NEW MOON, DARK MOON: Blessings of the Underworld
NEW MOON IN ARIES
From April 15th to the 18th, we will experience the sweet and silent darkness of the night sky. This is a necessary time to travel inwards, rest. Gift yourself the space for contemplation and care. Just as seeds need time to germinate and sprout before anything is seen from the surface of the soil, so do we.
I've found that in the last 3 years, I've become reactionary in a new way. There has been so much to be angry at or afraid of. Those feelings, like all sensations, grow with numbers. It's not just misery that loves company, but it somehow generates a dedicated following.
When we do shadow work, there isn't much room for a crowd. We travel inwards, to the sacred cave of mirrored crystal. The gnarled roots of old growth twist around our periphery, as we are cradled in the cool embrace of dewy earth. Earthworms rustle and jigsaw through the ground.
As we surrender to the natural inward movement of spirit, the bright reflections of our many selves shine on the surface of our third eye, like so many tv screens made from water and light. We have no protection from these insights. No off button, or channel change. We see them even with eyes closed. They exist not for us, but in us.
Much of what we perceive as our personal experience and understanding of the world is based on how we respond emotionally to the details we absorb. Gossip, world news, traffic, disillusionments - chaotic disarray that thrives on fear and anxiety, which we typically soak in.
The amygdala, the part of the brain that experiences fear and anxiety, releases cortisol and adrenaline - that "fight or flight" feeling most associated with immediate fear - as well as dopamine, and epinephrine - energy boosters. We live in an imbalanced world, overstimulated even when "relaxing." We watch tv, text, scroll - the opportunities to be triggered are endless, and it's all too easy to become literally addicted to our own supply of chemical cocktails. As any addict will tell you - it doesn't have to feel good, it just has to stimulate. Stimulation can often be an easy way out of self-reflection. Anger, grief, and fear are very real emotions and should be honored. There are no positive or negative ones. Relying on or faking-to-make any one emotion, whether it's a "happy" or "sad" one, will leave us further hindered. The balance must be reclaimed. This does not mean that the horrors and inequities of the world should go without acknowledgement or feeling. It simply means that when we live as our whole selves - the full spectrum - we have something even greater to offer a world in need. Every sliver of clarity counts.
What does life feel like when we're more inwardly sober? How does our intuition shift? In what ways do we sharpen?
These are good questions to ask after meditating, soaking in a hot bath, or walking through a forest.
These dark days of the moon are the moments to allow ourselves to unfurl. Self discovery happens in the still moments, like a tiger calmly walking close to the ground under the moonless night, eyes ablaze with an inner fire to guide them. Sometimes when the lights go out, we then can find the light of our own being. Shadow work leads us to our path, because light is easiest to find in the darkness.
Our job is to sift through the din of ourselves, forgiving each transgression and learning from our mistakes as they are identified. Sit, walk, stand and move slowly through the mirrored crystalline mind.
As we reflect during these dark velvet days and nights of mid-April, we prepare for the May Queen, the Goddess of Spring, traversing through the tunnels of the underworld and arriving to the crisp air of a new season. When looking around, what is it that we see? Do your surroundings make you happy, or do you feel the need to escape? What can be done to remedy any anxieties? Traditionally, April is the time to refresh. "Spring cleaning" comes from an old tradition of brushing away the old - whether that be dust on the ground, clothes no longer worn, or the avoided tupperware in the back of the fridge - and intentionally welcoming in the new. Water your plants, harvest or purchase fresh produce, make a meal for yourself or loved ones. Feel your environment glow, inside and out. Find the light again.
All photos by: Judy Dater