Musings On The Moon

In The Shadow Of The Moon

Several days ago, I, as you too might have, witnessed the “eclipse” of the sun. At that time, a portion of our earth was in the shadow of the moon.  Of course, for us here in NY, it was only a partial eclipse of the sun. As the writer Annie Dillard so aptly put it in her classic essay Total Eclipse, “Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him.” In other words, pleasant but not earth-shattering!

But, I diverge. What an unusual experience to be in the shadow of the moon. And, how does this affect us? Some would say, it has the potential to drive us crazy! Wikipedia tells us:

The Moon has long been associated with insanity and irrationality; the words lunacy and lunatic (popular shortening loony) are derived from the Latin name for the Moon, Luna. Philosophers Aristotle and Pliny the Elder argued that the full moon induced insanity in susceptible individuals, believing that the brain, which is mostly water, must be affected by the Moon and its power over the tides, …

I for one, suspect that an event such as a solar eclipse is unsettling, even to us rational, sensible and scientific types in our somewhat rational culture.

Perhaps this will indicate my “lunacy”. Have you ever used a Ouija Board? One evening, trying to entertain my grandchildren, we pulled out my Ouija Board estate sale find. Did you know that on such a board, the Sun represents a “positive” spirt and the Moon represents a “negative” spirit. I take issue with these associations. Rational is not better or more positive. It’s certainly a necessary aspect to help us function but, how would we know ourselves without our lunar (lunatic) shadow elements? As a former Math Major, I spent too many years being rational. Tonight, still in the shadow of the moon, I celebrate the irrational elements and those things that help us to know our true creative nature. Our souls may represent our Lunar aspects and, as in a Yoga pose,  the dynamic tension between the two opposing solar and lunar forces helps us to maintain our balance and creative spirit. In this solar eclipse week, let us celebrate the gifts of the Moon’s shadow!