{~7 minute read... or listen to me speak about even more here on our new podcast episode}

Hello to you as you are in this moment.

My hope is that this bi-weekly In-Between Moonletter meets you well exactly where you are, and is a reminder of the valid value of the in-between moments and how they inter-relate to the whole.

I hesitate, “how is this relevant to Cycles Journal & the things this community cares about?” And these are the thoughts that are part of the my mindfulness practice....

Questioning relevancy feels like a way to gaslight the interconnected actuality of our lives intertwined with the environment.

If you are here, we may not have the same exact values or beliefs, but I trust there is interest in listening and relating to one another in this journey of healing.

I want to share stories, not shame or force or guilt. I want to share experiences, of how the outer world teaches our inner landscapes and how the cycles all around us inter-relate.

They’ve been logging across the street for months now. A summer of disruption for the local wildlife, tree-huggers and sensory sensitives.

I knew moving to Maine and living in the woods/rural area would involve confusion as much as pleasure, as much beauty as bitterness. I know this is part of the economy and livelihood here, and elsewhere too, where we just don’t always see or experience it firsthand. I know there are sustainable ways to log and that I can’t do anything about it because they "own" that land - a concept I know is ‘legally sound’, but my decolonial values won’t ever fully understand.

So I wrote a poem & prayer about it, since when I feel powerless I write and ask the unknown for support. You can read it here if you'd like.

Simultaneously, I realize the lessons here, of witnessing destruction and trusting in regrowth - and learning to hold space for both. This is the same type of cyclical work and grief-filled honoring we do in Cycles Journal with our own bodies. This is the ecological and mindfulness work I actively work with in this context as well, and maybe some of you feel these fears about the environment too. I want to offer reflections and invitations to bring our personal practices into the communal and collective as well.

We all start from a rooted place underground, but when we emerge we also interact and there is both benefit and harm experienced and enacted.

Yet there’s so much movement, distraction, interruption... everyone is moving faster than they’re sustaining or growing and that’s what worries me. I'm included in this and it's not our own faults. But it is our choice to catch it.

Working with the cycles is raw and vulnerable as we step into the center while being pulled in all phases and directions. But little by little the promise of pleasure balances the pain, and the in-between of presence ultimately guide us somewhere seemingly stable; in surrender to the cycles.

Buddhist philosophy and traditions teach that suffering is inevitable, and that this not as a sentence or excuse, but an opportunity for finding wisdom and motivation for justice beneath pain and triggers. This does not mean we deserve to suffer or that it’s required to create beautiful things - focusing on joy and humor is also essential. But I can’t negate that some of my favorite and most healing things have come out of great depths of suffering, transformed into space for new possibilities. Cycles Journal is one of those things I'm not sure I would've been driven to create if it weren't for the struggle.

Cycles Journal was never just about the menstrual cycle - yet for those of us who experience one, it is one of our greatest portals into this awareness and deep experiencing, whether we like it or not, and so of course it is central and vital. None of us would be here without this integral, live-giving cycle. And from it, we continue to create with choice and honor this way.

I wrote this on the full moon in pisces and I’m laughing at myself because on that day I felt everything, crying in the rain because I didn’t communicate my grief properly and everything felt uncertain and hyper-sensitive. Other days I feel anger and frustration from the same things. And some days I just feel numb and complacent admittedly, but can you blame the nervous system for needing a break some days?

Realizing this is also the medicine. If things were certain, if change didn’t exist, what would give us connection and progression? What would cause our creation-driven fear and hope?

This is my Tower card year, I have a grand water trine in my birth chart, and i’m a hyper-sensitive neurodivergent queer person from lineages deeply devoted to the Earth like most if not all of us.

I believe we are here not to discover and conquest, but to feel, experience and reconnect to being of and from the whole.

This is why I create spaces for reflection. This is why I share. This is why I am working on some new projects that bring these practices into new forms, that can accompany existing tools like Cycles Journal or the Cyclical Notebook, or be used on their own.

Rachael Amber's workspace 

flowing instead of knowing

There is a value to flowing. I've been so structured in keep Cycles Journal alive and well in its annual planning, collaboration, creation, fundraising, promoting, selling, coordinating and sharing cycle that I haven't been able to fully flow like I used to until this year.

Now that there is more support and stability there, I'm able to create what I've been waiting for. Not all day everyday like I wish, but in pockets carved out with the choice of devotion.

And I'm not putting deadlines on it yet because I can't rush channeling, I can't force creation.

But I can, and I do show up (almost) everyday and give some love and energy to this tar-oracle deck (shall I make that name a thing?)

Showing up consistently instead of copiously has helped me accumulate a steady flow that I can TRUST will come to fruition in time even without deadlines.

I have learned so much from living in time-based reality with and through Cycles Journal - both linearly and cyclically.

Now I'm honoring a space and creation for our bodies, who exist within time, but hold timeless wisdom.

All I can say is that it's coming, and I'm excited.

I’ve been afraid to share but I promised to practice courage and trust through vulnerability, so here’s what I’m excited to share and is in the works;

  1. Cycles Journal will remain always, but it is one branch in the tree of creations that I nurture; a collection/brand/entity or home called Cyclical Roots. I’m ready to share more from the rest of this body and mission through this name that holds so much meaning. Very, very soon - stay tuned!!
  2. I’m launching a practical method that has helped me deeply to practice with my journaling, cycle tracking and and cyclical living. I call it Cyclical Mindfulness, and my workshop & guide will be available as a low-cost offering next week near World Mindfulness Day. Stay tuned! :)
  3. I’m actively working on my new tar-oracle deck (it’s really both/either so that it’s both accessible for all and has a new spin on words and interpretations, but also has the traditional structure woven in if you choose to work with it… you’ll see) called Embodied Ecosystems. This is also more than just an interactive healing / divination deck, but also a full detailed guidebook, with tools for practicing somatic healing and mindful co-existing in our time of collective change and crisis.

I’m really excited!!! :) When I create new projects, I wait until it feels right and is bursting from me not out of desperation or obligation, but out of true loving inspiration and a need I feel within and around myself for the work and support.

It’s never just to produce and sell and profit (although I do need money to survive in this world and it’s not wrong to attend to that), and I trust you can all feel that with Cycles Journal and my other work… ;)

I create to share and I trust that you’ll benefit from even the free things I share, the writings, meditations and presence of these new ideas, concepts, creations and tools that interweave to the work I know i’m not doing alone in this world.

Thank you for respecting and supporting my creative process by being here!

If you’re on this email list, you’ll be the first to know about all of this, and will get access to some early bird opportunities and deals as always.

If you’d like to follow along on social media, I’m most personally active on my art account @rachael.amber which will likely soon be @cyclicalroots + will be sharing more on the new @embodiedecosystems IG!

I’m grateful for your witnessing and trusting me as I expand our cyclical ecosystem!

That was a long update, so here's an abbreviated recommendation section;

What’s been supportive lately:

  • The Wild Unknown Archetypes oracle deck by Kim Krans, gifted to me by bestie Lauren / Subnormal Child <3
  • also really loving The RainShadow Tarot by Claire Mack
  • letting my art be messy
  • the song Pachamama by Lavender Fields
  • can't put down The Madonna Secret by Sophie Strand...
  • pulling cards from my deck even though it's just in sketch phase to "test drive" and also write the meanings/guidebook descriptions as I work on the final drawings!
  • revisiting the book Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chödrön
  • tbh listening to lots of post-punk & goth rock like Sisters of Mercy and Type O Negative - happy Halloween!
  • sitting at my altar first thing in the morning before I do anything or talk to anyone (but after I brush my teeth + wash my face so I don't forget)
  • reviewing some moonthly meets replays!
  • writing writing writing, by hand, on Obsidian (I'm obsessed), and in my drawings + sketchbooks

a note of transparency that the book links support both indie bookstores and myself through affiliation if purchased, because I believe in the power of print, writers, indie bookstores, and accessible knowledge-sharing!

I could go on...

Thank you for being here, thank you for being you.

In gratitude,

Rachael Amber (they/she)
Creator of Cycles Journal / Cyclical Roots

All words, photographs and artwork are by Rachael unless quoted or otherwise stated. You're welcome to share (for non-commercial reasons only) so long as credit / links remain attached! Thanks for supporting living artists <3


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September 05, 2023 — Rachael Amber Longo

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