The Moon

Image of moon

Photo credit NASA/JPL/USGS

This weekend the moon waxed full, a bright circle in the night sky, a sign of wholeness. I get reminders every month of the full moon through my friend Brenda Ferrimani’s project Dreaming Global Illumination, but I would notice it anyway. I’m one of the people who thinks it’s way cool that we’re going to have two bright comets appear in the night sky in 2013, so it’s a given that I’m into natural phenomena and would notice the moon.

Juliet called it “the inconstant moon,” (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, scene 2) for it waxed and waned and so made a poor metaphor for love, but for me, the moon is constant.  My parents noticed and commented on its presence, so I learned to notice it too, its phases marking nights of gazing out the window at crescent, gibbous, or full faces, falling asleep under its soothing light. Later, my menstrual cycles phased with it. Still later, I learned about meanings that astrologers assign to the full moon, the new moon, and began to understand it as a metaphorical symbol, a presence known to all of humankind.

The moon is feminine, a partner to the masculine sun. And when I looked on her beautiful face the other night, I remembered a story, of my mom and my sister continents apart, each looking up at the moon and thinking of the other and how that same moon looked down on them both; then writing letters to each other that crossed in the mail. So for me, on one level the moon is about “Mommy Radar,” which is what we called my mom’s intuition about her kids, but on a deeper level it’s about the heart connection that holds the ability to commune in thought, especially with the help of the constant moon.

The moon shines on distant loved ones as surely as it shines on me, reminding me that from the moon’s perspective, we live on a small planet. She keeps her eye on us, except for a brief wink now and then. She shines, like the sun, on beggar and queen alike, a companion to the human race with a firm hold on our collective psyche.

The moon, Luna, is associated with mental illness, hence our word lunatic. The full moon is said to wake all sorts of passions, and even spur the transformation of humans into wolves. At the heart of these associations is what I see as a wildly creative energy, onto which we project out-of control craziness and fierce animal energy. Strong energies can be terrifying, even if they’re for the good, because we like to stay in control. Yet we’re constantly reminded, every full moon, of these archetypal energies in our lives. What should we do with them? Humans have used the full moon to mark rituals, to dance, to explore dreams, and to howl. Try offering some time to making a collage, or doodling, or putting on music and moving your body. Let the energies move through you, and see how you feel afterward. The more we do to let those energies through, the less likely they’ll build to the breaking point of lunacy or out of control, animal reactions.

Watch for the moon, and listen to the inner promptings her light awakens. If she asks for tears, offer tears. If she asks for howling, howl. If she invites you into curious dreams, let sleep overtake you. If all she asks is your quiet attention, give her that, and thank her for watching over us here on Earth.

1 comment to The Moon

  • Karen Robinson

    This is lovely. My husband suggested to me long ago that if we are ever separated by a natural disaster or a man-made disaster, that we should look up at the moon, and each of us think of the other one, and know that the other is thinking of us. It’s almost like a cosmic mirror where we can see loved ones.

    I think it was mostly the stars that Mom and I were looking at that night, from 4000 miles apart. But I often think of her in the moonlight too. She used to call me a “lunatic” with a smile to let me know it was the pun she was playing with. And I remember going on moonlight hikes with her, and a magical night with her in Perce by moonlight.

    I love this: “She keeps her eye on us, except for a brief wink now and then.” :-)

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