Saturday, September 13, 2014

Moon Goddess: Our Guiding Light

The Moon Mother: Our Guiding Light

Literal Moon in the sky or ancient Goddess, it’s important to understand what natural powers are symbolized by the Moon.  In our patriarchal culture, we value sunlight rather than moonlight.  We look to facts and logic (Sun rationality) rather than feeling and intuition (Moon imagination).  In fact, we need both.  We live in our solar nature but our lunar nature needs to be explored and understood because we have been taught to ignore it.

There are many aspects of the ancient Moon Goddesses to explore.  Women need to re-learn what our lunar nature is, because it is our guide to life.  And if women can’t connect with our lunar nature, how can men find their way there?  

These next few blogs on The Moon are excerpts from my book: Wisdom’s Daughters: How Women Can Change the World.

When we lost touch with the feminine mysteries of the ancient Goddess, we were banished from our home inside the Moon.  Small children know and remember their true home, but as we grow up, we forget for the most part, how to live in the natural rhythms of life which the Moon Goddess - perpetual renewal, the measure of time, the weaver of fate - represented to her ancient worshipers.  Most of us have no idea what power and effect the Moon has over us or the world around us.  However, what was lost can be found, for the Moon still travels across the night sky and still sheds her silvery light upon our darkness.

            The first thing we observe about the Moon is that it changes shape, unlike the Sun, which appears the same every day and never fails to rise and set, full and round all through the day.   The Moon grows larger, then smaller, waxing and waning as it travels across the sky.  It rises at different times during the night and at different spots on the horizon.  And it even completely disappears for three nights.  But it comes back, and begins the process over again.  Small wonder that early humanity projected its imagination onto the Moon, since they experienced it as a monthly cycle that regulated time, its rhythms governing the tides, women's menstrual cycles, plant life and weather.   The Moon showed people the basic rhythms of life as well as the truth of the natural law of constant change.

            Ancient peoples observed that the Moon made the fertilizing moisture that makes living things grow and thrive: plants and animals as well as human beings.   The Moon Mother, imagined as a vessel of water, fertility and fecundity, was the source of being and becoming.   And because ancient peoples could live with contradictions, they also believed the Moon was the land of the dead, the place souls went to between incarnations.  Just as the Moon dies and is reborn, so souls go to the Moon to await rebirth.  The life cycle of birth-death-rebirth is prefigured in the changing Moon.  
Women naturally understand this rhythm of change, because our bodies respond to these changing rhythms.  Men have a harder time adjusting to this cycle.  They don’t know how to relate to their own changing moods, and so ignore them as inconsequential.   Women's greatest gift, our ability to adapt to change, has been used against us to demonstrate that we are not as rational, and therefore not as reliable or responsible as men.   
Once again, men used themselves as the measure of all things, and their own lack of adaptability became the standard.   But it can’t remain this way.  Now the world needs people who can change, who can let go of what is outdated and open to new ideas and new possibilities.   It is a perfect time for women to step forward and use our strengths and set new standards for what makes a full and rich life.  

When the ancient Goddess religions were suppressed under Christianity, her manifestations were split up.  On one hand, some of her light qualities were attributed to the Church and to the Virgin Mary.  Her darker, mysterious qualities, however, were soon associated with the Devil and with witchcraft, for Christianity accepted the heavenly attributes of the feminine while rejecting the earthy spirit of the Goddess.  The Earth and women, who were seen as creatures of the earth and of the body, were relegated to the darkness of sin.  Consequently, our culture developed a split between the heavenly feminine and the earthy feminine. 

It is up to us to heal that split and become conscious of our gifts.  The Moon Mother can show us the way, for she is our constant guide through life.

Watch for my next blog on the Moon.

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