Our Maiden, Our Mother, Our Mistress

Let me preface this with good news:
I was accepted into a Master’s in Social Work program in a great place. I’ve spent the last few months moving and getting into the swing of scholastics. I have just finished several presentations, and several papers (one a 25 pager). The semester’s winding down and I miss blogging!

I’ve been noticing alignment with the Moon and my life. The Moon is my ruling heavenly body. The full moon in Capricorn fell on my birthday, and Capricorn is the opposite sign of Luna. Then, on my first day of classes, there was a New Moon in Virgo, the sign of diligence and hard work in the Moon phase associated with beginnings. Finally, for one of my classes, I visited a Hindu Temple. The night I chose to visit just happened to be on the full moon in Taurus, a good time to mix intellectual duty, spiritual fulfillment, and fun. Therefore, I feel that it was time to talk about the Moon.

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The Moon, drawn by Mary Guinan for Julian DeBurgh’s Celtic Deck shows white stones surrounding a mysterious golden glow. A great pearl of a full moon gleams down on the scene. The Moon is a mystery. What are the secrets the questioner is in the process of uncovering? The Moon tells that there is more than meets the eye. The Moon casts her silver and pearl glow over rituals and meditation, protecting and illuminating.

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Here we have the Crab, naturally, and two wolves gracing Barbara G. Walker’s Moon card. The Crab is venturing into new territory from the mysterious, primordial pool, called by a full moon that’s pregnant with possibilities. The wolves sing to Luna as she rises above two pillars flanking a golden path that leads to darkness. It’s a little eerie. Where does that path lead? Is it safe? Is it safe to follow the moonlight? Will we find treasure, or…lunacy?
The Moon pulls our tides, and may also pull our blood, at least, I think so. Water is also full of treasures, but also threats, just like our subconscious.
By the way, the nine blood drops curving around the Moon there? They represent menstrual blood, and there’s nine of them to represent the nine months of pregnancy. Fun fact: the words moon, month, and menstrual all have the same root! The Moon is associated with the female, although in Japan, Tsukuyomi, is a Moon god, and the Germanic tribes had Mani, and the Mesopotamians had Sin.

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Kris Waldherr chose Diana/Artemis for her Moon card. Diana is the Huntress, and she is known for her harsh punishments (such as turning a guy into a stag and having his own dogs rip him apart, because he saw her bathing), and yet, she has a nurturing aspect to her as well. She helped her mother, Leto, deliver her twin brother, Apollo, right after she herself was born. She was also the protectoress of girls right until they were married. She healed Aeneus after his battle injury in the Trojan War. The Moon itself is associated with illusion and lunacy, but, it is also a source of healing and creativity.
Nature, and the Moon, are cyclical. Life is cyclical–waxing and waning with periods of activity and periods of rest. Diana, the Maiden, is the first aspect of the Goddess, followed by Selene, the Mother, and finally by Hecate, the Crone.

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In a more verdant landscape than Walker’s, Wood’s Moon features a little crustacean strolling out of a pond that is blue, not black, and the thin path winds between a small wolf and a very large beagle into a misty rolling field. The mystery we see in Walker’s card is still there, but it seems more nurturing somehow–perhaps because there’s some luminescence in the distant horizon, and there’s plant life. Instead of two pillars, there are two stone caves. The caves, as we’ve discussed before, symbolize the Earth Mother’s womb.
If you look at this card, it can be full or a crescent, waxing or waning. If you see the Moon as waxing, or growing bigger, it might be a fortuitous time for new beginnings. If it is waning, something may be coming to an end.
A wild wolf and a loyal dog have come together to serenade the Moon in a duet. The domesticated dog and the feral wolf unite their qualities in the Moon. The Moon is a loyal, loving mother, but may give you more than you bargained for. Case in point:

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Dorcha is Epona’s Wild Daughter. You can find her in The Faeries Oracle, by Brian Froud. She’s part of the group of Faery Challengers. She forces the reader to confront what Jung called the Shadow self, or the parts of the self we label bad. She accompanies us through depression, anxiety, and nightmares, like Hecate. Like Hecate, she may be misunderstood. Just because there is no light at night does not mean the Moon is not there, and just because somebody shows you frightening things doesn’t necessarily mean they are evil.

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Laiste is Dorcha’s sister. She believes in pulling pranks to wake people up, like when the Moon’s light makes things look like things they are not–turning water into solid ground, and trees into skeletons. She embodies the mystic Moon, and can be whimsical. However, just like Dorcha, she wants you to be open and go deep. She and Dorcha are adopted daughters of Hecate, the dark side of the Moon who can be fierce, but shows surprising flashes and glimpses of beauty. Hecate will then always become Artemis again, new and full of promise of new beginnings, and then become the gentle, loving Selene, and back to the Goddess of Magic.
I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so happy Luna is my ruling body. She’s everything–young, old, mother, maiden, wise woman, Queen of Witches. She guides and obscures. She’s also in a close, personal relationship with Water, element of dreams, love, and emotion. She is silver and pearl. She is Maiden, Mother, and Mistress.

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Moon Signs

When people think of astrology and personality, they most often think of the Sun sign.  This is the sign people mean when they ask “What’s your sign?”  However, a person has a Sun sign, a Moon sign, a Rising sign, a Venus sign, a Mercury sign,  a Mars sign, a Jupiter sign,  a Saturn sign,  a Uranus sign, a Neptune sign, and a Pluto sign. My hope is we will talk about all of these.

The Sun sign is the sign of the outward personality.  Jung called it the “persona.” It is the personality traits that people see, and that we are most comfortable showing to the world. That is not to say that this personality is fake. It is a part of us; its energy is the energy that most of the time feels most natural to us. It is also the most “social” energy of ourselves.

However, we have other types of energy that we are born with, and other energies that we can develop.    This energy is closely related to the archetypes that Caroline Myss speaks of in her book Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. Caroline Myss takes Jung’s work with archetypes and expands upon it, but keeps many of the original archetypes Jung worked with.  One of these archetypes is that of the Shadow.

The Shadow can be seen as being an opposite of the persona.  It is the part of ourselves that we may not be very comfortable with, energy we are not sure what to do with, or energy we are not even consciously aware of possessing. Just as the persona is associated with the Sun and the energy of that sign, the Shadow can be associated with the Sun’s opposite–the Moon.

The Moon has long been associated, in astrology, with emotions and the subconscious. The Moon sign, or the sign the Moon was in when you were born,  thus tells how you handle your emotions. It tells about the personality that you may not show outwardly, and that you yourself may not be very familiar with, as the Moon, in traditional astrology, rules that particular realm.  The Moon is also the ruler of the five senses, and your instincts. The energy with which you react to your environment is ruled by your Moon sign, according to astrology.

I myself am a Moon in Aries, which is interesting, since here a physical, fiery sign is in the watery realm of emotions and the subconscious.  My sun is in a sign aligned with water–Luna (the sign formally known as Cancer and also known as Fegerri or Selene. We’re still working this out. At least here at Turtlephoenix).

First, let’s discuss the Shadow as I feel it, in my Moon placement. As a Moon in Aries, I am ashamed of my anger, which sometimes feels consuming.  I am also very competitive, but, because I am insecure and frightened of displeasing others (a common complaint of people in my Sun sign), it tends to show up in self-destructive tendencies when I am feeling off balance–I constantly compare myself to others and never quite measure up.

As a Moon in Aries, however, I feel I have a certain passion for pursuing matters relating to the subconscious, the emotions, and the instinctual.  When I am balanced, this competitive spirit helps me push myself. Also, when I am emotionally committed, I am in it for the long haul. This can be a double edged sword, as I don’t take rejection easily. Going into the more personal realm, I see my exes, both erotic and platonic, as competition in the imaginary contest for whoever is more lovable, desirable, successful, etc.  They usually have no idea they’re running against me. Sometimes, I’m not even aware I’m in the race until my emotional legs give out.

Raven Kaldera chose Macha, an Irish goddess who was faster than anything on earth, including the King’s horses. Her mortal husband bet she could outrun the King’s horses, and the heavily pregnant Macha won the race. When she reached the finish line, she gave birth to twins, and then cursed all the men of Ulster.  This is the Arien anger magnified by the intensity of the Moon.

Arien Moons are always quite open in the expression of their emotions, even if they try to hide them. As a weepy Luna, I have many a time bruised my Arien Moon pride by sobbing in front of people. That is the peril of this fire sign in the Moon, though. It’s too strong to stifle.

Currently, the Moon is in Libra, and tomorrow it will enter Scorpio.  Libra, being an air sign, is an uncomfortable place for the emotional moon, and the Shadow side is charm, flattery, and manipulation–as well as a tendency to play favorites–but it lends a romanticism, and an instinct for harmony and peacemaking that can’t be beat. Raven Kaldera chose Isis for this placement, a goddess whose love and devotion brought her husband back from the dead, but marked her son as a tool for vengeance.

The Moon in Scorpio is powerful, indeed. The emotions here tend to be taboo–the sign of Scorpio rules sex, death, and rebirth–and the subconscious mind can be full of disturbing images that can peek out as disquieting thoughts. On the other hand, a placement here leads to a richness in imagination, fertile dreams, and a deep compassion.  Raven Kaldera chose Hecate for Moon in Scorpio, the Greek goddess of death, crossroads, and the underworld, but also the goddess of midwives. As matriarchal medicine fell out of favor, the midwife became synonymous with witchcraft.  This misunderstanding is very familiar to anyone with a lot of Scorpio energy, who understands that decay brings fertilization.

You can find your Moon sign here, at the Lunarium. Knowing the time of your birth is important, as the moon can stay in a sign for only a day.

Your Moon sign is not alone. All the archetypal energies of the signs and the planets interact with one another, and manifest in similar, but not identical, ways with each person. The fact that watery Luna is my sun affects how my firey moon expresses itself.

I want to take a moment here before we close to remind us that these signs are energy that is accessible by anyone. For example, if you are having relationship difficulties, call on Libra energies to help you balance your emotions.  If you are preparing to do psychological work, either for yourself or for another, bring in Scorpio energy. Here is a quick visualization to help you.

Imagine that you are lying on your back in water of a comfortable temperature. You are completely safe in this water. Breathe smoothly and naturally. As you lie on your back, you are gazing up at the moon.  This moon is a new moon, just a thin slice of silver in the sky.

As you gaze at it, the moon begins to swell into a full moon. As if swells, it fills with the color associated with the energy you want to access–if you need the strength and power of Aries, it shines red and orange.  For Libra’s peace, harmony, and charm, soft pink and blue, and for Scorpio’s courage and insight, scarlet and black.

This light flows down on you, and pours into every cell. It lights up the chakras, the energy centers that form a path from the coccyx to the top of the head.  Absorb this light. You may want to chant a mantra, repeating the quality you most want to draw into yourself–such as “peace,” “courage,” or “strength.”

Soak in this power as long as you need. When the moon is full, bask in it, and feel the water supporting you. Then, let the moon wane until it is again a simple crescent in the sky. Afterwards, say thank you, and go about your day.

Archetypes associated with the Moon:

Virgin/Mother/Crone

The Heart

The Inner Child

The Moody One

Kindness

The Inner Parent