Moon mystics and particle physicists are similarly obsessed with the invisible world. The physicists voyage into the unknown using the predictive power of their equations. In the 1960s mathematical conjuring took a few of them—the most renowned was Peter Higgs—to a startling conclusion. They’d been trying to solve the mystery of what happened in the instant just after the Big Bang—when a bright unity of identical particles suddenly transformed into “stuff”—and the universe was born.
Their calculations led them to believe that the source of this miracle was a remarkable energy field that filled all of space (now called the “Higgs Field”). This invisible field danced with the unified particles in such a way that a diversity of new particles sprang into existence. The field showed benevolence and intelligence, selectively offering its gifts of mass to energy-bundles in a way that meant the dance would keep going. Electrons would settle into atoms that had chemistry with other atoms, birthing fire, dust, water, air, and all the spinning galaxies. Without this field our multiverse would not have been stable or safe enough for life.
Mystics have long told a similar story, although they touch the unknown with imagination instead of math and preserve their truths in myth and metaphor. Creation stories from around the world typically describe the Higgs Field as a receptive feminine entity—the fertile consort to some formless, limitless, abiding god. This Original Female birthed the world—like the Mediterranean Bird-Headed Snake Goddess, who danced on the waves and made a serpent with whom she kept dancing until she became a dove and then laid the egg on universal waters from which all things hatched—mountains, rivers, trees, snakes, people, birds and sky.
We could call her the Great Mama Field. She wove our world into being—like Spider Grandmother of the Hopi and Pueblo, who at the beginning of time stretched a dew-soaked web across the sky and transformed the void into a field of stars. She guides us—as when she spoke in the Book of Wisdom as “Sophia,” God’s first work of art and his prime collaborator. Sophia describes herself as the sea that came before the ocean, the one who arranged the elements and launched the epochs and the seasons, as well as the behavior of wild beasts, the virtues of plants and roots, and the thoughts of men. And she’s still here. She’s the loom on which even now our lives are being weaved.
Throughout the ages, and known by a thousand names, the Great Goddess has been the preferred muse of many great artists, mystics, and thinkers. She’s also the answer to the question I asked last class about intuition: What’s the mechanism for it? How does my intuition know things—like how my son is doing when he’s two hundred miles away and his phone battery is dead? I’ve gotten messages from my dead grandmother. I’ve gotten accurate glimpses of my future. And regularly as a practicing astrologer, my intuition sends a beautiful string of words out of my mouth that is just what my client needs to hear; often it startles us both.
Logic tells me there has to be some intelligent field that connects us all, past, present, and future, some invisible network on which information can travel. Experience tells me that this field is real and it’s not passive. It has properties. It’s protective—pervasive—sensitive—accommodating—binding—and—diffuse. Freely it holds everything together. We could call it anything we want—the Great Mother, Kwan Yin, Tara, Shakti, the Cow Goddess, Mary, Shekinah, or just “universal moonlight.” But we’ll know when we’re tuned into it because for that moment—we will feel seen, held, and safe. We’ll feel contained in a benevolent world.
Mystics want a personal relationship with the divine. Scientists want proof that it exists. Either way, they agree that finding the Great Mama/Higgs Field isn’t easy. She fills the multiverse; yet is independent, mysterious, and elusive. Sometimes a Moon priestess feels held within her embrace. And often enough she doesn’t.
It was Peter Higgs who devised a clever way to glimpse the goddess by searching for an only slightly less elusive particle (called the “Higgs Boson”) that winks into existence whenever the invisible Higgs Field ripples (as it does after events like the Big Bang). To that end, an international team of scientists built the largest machine on earth—the Large Hadon Collider—which will surely take its place alongside Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza as a monument to man’s longstanding yearning for the divine. By sending opposing streams of particles through underground loops miles across, so that some particles smash into each other with tremendous force, the LHC mimics the creation of the universe. It lets us see what happened in the twelve seconds following the Big Bang. On July 4, 2012, after fifty years of hunting and the efforts of over a thousand researchers, two teams of CERN physicists announced they had found the Higgs Boson: proof that the invisible field exists.
Scientists seek proof and mystics seek experiences. If we just want to connect with the Great Mama Field, we won’t need billions of dollars to build awesome equipment. Our research center is already here. It’s the body—designed by the contributory streams of our ancestors; their wisdom is our DNA. What we need now is something more like operating instructions—as in, we don’t need to know how electricity works in order to use it. We just need to learn how to run it through our devices. To turn on an awareness of the Great Mama Field, there is an easy button: just turn on your imagination, which is a fine way to enter the invisible world.
This is not the same as fantasy. We aren’t tricking ourselves into seeing things that aren’t there. We’re using imagination to awaken our body’s subtler senses. When I imagine that I’m immersed in an intelligent field that fills all of space, my experience in that moment changes. The air seems to thicken. I become aware of something slightly more palpable that’s floating around me. I can play with my awareness of this field. I can add qualities to it or subtract them.
A useful experiment is to imagine this field in two different states: as contained and uncontained. We studied these energetic differences earlier—how items held in a drawer seem more valued than those spilled on a table. There’s something tenuous, random and less purposeful about what’s not contained. Such was the universe I met in grammar school science class: a cold infinity extending to unimaginable edges. It was lonely—its soundtrack was Bowie singing Ground Control to Major Tom. It was all Shiva and no Shakti—the Big Bang, Black Holes, Supernovas. In an uncontained world of collisions and explosions, I compete with the forces that are running at me and away from me. I need control. I can only hope some powerful god is sitting on a throne above and that he’s on my side.
But when I imagine I am contained in an intelligent field that fills all of space, I enter a different world. I feel held. I am welcome and so is everything else. We belong. I sense stability, safety, and possibilities for connection. There is movement, but also harmony and flow. It seems like things are being taken care of. I can relax and be more patient with any suffering or mystery. I can trust. There are resources here. Being held with everything means all that exists is available. The surrounding field is full of potential, also sensitive and pliable. I might pluck knowing from out of the past or send new ripples into my future. When I call out, I’m less surprised when something answers. Imagining this field is like dialing in my Universal Mother.
This field is actually an energetic canvas on which we can learn to do amazing things—for ourselves and for the world. At the least, we can use it to dance more artfully with the energetics of our own emotions. (Notice, for example, how anger can break the field–or it can be woven through it as protection.) But first we should learn the basics—we should know how to stretch the canvas. We can mimic the action of the goddess—and in our own particle colliders—the self that meets the oncoming streams of life—we can practice rippling this benevolent field into being. With our own awareness we can stretch the Great Mama web across the void.
Sacred Vedic texts say that if the Goddess Devi closes her eyes for just one second, the entire universe will disappear. It’s not a preposterous claim. It’s what happens every time we lose our connection to the Great Mama Field. We collapse into an uncontained universe; perhaps it’s just dull. Maybe it’s dangerously random. But we’re the ones who are choosing—like the original god and goddess—we are always creating our world. I think this is what Einstein meant when he said the most important question we can ask ourselves is whether or not we think the universe is friendly. It’s about which field we choose to live in.
Just as Devi can demolish a world by shutting her eyes—so can she birth one by opening them. So that’s our practice: opening our goddess eyes. We don’t have to always feel held in the field—but we can get ever more used to it. With repetition we can become quite good at weaving the universe into a benevolent basket. This is a fundamental Moon skill. There are lots of ways to perform it and there will be more on this in future lessons. But for now, for extra credit, find the Moon and notice how she adds to the game.
© 2016 Dana Gerhardt
At Mooncircles, we honor both the inner and outer Moons.
Each is a perfect way to explore the other.
To find out more about your inner and outer Moons, check out my Moon Workshop and/or my Moonprints report!