Chilling out with Moondark ( ‘what’s that?!’)

Chill out time....
Chill out time….

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.

New Moon

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
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

13 thoughts on “Chilling out with Moondark ( ‘what’s that?!’)

  1. Thank you Anne.
    Very interesting about “Moondark.”
    I recall a very peculiar dream a long time ago (I have several dream journals since long back in time)…..within the one dream I was told to be “the daughter of the Moon.” It is obvious that the ebb and the flow of the moon influences us as humans.
    Something else I have noticed throughout the years about the moon cycles: dreams seems to be more vivid the two nights before and during the FULL Moon.

    Now I am going to follow your advice, in noticing how the energy will be during Moondark. Quite fascinating indeed.

  2. It’s been quite interesting to see the number of references to the dark of the moon on blogs that I read — often just in passing, and without any particular attention other than the mention.

    Your lovely piece also brought to mind advice that was given during a retreat I attended decades ago: that we should take one hour each day, one day each week, and one week each year for reflection, rest, and renewal. How much different would the world be, I wonder, if such a discipline were practiced by increasing numbers of people?

    1. Thanks, Linda, Ever since I read your comment I have been thinking about “…we should take one hour each day, one day each week, and one week each year for reflection, rest, and renewal…”. It has made me feel like extending my own daily discipline to add one day a week – Sunday being the traditional day of rest/contemplation before 24/7-ism took over – completely without social media or any other distractions.

      And for anyone who would like to go on a longer retreat, why not watch this wonderful series shown on BBC TV a couple of years ago, about the fortunes of a group of people who DID take the business of retreat seriously.
      The whole BBC series can be found on YouTube at “The Big Silence”.


  3. Funny, for me…. My new Job and the start of School both began on the 25th August….. It’s Has been a slow start. I’m going to be catching up for the next two weeks in school as I slowly collect all the books and supplies I’m supposed to need. Work has also had it’s slow, not together moments. We’re in training, and not all the course set-ups are complete. Good to know that we can look forward to having better production in the coming week.

  4. Giving myself permission to engage in retreat during moon dark is such a great idea. I notice that I tend to be especially sensitive energetically anyway, whether I want to be or not, so rather than struggle against this natural cycle – surrender and embrace it. Done!

  5. In the early 90s, I tuned into lunar phases when practicing the Sympto-Thermal method of natural birth control. Coming into alignment with the lunar cycle (and lunar nodal cycle) was an unintended byproduct of that llifestyle choice, rather than the focus. It also predated my study of astrology by 17 years.

    The delightful themes in the movie “Moonstruck” and Olympia Dukakis personal journey were beautiful expressions of a luna-sea.

    There’s an esoteric belief that the Moon veils Vulcan, or vice versa, I dunno, I tend to do away with second-hand information and hearsay, and go straight to the Source.

  6. Many thanks for this interesting and intriguing feedback, Grace. I have never heard of the Moon/Vulcan connection….may well look it up. However, like you, primarily I go by my own direct experience, especially in matters spiritual, which I think are all reaching out to the same Source…

  7. I find that if you stand still and are very very quiet, the Source will come
    alongside you. The hare in the moon is a little skitterish…

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