Kat from The Moon School offers incredibly thoughtful daily lunar readings. Her magic is powerful, feminine, honest and vulnerable. Her writing is thoughtful and thought-provoking and her daily readings are Instagram posts I often re-read many times. She generously offers us the healings of the Moon as a balsam to modern life.
The recent New Moon in Aries was all about personal rebirth. You generously shared with people on Instagram and via your newsletter the personal revelation that occurred for you during this time. Can you share with us the insights you gained from this experience?
The real depths of this revelation I am still working through… But I have come to realise that everything that is going on, on the surface of life (with work, play, home, family, etc.), is really just the mask, the outer casing of the real lessons that we are here to learn. I mean, it all matters in so much as we want it to make us happy. That’s important. But the truth I am coming to realise is that our lessons, our personal journeys, will happen to us wherever we are, whatever we are doing and whoever we are with. The struggles, and the revelations that come when we work through them, are inevitable, whatever it looks like on the outside. What we are in control of is the timing aspect – how quickly we are willing (and capable) of moving through them. I hope that’s not too cryptic an answer! I really am still working some powerful, personal stuff out, and when it’s time, it will become part of my work, I am sure of that.
One gets the sense that your daily readings and rituals are really a true expression of your innermost self. What inspires and drives you to share this work?
It has changed and evolved over the years. To begin with, I was genuinely seeking patterns in my own life, and writing about them on the off-chance that somebody else may be interested. And, in those days, it was a big challenge for me to express anything publicly, so it was about gaining confidence and learning the discipline of constancy. The work was a simple blog then, not always about the lunar cycle (though I published according to the phases) and many of my early writings were about all sorts of other subjects. Looking back, I suppose I was trying to organise my thoughts and make sense of my world. Then, as my interest in la Luna began to grow, I wrote about what I was learning through experience and through research. Then a couple of years ago I threw away all of my research notes, my old computer files and decided it was time to write intuitively. And it felt so good! And that’s what I do now, so I suppose you are right, it is a true expression of me. And I do often go and look at the day’s reading with fresh eyes and feel like I have written exactly what I need to hear! So it almost becomes a message from my soul, to me, albeit on this very public platform. And perhaps that is the appeal, and the reason the work is so useful for so many – I am not writing what I think people need to hear, I am writing what needs to be written.
What does being a keeper of medicine, a healer, a shamanic practitioner, creator of ritual and intuitive of the Moon mean to you? Were you always these things and what led you to discover/remember them?
I think that many of us are waking up to our essences at the moment, and I believe that all of those things listed above can exist alongside each other, and alongside the other roles that we need to play in our changing world. I went to Art School in my twenties, and studied painting. And, for the whole time, I was trying to capture something elusive, it was an energy, a connection, a force (and I could never quite put it into words, which is why I made paintings about it, I suppose). And it was only two or three years ago (and almost ten years since I graduated) that one day, I realised that THIS was what I was trying to paint, for all that time. This underlying world of Spirit and magic and energy and interconnectedness, and all things unseen but very, very real. I grew up in very rural Wiltshire and spent a LOT of time alone in fields, climbing trees, walking for miles… So nature has always been my first love: I have always connected to her more than I can understand how the rest of the world works! So I have always known, without knowing… I mean, I believe the essence of the healer, the shaman, the intuitive, has always been there.
Above: examples of art work Kat uses to accompany her daily readings. Artists from left to right: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, both middle pictures by Christian Schloe, Irina Kotova.
What would you consider your most transformative life experience and how has this shaped your approach to your work?
That’s tricky to answer. I think many of the most transformative experiences in life are slow and quiet and creep up on you. So perhaps it is the unravelling of these which ends up offering the most. Perhaps it’s motherhood. And not necessarily becoming a mother, but being a mother for many years, and having to figure out how on earth to navigate the still very masculine world of work that we live in, and shape it to suit me and my children, and to find fulfilment… I am still working on it!
You share very openly about falling into a dark place of despair after giving birth to the second of your three children. You also share about the labelling, medicating and silencing of women in such situations. What did this experience teach you?
Our emotions are a guidance system. They are the direct line into the truth of a situation, so to simply mask them when they become too uncomfortable to bear is limiting the very wisdom which could save not just one, but many, many others in a similar position. I understand the depths of despair people reach, and why it is so important to protect people from harm, but in my situation no attempt was made (by the doctors) to encourage even a cursory enquiry as to what was actually going on. I could see this clearly (and due to an innate distrust of authority figures!) I realised that I needed to be the seeker – so I feel it actually gave me some of my own power back.
What advice do you have for women becoming mothers for the first, second or third time?
Keep something for yourself. Keep doing one thing, regularly, for you. It could be a ritual of self-care, an educational course, a blog… Anything which makes you feel you are being honoured as an individual. And don’t give it up!
How do you think we can best support one another as women in today’s world? Are there rituals or practices we have forgotten? Where is our community weak and where are we strong?
I think being vulnerable with each other is a really good place to start. It seems that as our society has become more individualised, we somehow feel like we need to be independently strong and able to carry all of our responsibilities alone. It’s easy to offer help, but not so easy to receive it. But isn’t it true that the moment someone reaches out and asks YOU for help, you want so much to offer it?! So I think we need to try to foster inter-dependency as a healthy practice, and a very good starting point is to allow vulnerability.
What has your work in lunar medicine taught you about turning the depth and darkness of despair into light?
Trust. The Moon’s greatest lessons are her rhythms – the light will always come back around. And that the darkness is a teacher too – it is here, in this place of emptiness that the seed will most often take root.
What has ritual given to your life?
Again, a sense of rhythm, a sense of belonging. Ritual (especially when repeated through the cycles and the seasons) creates an incredible container to track our own spirals of growth and evolution. They are ways to “touch base” with Spirit, to re-connect and re-charge and re-orient ourselves. And a profound connection to the Goddess and her many faces – this is one of my personal favourite ways to use the practice. Ritual has also given me a way to explore the notion of creation versus surrender. Interestingly, I have used ritual in the past to bring some pretty big things into being in my life, (things I thought I wanted) and some of these things actually brought me quite a lot of heartache. Perhaps these upsets would have happened anyway… I don’t know, but they certainly showed me the inherent power in ritual, and gave me a level of reverence and respect for the art, which causes me to continually question this notion.
How does someone yearning for something more in life find out who they really are?
I think people often expect some huge, life-altering realisation to occur one day, to set them on their true path. But in my experience, finding your purpose is more often a series of tiny course corrections, and even a process of eliminating those things that don’t make you feel good. So don’t underestimate the beautiful minutiae of life – this is where the really valuable information is often held. And of course… ASK the question! As a shamanic practitioner, I am talking with nature all the time, so keep your dialogue with the Universe open.
What healing do you think is needed in the world right now? And what does healing mean to you?
For me, healing means to release what is no longer needed. I believe that most ills are caused by excess, on all levels of life – from the purely energetic to the physical. And I also believe that we are holographic creatures: the whole of the Universe exists in each of us, so to heal the Earth we must each look within and heal ourselves. This is the most useful and effective way we will be able to affect positive change for our planet.
How do you contribute to this through your work?
I hope that I enable people to connect to themselves more fully, and more profoundly. I want to encourage people to honour their bodies, trust their feelings, harness their thoughts and also to realise that they are not making this journey alone! We are all children of nature, affected by the seasons, the flow, the ebb, the tides. And that there is a poetry in this, a beautiful dance that we get to join in with for what is really a very short time… SO we need to get out there and enjoy it! The element of fun is something that I want to infuse my work with a little more, over the coming months.
What would you like us to know about you?
It is funny that you ask this. I’ve been feeling for a while, that I need (and want) to express more of the true me through the work (that was my aim with joining Instagram in addition to Facebook, though it hasn’t quite worked out like that yet) so I clearly do have big blocks with my own vulnerability!
If you could leave us with just one message what would it be?
That you are more powerful, and more loved, than you realise.
Thank you so much for your time! Keep blessing us with your lunar readings! xx