Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I've been feeling more than a bit odd lately. Could it be because it is the dark of the moon, if my reckoning of the lunar cycle is correct?
Searching for explanations for my dark mood, I read "Dark of the Moon" on www.halexandra.org. It says that "The Dark of the Moon is traditionally the last three days of the Lunar cycle, immediately preceding the New Moon, and the time when the night sky is notably absent the presence of the Moon." Since the new moon is March 7, this would now logically be the dark of the moon, right?
The dark of the moon has never had an effect on me before, as far as I can tell. Except for the full moons, I have never followed the phases of the moon, or ascribed meanings to them. However, since I've been reading blogs I note that many bloggers are closely attuned to all the moon's phases, and even have moon phase clocks on their sidebars.
"Dark of the Moon" continues: “Most of us do not realize we all have many dark phase times in our lives, and that these are naturally occurring periods in any life cycle. We fail to understand that endings are the precursors to new beginnings; thus when our life rhythms move us into and through these dark phases, we are ignorant of what is actually happening.”
Perhaps, this month, I am NOT ignorant of what is actually happening, because there has been a real dark event in my life that parallels the dark phase of the moon. Certainly, it has brought an abrupt ending, and it is a precursor to a scary, unknown new beginning.
I am no stranger to depression. I was diagnosed with clinical depression years ago, and am successfully medicated for it. I could attribute this present feeling to situational depression, which I experienced last year about this time. But depression for me is usually characterized by a feeling of not being able to get out of bed, of utter inertia.
Right now I am experiencing other feelings I usually don't have: I am anxious, restless, unable to concentrate. I pick up a book, then set it aside. I begin a project and then drop it. I start to read blogs, and abruptly quit. I feel jittery. My brain feels fuzzy and muzzy.
I am grouchy and irritable with my husband, behaviors I seldom exhibit. My dogs' constant need to go out and come in, and the endless mud they drag in, make me crazy. When the phone rings I nearly jump out of my skin. As I told one friend, "I have one nerve left and everything's getting on it."
I can't sleep. Day or night, I can't stop my thoughts from roiling. All day last Monday, I walked around with a crushing, impending sense of doom - which proved to be right on the mark.
This is not me. I certainly do not like these feelings and am reaching for any explanation I can find. Perhaps I am stir crazy, or have cabin fever, for winter is back in full force again as yet ANOTHER Alberta Clipper sweeps down upon us this afternoon.
Or does an answer lie in these words?: "(During the dark phase) there is less energy available for outer activities and meeting the expectations of others, because the purpose of the dark phase is for focusing on the inner dimensions of our bodies and minds. If we can learn to attune ourselves to the natural rhythms of ebb and flow in our lives, we can use the intrinsic function of the dark times for healing and renewal. When we resist this inward motion in our psyche, then anxiety, stress, and fear are more likely to take hold of our emotions.”
Anxiety, stress, fear? Yes, they have taken hold of my emotions. But I can't afford to not "resist the inward motion" of my psyche. That's all well and good for people who don't have to earn a living, but that's not me.
I think I am wrong in associating the dark moon with a time of dark moods. Rather, to paraphrase the above-mentioned website, it appears to be a time of retreat, of healing, renewal, and of dreaming of the future rather than one of fear and the unknown. It's a time of mystery, wisdom and healing power, a fallow time preceding outbursts of creativity and growth.
But who's going to pay the rent while I'm on retreat?
"Dark of the Moon" continues: “The earliest peoples understood that the power of life lay in the darkness of the moon."
I'm a modern person and the modern part of my soul tells me that there can be no fallow period. My checkbook balance and my husband would say that too. But the ancient part of my soul tells me I'd better MAKE the time. I'm going to go now and explore how to mine this fallow ground.