The Mourning moon

Moon-Shadow

The moon signifies renewal for me, and always will. I am grateful for the sun and love it dearly, but the moon is my first love. In its ever-changing, wax-waning, crescent-swelling phases it reflects all the beauty and unpredictability of life and love. No wonder then that this November moon is known as the Mourning Moon, or the moon of letting go. As the final full moon of the year, Pagans embrace this celestial show as a time of reflection, of gathering in the good and jettisoning the bad of the last year, and facing forward. I am all for that. Pagan or not, it makes beautiful sense.

Whether full or crescent, I love gazing at the moon in all its scarred and cratered glory. She is real, has weathered the blows of existence, and is all the more beautiful for it.  Moonlight is stunning, and I always feel done a huge disservice when preceeded by the phrase ill met by. I am nocturnal by nature, and do a great deal of my thinking whilst basking in its glow. We also share first experiences. The moon bore witness to my first clandestine cigarette, turning my 14 year old blood to a fume as I strolled down country lanes back-lit by silver. I mooned back at the lunar glow during my inaugaral solitary skinny-dip from an Aberystwyth beach, grinning in the surf with pebbles scouring my feet. It was a bright crescent moon, and not the sun, that I showed to my minutes old son as I held him by a window on the morning that he arrived on the planet.

There is a reason why people say many moons ago. The achingly-slow sweep of light that plays on the surface teaches both patience and honesty. There is a searching yet benevolent look that the moon gives, that invites self-reflection. I witnessed the duration of the blood moon in September, and it felt like several days had elapsed during the transformation. My eyes felt filled with cold water, and despite the chill, there was a magical glow in the air. I felt the presence of other moon-worshippers that night, and I have always drawn comfort from the fact that however desperately isolated people are, there will always be others looking at the same moon, in the same sky.

Above all things, the moon offers me hope. A surety that challenges and vexations will pass, and with that passage of time appear less frightening. I tell myself that other moons will bring better fortune, calmer times. It befriends me in the darker stretches of sleepless nights.  The moon gives so many things. Reassurance, respite and relief. It gives us tides and waves. What more could one ask for?

© Tom Tide

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