Full Moon Revelations: The inheritance of Love is both Light and Dark


For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

he height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving overnight December 7th to 8th (exact at 11:08pm ET on the 7th, time zone converter), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the December 4th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with Temperance, 9 of Wands, and the Knight of Wands, invited us to shimmer. Out of the full moon revelation about this developing energy, we are issued an invitation to return a gift to the world in the final weeks of the lunar cycle.  

The exact moment of the moon’s fullness comes in the sign of Gemini associated with the Tarot’s Lovers. When Temperance encounters the Lovers shining in the moonlight, a new consciousness about how love is created, tempered, and transformed as well as from where it springs may emerge.

Playing with the numbers associated with these cards makes an interesting connection appropriate to the timing of this full moon closest to the Solstice. Temperance’s 14 added to the Lover’s 6 = Awakening’s 20.

In the Overview Booklet for Descent and Return of the Light, I write about Awakening, making a connection to the Winter Solstice that arrives in 2 weeks here in the Northern Hemisphere:

In the Gaian Tarot’s Awakening, a dark figure stands open-hearted before the Divine above the dark passage into Ireland’s Neolithic mound at Newgrange, the best known monument in a complex of burial and astrological sacred sites known as Brú na Bóinne, home to the Celtic God of Love and Dreams Aengus.

Most of the year Newgrange’s interior lies in darkness, but on Winter Solstice morning a roof box at the entrance is arranged such that the rising sun is channeled to flood its passageway and chambers in light for 17 minutes.

In these moments, Dark and Light mix together. I imagine they rise and fall exuberantly like long separated lovers to conceive the next spiral of the world’s becoming. Dark and Light each need moments of their own fullness, but then their reunion on the Solstice creates that generative energy that the Italian poet Dante named so beautifully as the “love that moves the sun and other stars.”

The Dark does not actually birth the Light. The Dark and the Light – after times of separation –  come together to conceive and birth Love. They begin a partnership of nurturance to bestow on Love their own best qualities that might be named as: intimacy, mystery, surrender, passion, growth, and joy. The inheritance of Love is both Dark and Light.

The Solstice season with its holidays of many traditions invites us to embrace this full-spectrum Love that excludes nothing and embrace all.

I have to admit that my conflicted relationship with Christmas through the decades has at times kept me from that Love. I swung from childhood delight of the gift-giving Christmas of my Christian childhood to fleeing traumatic holidays of family breakdown, mental health crises, and punishing expectations. For years, I boycotted Christmas, was a grinch. In these times, I stood either in the light or the dark, not letting them mix.

But one of the first things my late partner John said to me was: “I love Christmas! It’s a time to show your thanks to the good people in your life.” I rolled my eyes. But he won me over. His delight was infectious. He had a 20 foot Christmas tree in his loft (this is literally true, not hyperbole) and made candy sleighs to give to people at work. He celebrated the real sentiment of the season.

Still, we were not Christian. He had never been and I wasn’t any more. The story and traditions of the holiday did not fit. But the Solstice’s return of the light did so we named this as the holiday we celebrated. Fortunately, we got to keep the tree, a pagan tradition adopted into Christianity—or as the comedian Stephen Colbert says, “a symbol so Christian it predates Christ.” I basked in the light of the Solstice season.

Then John died in November 2012. Yes, the dark descended. My body flooded with tears—how is it possible for one body to produce so much snot? And in the dark the Solstice came to mark the 49th day since John’s death; I felt his presence and a literal breath. A little light shimmered there in the darkness. (More of this story is in 49 Days to the Green Door of Death).

Since then I’ve been finding my way with trial and error and sometimes tipping between the Light and Dark to birth the Love in this Solstice Season. Descent and Return of the Light is one of the offerings to emerge from this journey. Each year we follow a similar weekly pattern because the sun follows a steady course. But the moon varies and gives each year a particular energy.

This year we began our descent on a dark moon day and, the Solstice itself comes toward the end of the moonth so the dark will be deep, opening the way for our release and renewal to be potent indeed for us individually which I do believe supports collective transformation.

In this dark moon Solstice year I’ve been turning to a quote from Demetra George’s Mysteries of the Dark Moon as a guiding principle:

If we correctly understand the dark, we can use the cover of darkness to learn the magic of our particular sacred rites, which can lead to a revitalized and replenished life.

The dark offers us the space to look inward and find our unique sacred rites. We might draw upon time-honored traditions—the tree, the candle, the song—but we don’t do them by rote; each year we imbue them with personal meaning and do what tends our souls. Or we might step outside traditions to create our own practices even if they seem strange in the eyes of others—reversing the weekly lighting of candles  to invite the dark as we do in Descent or personal quirky practices. These rites feed our soul, are freely chosen, emerge from the compost or our lives.

The deep dark and the soul-tending practice then lead us into the light of our revitalized and replenished lives.

What are your seasonal practices that mix the Light and Dark? I’d love to hear them. Or if you are feeling in need of new practicesI invite you to take some time going inward to tune into the callings of our soul, to sit with your longing, to imagine how you’d honor both Dark and Light. You could then do a little research on spiritual practices of the season to see what resonates and try it out. Or you could work with a Solstice Seed of the New. Because we are practicing, there is no need for perfection.

If you’d like to join in on Descent and Return of the Light, it is not too late. In fact, this week, we are tuning into the dark and next week will focus on release and renewal of all we don’t want to carry into the next solar year. That is great preparation for Solstice celebration and then tending the returning light in January.

But before rushing off into the new year, may these full moon nights offer you a revelation about Love and how to best continue your  journey of moonthly cycle and through the Solstice. To encourage the revelation, you are invited to one, some, or all of these practices:

Moon bathe by sitting or lying under a window or outside on the ground. Let go of your thoughts and soak in the moon light on the dark night.

~ Take out any reading or your reflections from the new moon and look at them in a new light. How does your understanding of the cards shift now that time has passed and light has shifted? (If you haven’t done a reading yet, no problem, just do it now under the light of the full moon. You can try the one from the new moon.)

~ Bring out your Temperance and Lovers cards from your Tarot deck and connect them to any new moon reading / reflections. You could place/imagine these cards on either side of your reading or above and below, and then look at how they add meaning into the story your original cards offered you.

Reflect on questions such as: What is love calling me to? How is my love fed by the dark? What light does my love bring into the world? How can I strengthen my love? How can I bring more love into the world? You could, of course, pull cards as responses to any of these questions. You may want to engage in Visio Divina to find the layers of wisdom within the cards.

When you are done, remember to offer gratitude for what you have received. Consider what gift you now want to return to the world. Pulling a card for guidance on the gift is always a fine thing to do. In the coming weeks and before the moon returns to dark in the hours after the Solstice, offer your gift to the world.


A Note: Speaking  of Brú na Bóinne …

I am in the early stages of planning a small group trip (about 6 people) to Ireland along similar lines of how I organized this fall’s trip to Greece.

The stories, energies, and expression on the landscape of Irish elemental goddesses of water, fire, air, and earth would guide us as we spent time in places like the Boyne Valley (location of Brú na Bóinne), Kildare, and the Beara Peninsula during the second half of September. 

We’d weave Tarot and oracle cards into our travels and since we are in Ireland we’d make space for writing about what inspires us.

I’d charge a fee for organizing (and to use to make deposits on our lodging, transportation, and guides) and then pass on actual costs to participants to be paid over time. As a point of reference, Greece trip participants paid about $2,000 in these kinds of expenses and then had to cover costs like meals, museum admissions, and local transportation when we were in Greece.

If you are interested and want to know more, let me know. No need to be ready to commit. I’m just wanting to know if this speaks to anyone. 

Looking for more info on what the Greek trip was like? Here are 3 options:

~ Recording of the Report Back Session
~ Blog post on our element-of-air-inspired visit to a peak sanctuary
~ Blog post on our element-of-earth-inspired journey into a cave 

Interested in making a Celtic pilgrimage, but know that September is not the right time for you? Check out the tours being organized by Linda Marson of Global Spiritual Studies who helped make the Greek trip happen. She is going to Ireland, England, and Scotland in

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