I am cocooned
by the dark of the moon
lulled to sleep by breathing trees
sheltered under a velvet night.
The Great Bear is sleeping
behind Black Mountain
imagining new beginnings.
Overhead a bowl of cracked stars
coalesces into patterned forms.
Ancient images appear…
The Little Bear and Gemini Twin
envision Bigger Dreams.
When the moon is full
the sky is lit all night
Smudged by opaque glaze
Moon annihilates the stars –
A solitary sightless eye
cracks cottonwood branches
into dying fragments,
constellates Human Shadow.
Too much light
floods even protected spaces.
Disturbed and restless, I awaken.
My dreaming body
has lost her Memory.
There is something about living in a land that celebrates an empty deep blue-sky bowl and a harsh white sun as being ‘wondrous’ that I find disturbing. There is a kind of monotony associated with these endless blue wind rainless days that leaves me enervated and wired at the same time. They attempt to keep me dis-embodied – “de –pressed” psychically, and hovering outside my body.
(I compensate by spending as much time as I can writing because this art form keeps me firmly anchored in my body.
And I walk embodied, especially during the pre-dawn hours, when the trees and scrub “talk.” This morning I apologized for not paying close enough attention to what the plants had to say when words rose unbidden from inside and out raising the hair on my arms. “You know now,” they commented tersely).
It has taken me a long time to recognize that I am suffering from a deluge of light not just during the day, but also at night living here. For most of the month the sky is lit by some kind of moon – glow… and star -fire is absent or greatly dimmed.
Walking under an open sky full of stars is a gift, one that I have never taken for granted. Star gazing, especially during the frigid winter months in the Northeast has been my passion for as long as I can remember… (In Maine I keep my northeastern field open just for that purpose). Here, my favorite constellation is mostly hidden by a barren reptilian mountain…
I used to honor the passage of each full moon but these days it is the dark of the moon I acknowledge and celebrate. I look forward to the dark of the moon because during this time it is much easier to stay in my body, to sleep deep and well, and to star gaze…
Personally, this reversal mirrors other radical reversals I have experienced within the last two months…
Indigenous peoples have honored the dark of the moon as a powerful passage (root vegetables are still planted around or at the time of the dark of the moon), but until I came to New Mexico I never thought about what really happens at the dark of the moon. A birthing occurs following a night of total darkness. A moonseed comes to life as an invisible sliver, and a new Earth cycle begins…
It is February 1st and tomorrow, or somewhere in this general period, Indigenous peoples across the globe celebrate “First Light” the precursor to spring.
In this country some still celebrate groundhog day…When the groundhog emerges if he sees his shadow spring is still six weeks away (here this story has no meaning for obvious reasons). But the point I want to make is that the groundhog was first a bear, and throughout central Europe chained bears were forced to walk over scalding coals throughout the countryside to make the crops grow. How the bear became a groundhog is a mystery.
I too acknowledge this turning, though for me it is tempered by knowing that soon the days of fierce white light will stretch into what seems like “forever” and I will have to work harder than ever to stay embodied.
Although here in New Mexico the Great Bear constellation mostly remains hidden, the Big Bear Moon will be full next week…
One problem with the full moon is that it promotes a dulling of the mind and senses – actions without awareness/accurate reflection are a normal part of this monthly turning.
The Indigenous (throughout the world) myth of the rabbit living with his grandmother embraces this idea – the rabbit as trickster aspect dulls the grandmother’s wits and muddles her senses – if only temporarily.