I’m feeling the waning moon today, and combined with the dark, blustery autumn weather, it’s got me thinking about endings.
Our lives are constantly going through cycles just like the moon. We have periods of growth and learning like the waxing moon, we have fruition of ideas and successes like the full moon, we have a period of loss or the winding down of things like the waning moon. Then there is the dark moon phase, which is the space between the end and the beginning. When we experience this energy, we encounter what I call the “dark moon current” moving in our lives.
It comes at fallow times, when relationships end, when loved ones pass away, when our life seems to come crashing down leaving nothing but question marks. It can be a time of crisis and great confusion, but it’s also a time of incredible transition. This is a time of turning inward (or being forced to by circumstances), and seeing things, people and situations in a whole new way – sometimes in a way that demands we make necessary changes. When the dark moon current is at work in our lives, it casts shadows over our perception and everything looks different. It’s there to tell us it’s time to clean up, clear out and get ready for change.
I’m not going to lie. It can be depressing and painful.
This experience is sometimes referred to as the “Dark Night of the Soul”, a phrase referenced often in the new age and metaphysical community when discussing disillusioned periods in our lives. This is actually a Roman Catholic phrase, based on a poem by Saint John of the Cross, detailing the journey between our physical death and the soul’s union with the Catholic god. This has been contextualized in many ways over time and basically now is meant to refer to a period of darkness before illumination or spiritual awakening. Eckhart Tolle, in his famous book The Power of Now, refers to it as the “death of the ego”.
We encounter times in our lives when it is necessary to shed that which we no longer need, is holding us back, and that we’ve outgrown. This can be frightening and painful, as often we realize that friendships, relationships and other attachments must be purged from our lives in order to move forward, whether we like it or not. These times are difficult to get through, but it’s all for our own good.
Just as the earth, seasons and moon rotate through a dark time in order to move forward, and just as a seed must germinate in blackness to produce a sprout, so must we experience the darkness to become whole. We’re part of this great cycle so it only makes sense that we also, at various times in our lives, cycle through the shadows on our journey forward. Without dark there’d be no light, after all.
When experiencing the dark moon current in our lives, the shadows all around us in life are magnified, and they come in many forms. Here is where you find the monsters inside of yourself and others. The falseness and futility of the people around you, the task-driven monotony of day to day life; the meaninglessness of it all seems overwhelming. You’re energetic guard may be down, and you may be more affected by the negativity of other people. People you once admired or trusted can be exposed as fraudulent or inauthentic, because it’s time for you to grow beyond them. This can be very isolating and overwhelming as you are, maybe for the first time, seeing an ugly side of things you didn’t notice before. There is also plenty of self examination, some of it painful.
Experiencing the dark moon current forces a shift of consciousness and it’s extremely unsettling because now you must ask yourself: “What next? How do I define myself now?” You’ve been forced out of your comfort zone, and are required to grow. You are dissatisfied with your current life, but moving forward into the unknown can be terrifying. We fight against it by clinging to the past, to our youth, to others, to outdated ideas of “Who I Am”. It’s scary to challenge so-called reality this way, as you grow into a more fully aware individual. In many ways, as you let go of people and things that no longer benefit you, you’re watching a part of yourself die. But this is not a bad thing! This is part of the bigger picture and in the end, these realizations and tough lessons will serve to make you a stronger, better person who is closer to living their true authentic life.
There are, of course, some gifts hidden in the darkness. Our psychic and intuitive senses are heightened during this time. We may experience enhanced empathy, or sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of others (which can reveal some hard, but beneficial, truths). Some people are closer to spirit during this time and find they’re able to communicate with those who have passed in varying degrees. Meditation is very important as you may receive messages and guidance you otherwise would not. A great broadening of consciousness can result from this experience and when it’s time for your new moon to come, you will truly bloom like never before.