By the light of the silvery Moon...There’s lots of talk these days about the exciting upcoming total solar eclipse. Mark it on your calendars: August 21st, the day of the New Moon, aka the Dark of the Moon. Go here to learn about the eclipse.
The staring role that day isn’t the Sun, however, but the Moon. It's about how our Moon’s cycles mark our lives. She causes the tides to ebb and to flow, and she shows us how time passes with infinite patterns, and she inspires contemplation and song and dance and poems—indeed luminous art of all varieties. We humans have always been in love with our Moon.
Our Moon always turns the same face to us as we stand here upon the Earth. She is both mysterious and consistent that way. As we gaze up at her face, her dark side always remains hidden from us. Throughout each of her 28-day cycles her face reflects the light of the Sun displaying all her glory to us in predictable ways. We call these her phases and since the beginning of human time we have assigned meanings to these phases as lunar moods and we have used them to understand and demonstrate our own cycles of being and doing.
From her invisible New Moon she waxes, showing us increasing slices of her face until we see her in all her glory at her radiant Full Moon. Then she wanes, showing us decreasing slices of her face until she is invisible yet again as another New Moon. We watch and we marvel still.
- New Moon: The time to set a new intention. This is the time to reflect and set a new goal—an intention not just an aspiration or dream, but a determination, large or small, for the upcoming month.
- Crescent Moon: The time to relax into our new intention, to gather our inner resolve and focus, to map out our plan.
- First Quarter Moon: Our to-do list gets some of it’s first items accomplished.
- Gibbous Moon: We keep checking off more items on our to-do list, feeling ever more confident that we are in sync with our own destiny.
- Full Moon: We move ahead with bright clarity OR we might recognize that we need to correct our course and perhaps even move this goal to a different cycle. Our clarity excites and calms us.
- Disseminating Moon: We feel grateful as we sense our own purpose and place in the universe. We receive love and support from others who feel grateful to have us a part of their world.
- Third Quarter Moon: Now we know how to support others, too, and we proceed to use our re-directed intention to add to their sense of purpose.
- Balsamic Moon: This is the time of quiet reflection, looking back on this cycle and resting up for the next.
I invite you to watch the sky for her many patterns. And to listen to songs. Maybe even to make your own.
If this isn't nice, what is?
~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course