Supermoon, symbolism and our collective shadow.

Tonight I drove just out of town to a familiar field to watch the lunar eclipse with my 6 year old.  I told her we were going to see the BLOOD MOON,  hoping to instil some excitement – she wondered if there would be rides there.  I told her “no it’s just a field”, which she thought was good enough because apparently she’d never been to a “field” before.  I talked to her a bit along the way about how the moon is always there to listen to her if she’s ever lonely, to which she replied “oh yeah?  So is the moon alive or something?”.  It’s so hard to relay the subtleties of psyche to a child, they are just learning how to master the physical realm, never mind the psyche.  But more than anything I’m planting seeds.  Someday, in a deeply lonely moment, the moon may catch her eye and she will remember that night we watch the it disappear in the earth’s shadow and that She listens, the moon, that giant, orbiting fragment of the Great Mother.

I told her how back in the “olden days” people used to think that the Blood Moon was an omen that something bad might happen.  But now we understand it differently, that it’s a scientific event.  It’s a rare event.  And one that got a lot of people’s attention tonight.  The gravel road we parked on was lined with cars, cars lined with people, gazing.  On the drive home people were on the streets, the sidewalks, the balconies and front steps of their home.  I wanted her to know that people have been gazing at the moon for all of time, and that many from all different places in our hemisphere were looking at it just as we were.

I also wanted to her to know that it’s very important to see our shadow.  And tonight, we could watch the Earth cast it’s shadow upon the moon in a beautiful scientific and SYMBOLIC event.  There it is, we bear witness to the collective shadow, on a moon traced as close as it gets to the elliptical orbit of earth.  I kept repeating the mantra in my head, “I see it, I’m willing to bear witness to the collective shadow of our earthly existence”.  And I meant it.  It is so energetically powerful that at the time of this Supermoon our North American lives are being saturated with the content of our deepest collective shadow:  Religious and political fanatacism from all ends of the spectrum; and our collective Golden Shadow:  the coming of the merciful Pope Francis – espousing the very embodiment of tolerance and good will to all.  It is not coincidence that the DARK SHADOW and the GOLDEN SHADOW appear so fervently to us right now.  The energies will always seek to balance out.  And on these days of Eclipse we are given a gift of not just scientific phenomenon but a symbolic phenomenon that can play a role it bringing these shadows to consciousness.  Can we gaze at our projections of good and evil onto people, groups, races and religions?   Can we bear that these ARE PROJECTIONS from a place deep inside the recesses of our own psyche?

This was the stuff of ritual in our ancestry.  It was through ritual that we reminded ourselves of the symbolic realm – of our archetypes, of our goodness and evil, of our shadows.  Ritual gave us access to spiritual perspective, a place of meaning and connection to the natural events of existence.  I love that science gives us physical explanations for things, but ultimately I want to show my daughter something even more.  That we have physical reality, and we have symbolic reality – and that both can coexist.  She deserves truth of BOTH.  We all do.  And we all want it, there are scientific events that happen all the time, but this one called to us for many reasons.  And one is that for millenia we have looked at the moon in all her phases and spoken our woes, longed for beloveds and danced amidst her light.  And tonight she begs of us to look at the blood we shed when we wait only for rare events to gaze intently upon our collective shadow.