Woman of The Moon
by Roslyne Sophia Breillat
The moon has long been associated with female qualities of receptivity, feeling, moistness, fertility, nurturing, intuition, healing.
For aeons we have gazed in awe at the golden radiance of her fullness reflected in the ocean. Nicole DeBarber - IllustrationAnd for aeons we have gazed in wonder at the delicate silver arc of her crescent-shaped sister shining gently amongst the stars.
Representing depth, darkness and mystery, this lunar orb was awed and feared in early cultures as the celestial reflection of the feminine principle. Her capacity to fill the night with shining splendour or plunge it into deepest blackness was seen as mysterious and terrifying. Known as Queen of the night sky, she was worshipped for her glowing beauty and luminescent power.
Ancient myths portray her as the many-faced Mother of the Gods flying across the heavens in her moon boat or sky chariot. Shrouded in sacredness and superstition, she was honoured during her brightest phase as the beneficent giver of light and life to the earth. During her darkest phase she was perceived as a terrifying evil entity for now she was invisible as well as powerful.
A woman’s rhythm is fluid and circular, profoundly influencing her inner and outer life from a fathomless wellspring of intuitive wisdom. Since the dawning of her first menstruation she knows an intimate relationship with her body and psyche. Beyond all worldly concerns the feminine cycle harmonises with the mystery of the moon’s transforming phases.
Dear woman, it requires openness, courage and sensitivity for you to live consciously and unashamedly in harmony with your inner lunar rhythm. Western civilisation’s projective linear lifestyle does not honour the wise truth of your female depths or the spiralling movement of your monthly ebb and flow. It is unnatural for you to be overly active in the world when pre-menstrual, menstrual, pregnant, birthing, breastfeeding or menopausal. These are powerful phases of deepening awareness and surrender to the vast realm of your feminine essence.
During these transformations you need presence, nurturing and precious moments with the earth’s beauty. You need space for inner stillness without unnecessary distractions and activities. You and your body are sacred, as all of life is sacred. Follow the moon’s rhythm and know it as your own. Allow her to lead you home to the mystery of your love and the depth of your power.
The ancients worshipped the moon as the beneficent giver of divine power. They honoured her as the gracious receptacle of intimate secrets and sacred knowledge. During each of her powerful transitions she was portrayed as a different aspect of woman. These phases were named Maiden, Mother and Muse or Crone.
In her earliest phase, the moon’s delicate silver crescent represents the nubile virgin beginning her adventurous journey across the heavens. Preparing to enter life from a deeper part of the feminine psyche, she symbolises newness, purity and innocence. The Lunar Goddess now begins her waxing phase of birth and growth, her unfolding of maturity, wisdom and freedom. For a young woman this phase heralds menarche, the dawning of her first menstrual period.
When the moon is round and glowing, she represents the maternal Goddess of love, the pregnant mother with her full ripe belly. Her golden rotundity symbolises fecundity and abundance for her fertilising powers are potent now. Her powerful presence bestows her creative gift of life to the earth and her bounty. Mother Nature’s womb opens to her heavenly beauty and insects sing her praises all night long. This phase represents woman’s maternal aspect embracing the fullness of her childbearing and mothering years.
When the moon begins to wane she is preparing to disappear into the dark void of her mystery. The Moon Goddess silently slips from existence by entering the deep abyss of her lunar consciousness. No longer visible, her potent presence emanates from an unseen place.
This phase is for introspection, stillness and silence. She is now assimilating the changes of her waxing and waning phases. During this transformation she prepares to reappear as the sparkling crescent moon. For a woman this transition represents her rebirth as the wise and mysterious Muse or Crone. Hecate, Dark Moon Lilith, woman beyond existence, is the mythical ruler of this mysterious cycle of emotional and psychological death.
During this phase the ancients watched in awe and fear as her glowing light disappeared from view. Her unseen influence upon the earth is powerful at this time.
Through consciously embracing menopause, a woman will experience deep wholeness and completion from experiencing all the phases of the Lunar Goddess. As the Wise Crone, she simultaneously knows the innocence of the Maiden, the fertility of the Mother and the truth of the Muse.
Even if she has not physically been a mother, she has psychically and energetically experienced this phase of her life. Neither old nor young, neither attached to age nor youth, she joyfully embodies all aspects of the Lunar Goddess. The transforming power of her essence is that of the fullest and darkest moon. She contains the elixir of the Holy Grail, the abundance of the Earth, the stillness of the lake, the wildness of the storm. She represents all that gives, nurtures, takes in, receives, contains and transforms.
When a woman ceases menstruating, her psyche dances differently with the changing phases of the moon’s cycles. No more will her womb bleed with the lunar influence of oceanic tidal flows, for she is now inspired and influenced from a deeper place of inner knowing. In ancient cultures this aspect of her female essence was sacred. She now cradles the immortal presence of life within her womb without menstruation, birthing or mothering.
During and after menopause, woman’s natural affiliation with the moon potentially becomes more profound, inner, intuitive, perceptive. Through acceptance and surrender, she softens ever deeper into her wisdom, her wildness, her mystery, her power. After emptying, filling and replenishing for many years with the moon’s phases, her body is rapidly changing in preparation for a new phase, a new life.
For many women this intense transition is felt as dramatic, disorienting, disturbing and erratic. If a woman is experiencing great disharmony throughout these disruptive sensations, she can minimise this by simplifying her outer life as much as possible. She needs calm and sensitive focus for receptively tuning in to this strange new transition. Through eliminating everything unnecessary from her life, a deeper space, openness, stillness and power will inspire this potent flow of inner changes.
Throughout pagan cultures the lunar deity is worshipped as the wise and intuitive ruler of the feminine psyche. Not always content with the dark of night as her realm, she often appears at will during daylight hours. Daring to show her delicate face amid bright sunshine, she then remains high in the heavens long after the sun sleeps.
Mysteriously turning her face every few days, she always manifests in a different part of the evening sky.She takes form for several nights as a tiny crescent. Then she swells and grows like a ripening fruit, changing colour and shape until she is glorious, round and golden.
There are moments when this inconstant and unreliable heavenly ruler of cyclic change slowly rises at dusk. There are moments when her capricious presence doesn't bother to appear until the late hours of darkness. When her fullness and light have caused the night to shine as day, she turns her beautiful face once again, preparing to metamorphose as a fine arc of silver.
And so it is with woman. The enigmatic inconsistency of her feminine nature cannot be measured, controlled, quantified or manipulated, for it vibrates so finely with the instinctual pulse of its own rhythm. Ever in tune with her lunar nature, her body subtly yet powerfully flows from one transforming cycle to another. When she begins her sacred menopausal pilgrimage she is gifted with the opportunity to sing, dance, create, live, love and be as never before.
No longer flowing in tune with her lunar menstrual cycle, she is asked to courageously move beyond all she has known. She is now learning to be who she is as a woman in a totally new way. She is being asked to live as the dark of the moon.
As your consciousness becomes more aligned with the dark side of the moon, you will know gratitude for this awesome opportunity to sink so deeply into the quiet stillness of your inherent nature. You will become more perceptively attuned to the impersonal female ocean beyond fertility, beyond menstruation, beyond death, beyond fear.
If you fully embrace this important transition, everything you say and do will be graced with wisdom and inspired by truth. You will inwardly die and rebirth. You will settle into a new place of being. You will become the mystery of the Muse and the power of the Crone. You will know true freedom. You will know All.
This innermost facet of woman’s psyche is both adored and repelled by man, for he subconsciously recognises it as his self-undoing. Reflecting all that he loves and fears in the feminine psyche, the timelessness of her lunar essence draws him like a moth to a flame. It promises to fulfil his every need whilst threatening to destroy him with this unfathomable mystery that he loves.
Every woman has the capacity to unite with her lunar consciousness, for deep within, beneath layers of worldly fears and distractions, she already is this power. Through learning to love his woman's ever-changing lunar rhythm, the rhythm he will never understand, he will know stillness, humility, passion and the authority of his solar power. When he opens to the moon within his woman, he opens to the shining one, his divine inner lover.
If he learns to love her through her many lunar transitions he will know true fulfilment. For like the moon, she reflects the light of his love.