John and I have always wanted our own home. As people who have lived independently, with roommates, and together in apartments, we know well the ups and downs that come with tenant living. When we moved to Manchester in 2013 it was for me to start a new job and avoid a long commute from where we were currently living. Our apartment was cute, close to my work, and in a quiet neighborhood. Our security was shaken when our landlord sold the multi-family house without telling any of the 3 units of tenants and while telling the new owner the units would be vacant. We suddenly had new landlords who did not want tenants. While they certainly worked with us and legally were obligated to honor the duration of our lease, we wanted out and they wanted us gone.
John and I began searching for a new apartment that we could afford in a neighborhood that felt safe and we took the first one we found. We moved quickly and finally took a breath. Our new landlord had his own issues we were not happy with but we decided to make it work and would continue looking for a new place. Fast forward 6 months and we are having to open our apartment on Christmas Eve for showings because the multi-family building is on the market.
After a few sales that fell through, the realtor ended up purchasing the multi-family home and we had new landlords again. This time they were happy to have us stay, lived locally, and pretty much left us alone.
Lets fast forward to December 2019. Again, it’s the week before Christmas and we’re opening our apartment to showings because it is again, for sale. John and I are devastated, angry, and simply exhausted from all the upheaval. We have a long talk and decide it is time for us to move forward in purchasing a home.
Just to recap, let me do the math for you: 1 city, 2 apartments, 5 landlords, 7 years.
Planting a New Seed
John and I openly embrace Lunar energies and make the conscious choice to ask the Moon to be part of our journey. We tap into the potential of the New Moon when we are starting something new, whether it be a project, habit, or new state of being. On December 26, 2019, the New Moon arrived and we signed up for a first-time homebuyers class with a local non-profit focused on affordable housing, housing justice, and sustainable ownership for individuals and families.
When I signed us up, I took a deep breath and asked the New Moon to start to walk this journey with us. I called John to have him add the class date to the calendar on our fridge and to our pleasant surprise, the class date fell on the next New Moon, Saturday January 25, 2020.
This felt like a nod from the Moon and acknowledgement that yes, we were starting a new and important journey and the Moon had our back.
The corresponding Full Moon to our class would arrive 6 months later in July which was seemingly great timing. Our lease would expire on November 1, 2020 giving us 3 1/2 months between the Full Moon and lease expiration to complete the home buying process. We got this!
And then Covid…
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, no one’s timelines or plans were spared. I began working my full time job exclusively from home in March and never actually left my home in April (John went out twice to get groceries). The world came to a standstill and our only housing concern was that I was still able to work so we could pay our rent.
This period, while extremely difficult, did have a silver lining for us. We were able to completely cease any spending that wasn’t absolutely imperative. This wiggle room in our budget allowed us to pay down our credit card and start saving for a downpayment (our biggest home buying hurdle).
Things Shift Again
When our upstairs neighbors moved out, we were not pleased. They were so quiet and we never had any issues. The sound barrier between our units is fairly non-existent so we instantly became wary of the potential of new tenants. The stress of the unknown and having no power or control over the situation was too much. Housing came back into the forefront of our minds and it was time to take the next step.
The Moon Arrives
Each New Moon has a corresponding Full Moon, typically 6 months later. The New Moon is the time to plants seeds, the waxing Moon building energy and growth, and the Full Moon is when the flower blooms. Yes, this is the completion of a cycle but that does not mean it is necessarily the final result. For us, the corresponding Full Moon in July brought to fruition our commitment to home buying from January and the determination to make it happen. The cycle from planting our intention in January to affirming our commitment in July was an emotional journey that involved releasing our fears, laying groundwork, and setting the path forward.
When the Full Moon came in July (Sunday, July 5), it was as Mercury was in its second half of being Retrograde (June 18-July 12). Mercury came to a stop July 12 and began forward motion again on July 15. Things felt… shaky at this time but we knew that time marches on and Mercury would station and go direct again soon.
In the meantime, the New Moon in July landed on Monday, July 21. This was bank calling day! The next step in our process was to call banks/lenders and figure out what programs we could qualify for and at what lending amount. We quickly connected with a local credit union and started working with their staff to get our paperwork in order and submit the online pre-qualification application. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, our paperwork was in and now we just had to wait for our letter.
We were starting to feel like the process had stalled when July ended, August arrived, and it seem like September was in view. We had officially given our notice at our apartment and had a date to vacate; November 1, when our lease ended. I followed up with the credit union and was assured all our documents were in and we would be hearing from them as soon as possible. So, we waited…
When the August New Moon arrived on Tuesday August 18, our financing letter quickly followed that Friday the 21st. Another opportunity to start something new and the financing to do it! Now we were on to the next step of finding a realtor. Thankfully we have wonderful friends who were generous with recommendations and in just a few days we had started working with a realtor were were comfortable and excited to partner with.
Next step, find a house…
What we thought would be a quick process slowed down to a crawl (or at least it felt that way). The rare listings in our price range would come on and be sold faster than we could even go look at anything. The August Full Moon ushered in a real heavy sense of panic, doubt, and anxiety. No, the Full Moon didn’t decide that’s what we going to come to fruition this cycle, but the intensity of the shift made these things feel downright overwhelming.
Aside from finding very limited options we were also looking to having to be out of our apartment by November 1st. With a 45 day closing process, this meant we needed to be in process by the middle of September and every day made it feel like that wasn’t going to happen.
Our plan B was to stay temporarily with a generous friend who offered to share her home while we were still in process. She had just gone through the same thing about a year ago and understood the stress and emotion. I am endlessly thankful for her.
The September Blur
September saw 2 offers rejected, a potential home with heartbreaking structural issues, and listings with increasing prices beyond any responsible budget.
We stopped into a local herb shop/apothecary/metaphysical store on a Saturday so I could pick up a few supplies. While grabbing a couple herbal allies, I felt drawn to pick up a few small chime candles for myself. With the New Moon in the coming week, why not try to set some positive energy in motion? I grabbed 3 candles and set them on my altar when we got home to wait for the New Moon in a few days.
While doing a nightly search, we stumbled on not a house, but a building. The 2 story structure was built in 1900 as a theater and was currently configured as the first floor being an open studio and the second floor as an apartment. It was located just 2 towns and 20 minutes from my full-time job, a totally manageable commute even in a New England winter. Had my dream of living above my store from years ago finally come to fruition??? Not at the price they were asking. The building had been listed over 5 months ago but was still uncomfortably beyond our budget.
I looked at the listing for a solid week, hemming and hawing, until John asked me, ‘why not?’. We reached back out to our bank to clarify our borrowing options and just 2 days before the September New Moon I contacted our realtor to try and see it. While I wish it wasn’t so, this was another heartbreaking no. The building had structural issues, questionable functionality, and well-being issues that made it a hard pass.
As September progressed we found ourselves seeing a condo (a concession to open more options) on the New Moon just hours after it came on the market. We had put in an offer well over the asking price that night and before we went to bed the seller had already taken another offer. This property had hit ht market and was sold in under 18 hours! This was when the true hopelessness feelings started to set in. We were now 7 weeks from needing to be out of our apartment with no feasible options at hand.
The next day we went and saw a ranch-style home in a HOA community. Feeling seemingly out of options, we did not hesitate to put in an offer at asking price. A few hours after seeing the property, we got the call the seller had accepted our offer. What should have felt like pure joy and relief was again clouded with uncertainty about next steps, if we did the right thing, and all the other self-sabotaging thoughts that come along.
The rest of the month was an absolute blur of phone calls, paper work, financial adjustments, emotional swings, and endless stress. As the line of people wanting checks quickly took shape (application fees, inspection, appraisal, background check, etc…) we were feeling the money crunch and I was not handling it well. Without getting too far into the weeds, suffice to say we had to go a different route than we anticipated and need to recalibrate mentally, emotionally, and financially. Thankfully, with lots of support, the pieces were coming together and it was starting to feel real.
October was a wild ride. The month kicked off with this whole process in overdrive and my anxiety was starting to get away from me. I was now back to being at work full time which was already a huge adjustment and the stress of this process was pushing me in ways I have never felt before. With more loose ends to tie up, things were coming together and a glimmer of excitement was starting to chase away the fear.
We had an anticipated closing day of October 19 but when confirmed, it was moved to October 16. When I went to write it on my calendar the first thing I saw was that October 16 is the next New Moon. The sign that this is right, and good, and okay had finally come. New Moon, new beginning, fresh start, moving forward, new chapter. This was the affirmation I needed. Yes, we did the right thing, in the right time, and the right way.
When I texted my Mom to tell her the new date, her response included how that was also my paternal grandmother’s birthday. That’s when the tears started (at my desk at work, nonetheless).
While my grandmother (affectionately known as Memere) had passed when I was little, I had been thinking of her lately. Just the Saturday prior I told John all about what I remember of her and how I felt she was close these past few months. The one thing I have of hers is a small Mary porcelain figurine, likely from a set or nativity scene. I was delighted that along the road our house buying team had included multiple people named Mary, St. Mary’s Credit Union, and a tongue-in-cheek plastic dollar store nativity Mary toy given to me by my brother. Additionally, my maternal great-grandmother was named Mary. The maternal care and focus on family brought by the ‘Mary-energy’ was palpable. Indeed Memere was close, still is, and has played a huge role in this process.
A few signs directly from Memere popped up on our final moving day, but that’s another story…
Dotting t’s and Crossing I’s
Closing was quick (under an hour) and painless. We signed our paperwork and went back to our apartment. We debated going to the house but it weirdly felt ‘too soon’. We knew it was time to get our moving plan in action. We had decided I would take 2 weeks off from work and move a room at a time over those 2 weeks. Easy, right? Hahaha, no!
The first week we jumped into painting, small repairs, and minor projects. I had originally had no intention of doing any of these things, only to move and figure it out in the Spring. The thought was to just move and get settled before we took on the tasks of making things that way we wanted. One phone call from my mom asking about paint colors and my plan was out the window!
Week 1 was focused on me being at the house to paint, repair, etc… while John was at the apartment packing and organizing. These locations are only about 15 minutes apart so this was manageable, even with our 1 vehicle.
Week 2 was all about the move, and then it snowed. Yup, wet, dense, New England in October snow. And it just so happened to be on the day we decided to rent the UHaul. I’ll spare you the part of this story that involves late night panic attacks, untouched storage units, a wall of boxes, rain, and lots of tears. Just know we pushed ourselves, we pushed each other, we pushed forward.
Halloween, Samhain, and the Full Blue Moon in Taurus
This day is the completion of the moving process, the last day in our apartment, and the first day fully in our new home. It is an ending, a beginning, and feels like a lifetime wrapped into a day.
We did one final trip with the UHaul, one last donation run, and were finally able to breathe. Knowing it was important to mark these moments, we decided to treat ourselves out to dinner. A delicious meal in an empty restaurant (probably half Halloween, half pandemic) and then we headed home. I peeled off the stinky paint-covered clothes and took a hot shower. It was surreal, and still is most days.
In the next week that followed we talked to our new house, told her about ourselves, and asked to find peace, joy, safety, comfort, and security with her. We scattered rose buds along the edge of our property, completing a circle, and set intentions for this to be a home of love, compassion, and care.
We even celebrated our house’s birthday! We know the date construction was completed so we sang Happy Birthday to her at the dinner table and shared a cupcake. We say hello when we arrive and let her know we’ll be back soon when we leave. While it was a tough road to get here and to her, we are humbled to now call this space home.
As the Full Moon rose that evening, I saw her out the hallway window. Watching over us, taking time to bloom and rest, and knowing we made this happen in partnership.
Thank you Moon.
What I Learned Working with the Moon
- Tapping into the Moon cycle does not mean your intention will take 1 cycle.
- Yes, it would have been super nice if life moved to our ideals, but that’s not reality. Instead, I was able to focus on the cycles of life, find comfort and validation in the movement, and make movements with intention and purpose. It is clear to me that this process did follow the ebb and flow of the Moon cycle; each New Moon opened an opportunity while each Full Moon welcomed a breakthrough and also a releasing what no longer served the process. Instead of hyperfocusing on getting to the end of a very long and involved process in one Moon cycle, I found it more productive and realistic to instead focus on one step at a time while knowing where the Moon was in her own cycle. Being able to see the correlations between what I was going through and where the Moon was helped me feel validated and on track.
- The Moon doesn’t decide what happens, she amplifies the energy you are already creating/carrying.
- The Moon isn’t in charge over us, she is in partnership with us. Days I felt heavy and stuck and did not take steps to serve myself, the Moon pushed back on me and showed exactly where the struggle was. The days I felt light with movement and made healthy choices, the Moon illuminated the positive and shined on the path forward. Having this acknowledgment of the Moons amplification prowess sparks a shift in the way I thought about the process of home buying and the words I used. I became very intentional and more thoughtful with my words and worked to refine my emotions so that I was better able to process what I was experiencing, good or bad, easy or difficult, and everything in between.
- Big life changes are hard, but we can tap into loving, supportive energy.
- Sometime the energy we need is from a person, a pet, a plant, or in this case, the Moon. We all have difficult things we face in life and they can feel even heavier to carry when we are seemingly alone. There have been times in my life where circumstances have pushed me inward, closed me off, and isolated my being. Old habits may die hard but for me, baby steps are the name of the game! Over the years I have developed healthier coping skills, a network of loving peers, and a new layer of resilience. While these factors don’t make me emotionally invincible, they do play a huge role in how I am able to grapple with and move through challenging circumstances.
- I have also learned that having supportive and encouraging people in your life doesn’t mean they do the work for you either. I have had to learn not only how to ask for help and assistance but also how to receive and utilize it. I know who to go to for gentle encouragement and I also know who will give me tough love when I need it. The real work comes when I put into play what each person has given me and welcome their input. In my heart I know each person has my best interest in mind even if what they say isn’y what I want to hear.
- Throughout this process I looked to the Moon daily for guidance, comfort, and support. While it might sound like a one way conversation, the messages, affirmations, and redirects from the Moon resonated within me when I allowed myself to hear and feel them. The Moon showed me that I had more control over my situation than I realized especially when it came to my reactions and interactions. While we are happily in our new home now, I still take moments to thank the Moon daily. It was a long, hard road to get here and I think we both earned a little rest.