Dark Moon Meditation
Samhain 2005

The Moon is dark tonight.  That means it has reached the point in its monthly journey around the Earth when it is in sun-synchronous orbit.  We can’t see its light because it is overpowered by the greater light of the sun.  If you look, very early in the morning on the day or two before the moon changes to new, you can see a tiny silver crescent just as the sun rises.  It disappears then until a day or two after the actual astronomical change when the new crescent of the setting moon appears in the evening sky just as the sun sets.

Because the Celts were so fond of thresholds, spaces between times and places, the time between the disappearance of the old moon and the appearance of the new was a time of suspension, timelessness, expectation.  It was also a dangerous time.  With only starlight for illumination, the night was profoundly dark.  Enemies could strike without warning, if they had the courage to venture forth in the darkness ... and did venture forth with the assistance of dark powers, or by claiming the assistance of the light against the darkness ... humans can use metaphor for any purpose.

Many people today think that the darkness is to be denied or avoided at all costs.  We light up the night with halogens that stunt the growth of trees, white out the stars, and deny sabbath rest.  But the darkness is also the time for turning inward, for listening, for seeking out the turning point that will bring transformation.  This is what Matthew Fox calls the Via Negativa.  
Tonight is a holy night for many traditions.  It is the eve of All Saints and the day of the dead.  Tomorrow the moon is new, signaling a turning, a new beginning.  Later this week, once the crescent moon is actually visible in the sky, the Sunni Muslims in Saudi Arabia will declare the end of Ramadan.  The actual cross-quarter day, the half-way point between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice is Friday, November 4.  

Now is the time to remember those who have died, for honoring the ancestors, and for aligning our intentions with so many traditions praying for peace and justice/compassion.  

Let’s be in silence for a while.   If you wish, speak names or situations.

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