Affirmation for Full Moon –
Know yourself as the Moon;
of potential, holding the Earth in your arms.
The dark unconscious
that wells up to the surface like a spring of water,
like the blood of your menses,
is power and potential.
It is like the urge of the seeds opening,
calling like the Land where you live for renewal,
endless cycles of renewal.
You are so much greater than you know. © Samuel Wagar 2000
My friend Kate asked about one phrase in this poem that is very sex-specific. How, she asked, do I, as a male, connect with the “blood of menses”? She, like many cisgendered women, as female, definitely links the menses with the moon symbolically, psychologically, etc… but is there a male equivalent?
I wrote it originally with a female friend that was going through a tough time in mind. I identify with the idea of sacrifice to the common good and to community service very strongly, always have. The menses I see as the monthly blood sacrifice that female people make toward the survival of humanity and so, symbolically for men (or me, as one man), an embodiment of this connection we all have to the community and the species that transcends our personal needs and wants. We are not souls in bodies, but bodies that have souls, and the bodies have loves, lusts, and connections. I find menstrual blood intensely powerful as a substance – erotic, mysterious and energetic, but those personal TMI associations aren’t in this poem.
The Wiccan understanding of the divine masculine is not the Patriarchal all-powerful ruler of the cosmos. It is the grain god who dies that we may eat, lustful life, death that serves life. It is Trickster, who creates and destroys with one breath, that goblin god, chaos. It is Pan the All-Father, All-Devourer, Piper at the Gates of Dawn. It is the flame that burns in the heart of every person, and in the core of every star. Life and the giver of life, therefore the knowledge of it is also the knowledge of death.
As a man, and even more, as a father, I understand the masculine as being like the god of the harvest – embodied in the first sheaf of grain of the first harvest of the year, at Lughnasadh or the coming Harvest Home in September. Death in life, the reminder of the coming winter hidden in the bounty of harvest.
Men must sacrifice. Men must give of our flesh and of our spirits. We sustain our communities and our families through our work. We do not get for ourselves – we give to our children. The God who dies and is reborn in the grain is a father of sons. A father of sons who shall grow and have sons. A father of sons who will be nourished by his wisdom and learn from his example. A father of sons who will, as all sons do, bury him.
The Dying God teaches us about the meaning of death and the power of self-sacrifice. Death is part of the cycle of life, and the cycle of the moon waxing and waning again is also a symbol of the dying and reborn god.
Affirmation for New Moon
Know yourself as the Moon;
moving out of the darkness
emptied and aware.
Your eyes are clear now
to see the Earth below you open like a lover,
green and fertile,
to desire her and fill her.
Love is a cycle of emptying and filling,
of knowing and forgetting and knowing again,
the shock of beauty seen with new eyes.
As I die and am reborn, so much greater than I knew. © Samuel Wagar 2017.