The Moon and You
by Jenni Piech
Have you ever seen one of those films or TV programs where a group of young, usually naked witches get together at the full Moon and start dancing around in the moonlight? Ever felt the urge to join in? Well, maybe you haven’t, but if (like me) you have, don’t worry, it’s perfectly natural. Throughout history and in many different cultures the Moon has always been strongly linked to female energy. In ancient beliefs the Moon was seen as the symbol for the Goddess, and many modern-day Pagans and Wiccans still celebrate this connection between the Moon and feminine power. Yet many of us non-witchy type folk probably don't know much about the changing phases of the Moon and the effects they have on us. Women today seem out of sync with our traditional source of feminine energy and magic.
The Moon symbolizes the universally fundamental cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth. Likewise, women also experience phases depending on where we are in our menstrual cycle. We find ourselves influenced emotionally by our hormones, and our experience of ourselves and others can vary quite noticeably. (I'm sure our partners would agree!)
It is generally believed that menstrual cycles coincide with the cycles of the Moon and that, before electricity became so popular, most women cycled together. Although this is no longer the case, it is interesting to note that it takes the Moon 28-29 days to complete a full orbit around the Earth - the exact length of time between the average woman’s cycles.
Many ancient cultures revered and celebrated the link between women and the Moon, leading to the creation of numerous myths and legends about Moon Goddesses. These Goddess stories feature in Chinese, Greek, Native American, Aztec, Mayan and Celtic legend, just to name a few. I particularly like the story of the Mayan Moon Goddess, Ix Chel. One myth states that the Sun was her lover, but that her grandfather was very upset with this and threw lightning at her out of jealousy, killing her. Dragonflies sang over her for 183 days until she awoke and followed the Sun back to his palace. Soon after, the Sun also became jealous of Ix Chel, thinking that she was having an affair with his brother, the Morning Star. The Sun threw her out of heaven and then persuaded her back home, only to become jealous again soon after her return. It is said that Ix Chel was angered by the behavior of the Sun and went off into the night, remaining invisible whenever the Sun comes around. She is also said to nurse women of Earth through pregnancy and birth.
Today, many women still find comfort in an awareness of their spiritual and emotional link with the Moon. It can almost feel as if the Moon is a kind of guardian – a presence who watches over us during the different phases of our lives. It can also help to remind us that our menstrual cycles do not always need to be seen as a burden. Rather, we are part of the many cycles which happen around our planet and within the entire universe!
July 1, 2008
The Moon and You