A Ritual for the Dark Moon
Happy Venus day! ✨
Most of the time, I don’t like the phrase “self care.” It’s one of those vaporous phrases that changes depending on who’s using it and is easily twisted.
So I delight when I find alternatives. In the essay Decreation, the poet Anne Carson writes about three women* who “had the nerve to enter a zone of absolute spiritual daring.”
I like this better.
Being alone inside during these past few months has allowed / forced me to slow down and take inventory of how I practice care for my mind, body, home, and community. Where I once entered this self care zone sporadically, I now enter it daily. I mostly do this through ritual, which is a way to focus my full attention on my needs and actions, and lean into my own self trust.
Abby models the Washable Silk Cami Pant Set in Bare, Size M
The best thing about daily rituals is that they can be totally mundane and cost nothing. Mine range from how I wash my face, stir my coffee, start my writing practice (my work/art), or how I welcome a new month. The trick is to know what you’re focusing on when you do the action. So when I stir my coffee, I take some deep breaths and stir my intentions for the day into the brew. When I drink it, they are in my being. Easy!
Another ritual that is part of my daily workings is to pull a tarot card or three. This helps me connect with my own self knowledge. Since we’re heading into a New Moon next Monday, I decided to pull three cards for the Women in Mind community.
New moons are a great time to set intentions. This is the second of two new moons in Cancer that we are experiencing this year. Cancer is a watery vessel and is ruled by the Moon, too. It’s a good moment to be in the realm of our feelings and intuition. So, for this three card spread, I asked where in our feelings do we feel blocked, the true source of the block, and something we can do about it.
A Message of Daring
Sometimes the Tarot is super generous. Six cards popped out when I started to shuffle. The High Priestess, The King of Swords, The Hanged Man are the first part of the pull. The second part of The Moon, Nine of Wands, and the Knight of Cups gives us a little more insight into that Hanged Man in the form of a collective ritual.
The tarot tells us we’re feeling like our intuition is blocked - or at least there’s some static interference. Perhaps we don’t know where to start. Maybe we used to be able to connect, but can’t. Or we’re not quite trusting what we hear. Are those my guides? Or an empty dial tone? There’s something unsettled here, especially as it aligns to how we can engage in justice work, for ourselves and our community. It’s a big task, to be the one who so deeply knows.
The truth is the block isn’t our intuition. It’s fully intact. The block is our own intellectualization of it. We’ve mastered our discernment, but it’s with a force. We know what we need, we’ve set some hard boundaries to protect our free-floating butterfly souls, but maybe we’re not trusting what we hear or are a little over zealous. Cop in the head? It’s not always about fierce protection. Or thinking your way out.
To get back to feeling connected, it’s time to hang loose! Let go! Dance wildly. Jig gracefully. Get out of your head. In Norse mythology, Odin received the wisdom of the runes - sacred symbols - after hanging from the life tree for nine days. So while hanging loose, make your own rune - a symbol to connect with your intuition.
A note here is that however bruised you feel right now, stop being afraid of yourself and your accomplishments. All those wands you’ve collected. It’s time to honor and accept all that you did to get to where you are today. It will help you get back on that white horse and ride off to your High Priestess. She needs water. She’s thirsty, and something nice to drink will replenish her connection.
A Ritual for Daring:
Our ritual will be one of rune-making and water-pouring for the Moon.
The Hanged Man is literally letting go. I like letting things go on the Dark Moon. Before the blank slate of the New Moon, we meet the Dark Moon - when no trace of our lunar friend is visible in the sky. This will happen on Sunday 19 July.
The following are some simple things to do, on the Dark Moon or in the next few evenings.
(While I prefer to do ritual along a lunar cycle, you don’t have to. Time is a construct. Do the ritual how you want, when you want.)
Journal - We are halfway through this year. Think about what you want to honor and release. Maybe you’re feeling called to let go of a relationship or a thought pattern or experience. Maybe you just need to remind yourself of all the things you’ve learned or done.
Rune-making - After journaling or thinking about what you want to let go and ways you want to hang loose, take out some paper, pens, coloured pencils, paints, markers. Make up a shape that can symbolise trusting that you are connected to your intuition. You can free draw, recreate an existing rune, or use sentences from your journaling to create a sigil. Try getting rid of the nouns and repeating letters, and make a shape with the existing letters. You can draw it on a piece of paper or on a stone.
Water - Once you have your rune, grab a mug or wine glass, and fill it with water. Like the Knight of Cups, you are going to bring this full cup to the High Priestess. Sit with your rune and your cup, and close your eyes. Hold your rune and meditate with it. Use it to visualise yourself as the High Priestess. Once you’ve connected with this part of yourself, tell her that you are here to let go of what no longer serves you and to fill her cup. Now you can open your eyes and drink the water. If you are moved to make any more offerings, do so.
Feel free to make the experience as pleasant as you like. These are just the basic ingredients. The point is to feel let you’ve let go and reconnected for your next move.
If you would like to tell me about your experience with this ritual, daringly drop me an email <firstname.lastname@example.org>. You can also book me for a tarot reading or custom ritual. Mention WIM for sweet summer discount.
Abby models the Supportive Modal Sleep Bralette by LUNYA in M
*The three women are: the Greek poet Sappho from the seventh century B.C.; Marguerite Porete who burned alive in the public square of Paris in 1310 because she wrote a book about the love of God; and the twentieth century French philosopher Simone Weil.