The Sun, the Moon and Lunar Time
By Janetta Morton
The sun, centre of our solar system, giver of light, life and warmth is not the only luminary in our skies. The Moon reflects the light of the sun gently down to earth as she waxes and wanes in our night sky. The Moon can be looked at without damaging the eyes; she brings us sunlight on a human scale. The disc of both the Sun and Moon appear to be the same size from our earthly perspective, suggesting a role of equal importance to life on earth.
In our culture we worship The Solar God. During the day, under the light of the Sun, we direct our energies outwards, into achieving goals, enjoying leisure activities and getting things done. We define ourselves by the results of our actions and our identity becomes bound to our relative success or failure. This has become how our society measures us, finds us a place and a role that is productive and useful. We mark time with the passing of the seasons as the Suns light diminishes over winter and increases towards Summer. Our months are solar months, our festivals are solar festivals. Christmas is celebrated around the winter solstice, Easter around spring equinox and May day bank holiday is a cross quarter time when the sun’s light has the most potential exactly half way between spring equinox and summer solstice.
We seem to have forgotten the importance of the Moons dance through our sky, rising and setting, waxing and waning in a pattern that marks time in a different but no less important way. An earth year can be divided into twelve solar months; the Sun can be seen against the backdrop of all twelve signs of the zodiac in one year. However there are thirteen lunar cycles per year, and marking time between one Dark Moon and the next can be an enlightening experience.
When the Moon is full it is opposite the Sun and therefore in the opposite sign of the Zodiac, and when dark it is conjunct the Sun and therefore in the same sign. It moves through all the signs in one month, making different aspects to the sun and to our own birth charts as it goes, giving us the opportunity to experience the full range of our being each and every month. The Moons cycle affects us deeply; our inner feelings ebb and flow along with the tides she pulls. At night colours bleed out, edges soften, dreams can be dreamt and the day’s activities reflected upon. Under the ever changing light of the moon we focus inwards and gain the understanding our feelings and inner world have to offer. It is hard to measure, define and express this place of nebulous, subjective lunar wisdom and it has not been held in high regard by our culture. The word ‘Lunatic’ says a great deal about our attitude. When the rational so called objective self has been taken over by a wave of inner experience it unnerves us and we seek an explanation in the clear light of day.
A balance of inner and outer, rational and emotive, objective and subjective is essential to human health. Without the inner wisdom of the Moon we may become desiccated, soulless beings who are unable to connect with life on earth and our lives, however successful on the outside, become devoid of meaning. The Moon connects us all together, she is waxing and waning in the same way from wherever on the planet you view her, she pulls the tides of our oceans which connect us and the inner tides of our emotional waters. Our sense of ourselves is complete when both our inner being and our external actions inform us. We in our western, solar culture need to recognise, value and learn to live in Moon Time to work in better harmony with Planet Earth.