Jean Dark in Earth Pathways Diary 2017

Earth Pathways 2017

Earth Pathways 2017

Snow Moon Fire
By sunset the snowfall had smoothed out the meadow and in the strange lucid twilight I quickly found the fire basket. Once it was free of snow, and the fire laid, the paper and kindling caught quickly and brightly, flickering sudden orange shadows leaping across the snowy drifts piled up around the hedges. I watch as slowly the logs catch, smouldering then glowing through. The small vigorous fire flickering burnished light across the frozen swathes of firm ice-crusted snow. The hard granular surface of the snow, the result of a single sudden February snowstorm followed by daytime thawing and clear night time freezing, looks like sand, light crisp cold fragile sand. As the evening progresses we feed the fire with dry logs, which begins to melt the snow beneath the fire basket in a blackened oval-shape. The full moon rises above the rooftops and the snowdrifts beyond the fire’s orange-light circle are cast in aquamarine moonlight reflections, catching crystalline ice sparkles in sharp blueness. The full moon night is twinkling clear cold, colder than it’s been all winter and brighter than it’s been all month, glowing in harmony with our Imbolc fire.

Illustration – “Winter Trees” © Caroline Salter 2013

 Jean Dark
Earth Pathways Diary
9th January 2017


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WTF Have They Done To The Moon

SHARE if you like sky-clad witches in the moonlight.

The moon is our closest most visible heavenly body and has had influence on human culture for millennia. The moon is seen as a source of divination and knowledge.  There are dozens of known Moon Goddesses across the world and across time. There are goddesses of the full moon, the dark moon, waxing and waning moons, the blood moon and dragon moon. And all these moon goddesses symbolise a visible change in the  appearance of the physical moon, they are observation distilled into iconic folklore. For instance, a blood moon can be seen in the visible reddening of the moon during the night of a lunar eclipse. The dragon moon describes a solar eclipse, where at the height of the day the sun is devoured in the invisible maw of the moon, day is suddenly turned to night. If you’ve seen a solar eclipse you’ll know what I mean.

The phases of the moon – full/waning/dark/waxing are also directly observable phenomena, and some moon goddesses seem to relate to visible attributes of these lunar phases. For example, Artemis hunter goddess carries the visual echo of the waning moon in the curve of her bow. The taut bowstring showing  her arrow is not yet loosed, a warning of the failing moon. Artemis’ arrows bring swift death to her prey, they are sacrificed and fall to earth, like the impending death of the moon and her disappearance from the sky on the nights of the dark moon. Artemis gives significance to  moonlessness and deepest blackness, as anyone who has ventured into the woods on the dark moons will tell you.

The full moon evokes the vision of the pregnant full-bellied mother  goddess. Not The Mother of All Goddesses, just Mother, with all her memes of fertility, anticipation, continuity and love. For many witches the full moon riding the night sky is the goddess. The full moon is the bright, almost touchable manifestation of moon energies. The full moon can be both seen and felt. If you want to see a moon goddess, to feel the glow of a divine presence, go out into the night, walk in moon-shadows, wander in the brightness of her shine, and then look up at the full moon beaming, hanging still in reflected light – that is the vision, that is the moon goddess.

On the other hand, there are no goddesses of the blue moon or the green moon or any super moon, and that is because these so-named moons are the invention of the number-crunching cyber age. Data from the NASA cloud reducing divine knowledge to theoretical statistical correlations. See, a blue moon is the occurrence of two full moons in a calendar month, see the problem? A green moon is the occurrence of two dark moons in a calendar  month, which if you think about it in terms of observable lunar events, is totally meaningless. For a start, by definition a dark moon can’t be seen, rises with the sun and is blotted out in the daylight. Also, the calendar month is an artificial time construct devised to enable global institutions to sustain continuity in their commercial dealings – beginning in the late 1700s when England copied France and finally adopted the Gregorian calendar.

So, if you can’t physically see the moon in question, and it’s phase is only relevant  within a modern calendrical context, how does that relate to the traditions of pagan moon worship? Truth is, it doesn’t. All it signifies is that the Moon has been commodified, rationalised, named and branded with spurious adjectives and superlatives. The moon has been turned into an app, that tweets to Facebook that there’s a green hunter super mega moon rising tonight, and that makes you look mystic and interesting – and I mean, everybody likes sky-clad witches in the moonlight.

Jean Dark
October 2016