MOON MEDICINE: THE WANING DESCENT

 PHOTO: Brain Dance by Gavin O'Neil, 2011

PHOTO: Brain Dance by Gavin O'Neil, 2011

Fading light, receding energy, descending, going within.  All of these things are associated with the current waning moon.  It symbolizes a time of slowing down and accessing your inner well.  Just like the oceans and the tides, our bodies are deeply connected to the pull of the moon, and as our bodies are comprised of about 72% water, we aren't only deeply connected but deeply affected by this gravitational pull.  

When nothing feels right for me at work, it's usually because of the moon.  Instead of churning out and burning oil, my fire starts to die.  The flames grow quiet, my ambition settles and I find myself operating from a more receptive and intuitive place.

Unfortunately most of us are so caught up the with the hustle and demands of life that we forget or completely neglect to do so, but the growing darkness of the moon symbolizes a time, specifically for us as women, to come home.  To return to ourselves, to come back into ourselves.  

Clarissa Pinkola Estés calls this "going home" and she says that when we stay away from ourselves for too long, "we lose our ideas, our soul-relationship becomes scrawny, our blood runs thin and slowly… When we are overdue for home, our eyes have nothing to sparkle for, our bones are weary, it is as though our nerve sheaths are unwrapped, and we can no longer focus on who or what we are about."  She goes on to say that when a woman is too long gone from home, she is less and less able to propel herself forward in life … her fuse burns shorter and shorter.  She says that popular culture calls this "burnout" - but it's more than that, it's habre del alma, the starving soul.  

Pinkola Estés says, when one has reached this state, the place of the starving soul, there is only one recourse.  The woman must return to home.  And in order for a woman to fully return home, she must "mine the psychic terrain of home in order to learn the cycles of creation".  

Mining the psychic terrain of home allows you to come back home to your instinctual and intuitive self.  It allows you to tune into what you need and desire.  It brings you back into tune with the multi-faceted aspects yourself (mind, body, soul) so that you can be brought back into tune with the greater cycles of nature (daily, monthly, moons, seasons).  

And this is the gift we have each month as women.  We are given the opportunity to not only be in accordance with our own physical and intuitive natures, but to come into accordance with that of the natural world that surrounds us as well.  

This feminine process not only serves us as women but it serves the whole of humanity as well.  We are the microcosm of the macrocosm.  And while many of us don't think we have time or we don't deserve to create the space and rituals we need to feed this terrain within ourselves, the truth is, when each woman returns home to herself, her own growth and development is naturally shared as an energetic outpouring with all those around her.  And so in this way, as we give ourselves permission to nourish ourselves, we are also unconsciously giving others (male or female) permission to do the same.

For many women, it is frightening to visit the depths of herself regularly.  Indeed, such visitations are not endorsed by our society.  We are told to constantly seek outside of ourselves, to fill our cups externally, to avoid our inner terrain for fear of what we might find.  So we shop, drink, eat, sex, work ... and do anything to avoid going home.

But the truth is, as Judith Duerk from Circle of Stones: Woman's Journey to Herself says, 

“…It is this meaning, emerged from her own suffering, that allows a woman to descent, each time anew, into her own depths, to be present to the truth and wisdom lying there. For only by her willing descent can she uncover, again and again, the meaning of her life."

And so this is the monthly descent we are charged with.  When the moon wanes, we are called to come home, to rediscover the meaning of ourselves and our lives.  We are invited by the reminder of the moon that we have permission to align ourselves with nature, with the Cosmic Mama, and with our own inner cosmos.  We are gently reminded that we not only have permission but we are CALLED to do so.  We are called to step back.  To nourish ourselves.  To fill our cups.  To reflect on the previous cycle so that we may approach the next cycle with fresh presence.  

So recede.  Let the light fall away.  Embrace the nourishing element of the darkness that calls you to slow down and stay quiet.

Don't have fear for what you'll find.  All that lies beneath the surface is what desires to be seen.  Allow yourself to reconnect and reflect with the wise woman, the Crone within.  This call to return to ourselves each month and embrace the wisdom of the moon is a primal gift.  As women, if we deny ourselves the opportunity to access these darker depths, we deny ourselves the opportunity to fully show up and shine, and when we do that we are denying ourselves of our divinity.  

So Mystic Mama, how can you reconnect and rewild in this monthly adventure by embracing the decent and going home? 

Ashly Wolf

Ashly is the creator of FemmeRising.com which seeks to uplift, inspire and educate women about their body, their sensuality, their femininity, their connection to spirit and to help them reclaim their powerful role as women within society. Ashly is also the founder of HealthySexyHungry.com, where she coaches women on radical self love and guides them towards living a life filled with confidence and desire.