Action of non-action — the Pisces New Moon

Action of non-action, also known as “Don’t just do something, sit there”

This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my long journey as a seeker. I learned this from my t’ai chi teacher, and the concept is a lifesaver. I have written about the many lessons stillness and patience give you before, here and more recently here.

streamYou can think of action of non-action as “going with the flow.”

Picture yourself being in the stream grounded and ease, moving a bit without being overwhelmed and knocked over. Neither are you being rigid, trying to change the stream’s flow (we all know how effective that is!).

You know what I mean? I bet you do.

How is this a lifesaver, exactly?

Water yields, it goes over, around and through things. Yet, although water is soft and weak, it has the capacity to erode solid stone and move mountains.

It is said that this teaching — the action of non-action — came from Lao Tzu. In t’ai chi I was taught this as the central idea in effortless combat. There’s never a reason to go looking for a fight. Never. Let go of every piece of that ego that seeks to punish, or even to win. When someone comes at you with weight, or anger, each response of yours, each and every move, can come from you effortlessly, without conscious planning. This allows you to react and respond to everything that comes your way easily, expending just the right amount of effort, and without any harmful results (to yourself or anyone else!).

Like playing with clouds, yo.

This Pisces New Moon contains within it an action of non-action moment

New Moon in Pisces

Friday 2/28/14
10º39′ Pisces
11:59 pm Pacific
2:29 am Eastern on 3/1

This pause you are invited to breathe into comes because four planets are at a virtual standstill, moving in or out of retrograde during the New Moon window

  • Mercury (thoughts and communication) in Aquarius stations direct (goodbye Mercury retrograde!)
  • Mars (will, determination and forward motion) in Libra stations retrograde
  • Saturn (responsibility, structure and planning) in Scorpio will station retrograde
  • Jupiter (belief and opportunity) in Cancer is slowing to station direct on March 6

Feeling like you need to act right now? Stop before you do. Take a breath. Take two. Don’t just do something, beloved, sit there.

The Pisces Moon

We are coming to the end of the astrological year and the beginning of a new one when the Sun enters Aries on 3/20 (the Equinox). Pisces — the sign of mutable Water — is about flow, and about completion. As you look at the invitation to a moment of stillness, ask yourself what you are ready to complete? Spend some time in this stillness, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished, what’s done, and what can be released. This will allow you to flow into the new energy that’s coming our way when the Sun moves into Aries in three weeks, and the astrological year begins again.

Another note about all these retrogrades

What a retrograde season! Venus went retrograde at Winter Solstice, and brought us the opportunity to integrate our personal agenda and how we love with the energies of change. Mercury turned retrograde shortly after Venus turned direct again at the end of January affecting (for good or not-so-good) how we think and communicate. Now our desire, our will — Mars — has to turn inward and reevaluate what in fact is worth desiring and pursuing. A powerful ramp-up to the Equinox!

My blessing and suggestion for your Pisces New Moon working

Take some time, as close to the actual New Moon as you can to do this work (best done between Friday and Monday). Spend some time in solitude by the water’s edge; bring a pen and your journal. Watch the water move, notice its gentle motions and its strength and power. After a few moments of following your breath in sacred silence, record in your journal what’s complete, what’s done, and what you can release. Feel blessed, know you are blessed.

I’d love to know how this New Moon resonates for you. What is your takeaway? Please talk to me in the comments.


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. I felt the shift begin earlier today. I didn’t quite have the words for it, but completion and love feel pretty darned close.

    Thanks for this enlightening post and a great idea to welcome the new moon.

    Hugs and butterflies,

    • Teresa, hugs back to you!

      May the completion and love bring you exactly where you need to go.

      Love and New Moon blessings,

  2. I have felt this shift building up to this point. I think it began to really hit me today so far, and this evening. I have been restless and, yet, at the same time I have been experiencing deep reflection and transformation. Communication has been rather lacking, however, I have been trying to think before speaking and opening myself up more than I feel comfortable with at times so as to keep the peace.

    I have also been accomplishing quite a bit of sorting and organizing in our home, though it has been a collaborative effort that began earlier in the week. I have much further to go, and sometimes I forget to reflect on accomplishments, and feel bogged down. What a nice reminder that it is ok to actually praise ourselves for a job well done, and that something better is on the way

    • Kelly, welcome!

      I love your comment, so much loving grace and acceptance in it.

      Celebrate every little corner of organization and decluttering, and do them one at a time. That was a very hard lesson for me to learn, and a huge game-changer.

      Blessed be!

    • Hi Linda, so true!

      May we all be blessed with that stillness. And may it come naturally — no struggle.

      Love and light,

  3. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I really needed to hear this today. I’m not good with stillness. Stillness generally breeds negative thoughts, anxiety, depression. My philosophy is Do More, Think Less. But your post helped me see the need, especially this week, to embrace the stillness, to use the stillness for good, to allow the water to wash over me and allow me to find peace in a world that is consumed with difficulties. I read and re-read your post and I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me to embrace the stillness. I’m forever grateful to you for your advice and wisdom. Big hugs & lots of love.

    • Kelly, wow, how lovely to see how you’ve sponged up the message (I’m sticking to this water metaphor for now, thank you!).

      May you find the quiet today, and all weekend long, and celebrate that stillpoint.

      Love and magic,

  4. I had a pretty significant dream last night that was about letting go. But I am also feeling antsy with desire to take action. After reading this post, I am inspired to take some more quiet time to reflect. Thank you!

    • Carla, welcome!

      Love that, and thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I just feel antsy and can’t let go.

      Time for some quiet time.

      Love and blessings,

  5. I am reading this just before i head off to set some intentions for March. i am going to sit in the sun today to do this. I have felt a shift already i can feel myself pulling back from what has been holding me back and moving forward to that which will make me shine and help others

    • Hey Suzie, lovely to read this! I am so happy there was sunshine today, which let me get to the beach and open to completion and release.

      So delighted to catch some of the rays of your shine.

      Love and blessings,

  6. What a lovely post! Thank you. I’ve been so busy lately and am craving some time in stillness. I love being close to water and the weather is getting warmer and the sun is out here in the south of France. Love, Karina

    • Karina, glad you got some sunshine. How lovely, it was bright and warn here today too. Standing by the shoreline watching the waves is powerful magic for me.

      So grateful for you!

      Love and light,

  7. Raquel, so glad you liked the image. One of the moves in the t’ai chi form I study is called Cloud Hands. It makes a lovely mental picture, and also an amazing feeling when I do the movement and all the other movements in the form. Like swimming in air…

    Much love to you!

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