LUNAR LESSONS: WHAT THE MOON CAN TEACH US
From the dawn of time itself, people have gathered beneath the stars to gaze up at the moon. The moon has always captured our hearts and our imaginations with its mysterious and ethereal beauty. Poets and writers have long written odes to the night sky, glittering with stars, weaving the wonder of its silvery light into their stories and their stanzas.
In literature, the moon has often been drawn down into the written word as a symbol of time: both its never-ending flow - the present moment simultaneously becoming the past and the future as time moves ever forward - and the timeless forever that is eternity.
The moon has also been personified as a symbol of feminine energy - lady moon, mother moon - connected as it is to the female cycle. The moons phases - waxing to full, and waning to new - have, in traditional literature, been used to mark the passage of time and the transitions between fresh and youthful innocence, to creative and intuitive adult, to wise, all-knowing elder.
These are just literary symbols, of course, but mother nature has so much to teach us about ourselves, if we only open our eyes and see.
LUNAR LESSON #1
I flow with the rhythms of life
Just as the moon waxes and wanes, and the tides ebb and flow, drawn by her mysterious, magnetic pull, so our rhythm and energy flows too. This is not a bad thing or something to fight against, topping ourselves up with mugfuls of coffee and stuffing ourselves with sugary chocolate bars for an artificial lift. Energy ebbs and flows; this is just the way life is. Some days, we are brim full of energy and we feel we can turn our wildest dreams into reality. Other times, we may feel so fatigued and exhausted that we don't even have the energy to dream, let alone create. And this is OK. We are not designed to run and run and run like a battery, to never stop or slow down. And like a battery, that energy will run down and it will need recharging. We have to tune in with ourself, pacing ourselves, resting when we need to rest, when our energy is on the wane. Just know that soon, our energy will be topped up, renewed and recharged, and then we can get on with creating the life of our dreams. The moon teaches us balance: to flow with the rhythms of life, to rest, and then to create.
LUNAR LESSON #2
I embrace who I am
When the moon is full, it lights up the entire sky. But when it's a new moon, there is no light to be seen. And so it is with us. Sometimes we shine so brightly, radiating the full, vibrant essence of what makes us who we are. Whereas at other times, we might not have the energy to express ourselves. Sometimes we may feel joyful, abundant and generous of spirit, but at other times, we may catch ourselves having more negative thoughts than positive ones, or feeling a little tetchier or lower in spirits than usual. This is OK too. It's all part of the journey, and we should never deny or try to push down our negative feelings. Just sit with them a while, accept them, feel them and then let them flow through you and away. Our feelings are designed to be felt - emotional barometers that tell us what needs to be fine-tuned in our lives; we should respect our feelings and not judge them if they are anything less than utterly joyful and sunshine-infused. We can't shine all the time - sometimes we just have to tuck ourselves up under the blanket and recharge so our inner light can shine that little bit brighter.
LUNAR LESSON #3
I am always growing
The moons phases mirror our own journey through life, and the season of life we are in.
When we are young (or at a point in our life where we are learning something new or perhaps starting a new job), we are like a blank sheet of paper waiting for life to write itself on. We have 'beginners mind' - a state of innocence and grace where everything is new and exciting, and possibilities open up before us.
When we are older (or in the season of life where perhaps we are a parent, a business owner or working our way up the career ladder), we have enough experience behind us that we are able to intuit our life decisions - and the people and situations we encounter - a lot better. We have more information, gained from past experience, upon which to draw. We are creators, shapers of our inner and outer world, weavers of time and life into a pattern that suits us.
And when we are older again, we move into the realm of wisdom. We become a counsellor, an advisor, a wise one - someone who has seen it all, done it all and has a rich treasure chest of knowledge to draw from. This knowledge feeds back into the rich tapestry of life as we pass on our acquired wisdom to those in need of it, to those who perhaps are just at the start of their journey.
We can move between these phases, or seasons of life, regularly. These are not just literary tropes and symbols for the life journey of women, tied up in a neat story about female ageing - beginning, middle and end, the maiden, mother and crone of mythology and folklore - but these symbols can teach everyone, everywhere, something new about who we are.
The moon, like any symbol, is a mirror that reflects something of ourselves back at us. The moon teaches us that we are always growing, changing and evolving. We are always on a journey, and even if we feel that we are not really going anywhere, stuck in the sands of time, the ever-changing moon teaches us this: that it is never too late to begin again, to start where we are, with what we have, to create something magical, to rest and then, when we feel like it, to head off - by the light of the silvery moon - on a new adventure ....