Hail to you at Midsummer and the height of the suns power through the year! As you’re probably expecting a piece on the sun and it’s attributes, I’d like to talk a little about another heavenly body which shares our skies and heavily influences our lives. I’d like to share a poem about the moon, especially as she’s at a beautifully clear quarter waxing right now. I’ve stood outside on more than a few nights recently and just watched, looked, been in awe of something so beautiful and such a part of this world. What I feel in that quiet moment is a difficult thing to put into words, but the following poem I think, does it more eloquently than I ever could. It looks long, and it is, but if that alone is putting you off, I would offer my encouragement to read it, it’s worth the time. This poem always puts me in a deeply reflective mood, saying something to me that I can’t quite grasp and bring into the light to examine. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way, something you can only begin to comprehend in gentle moonlight shadows, a cool balm of understanding which is dissapated by the suns heat and light. Because reading it always puts me in a reflective mood, I’ve included some moon prayers afterwards which you can add to your sacred conversations, feel free to use them or post the ones you use in a comment.
Just a little warning: may contain traces of sweary…
“Facts About the Moon”
The moon is backing away from us
an inch and a half each year. That means
if you’re like me and were born
around fifty years ago the moon
was a full six feet closer to the earth.
What’s a person supposed to do?
I feel the gray cloud of consternation
travel across my face. I begin thinking
about the moon-lit past, how if you go back
far enough you can imagine the breathtaking
hugeness of the moon, prehistoric
solar eclipses when the moon covered the sun
so completely there was no corona, only
a darkness we had no word for.
And future eclipses will look like this: the moon
a small black pupil in the eye of the sun.
But these are bald facts.
What bothers me most is that someday
the moon will spiral right out of orbit
and all land-based life will die.
The moon keeps the oceans from swallowing
the shores, keeps the electromagnetic fields
in check at the polar ends of the earth.
And please don’t tell me
what I already know, that it won’t happen
for a long time. I don’t care. I’m afraid
of what will happen to the moon.
Forget us. We don’t deserve the moon.
Maybe we once did but not now
after all we’ve done. These nights
I harbor a secret pity for the moon, rolling
around alone in space without
her milky planet, her only child, a mother
who’s lost a child, a bad child,
a greedy child or maybe a grown boy
who’s murdered and raped, a mother
can’t help it, she loves that boy
anyway, and in spite of herself
she misses him, and if you sit beside her
on the padded hospital bench
outside the door to his room you can’t not
take her hand, listen to her while she
weeps, telling you how sweet he was,
how blue his eyes, and you know she’s only
romanticizing, that she’s conveniently
forgotten the bruises and booze,
the stolen car, the day he ripped
the phones from the walls, and you want
to slap her back to sanity, remind her
of the truth: he was a leech, a fuckup,
a little shit, and you almost do
until she lifts her pale puffy face, her eyes
two craters and then you can’t help it
either, you know love when you see it,
you can feel its lunar strength, its brutal pull.
Most times the moon is referred to as a feminine influence or a direct representation of the Great Goddess, so these prayers are all in that gender. They are taken from ‘A Book of Pagan Prayer‘ by Ceisiwr Serith, 2002 Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. If you’ve never seen it or heard of it, and you’re even remotely inclined to talk to your deities directly, go find a copy, I find it invaluable 🙂
Mother help me
I am calling to you
My need is great, but your power is greater
I know you will prevail over the troubles that beset me
Your silver disk will light the entire night
none of the night will be turned over to the dark
Even as your soft light guides my path tonight,
May your gentle influence spread softly through my life
When I am surrounded by the shadows
come to me and remind me of this nights lesson
I pray to you who wears the silver crescent
not to let me forget
This small drink is yours, Lady of the Moon
its round brightness reflecting your shining wheel
I place it on the grass and invite you to come with your children to share it
Darkness is for silence
This I know Dark Moon
Just a few words of rememberance then,
and I will keep the silence with you