The Moon draws time on the sky, charting the pulsations of Shakti or Nature, the divine feminine energy that flows through us and IS us. For a life lived in tune with the Moon, this sensuous rhythm is second nature.
For a life lived out of tune, the best time to re-synchronize yourself is during the Dark Moon, the three to four days before the Moon is new (that’s occurring this week, March 9-12).
This is the cycle’s end. People typically like to hurry into beginnings and away from endings. Amongst the civilized, endings are an acquired taste that few bother to develop. But in the natural world, endings are the meal supreme. What is old breaks down. This becomes fuel for the new thing, waiting in the wings.
This Moon phase is sometimes called “Balsamic” for the way it can distill us into our essence. Balsam is the potent resin or sap that forms on certain trees and plants; it’s related to the word balm, a fragrant concoction made to soothe and heal.
How do we make such a healing balm for ourselves during this Moon phase? These days come every month. How can we get the most from them? What can the Moon herself tell us about how to proceed?
The Moon is a visual teacher.
Look for this Moon in the east at the end of her cycle, when she will rise in the hours just before dawn. Rising so close to the morning means she’s not visible in the nighttime sky—which kept the ancient ones wisely indoors. Even now, these are not the best nights for a big party or gathering of any kind.
These nights favor solitude and an early bedtime—one that allows you to rise in the hours just before dawn to meet this Moon’s thin crescent of light, leftward on her full black orb. Look for her three mornings in a row and you’ll observe this illuminated crescent is progressively thinning, until it eventually disappears. That says the New Moon is just around the corner.
This play of light and dark is perhaps the Moon’s most important teaching. Light is a universal emblem for consciousness, awareness, the active thinking mind. The Moon is saying we need very little “mind” at this time. The power in this period derives from all that’s implied by the orb in darkness. The dark is symbolic of our unconscious forces.
We find the potency of this Moon phase not in the mind, but in the body—the unconscious intelligence that operates below the neck. It’s from this place we need to proceed. The body is not an extensive conversationalist. At this time of the lunar month, it’s concerned primarily with the physics of resting. It knows how to build energy from the activity of resting. How wonderful! These are auspicious days to do nothing, to cease all our planning-striving-getting-and-spending. By slowing down and doing less, we create more space and energy for our future.
The body has a thumbs up/thumbs down language. During the Dark Moon, if you wonder, Should you go here or there? Should you do this or that thing? Ask the question. Then tune in below the neck. Does your body respond with “ugh” or “yay” ? The “ugh” tells you not to waste your energy. The “yay” tells you this is in tune with the new thing that’s coming.
You don’t have to be idle for the whole period. I use the Dark Moon as a signal flag—like the ones sailors raise to indicate tricky weather. Or the flags waved by race track officials to slow down speeding cars after an accident. The Dark Moon signal flag says something like “Go slow; your body and spirit need replenishing.” The rest is up to us. It’s our challenge to watch for the hour or hours that appear when we can fully and legitimately surrender to the Nothing that is everything.
I’m opportunistic about my Dark Moon rest—somewhere between planning it and waiting to be called. When the intention and opportunity converge, I stop. I drop in. I can sense my body and spirit drinking, thoroughly enjoying the delicious nectar in the Nada of the moment. May you discover this pleasure! Mark your calendar now. The next Dark Moon days are from April 1 to 5.
Were you born during a Dark Moon—and if so, what does that mean? Learn about your birth moon phase here here.
In addition to the monthly Dark Moons, over the course of our lives there we get several extended dark moon periods that can last three to four years each. One such period is the “progressed Balsamic” phase. You’ll find the years for yours (along with many other Moon goodies) in my Moonprints report. Order here.
Too wired to rest during the Dark Moon? My Moon Bliss practice will help!
And always, you’re welcome to join my monthly Moon Workshop–enroll here!