Secret #1: Learn how to read the sky.
Many times since childhood I’ve imagined the end of the world. Whether it came by atomic bomb or the slow poisoning of the planet, I’ve seen myself surviving. Traveling light with a neo-feral pack of others, I would try to restart humanity. My gift would be knowing about the Moon. I don’t mean complicated lunar facts like when to harvest seaweed. I mean simply knowing when and where the Moon will rise each night: over which mountain; at what hour; in what phase.
Study the sky and you’ll learn the Moon is predictable as the calendar. This is how the ancients told time—by keeping track of Luna’s position in the sky. Every month, the waxing Crescent Moon rises at the same hour and in the same portion of the sky. You’ll find it above the western horizon just after sunset, a few days after the New Moon. The First Quarter Moon is always high overhead in the early evening. If you see a Quarter Moon high above in the early morning, then it is a Last Quarter Moon. If, like my mother you go to bed at eight, you’ll never see the Disseminating Moon in the evening sky, but you’ll have a beautiful view of it in the morning.
The Moon’s path never varies. But moderns are so out of touch with this truth. I often see artwork or television shows depicting impossible Moons: like a waxing Crescent smiling through a window at two in the morning. Most people, when planning an evening event outdoors, have no idea whether or not there will be moonlight. But true moon lovers know. Luna’s regular appearance is what helps make this Earth feel like a home. Connect with the sky and you’ll connect with the part of you that remembers what it was like to live grounded in moontime.
I’m less inclined now to believe our world will suddenly end. The Moon has taught me that endings and beginnings are a regular and rhythmic occurrence. Old worlds keep dying just as new ones are dawning. Connecting with moontime will keep you moving toward a fresh new world.