Moon knowledge isn’t gotten like any other knowledge. You can’t read about it in a book. You can’t study your notes one night and pass a test on it the next morning. You have to make it personal. You need to explore. You need to use your body and your emotions—both are ruled by the Moon—to discover all the ways the Moon is now alive in you.
Astrologers throughout the ages have identified the phenomena ruled by every planet. That’s because it’s through these things—their kingdom—that the planets speak and influence our fates. These are living archetypes. If we want to locate the living Moon, we could start with a few of her subjects—like nests, homes, families, drawers and bowls. What unites these five Moon-ruled things? Do they share a certain quality, intention or vibration?
Most of us reach the Moon Academy like an uptight fellow who arrives in the tropics wearing too many clothes. We want to know what the rules are. We want to get it right. We bring layers of perceptions and questions as we try to make sense of what we’re doing. Gradually the mind quiets down, and eventually, if we stick with it long enough, we find ourselves just naturally standing naked in moonlight.
With this kind of nakedness we can better perceive the workings of the magical world. When I sense into our list of Moon-ruled items, I notice that each has a gift for holding things. Nests hold eggs, homes and families hold people, bowls and drawers hold liquids and objects. The Moon rules containers. And if your heart has ever sung on entering a contemporary container store, it’s because somewhere deep inside you knew this was a modern temple to the Moon.
But don’t take my word for it. Feel into this Moon ability. A good way to start is by sensing the energetic differences between what’s contained and what’s not. You and I might perceive this energy differently. I might see colors. You might get a feeling. Someone else might call it a “vibe.” There is no right or wrong way. There’s just what feels natural for your body. You want to find the easiest means to read energy using your instrument. And remember you’re standing naked in moonlight.
- Imagine a drawer filled with a clutter of small treasures and junk. Pause and release this image. Now imagine the same pile of objects lying on a table. Release the image and investigate what you just experienced. Both images had an energy of disarray—but was there a difference between the feel of drawered items and those strewn on the table?
- Imagine a baby in a diaper crying alone on a carpet. Pause and clear the image/emotion. Now imagine a crying baby wrapped in a soft blanket and held in her mother’s arms. Does this change the energy?
- Imagine sitting on the moor in the howling wind. Pause. Imagine sitting inside a tent in the same wind.
- Take five steps into an imaginary room where a dozen strangers are standing in a random pattern. Pause and clear. Now enter a room where a dozen strangers stand in a circle, holding hands. Two unclasp and invite you in. What’s the energetic difference between being here and in the room of randomly placed people?
My body senses what’s uncontained as being somehow more tenuous or vulnerable. It’s loose. It spreads. It can flood, overwhelm, or dissipate. It’s unprotected. There’s no “belonging.” What’s contained feels more valued, more welcome, more stable. The energy of contained things is calmer. The activity of “holding” is a good way to soothe a situation and shift the mood toward safety and belonging. It’s why our earliest ancestors recognized their baskets, bowls and woven bags as sacred gifts from the Great Mother Moon.
What bowls can do—so should we. We might not want to hold grains or soup, but how many times have you wanted to hold people or projects or just your own wild emotions together? The capacity to contain is an important and basic Moonskill.
Imagine a woman who’s just heard disturbing news. Like a storm, panic and fear start swirling through her body. She feels an urge to run out, wild and unstrung—but then a friend intercepts her, sits her down, and listens to her story. That’s one kind of container. Or perhaps the upset woman quickly heads home where she crawls into her bed and pulls the soft and familiar covers over her head. This warm safe place is another kind of container.
There are a thousand ways to do containing—but you’ll only know whether you’ve succeeded if you can tell the difference between what’s held and what’s not. Play with this discernment over the next two weeks. Notice when these two states naturally arise. This noticing is an important first step. It’s the foundation for the more sophisticated Moonskill of holding boundaries (more on that in future lessons). If you’d like to take your containment practice further, visit my blog. My current post offers a nifty containment technique you can use when you’re most upset.
© 2015 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 Moonprints report!