Companion Moon

moon-shadows

“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast,
knowing us in our light and dark moments,
changing forever just as we do.
Every day it’s a different version of itself.
Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light.
The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”

~Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Samhain and the In-Between

Samhain

There are special in-between times in life that are filled with power.  Twilight is such a time, as is dawn. Those magical moments in each day when it is neither day nor night…  Birth is also an in-between time, as is death. Each of these in-between times marks a border, a space of transition. They are special times when the ancients believed magic is likely to occur.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we find ourselves on the boundary between autumn and winter. This is yet another potent in-between time. As the sunlight fades away and our nights begin to lengthen, the ancient Celtic people celebrated Samhain (Sow-in).  Some tribes celebrated Samhain at the 1st new moon after late harvest (October 30th this year). Other tribes chose to celebrate at the 1st full moon after harvest (November 14th this year).

The Celtic celebration of Samhain was a way to acknowledge and honor the transition out of the light half of the year and into the dark half.  The Celtic people believed that the veils between this world and the next are very thin at Samhain. Those that have departed this Earth are close at Samhain. This made it the perfect time to celebrate the gifts of the ancestors, and to celebrate the endless cycles of birth – growth – death – rebirth that are an integral part of Nature.

In this sacred and magical in-between time, spend a few moments acknowledging and honoring all that has happened in the past year.

Honor everything you have “harvested” this year.

Consider what you hope to “birth” and “grow” in the year ahead.

Bow to your ancestors and thank them for giving you this life.

Offer love and prayers to loved ones who have transitioned.

Thank the light of summer and embrace the dark of winter.

Celebrate the Magic of Samhain.

Sun and Moon Dance

Summer Forest
Summer Forest

It is summer solstice. Every year in June, the Sun returns to its northernmost point in our sky. This solstice time signals the peak of summer sunlight falling on the northern hemisphere (and the peak of winter darkness in the southern hemisphere).

Traditionally summer solstice is a time of celebration, a time to rejoice and offer gratitude to the Sun for continuing to bless our Earth with life giving sunlight. This particular solstice is extra special because the Moon is full at the same time.  This combination of solstice Sun and full Moon hasn’t happened in 40 years.

Our moon is full and bright in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, the truth seeker. Meanwhile, our Sun is dancing out of Gemini and into the watery sign of Cancer, the nurturer. Both Sun and Moon are in their most expansive state, creating a potent interweaving of the sacred feminine and masculine energies.

Mystic Mamma offers insight into the significance of this special full moon summer solstice time:  full moon solstice insights.

Holy Night

Nightfall

Sun 

falls over the edge of

a silent Earth

reverent day’s end

holy night slides in

and dark expands into

a landscape of dreams

I am full of this night

potent with possibility

in this dark space

waiting for moonrise

 and remembering

the light.

☾☽

by Nancy Lankston

Winter Solstice Gateway

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge
Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

Winter solstice happens tonight in the northern hemisphere. This is the longest night of the year here in the North.

Our Sun it sitting directly on top of the Galactic Cross in our sky. The Galactic Cross marks where the plane of our solar system intersects with the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. Our Sun sits on the cross for 3 days.

This is a natural energetic gateway into the new year. Set your intentions for 2016 now!

☀️

#solstice  #magic

The Dark Half of the Year

Samhain - Wheel of the Year

As the days grow short and the nights lengthen in the northern hemisphere, the ancient Celtic tribes of Europe used to hold a celebration they called Samhain (sow-in).  The Celts celebrated Samhain to mark the turning of the Wheel of the Year. At Samhain, the entire northern hemisphere officially enters into the dark half of the solar year. This is the time of year when the sun seems to turn away, and night lasts longer and longer. The dark half of our solar year officially begins on November 6th this year.

Samhain actually marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year in times past. At Samhain, the Celts paused and took time to reflect on the past and plan for the new year. They also believed Samhain was a time to connect with and honor loved ones who have crossed over into the land of the dead. And halfway across the world, the people of Mexico and Central America still celebrate Dia de los Metros (Day of the Dead) at this time of year.

Celtic Samhain is not just about celebrating death and those who have passed beyond. It is about celebrating life. The last of the year’s harvest is being gathered up in the fields and orchards now. Samhain is the perfect time to express gratitude to sacred Mother Earth for  all the blessings and bounty she has provided for you and your loved ones.

Celebrating Samhain does not have to be complicated. Just take a few moments to pause and offer up a prayer of love and gratitude to those who have died. Go outside and offer gratitude to Mother Earth. Express thanks for everything you have harvested in your life. Simply pause and take a few moments to appreciate all the good that has come your way in the past year.

May the Spirit of peace
bring peace to your house
this Samhain night
and all nights to come.

In Rhythm with Luna

Phases of the Moon

Where is the moon tonight?  

Is she up yet? 

What aspect of herself is she showing? 

☾ ☽

 These are the questions that come to mind when I gaze at the night sky.  Maybe it’s because I’m female. The ancients claimed that all women are creatures of the moon. Or maybe it is because I was born in the early morning hours before dawn, just as the moon became full. And on that night many moons ago, the moon rose in the sign of Scorpio, the keeper of the night and the dark mysteries of life, death and rebirth.  I am a moon baby.

For whatever reason, I have been fascinated by the moon for as long as I can remember. My Celtic ancestors used the cycles of the moon to track the passage of time. And I still do the same  – in fact, it stuns me that the Gregorian calendar in use all over the world is not linked directly to the cyclic movements of the earth and moon. That’s why we have a silly Leap Year day every 4 years – we need to “correct” the errors in the Gregorian calendar!  Whoever thought it was a good idea to ignore the cyclic movements of the sun and moon when creating a calendar?!

In every solar year (the time it takes mother earth to go all the way around our sun), the moon goes through 13 cycles. There are 13 lunar months in each year, not 12. And within each lunar cycle, the moon slowly shifts from the dark phase of a new moon, gradually revealing more and more of herself (waxing) until she is completely lit up at the full moon. Then Luna slowly wanes, showing less and less of herself in the night sky until she is dark and barely visible at all. When she enters this dark phase, her her rhythmic dance of light and dark begins all over again.

These cycles where the moon is constantly shifting and dancing with how much she reveals of herself seem quite female to me. There is nothing linear about the moon! And I find that women are typically more changeable and moody and rhythmic than men, whether we care to admit it or not.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance…” 

~Ecclesiastes, King James Bible

Our ancestors planned their sacred rituals around the cycles of the moon; they knew that each moon phase holds a specific power. So, when the moon was fully revealed in her full moon state, the ancients celebrated and worshipped the divine feminine energies of birthing  and completion. Even today, wise midwives plan their schedules, knowing that many, many babies are born when the full moon exerts her pull on pregnant wombs! Full moons are times of completion.

In contrast, when the moon is hidden from view in her new moon state, the ancients saw it as a potent time to plant the seeds for new projects and begin new ventures.  Even the timing of farm planting and sowing was tied to the moon cycles in ancient times; not so silly when we realize that the waters and tides of planet earth feel the pull of the moon as well.

 

I love watching the moon go through her dance from dark to light and back to dark each month. I am definitely a moon baby! And I plan to continue my love affair with the rhythms and cycles of the moon until I leave this earth. It keeps me connected to the cycle of the seasons in a deep meaningful way.

Try this:

The next time you want to start a new project, begin working on it during the dark phase of the new moon.

Ready to celebrate an accomplishment or rite of passage? Try holding your celebration during the full moon.

Synchronize with the rhythms of the moon and discover the potency of rhythmic organic timing.