Deb officiating a wedding with everyone laughing

Deb’s Picks for the Leo/Aquarius Full Moon — Sacred Play with Purposeful Practices

Sacred Play… purposeful practices to delight yourself AND serve the world

As I was ruminating on how I wanted to weave together the energies of Leo and Aquarius for the upcoming Full Moon to come up with some interesting Deb’s Picks, I kept coming back to a phrase that I use often – “sacred play” (you’ll see why in a minute).

Ever since I wrote my Master’s thesis in the mid-90s, it’s been one of my favorite ways to describe ritual, especially wedding ceremonies which I’ve often called the highest form of sacred play… no somber ceremonies for me, as you can see in the photo!

In fact, I’ve paired that juicy word “sacred” with a bunch of different ideas over the years. In my Master’s thesis on the transformative power of women’s ritual, I dove into it’s origins. It comes from the Latin root sacer, which means “holy,” and which is derived from the same Saxon word root as the word “whole” – hal, meaning healthy or complete. I really do believe that the path to wholeness involves balancing and honoring equally all aspects of our beings: mind, body, heart, and spirit. Hence, that journey is truly a sacred one.

Likewise, when I morphed and expanded that thesis into my book “Circle of One 15 years ago, I coined the phrase sacred SELF-Centeredness” to describe the kind of radical self care that is grounded in mindfulness, compassion, and a commitment to honoring our deepest wisdom. Because if we’re not operating from the essence of who we truly are — our Circle of One — we won’t be whole enough to support all of those things we’re most passionate about, whether it’s our relationships, our careers, or the important work we want to do in the world… you name it.

Then, there’s all the ways I’ve written or taught about how important it is to create sacred space in our lives, whether it’s at home, in the office, or even on the road. I won’t give you a list of all my workshop outlines and blogs about it, but here’s one I wrote 5 years ago that’s a good overview: How To Create ‘Sacred’ Space At Home Where You Can Actually Relax”.

How about you, what’s your relationship with the word “sacred” and where does it show up in your life?

And circling back to the idea of sacred play, just what does that have to do with the upcoming Leo/Aquarius Full Moon on January 25th?

Well, among other things, Leo’s fire-y energy is literally about playing creatively with your inner child, re-connecting with your authentic self (your Circle of One), and not being afraid to shine your light joyfully. You’ve heard of Leo the Lion(ess)? Embrace that proud, “look at me”, self-confident vibe… in a playful way, of course!

And when you integrate that with the open-minded, collective-oriented, purpose-driven, and humanitarian Aquarius season we’re moving through from January 20th to February 18th, you’ve got the perfect combo for using your most unique qualities to make a difference in the world.

But Aquarius is also about being a little (or a lot) quirky and eccentric and we’ll be tapping into that in my virtual  on February 9th when we’ll come up with some radical new ideas for “Welcoming Prosperity into Our Lives”. (you can register for that ).

So, in true fashion, my Deb’s Picks this month are a bit of a hodge-podge, some embracing a practice of sacred SELF-centeredness, and some reflecting Leo’s flare for the dramatic, but with a CAUSE (Aquarius). Enjoy!

4THU ARTIVISTS PRESENTS “for colored girls who have considered suicide…”

I announced auditions for our Spring show last month (which we had last week), but I had to include it again here cuz it’s a perfect example of the Leo/Aquarius theme of “drama for a higher purpose”! Not only is its message powerful AND empowering, but all net proceeds always go to organizations who work to end gender violence and systemic oppression. This year, it’s Women Deliver and Vday’s City of Joy Over the last 15 years we’ve raised over $200,000… not bad for a “little” church theater group! If you haven’t seen or read this play in it’s many iterations over the last 30+ years, definitely google it, let me know how you’d like to volunteer. And if you want to know more about 4thU Artivists, click on the blue link above.


I just found out about this other “purpose-driven” theater group which is just down the street from 4th U at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. They describe their mission as offering “a stimulating theater experience and, by engaging in our post-play reading discussions, the opportunity to gain greater insight into the ethical and moral behavior of the characters in our plays.” The most recent show is 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2013. You can still catch the second reading on Tues., January 23… just click in the poster. And if you miss it, you can sign up for future productions — the next one is on February 17-18.


I’ve been having such a good time creating year-long blog series at WU! In 2023, it was highlighting different Seasonal Celebrations each month. For 2024, I’ll be sharing a different spiritual practice on the 3rd Tuesday of the month with a video and short description… is that still called a “vlog”?? When I discovered pretty early on that I’m really bad at the “clear your mind” kind of meditation, I set out to find a bunch of rituals, chants, mantras, and more that incorporate some active component to them, either physical movement or singing or directed visualization. You can click on the blue link above to read/watch them each month, or just go to my YouTube channel. Let me know what you think… and I’d love to hear some of yours!


I’ve been doing a rotating mix of Pilates, barre, and yoga for many years now and loving it. I was doing a class every day at my local studio, then during the pandemic, actually got into doing it on my own at home which I have to say, I’m also loving. But now 3 of my favorite instructors have opened a beautiful new studio of their own in Harlem! That’s my wonderful yogi, Dani, and as you can see, the studio is light-filled and overlooks the Hudson River. They’ve got a full range of classes and are having their “official” opening (with a FREE class) on February 2nd. If you’re in the NYC area, click on the blue link to check out their website… I hope to see you there!

I hope some of these Picks will inspire you to find your own unique ways to play with a higher purpose! And as always, if you have any events or resources to share, I’d love to hear them.

With sacred, play-full blessings,