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August 20, 2014

Waning & New Moon: Honoring the Other Half of the Moon Cycle. ~ Chris Maddox

waning moon

The Lunar Cycle provides us a luminous map of cycles of nature.

These cycles live in the natural world around us, as well as internally.

  • The Waxing Moon brings with it the essence of spring, rising energy, building, growing.
  • The Full Moon is total expression. All are touched by the light, the summer.
  • The Waning Moon is a slow surrender, letting go, falling away, the autumn.
  • The New Moon is Wintertime, when the dark sky and the cold air encourage us to draw our energy inward, into the depths.

Energetically, we experience the same cycles, to greater or lesser degrees.

Generally, in our Western culture of doing and achieving, the Up energy of Waxing Phase and the Full Phase, is largely celebrated, supported, encouraged.

It is the other half of the cycle when energy is waning, falling away, softening, drifting inward, we Westerners tend to get…how do we say? Uncomfortable. 

For this is part of the cycle which represents the dying and death. To actually feel what is dying in us, be it some dream, some habit, some hope, some relationship, some version of ourselves we have been bought into, can bring with it the grief and tenderness that often comes with loss.

As a doer myself, spring baby that I am, in love with the rising pull of the Waxing Phase, I have been reflecting on the ways I sometimes subtly, sometimes violently resist the waning in me. I truly believe it is in the resistance to the wane that we create drama and chaos.

You’ve heard it: What we resist persists.

I’m a student on the mystic path of Sufism where it is often said that we must die and die and die again. Yoga classes end with Savasana, final resting pose, corpse pose. Here, we allow ourselves to symbolically die before we rise to meet the next moment of our lives.

So… I’ve made a promise to myself to find ways to honor and celebrate the waning in me, my life and the world each month. To ask: What has died here? What am I letting go of? What am I saying goodbye to?

This can, at first glance, seems scary. So in an effort to face this, I have been calling on the awareness of beauty in the process.

Here in New England, fall is a season of such stunning beauty; one cannot help but feel reverence for the beauty of the transformation, and be swept off her feet with the waning in the cycle of the trees as the green leaves of summer turn gold and red and orange.

I ask you, dear reader, how can we see our own tiny or vast transformations with that reverence? How can we allow ourselves to be floored by the changing colors in the expressions inside, and in our world?

Here are five suggestions inspired by my personal exploration of the Waning and New Moon Phase:

1.      Let there be space. Do not over schedule. In this part of the Moon Cycle, give yourself plenty of time for reflection, time to tune into the beauty and feeling of the falling away.

2.      Drop expectation that your energy and mood should be up. If you are waning, so be it. Do not judge. Instead explore this different, yet valuable energy.

3.      Allow yourself to weep. You don’t have to weep forever, but allow the tears to come up and out. The tender beauty of being human is expressed through our tears.

4.      Don’t worry about figuring it all out. “Why am I so emotional?” Sometimes it will be personal and specific. You will know exactly what you are mourning. Other times, you won’t. A truth is: The civilization in which we live, in so many ways, is not natural, not reasonable and not kind. If you are awake, the insanity and cruelty in civilization will be upsetting, you will need to digest that. Another truth is: If you are anchored in your wisdom, it will not overcome you. Staying anchored in wisdom takes commitment, practice and discipline and brings with it the distinct ability to love the world anyway.

5.      Enjoy art with no goal. Draw, perhaps with your non-dominant hand. No goal. No right. No wrong. Just color and space. Listen to music. Read Poetry. Wander through a museum. See, hear, feel in the beauty.

As you gaze up at the sky in the next week, you will see the waning of the Moon. It will be New (Dark) next Monday, August 25th, 2014. I am wishing you reverence, acceptance and wishes for a fruitful exploration of the other half of the cycle, dear soul.

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Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Dave Young/flickr

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