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.


Mary said...

Goodness Julie - this is deep, really deep! I feel for you having to deal with depression - having worked in the mental health field for several years I can understand what you are going through. I was a little depressed myself late last year but managed to get help before it got a grip on me.

I believe in the big plan - that life is already mapped out for each of us. You must love yourself first, if not you cannot love others and they in turn cannot help you. Knowing what you are facing right now makes me want to be there to hug you and tell everything will be OK. I think you need some warm, Spring days to get you back on track - and a new moon to shine on you and take the darkness away.

Cheer up and know that I'm sending you good thoughts and hope your next post will find you happier.

GreenishLady said...

I hope that however you do it, you will find a way to gentle yourself through this time. I'm glad that your restlessness didn't keep you away from your blog, because in sharing this here, you give me a chance to send you healing thoughts and wishes for a settling of your mood.

Janet said...

Winter can definitely be a drag on me so maybe it's as simple as needing some sunshine and Springtime birds singing. Probably not but I can't think of anything to say that will help you! I wish I could give you a hug and tell you it will all be ok. I'll keep you in my thoughts and send you some extra sunny ones.

Miss Robyn said...

this is exactly how I feel and Daisy was the one to point it out to me, that my emotional state was very closely following the dark of the moon. I have just started to learn how to deal with it and it seems successful so far.. mostly - above all be gentle with yourself xo.. email me if you would like.. I am always willing to share things like this.. just way to much to do in a comment
love you, my dear soul sister xx

Leanne said...

your words resonated with me Julie. I too, feel exactly the same way (from emails to and fro we are in sync at the moment arent we? ) as the other commenters said, be gentle on yourself. listen to your soul, and accept that as the moon waxes and wanes , so do we.

Leanne x

Val said...

You share your feelings and emotions so eloquently. How hard things can feel sometimes.

Yesterday, for the first time, a drive through the lovely sunny Dorset countryside was overshadowed by problems at work.

I knew I ought to be able to take a deep breath or two and live in the moment. But the gloom was hanging there just out of sight. Grrr.

Its even worse when you feel you ought to be able to be differently.
I hope things feel "lighter" soon.

Ive just looked up Alberta Clipper (how poetic) Will it be followed by a Siberian Express??!

smilnsigh said...

Sending warm thoughts... If I have any to spare that is. -wry smile- I've got things on my mind now too.

Funny that, hu? Betcha' you'd never think that, from what I rattle on about, in 'Smilnsigh.' Nope, betcha' not.

Maybe I'd feel better, if I let things out, in blog land. Maybe... But I don't think so, and that's cool, because first of all ~ we each get to be what and who we know is best, for ourselves. {Mmm, run on sentence there!}

So I'll probably just keep rattling on about silly stuff. And keep things to myself. To thine own self be true and all that jazzzzz.

This in no way, depreciates you having posted this entry! For pete's sakes no! I don't want to leave that impression. -sigh- I guess I really just wanted you to know... that although you don't read it, in my blog ~ I'm not always "bouncing off the walls with glee" either. I rattle on about silly stuff, like I didn't have a care in the world.

Sometimes, I would like to say... "Damn it, I have pain too." So no one thinks I have some sort of happiness potion or something.

OK Mari-Nanci! NOW, you are officially rambling! S-t-o-p!

But before I stop, let me say that
I'm sorry for all of whatever is bothering you. Handle this phase, as best you can. That's all any of us can do. As best we can. And some days, our best is better than other days.


Unknown said...

You have been a busy girl! 3 blogs! I am impressed! I will definitely be checking out your new posts!

I will pray for your mood swings. I know that stress was a huge catalyst for my recent challenges. Sometimes, I didn't realize how much something bothered me until the slightest little trigger would bring it to the surface. Then it was back to the things that encourage me the most.

About the Meme, don't worry about it. I understand. I must admit that because you are such a good writer, I was curious to see what would provide your inspiration. However, it's liberating to let go, isn't it?

Huge hugs, KJ

Joyce said...

Hi Julie,
Oh do I remember those LONG winters in the Midwest...I always got a bit sad and more in about January when all the Christmas stuff was over and you just had to "hunker down" for the cold...that never ended, it seemed.
I think it's a bit of "seasonal depression" sometimes so maybe check that out. Especially before it drags into a bigger scale thing.

Believe me depression is nothing to be ashamed of. So many people have experienced it in some way or another in some part of their lives.

Try to get some sunshine....when you can. HA! I have to do that as well. It really helps me health wise. I have an autoimmune issue. Blah! I'm recomended to get 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon sun when I can.
Thankfully it's very sunny here today....but chillly. Brrr.

My family is still in the Midwest and they always get crazy when I tell them like I did my sister on the phone today that we were "freezing"....when it's in the 50's. HA! She said it was like -27 below at one point this week. Blah. That's enough to depress anyone. And your even further up the ladder state wise.

I am thinking of you.
Keep doing the art that is a GREAT outlet. Plus your blog and writing is an EXCELLANT source of releasing your emotions and what's going on inside of you. I hate to see when women stop writing and pouring out because it really is a good therapy.

I will be checking back in on you!
Hang in there! Spring is on it's way and so is the sunshine and nice weather and flowers....and all kinds of GOOOOOOOD thing! :~)
Joyce M.

Lila Rostenberg said...

Hugs to your Julie!
I am here, as you know!
YOu are right about the difficulty of being introspective when one needs to make a house payment.
I have missed reading your blog for a few days...busy with Mr. Pear and the weekend. Now I can catch up!

Anonymous said...

I find the dark moon very tranquil and have always related to it well. Perhaps it is the coming spring and restlessness for the season change that is making you feel this way. The winter days and nights take a toll on us all to be sure.

kathyann said...

I too know the depths that depression can send you to and it is hard to try and understand what is happening to us! Sometimes feeling like you are on a downward spiral and not knowing how to stop it!Sending you a hug and just to let you know you are not on your own! Take care,Love from Kathyann and the girls