Before the moon is made new overnight July 31 to August 1, it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the lunation now flows away into moonless nights. What will you send with this energy to be transformed in the dark?
The moonth we are concluding began and now ends in Cancer which corresponds to the Tarot’s Chariot card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Chariot is Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess of Love and War. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, tells us that she is worshiped as both a female and male deity. Ellen’s description of Her includes:
Her symbol of the eight-pointed star, two four-pointed stars crossing over one another, … is a symbol of the union between matter and spirit, as well as the balance between male and female. Ishtar has evolved over millennia into a goddess of contradictory aspects. She is fire and rain, both burning and quenching the land. She is nurturing and she is bloodthirsty. With Ishtar, one experiences the dynamic power that is generated through the ability to harness opposing forces.
We began the moonth by recognizing that joy is made possible by letting contradictions of the difficult and the delightful in our lives and world flow together. This embrace of all offered an expansion of our hearts, an invitation to joy on the journey.
Now Ishtar comes to lead us in an examination of how we have tended this joy. In this, she is nurturing and fierce. She demands the truth in all its complexities. And from this truthful examination can emerge an understanding of what we don’t need to carry into the next lunation. We can ask Ishtar to take it into the dark, to burn it with her fiery star.
Starting 48 – 24 hours before and up to the new moon’s arrival overnight July 31 to August 1 (exact on the 31st at 11:12pm ET in the USA) is the optimal time for engaging in reflection and ritual to understand how we have cultivated joy this moonth.
Think back on the moonth by looking over your calendar, journal, or even photos taken to jog your memory about the past 28ish days. Then journal or draw from one to three cards in response to questions like these:
What/who did you love this moonth? What joy did this love unleash? Where did you fall short in your love for others and/or yourself?
What did you make war on this moonth? How did your war making protect joy for yourself and/or others? How did you make war on your joy (i.e. attacking and diminishing it)?
Sort the ideas that emerge into those to celebrate and those to release. You may be surprised to find the loving and waring responses mixed into both categories.
Offer gratitude for those ideas and actions of yours to celebrate. You might include the image of the eight-pointed star in how you offer your gratitude by: drawing it over a written list, creating one by overlaying 2 squares and writing your list on to it, or doing a meditation and imagining it glowing above you as recite your list of ideas and actions to celebrate.
Dark Moon Release Ritual
Use any of all of these ideas to create a ritual that works for you.
You may want to bring a special/beautiful bowl or cup filled with some clear water into the ritual.
Create sacred space by lighting a candle, imagining that you are ringed with a circle of protection, and/or your usual actions.
You can invite Ishtar and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to be with you and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with Them.
Then use your imaginal mind to sense above you Ishtar’s eight-pointed star. Become aware of streams of energy flowing down from each point to you and over you. You can imagine the star light infusing the water in your bowl. Take some time to bask in the star light on this dark night.
Now bring to mind the first of your releases. You might associate it with a certain color. Imagine it falling into the bowl. Watch with your imaginal eyes as it is dissolves in the star-infused water until the color is totally dissipated and only clear water remains.
Do this with each of your releases.
When you are done with your releasing, open your eyes and gaze into the clear water in the bowl. Let yourself sense and feel gratitude for the transformation made possible by the water. You may want to drink some of the water.
Tune into your body, feeling it lighter and energized. Re-center yourself by connecting with earth below you and the sky above you. Feel their energy mix in your heart. Be open to a blessing coming to you from Ishtar and/or your face of the Greater Than. Be sure to offer Them gratitude for their support.
When the new moon arrives, you may want to make wishes for your renewed energy can create in the next lunation. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth.
Note on the Dark Goddess Tarot: The deck, alas, is out-of-print, but the full color e-book is still available, and Ellen’s writing is as inspiring as her artwork. Full disclosure; I have nothing to disclose. I don’t get a commision on DGT sales. I just love this deck, want you to benefit from its wisdom, and Ellen to receive support to keep doing her work.