Have you ever not known what to wish for? Last night, the 24th of December 2011, was a new moon. Making wishes on a new moon is a tradition for me that started with two friends in Sydney right before we travelled to South America. We wrote a list of dreams, looked up at the stars and asked the universe to bring them to us. Everything on our list came true, well, almost.

Apparently on a new moon, or as a new moon grows to a full moon, the universe’s energy is the best for making wishes. It seems even more significant to make these wishes on an evening that so many people are celebrating the Winter/Summer Solstice (depending where you are) and the religious and cultural traditions adjoined to it.

Yet for a brief moment last night I couldn’t think what to wish for. I asked myself why? I concluded it might be due to a resent mellow acceptance of The Universe. She has more power than I. She is the player, I but a pawn.

If I can slit my wrist on a table after teaching zumba, be in the front seat of a car when it crashes, and fall from a scooter going down a straight road with no bumps, I can hurt myself anywhere. Each were part my choices – the places I had put myself – and part chance – the randomness of each accident. The thing is, if I can come out of the above three accidents with a few scratches but no permanent damage, I have a lot to be thankful for.

We have agency over but a few things in our lives. We have choice, but all our choices are limited to the cards we are dealt. We can’t chose where we are born. Our bodies and minds are constantly being reshaped by our surroundings. I’m not saying we live in a deterministic universe, nor an in-deterministic one. It seems clear to me we live in a universe that is some kind of mix of the two. Understanding this dialogic between determinism and in-determinism helps, in a round-about way, when it comes to making wishes.

Last night I could have been at home in Sydney celebrating Christmas with my family. Instead I did it through Skype. This was my choice. It was a choice made only a few days before my flight, and only because of certain changes in my environment.  Namely, I missed out on a scholarship I was counting on to continue my PhD research in 2012. I decided to delay Sydney’s rental market and take my friend up on her offer to stay with her for a month in Vancouver: take some time to think, to figure out if missing out on the scholarship was a door closing, or if it were pointing to some other order of priorities.

All the signs point that this is the right decision. On the day I should have been on a plane I ate lunch with my supervisor from Sydney, who happened to be passing through Van. Now I have January to work hard on my thesis, and let the snowy mountains heal the year’s wounds.

In the end the wishes I put to the universe couldn’t have been more generic:

  • safety
  • health
  • love
  • success
  • peace
  • clarity



So, even if you can’t think of specific wishes, light a candle and make some generic ones like these… Wish them on tonight’s new(ish) moon, and HAVE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!