’ve been to the therapist before). I also have a colonic booked which will be a new experience – and probably not as lovely as the massage – but one that I hope will aid in creating a vibe of freshness and newness to enter the fourth decade with. I’ll be making a trip to Glastonbury too, where I’ll refill bottles with spring water and recharge my soul with the views of the stunning surrounding landscape – and with some meditation at the Goddess Temple.
During this month, I am hoping to deepen and develop my yoga practice and my spiritual practice as well as my creativity – which includes my writing here. I certainly plan to share experiences and learnings from this Thirty Journey on this blog space.
On my birthday itself, I intend to create and walk a labyrinth in the woods where my son’s forest school sessions are held – he’ll be there with my husband. Many report walking a labyrinth to be a very special experience that brings a lot of peace and insight. Whether it does this for me or not, I’ll spend some time afterwards in quiet contemplation. I’ll precede the labyrinth-walking with a simple ceremony of gratitude for the journey I’ve had these three decades. I’ll honour the spirits and people who have guided and helped me along the way, honour the ups and downs, the fails and successes, the ways in which I’ve grown and all the things that I feel are on the brink of blossoming. I’ll spend the afternoon with the two people who I’m building this all with…hopefully the sun will shine. ♥