Sunday, July 22, 2012
The Dance of the Sun and the Moon: Waxing Cycle
The Dance of the Sun and the Moon
The Moon's light is a function of its relationship to the Sun. The amount of light we see reflected by the Moon changes day by day, waxing to the full Moon, waning to the new Moon once again. This soli-lunar cycle6 creates an increase and then a decrease in light as the Moon separates from and then reunites with the Sun. Since ancient times, the Moon cycle set the agricultural tempo and farmers and gardeners still plant by the phase of the Moon. This natural cycle can also symbolize the psychological process of growing our consciousness.
The cycle begins at the new Moon, when the Moon travels between Earth and the Sun and is hidden in the Sun’s light. The new Moon phase is a time of beginnings, when the Moon disappears from the night sky. This monthly sowing phase, while the Moon travels the daytime sky, is activated by the Sun's position in the heavens and the energies that position focuses. A winter Aquarius Sun is a very different energy and light from a Leo Sun's light and energy. That energy is absorbed by the Moon’s conjunction with the Sun, and gets released throughout the cycle's duration. Internally, it activates our unconscious response to life. A new Moon energizes ego-consciousness by opening the unconscious like a womb, and planting a seed to be nurtured. During this time, we engage in the world subjectively. Each month at the new Moon we have the opportunity to respond instinctively to the present moment without old patterns interfering. We might act spontaneously and impulsively, freed from the conscious mind, child-like and open to new adventures. This is the phase when we listen to our body's response whole-heartedly and trust its wisdom.
A few days later, a thin crescent Moon appears in the western sky at sunset, sitting like a vision, or a promise, of new life. It is the phase of the Moon when we can see the outline of the whole Moon that will be – a promise of the full moonlight that will once again shine on us. This phase symbolizes a time when we struggle against inertia, as when a new plant struggles to push up through the Earth. Psychologically, we can speak of it as a testing time, when we either fall back into our old patterns and fears or we learn to focus our energies on the new life we sense awaits us. Each time we confront obstacles and overcome our inertia, we gain strength as well as a sense of our own capability and talents. During the crescent phase, we get to move forward into our new growth.
Next comes the first quarter Moon phase, when the Moon stands overhead at sunset. It is 90 degrees away from the Sun and their energies are 'squared-off' of each other. It is time to take some action that will further manifest our goals. In a plant, this is the time when it puts down roots and sends out stems and leaves. Likewise, this is the time for us to test ourselves in the world, taking on challenges that will lead us to our goals. It is a time of decision-making, when circumstances force us to make a choice and then take action on it. We develop our will, courage and confidence when we move forward in our lives and meet the crisis, conflict and challenge of making our own way in the world. We must learn to take control of our own lives, otherwise we are caught up in tensions, frustrations and anger over lost opportunities and inadequate support. Like the hero’s journey, this is the time to push through obstacles, both within ourselves and in the outer world. When we do, we commit ourselves to finding workable ways to fulfill the promise of the new Moon.
The gibbous Moon phase occurs when the Moon is growing towards fullness but is not yet completely there. Like a plant that needs more light, more water and more time before it can blossom, during this phase we try to analyze and perfect the goals we've been working toward. Sometimes we experience so much outer resistance or run into unexpected details that we feel dissatisfied and discouraged. On an inner level, this is a time for self-improvement and analysis, a time to disregard the non-essentials and question what we are doing. Through this search for perfection we hone our skills and perfect our techniques.