This week’s Libra full moon, also known traditionally as the Pink Moon heralding the arrival of spring, is the first after the Vernal Equinox: that fleeting moment of planetary balance where the length of night perfectly equates with the hours of daylight. Historically, this moon offered great relief in many native northern cultures, signalling an end to the harsh realities of winter and the welcome transition toward the bounty of summer.

And, if you’re not familiar with the Pagan roots of Christian practice, this is the Paschal Moon that the Catholic Church calendar uses every year to mark Easter Sunday - always the first Sunday following the full moon after the Spring Equinox. A spiritually tenuous link perhaps but indicative of what a significant marker this moon has represented over millennia, symbolic as it is of transformative new life. The pre-Christian Pagan festival surrounding the goddess Eostre, tethered to the fertility symbol of the egg, have all been amalgamated into the chocolate coated consumerism of modern Easter practice, and all link inextricably to this moon.

And, surprise, surprise, as Earth’s day and night equate in the heavens, so the Libra Moon majors on balance, in our personal lives and beyond. Astrologically, Libra is visually represented by a set of balanced scales, often seen as the Scales of Justice. At this time of year it would serve us well to assess where balance is missing in our lives and employ strategies to apply it.

Like any full moon, emotions will continue to run high during the fortnight it influences. Reports of suffering at home and abroad are very likely to evoke heartbreak of our own. Tears will flow, and should be allowed to do so, a physiological balancing act in themselves. Great joy will also be available even when the world around us appears to be going to shit with no light at the end of its very dark tunnel. But where is that joy to be found? In a world of suffering, with war and climate breakdown constantly piped into our lives courtesy of 24 hour media exposure, where can blissful celebration be justified? And, even if we do manage to get the party started, the obvious criticism is that we ravers are simply in denial.

Many wisdom traditions suggest that the biggest party available to any of us convenes internally through an inner dialogue; on our own inner dancefloor if you will. Despite our close proximity to this exclusive venue, it proves a difficult place for most of us to find and, once located, even more difficult to gain entry. Ironically, the ticket is free and the guest list unlimited - the only barrier to admission being the role we take as bouncer on the door. We either consider ourselves unworthy (metaphorically unattractive or inappropriately dressed) or worse, in some way defective as a human for wanting to hang out and dance solo, even if the tunes bang so hard that our heart and souls are desperate to shake some booty to the infectious, life affirming groove. Where’s the balanced Libra justice in that?

The only knowledge which satisfies us is one which is subject to no external standards but springs from the inner life of the personality.

(Rudolf Steiner)

Those same wisdom traditions suggest that the swiftest way past security straight onto the dancefloor of inner joy is through meditation/mindfulness/prayer. Such practice is often depicted as the preserve of saffron robed monks in temples, mystics in caves or tie dyed chiffon clad hippies in teepees, but the truth is that the disco of inner vision is available to anyone willing to swing their being to the compelling rhythm of existence. Yours is the only name at the top of the guest list, providing an open invitation inwards, to meet and chat yourself up before embarking on the greatest love affair you can ever know.

Under this Libra Full Moon we seek to balance the overwhelming seductions of external validation with a hefty dose of independent delectation, where the only voice that counts is the one at our core, intuitively combining its personal love song harmoniously with the evolving choir of existence. This inner dancefloor dialogue is the only chat in town that matters, the place to be seen and heard. Turn inwards, glory in the beauty we cannot help but find there; then dance unapologetically dear friends for it’s truly time to party!

Ooh it's so good, it's so good,
It's so good, it's so good,
It's so good.

Ooh I'm in love, I'm in love,
I'm in love, I'm in love,
I'm in love.

Ooh I feel love, I feel love,
I feel love, I feel love,
I feel love.

I feel love.
I feel love.

Ooh fall and free, fall and free. Fall and free, fall and free. Fall and free.

(Donna Summer, ‘I Feel Love’, 1976)

By way of guaranteed free admission onto your unique, rhythm imbued dancefloor within, here's a practical step by step guide to meditation. I maintain that the process is very simple. The stumbling block for most folks is not how to do it but how to maintain the discipline to really attain full benefit. Regular practice on the meditation dancefloor, even for 5 minutes morning and evening will bring almost instant results. Further progress naturally comes with further discipline - a few extra minutes each day until you feel a fully fledged mindful disco queen (non-gender specific obviously).

Recommended as you first rise in the morning or just before you retire to bed in the evening...or both.

Switch off the devices - no distractions. If necessary, let others in your household know that you do not wish to be disturbed for a short while. Create a quiet, relaxed space with a chair in which you can sit comfortably with a straight back (option to light a candle/incense should you wish. Wrap yourself in a blanket if it feels right).

Sit with a straight back and concentrate solely on your breathing until your thoughts start to slow down. Don't beat yourself up if your uncontrolled thoughts keep distracting you - just acknowledge those thoughts, observe their origins and swiftly return your concentration to the breath....quite literally the physical sensations of breathing in and out and only this.

When the mind finally calms (5 -10 mins), i.e. when the gaps between thoughts get noticeably longer, a spaciousness may be experienced. Explore it. Where are you in relation to that space? Listen carefully for any words, messages or feelings that may (or may not) arise in the space. Relax and dwell in the spaciousness as long as feels comfortable, returning concentration to the breath when thought intermittently arises.

To finish, gratefully acknowledge that spaciousness as your own: a safe, happy, healthy and, above all, peaceful space to which you can return at any time simply by focusing on your breath.

Return to the awareness of your body, surroundings and your day to day activities, hopefully imbued with peace. You have begun to enjoy and dance "a love of already satisfied desire." (Albert Einstein) It's better than telly.

But what of all that aforementioned pain and suffering? From a wider perspective suffering is as old as humanity, perhaps synonymous with the human condition.

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

From that wider holistic perspective, circumstances can be recognised as entirely neutral; our perception, based on past experience, the filter through which we charge those circumstances with meaning: good/bad; happy/sad; joy/pain; desirable/undesirable or simply ‘meh’.

Pain in life is inevitable but suffering is not. Pain is what the world does to you, suffering is what you do to yourself [by the way you think about the 'pain' you receive]. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

(Attributed to Gautama Buddha)

Establishing an inner dialogue is a method, tried and tested over millennia, that provides a balanced view of circumstance and our subsequent experience. This doesn’t mean crap won’t happen but it allows a perspective from which our lives are not rendered hopeless, merely adding more pain to the accumulated pain body already finding its negative expression across our beautiful but somewhat beleaguered planet.

Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time.

(Thich Nhat Hanh)

We naturally send a heartfelt love song to those afflicted by war, poverty, abuse, oppression, discrimination and climate catastrophe but great purpose can be found in recognising the beauty unfolding around us at all times. These daily miracles might not warrant the same number of column inches as Harry and Meghan’s victim status but an inner recognition of the overarching conscious intelligence reflected in our everyday lives can be truly transforming.

Under this Libra ‘Paschal’ Moon let’s celebrate our unalienable right to creative imagination and rebirth. We have the capacity to resurrect ourselves and our individual worlds as forces for the benefit of All not merely our imbalanced self interest.

And the best, most justified, balanced, chat up line you could offer yourself on this Libra Full Moon dancefloor would be a simple, “I love you.” Don’t whisper it though. Shout it loud or it might get drowned out by those delicious, beguiling beats.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

(T. S.Eliot - Wait Without Hope)