Before the moon is made new on September 17th, 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 Leo, which corresponds to the Tarot’s Strength card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot Strength is Samovila, the Slavic Guardian of the Forest. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, tells us about her:
She protects the living beings, red-blooded or green, in the woods of Eastern Europe. She guards the purity of its streams and the health of the whole. Often lively and playful, Samovila loves to dance. Her circle dances create the magical glades that are found in even the deepest tracks of the forest. Yet she is fierce in her defence of her home and takes revenge against trespassers who would harm her beloved ones.
Her special animal companion is a bear. Shown as peaceful in the presence of Samovila, a mother bear is also famous for her fierceness in defending her cubs. Bears standing upright like humans show us a mirror of our animal self, wild and powerful, willing to protect what is most important to us.
Although she is a Slavic wisdom figure, I hear her calling us on these darkening nights to see the fire lighting up the US West Coast. Last year about this same time, I was writing about her seeing the Amazon burning. She comes around again to help us hear the same message. We need to listen The resulting deforestation will accelerate the advance of climate change so although fires maybe happening on the West Coast or in the Amazon the whole world will feel the ripple impacts.
Samovila knows she is connected to the living beings of blood and leaf and invites us to feel the feel the connection, too. The emotions that arise might be strong, might be dissonant. But the dark moon nights can hold their intensity. They invite us to make some space for what is bigger than our personal or everyday concerns.
We often focus our dark moon releases on our personal reality, but we can also let the challenges of the collective pass through us. Through this symbolic and magical work, we can make a contribution to releasing for, and healing of, the whole. This work compliments our action in the rational and physical to do such things as change policy and direct action.
These couple of days and nights before the new moon arrives (exact on Thursday, the 17th at 7:00 ET) is the optimal time for a dark moon release ritual.
Dark Moon Release Ritual
This moonth’s ritual is inspired by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s connection of Samovila to dance and Jennifer Lucero-Earle’s ArcanaDance that allows us to meet the wisdom of the Tarot in our bodies through movement. Visit her website to find out more and this series of articles and sample video we prepared ahead of a class we taught together at Readers Studio.
This is an example of a flow that you should modify to fit your own needs. Do what is within your comfort zone and get support as needed. You may want to pick out a piece of music to play during this ritual time that helps you connect with your wild self.
Enter sacred space by leaving behind your everyday concerns. Closing a door so you have privacy can help. Playing special music can help. After tuning into your body, imagine that you are ringed with a circle of protection.
You can invite Samovila and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to be with you, protect you, and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with Them.
If you are able, you can physically do the following actions. You can also imagine yourself doing them:
Crouch on your hands and knees. Imagine you are a mother bear. Feel your weight and power. Maybe you growl. Maybe you move about the room in some way.
Bring to mind a world problem that concerns you. It could be the fires, climate change, or another challenge you are focused on.
As this problem comes into your consciousness, tune into what happens in your animal body. Let the instinct of you bodily reaction to this problem guide your movement. You may swing about. You may stand up. You may claw against trespassers. You may pace or stomp. Stay with this for a while.
After moving for some moments, bring to mind your guide, Samovila or another, ask them to take, punish, transform this problem. Let yourself feel their power working on the problem. Let yourself feel how you are working together. Let this guide a shift in your movements.
When you are ready, feel your way back down to the floor or to a chair. Let yourself sit and be. Let your imaginal mind see the problem flowing away. Then let your own emotions about the problem flow away after it. If there is anything personal from the moonth that you want to release, let it got now. (Your rational mind may want to remind you that the problem can’t change that fast. That’s fine. You can remind this part of you that you are working in the imaginal realm right now where the seeds of the new and next are gestated.)
Take some time to rest in the emptiness.
Tune into your body again, 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 Samovila and/or your face of the Greater Than. Be sure to offer Them gratitude for their support.
Be gentle with yourself after this process. Things may keep shifting within for a while.
When the new moon arrives on Thursday, you may want to make wishes for your renewed energy can create for you personally and for the world in the next lunation. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth.