monday the 15th was the new moon. my dear girlfriend and my step mother’s birthdays and the day before my first chemo session.

i had a grand time at the ocean, had returned to magnificent fall weather here in boise. deepest of blue skies and the trees a flame with that perfect diffused light you wait all year to see only now.

i was to receive a session with a wise healer friend of mine, luna, on that new moon morning. we talk, she sets beautiful space and as i lay down, she does energy work, guided imagery, and as per usual i drop into an insane and instant shavasana. without fail, everytime, i drop deep and out within moments and rest deeply. this was no exception.

after this time, i pulled a mayan oracle card. 13 universal movement.

“the thirteenth tone calls forth the greater pattern. 13 touches you with the hand of unseen forces and radical change. it will catalyze into movement whatever resists change or is unexamined or stationary. something may have dramatically changed the course of your life. You are being touched by fate, you have moved through identification of self into open consciousness.

“olin the mayan goddess of movement, asks you to surrender to the perfection of the larger pattern of your essence self. she provides the possibility of a radical “frequency shift”, offering you limitless new opening. become a skywalker. be open and flexible, allowing changing reference points to become dynamic allies. open to the workings of destiny, offered by universal movement.”

wow. i like that. a lot.

the next part of my day i went on a walk in kathryn albertson park with my love. watching the spectacle of the leaves and feeling the change in the air. it was a day where i felt perched on this ledge of absolute clarity. everything made perfect sense and every step that brought me to where i am was spot on. i tried to be as still as i could be, to allow it all to soak in.

i discovered thru a fellow cancer explorer that one of the drugs that is used in chemo, taxol or taxotere, comes from the yew tree. it is a natural element. she shared how she tapped into that and used that connection to nature to guide her through her process. it rang so strongly with me. it slows down your body, slows the cells down, as cancer cells reproduce at a rapid rate, it kills them. you lose your hair because they reproduce at the same rapid rate. the whole system slows down. goes into a kind of hybrination, to clean the body and then reboot.

we did some research on the magical properties of the yew tree: symbolizes the tree of life, immortality, rebirth, protection, longevity, change, strength. “the perserverence of the yew is that of all life, which continues in the face of overwhelming odds and grows stronger because of it. much of yew’s symbolism is concerned with transcendence, the transformation that arises from death (not necessarily a physical death) (good to know…)

medicinal properties: every part of the yew is poisonous except for the fleshy part of the berry. the leaves and bark contain the anti-cancer agent taxol that inhibits cancer cell growth.”

although it seems that much of the taxol is now synthetically created in a lab, i chose to work with the strenght of the tree element during my process. the original root of this healing elixir.

i was gifted a 4 inch smooth piece of pacific northwest yew, with the nordic rune symbol carved into it. along with the word “strength”. i carry it with me. i sleep with it.

i am touched by the timing of my stepping into this part of my cancer journey as we move into the dead of the year. why should i not lose my hair as the trees lose their leaves, and go into an inward regineration time. moving toward stillness, staying warm and quiet. going deep to see what rises to the top.

“i am hanging on like the last leaves of autumn,

but i am coming through like the first shoots of spring.

i’m standing outside of space and time

and i’m healing

i’m believing.”

-beth orton “last leaves of autumn”