Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dance of the Sun and the Moon: Waning Cycle

The Soli-Lunar Cycle

            The first, instinctive part of the cycle finds its completion with the full Moon, when it stands opposite the Sun in the sky, receiving and reflecting back the full light of the Sun.  The flower has finally blossomed!  This phase is a time of fulfillment if we have worked hard at the previous parts of the cycle, a time when the seed potential begun at the new Moon matures. Since the full Moon begins the second part of the lunar cycle, this is the time when we develop objective awareness. Now we begin to become conscious of our purpose, of the meaning of what we have created.  Psychologically, this phase offers us the possibility of consciously pursuing our life's purpose by fully integrating the polarity of the Sun and Moon, of inner and outer, of self and other.  It is the internal balancing of these opposites that brings us the clarity and objectivity and self-awareness of this part of the cycle.  When we learn to bear the tension of opposites, we discover that a third way, which Jung called the transcendent function, opens up.  It is a result of each side understanding the importance of the other.   
         The Sun's spiritual purpose is accepted by the Moon’s soulful reflections, just as the Sun accepts that the vehicle for expressing and achieving its purpose is the Moon-shaped personality.  It is the alchemical marriage of the Sun/consciousness and the Moon/the unconscious which engenders a time of revelation and illumination, of creative fullness and conscious awareness.  It is always a time to engage ourselves out in the world, to experience the fullness of life, especially through our relationships.  We have entered the phase where we must think before we act, so that our actions are considerate, caring and meaningful.
            After the full Moon, the Moon starts on its journey back to reunite with the Sun.   The light begins to decrease, and the plant to bear fruit.  During the disseminating phase of the Moon we live out the meaningful life purpose that we became aware of during the full Moon.  Now we can communicate to others what we have learned during the first part of the cycle, the meaning of our experiences and what we value because of them.  This is the phase when we learn to walk our talk.  Our lives are changed and we now can teach others how to do the same.  This phase opens us to working with like-minded people, sharing information and experiences and creating possibilities for group action.
            When we reach the dark and mysterious last-quarter Moon that rises around midnight, we find ourselves contemplating what we have learned and deciding if we still believe in it.  This phase provokes a crisis in consciousness, a time to confront our belief system  and question our assumptions.  In the plant cycle, it is the time after the harvest when whatever remains is left to decompose and go to seed.  Psychologically, it represents a time when we let go of old ways of thinking about the world that no longer serve us.  The energy forces us to confront our old belief systems and discover if they are still viable.  If not, we need to let go of them; if they are, we save them like seeds for an unknown future.  We have to let go of the past and begin to orient ourselves towards a new cycle.  It is time to invest in the future.
            The very last phase of the soli-lunar cycle is called the balsamic phase, the old crescent moon that rises just before sunrise and later disappears completely.  This final phase of the Moon become a bridge between the old and the new cycle. This is a time to distill what we have learned in the cycle, and to transform it into a vision that can seed the next new Moon.   Psychologically, this is a time when we can release and transform old energies. This phase is a wisdom phase, when we have to use both our instincts and our intellect to finish up old business and clear the decks for a new cycle.  Living a new vision in the midst of an old collective or personal reality is the lesson here.  This is Lady Wisdom manifesting fully.  Otherwise, we refuse the lesson and get so stuck in old wounds that the world bears the blame for our refusal to let go and die.  You could say that collectively we find ourselves in this situation today – our old way of life no longer works, and instead of distilling its wisdom and envisioning a different future, the powers-that-be hang on for dear life and create death all around instead. 
            It is important to pay attention to these lunar cycles and understand how they affect your body, soul and spirit.  Pay attention for a few months to your dreams, especially around new and full Moon.  See what comes into your life during the waxing stage and then understand what meaning it has for you during the waning phase.  What new wisdom have you discovered?  After a few months, look at your astrology chart and see what houses are affected by the monthly cycle.  This will tell you what aspect of your life is being worked on.  Compare it with your experiences and see if using your chart helps you understand yourself better.  Making this cyclic rhythm a part of your life is one way to take your standpoint on the Moon, like the Woman clothed with the Sun.
            During this soli-lunar cycle, as the Sun and Moon's relationship to each other changes, the light itself is changed.  Fierce golden sunlight is received by the Moon and transformed into a cool, silvery light, a reflective light.   The Moon implies the art of reflective thought and is certainly a metaphor of the consciousness that sends us our dreams every night, reflecting back to us our daytime reality in the form of objective dream images.  Our dreams give us the images that compensate or complement our ego reality.  Through the light of lunar consciousness, we begin to see different aspects of ourselves and how they interrelate.  The dream gives us a perspective on our lives that is greater than our ego perspective; it gives us a symbolic vantage point from which to view our own individual story.  The Moon symbolizes a reflective mirror with which to view ourselves and our attitudes, our problems and our joys.  This soft light promotes inner growth and evolution, just as it induces plant growth.

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