As I sit writing this, tucked away quietly in our Quiet Room with some soothing Japanese incense burning, it is approaching the end of Moondark. ‘What on earth is that?’ I hear you say.
Moondark is the last three days of the 29.5 day Sun/Moon cycle. At Moondark, the Moon disappears. Full Moon is the high energy point of the cycle, fourteen days after the New Moon. A few month’s notetaking is sufficient to realise that life is more pressured and charged up at that time. Moondark is the low energy point. It is a time for rest and retreat, not a time to initiate new projects or demand great feats of one’s vitality.
“When I retire, I’m going to burn forty years of work diaries and run my life by the phases of the Moon!”
Yes, I said that, in a period of extreme work stress about twenty years ago. Friends laughed; but now in the post-career phase of my life, I’m working at just that. I find it comforting, helpful and useful to tune into the Moon’s cycle as far as possible in plotting the ebb and flow of my energies these days.
My long 2001-8 retreat taught me that regular and adequate periods of rest are essential. The bill for rest deprivation cannot be evaded by anyone.We cannot abandon technology which has brought our world community so many advantages, but can – if we choose – begin slowly to step aside from the destructive 24/7 ism which it fosters. People need to stop going to the supermarket at midnight and sending emails at 3 am if they want to have a proper life!
I find now that up to an hour’s retreat time daily, and careful planning to avoid taking on anything very demanding at Moondark, (not always possible!) has provided a rhythm of alternating activity and rest which is stabilising and supportive of well-being. But it is important to be patient, realistic and gradual in any attempts to introduce lifestyle changes. It would be silly to suggest otherwise.
I hardly think the bosses of the land would take kindly to staff’s announcing that all work from now on was going to be run by the phases of the Moon!
You don’t need special tables to work out when Moondark is. Most diaries indicate by a small black circle next to the day and date, when the New Moon falls.
For example, you will find this year (2014) that Monday 25 August indicates the day of the New Moon. I am writing this in the last couple of hours of Moondark. Wednesday 24 September is the next New Moon, and so on … Thus Moondark this month is 23,24 and part of 25 August. Next month, it is 21, 22 & 23 September.
It is easy, as I do at the start of a new year and a new diary, to go through the year putting a red line through the days when Moondark falls.
A pattern of daily rest and retreat time, and observing Moondark as much as I can each month, has given me a sound support structure from which I have now returned to a reconnected life. Observing Moondark is a regular reminder, also, that we belong to Mother Nature.
The New Moon in Virgo – in the UK time zone – begins at 15.14 today.Virgo is an earth sign, its energies strongly service oriented, practical, and good at managing detail. It is also extremely hard working, and analytical.So – the Virgo new moon would be an ideal time to start that blitz on your admin system which you’ve been putting off all year, or for putting special effort into re-organising and cleaning up the garden.
I’ve noticed that people with a strong emphasis on Virgo in their horoscopes or birth charts seem to be very fond of stationery shops, and of acquiring stationery. So, why not use this new moon to acquire next year’s diary, go through it and mark off Moondark each month? Or set your smartphone to send you a reminder of when Moondark begins?
Why don’t you try working with this lunar rhythm for a while, trying to chill out and wind down a little at Moondark ? Don’t forget to let me know how you get on!
700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
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