Before the moon is made new overnight June 17th to the 18th (exact on the 18th at 12:37 am ET, time zone converter) it returns to the place on the astrological Wheel where it began its moonthly journey. The energy gathered through the moonth 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 draws to a close in Taurus which corresponds to the Tarot’s Hierophant card. In the Dark Goddess Tarot The Hierophant is Cybele,the Anatolian Mountain Mother. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, description of Her includes:
Cybele (pronounced sib-ill-ee, with the accent on the first syllable), also called Magna Mater, is the goddess of the primal and always primary earth. The great Mount Ararat, the heart of the land called Phrygia, Anatolia, or Turkey, appears behind her. She is seated on a throne and crowned by the city, the the civilization that she makes possible.
Cybele’s consort is Attis, a long-haired shepherd as handsome as the Gods. After he dallies with a tree nymph, Cybele’s anger and his own regret drives him to use a jagged stone to cut away the source of his offense. Spilled blood from his self-castration falls to the ground becoming violets. In some versions of their myth, Cybele turns Attis into an evergreen fir tree rather than watch him die, and declares this tree sacred to Herself. Attis, thus, becomes a green God of vegetation and a reminder of the eternal dwelling within the finite world.
Hierophant lunar cycles offer an invitation to connect with an aspect of the Greater Than in service and devotion. As the moonth draws to a close, we are invited to celebrate our faithfulness to this service and reflect on how this has helped us to be more fully who we are. Almost certainly, there will also be ways in which we have fallen short in our service. We might feel regret like that of Attis, and find ways to work symbolically and ritually – not literally! do not harm yourself! – with his story during the dark moon time.
I tend toward a Jungian-inspired perspective that we benefit from accepting and integrating all the myriad parts of ourselves from the delightful to the shadowy. But there are a few parts that are to be rejected. They do not come from wisdom within or the Divine, but from distortions of the human world. They are the messages of oppression that surrounds us, ancestral burdens of violence carried in our DNA, legacies of genocide and slavery living still in our institutions, voices of hate and fear hijacking our minds. These are to be cut out of our lives.
We can become sculptors liberating beauty from stone when we cut away these parts that disconnect us from the Greater Than to reveal our true form within. Like Attis, we then enter the eternal flow and find ourselves embraced by the Divine we seek to serve.
The days when the dark moon is the Hierophant’s position (Tuesday, the 13th, at 3:31pm ET to Thursday, the 15th at 9:45pm ET) is the optimal time for engaging in reflection and ritual—but anytime up to the new moon’s arrival is good—to both celebrate our service and cut from our lives anything that separates us from the Greater Than.
Your reflection and ritual need not be elaborate, but I offer a process for to use or adapt for your own needs.
Lay out 2 pieces of paper. No need for anything fancy, but you might be inspired to have one piece be special or colorful.
At the top of one sheet – and using special paper if you decided to use it – write: Times when I was beautifully in service to the Greater Than (feel free to specifically name the Greater Than you served this moonth)
At the top of the second sheet, write: Times when I was disconnected from the Greater Than (once again feel free to name specifically).
Now look back on the happenings of the moonth. If you journal, you’ll have a handy record, but even just looking back at your appointment calendar or photo roll can jog your mind about what’s been going on in the past few weeks. Make entries on your lists
If you need help making entries on your list, you can always turn over Tarot and oracle cards to show you images to inspire entries.
When your lists are complete, let yourself be for a while with the beautiful service you offered this moonth. You might reflect on what made this possible – and think about how to keep building that into your life. You might offer gratitude to others, the Divine, and/or yourself for this service and its impacts. You might finish with creating a small art work or saying a closing prayer.
Take your list of disconnections into your dark moon ritual.
Dark Moon Release Ritual
Have your list and a pair of scissors handy.
Create sacred space by, for example, lighting a candle, imagining that you are ringed with a circle of protection, and/or your usual actions.
You can invite Cybele and/or the face of Greater Than that you have been serving this moonth to with you and aid you in this dark moon release. Spend as much time as you need connecting with Them.
When you are ready, take your scissors and begin cutting up the piece of paper where you have written about your disconnections. You might repeat a mantra such as “You are not part of me. I release you.” or one that are inspired to create because of what you have written on the sheet.
You might want to release the cut up scraps of paper outside into the wind to be carried away.
After you have completed your releasing, tune into your body, feeling it lighter. 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 Cybele and/or your face of the Greater Than.
When the new moon arrives, you may want to make wishes for how the scattered and transformed bits of yourself will become like the violets that sprang from Attis’ blood and brought new life. Be sure to write them down to revisit at the end of the moonth.
Dark Moon releasing can you prepare to travel with a light and open heart into the Solstice illumination next week. I’ll be sending suggestions for celebrating the Solstice out in my new moon e-news. Be sure to be on my list to receive them!