Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OuterBliss: Mourning Moon, Mourning Old You

A completed commission by my partner.
A triptych honoring two beloved animal companions.

Listening to: I can listen to this all day long, bouncing happily through my day.

Bliss: Since our two years of taking care of two sick animals who both eventually passed from their fur suits within nine months of each other, my brain has not been the same. For good reason. Grieving changes us, I think, on a molecular level. But getting through it, changes us in excellent ways. We are never the same, to be sure, but it is a good thing, a growth thing. Here's the current bliss: in the last week or so, my brain is getting back to its "new normal," including some old normal that I rather like. I can read again, for starters. I can focus on more than two pages. I can sit and get absorbed by fiction for hours. I feel calmer; I feel the anxiety of those two years finally melting in the heat of a new certainty.

Before I get into today's post, I wanted to point out a new (to me) blog I've been reading. Has anyone else discovered the writing of Marisa? She is wonderful; check her out. Her blog name is enough to capture you, I bet: The Girl Who Cried Epiphany.

Today is the first day of the new moon. This moon can be referred to in many names, just like all the others, depending on your tradition: Dark Moon, Mad Moon, Snow Moon, Moon of Storms, Moon When Deer Shed Antlers, White Moon. But the calendar I use calls this moon of my birth month the Mourning Moon.

It has taken me some time to embrace this name, to not cringe when I see it on the calendar, to not see it as a negative name, a name encompassing all my fears.

But I have managed to get past that and see the beauty and the possibility in this name that can easily elicit feelings of sadness and lethargy.

First, here are some basics about this moon:

The scents associated with this moon include: cedar, cherry blossoms, hyacinth, narcissus, peppermint, lemon. (All very uplifting.)

The trees are the alder and the cypress.

The deities are Kali, Black Isis, Hecate, Bast, Osiris, Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Skadi, and Mawu.

Colors: gray, sea-green; Herbs: verbena, borage, blessed thistle; Flowers: blooming cacti and chrysanthemum; Stones: topaz and lapis lazuli.

Most important, the power flow of this moon is transformation and thus my becoming comfortable with this moon's name.

Once we get past our culturally ingrained fears of death, we see that death is nothing more than the changing from a fur suit to a sparkle one -- as is the case with animal companions, as well as humans. We fully become our essences.

The goddesses of death are all about this too; Kali and the Morrigan are not about blood and gore, as much as they are about getting to the essence, stripping away the unessential.

So this month, I propose, we all work on getting rid of what no longer serves us. Shedding old versions and ideas of ourselves that are impeding our progress.

For example, I have, for a long time, thought of myself as the type of person who gets ideas and starts on them but has a very hard time finishing. I feed this idea daily with the sorts of delicacies that it adores -- self-loathing, low self-esteem, hateful internal dialogue. This idea of me has been fattened through cannibalism of my spirit.

No more.

Last night, I realized I am totally letting go of that version of my story. It's time. I looked around and saw all that I do finish, rather than all that I don't. I looked around and noticed how very disciplined I am, rather than how lazy. I looked around and saw a person who is made of steely will power, rather than a cowering, fearful limp fish.

And by deciding to mourn and let go of that old version, I immediately felt the new me, the real me, unfurl and spread its giant, soft, blindingly white wings. And in that moment, something in the universe saw what happened, too, and I was rewarded. I instantly knew how to solve some creative problems I was having, and I instantly knew that I would, from now on, just do it.

What would you have to let die and then mourn to get your wings to spread?


epiphanygirl said...

It's been a busy day and I have not had a chance to read your post (yet!), but thank you so very, very much for the shout out! Whew, this Epiphany Girl is going to bed!

Caroline said...

This is a great post! I love the moon and the phases...I am very excited about this new moon.

epiphanygirl said...

A cup of green tea, an office quiet before the day begins, and time for my daily shot of Bliss...
Thanks so much for reminding me of the Morrigan. In my Celtic myth obsessed teens, she was a huge part of my dreamscape. I was anything but Goth, but I somehow found it really important to understand this Goddess of the Battlefield and the cycles of death and rebirth. The crows have started their late autumn roost by the Hudson River, and I greet them every morning, but now I can remember the dark goddess who flies with them.
I think that this stripping away has been a subterranean process that you are just helping me become aware of... All of the writing I have been doing over the last few weeks - that is only possible because I am letting go my hang ups about having a right to expression and the time it takes from "real life." I think I could become a real Mourning Moon junkie...

terrimcall said...

Your posts seem so often to echo things that I and my Wyld Womyn circle are experiencing... On this new moon and at this time in my life I am going through a HUGE Life/ Death /Life cycle that pertains to my love life. I have finally found my Wild Man (took 48 years!) and find myself letting die all my old behaviors of past relationships. When you described your own letting go and your wings being sent free I had goosebumps!!! This is how I am feeling entering this new amazing journey of love... thank you...