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Moon Medicine

In my last post, I began a description of my new business logo, beginning with the symbolism of the Snake. In this post, I describe the symbolism of the Moon.

The oldest portrayals of the Moon were made during the Bronze Age, 1600 BC. The first calendars around 20,000 BC were lunar, and as Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson point out in their book, Mythic Astrology, “antlers and bones dating from the Ice Age are often carved with notches running a lunar month…and Neolithic times depict many Moon Goddesses representing life cycles.”

The archetype of the Moon represents all things feminine: Mother, depth of emotions, sense of belonging, intuition, how we relate, our unconscious, sacred mysteries. The three phases of the Moon–waxing, full, and waning correspond to the phases of womanhood: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The crescent moon seems to smile down from the starlit sky and can be described as the Maiden: pure, innocent, and young. The full moon is radiantly bright, illuminating her strong relationship to self and others and correlates to Mother. As she wanes and Moonlight diminishes, her wisdom represents the hidden depths, describing the Crone. Guttman and Johnson remind us that the Goddess Hecate represents this final phase. Hecate is the enlightened elder, steeped in the knowledge of herbs, magic elixirs, and folk healing. From this deep well of wisdom, the Moon renews her sacred cycle and begins again.

A few years ago, I learned from herbalist Pam Montgomery how to create ceremonies to attune to Nature’s cycles. Since then, I enjoy Moon ceremonies every month, making a special altar, calling in the directions, wise guides, and well ancestors, and offering an intention for my personal life and the wider world. I love honoring the Moon with song or chants, dancing or drumming. I also find great comfort in speaking my feelings to Grandmother Moon. Indeed, being held by her gaze is just as important for me as soaking up Sunlight. Ayurveda encourages us to ‘Moon bathe’ regularly, as it soothes excess Pitta anger and inflammation and is a tender balm to the mind, body, and spirit. We need the soft cooling lunar light to balance the intense heat of the solar blaze. Sometimes, when the Moon is full and I can’t sleep, I am reminded to greet the Moon in her glory! I open my shades and lay in the moonlight for awhile, and soon I'm able to fall asleep.

The Moon encourages us to learn from and be held in a quiet gentle spacious presence, to let the ebb and flow of our emotions be like the tides, and to transform ourselves through our ever-changing cycles. I resonate profoundly with these Moon messages. I was born during a waning crescent Gemini Moon and a bright summer Cancer Sun. For those of you who are familiar with astrology, you know that Gemini loves to connect and share in curiosity and that Cancer, ruled by the Moon, relates to others deeply and sensitively. For all these reasons, as I offer guidance to those on the healing path, the continuously transforming Moon is a perfect symbol for my logo.

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