I was ready to have my breakfast that lately has been a cup of green tea and a book, but an unexpected guest made me change my mind. She looked at me under the pinky dawn sky as she wanted to tell me one of her ancient secrets. She, that follows us since time is time and the world is the world. She, that magnetises us with her witchy luminosity. She, that is unstable as our emotions. She, that says to the heavens and the earth out loud: calm down, it is just another cycle of illusions! And if you have already got yourself looking at her, fascinated by her power, whether she is shining like a silver disk or laughing at you like the Cheshire Cat, you understand why I stopped everything that I was doing that morning to admire her. She, the full moon throughout my window, that I will consider here she, the goddess of the sky.
I had a dream when I was in Brazil in which a stranger, standing at the top of a mountain, pointed to a full moon shrouded by a mist in the sky. I gazed at the moon as she was an old friend, the same way I looked at her throughout the window that morning, with the difference that the person in the dream said: “The moon is important. Pay attention to her”. And with this phrase echoing I woke up before the first buses came up the hill outside. Honestly, I didn’t give too much importance to the moon. I knew that she was there, as we all know – I had already been in a planetary and attended many science lessons – and I knew she was pretty, but I never had given that much importance to her. Considering the dream a wake up call, I started the adventure of paying attention to the lunar cycles, and I found a lot of content out there saying: “observe the phases of the moon”, “daughter of the soon and the moon”, “the moon in your natal chart”, the moon and the menstrual cycle”, “rituals for the moon”, and all of that stuff. Soon I realised that no one was saying that to understand the moon it wasn’t enough only observing her or knowing her phases. It wasn’t enough being superficial. There was something else, something obvious and secular, that many people were ignoring and that had to do with the history of our relationship with the moon as humans.
In one of my readings I came across the Venus of Laussel, the artefact of 25.000 years ago (we are talking about the Paleolithic) that consists of the body of a woman holding with one hand her belly and the other a bison that has 13 marks. The number 13 represents the number of nights between the crescent moon and the fool moon, and this suggests that 25.000 ago there was a recognition of the equivalence between the menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle that became artefact, art, culture. The Venus of Laussel could be one of the first traces we have of recognition of the relation between the celestial and earthly rhythms of life, which eventually may have developed to a mathematical and astronomical reckoning. And what this reveals to us today? First, the observation of the moon correlated to what happens to life on earth, because both can be considered parts of the same system. Second, that is not in astrology and in what we could call “mystical perspective” that the moon was and is important. Our relationship with the moon might be the basis of human consciousness, culture and social development.
We don’t need to go that way back in time: if we talk to our grandfathers or great-grandmothers we will realise that many of them might say that there is a moon to cut your hair, to plant, to harvest – in many areas of Brazil they say that when a woman has her period, she is “moony”. Imagine a time in which the calendars were moved by what happened in nature. The moon and the sun probably functioned as big dials in the sky that pointed to the direction of organization and planning, whether for hunting, harvesting, sustainability, weddings, celebrations, offerings, rituals. The Chinese and Tibetan calendars, amongst other oriental calendars, for instance, consider up until today the cycles of the moon in their system. Therefore, for them, the year begins around February, in a new moon, after 12 or 13 lunar cycles have passed.
We find here a variable about the observation of the lunar cycles (and the sun as well, more broadly nature) connected to organisation and planning. It is a great resource to guide our time and the way we organise our weeks, months and years, even for those, like me, that live according to the Gregorian calendar in a big city where the moon is barely visible. We can still use this ancestral resource… it is maybe in our ancient goddess memory. Perhaps because of these observations and correlations between the rhythms of the celestial bodies and the rhythm of things on earth throughout human history that we gave the type of meaning to the moon that today ends up in mysticism, but that for a long time (more time than the contrary) was related to our existence – and survivance – on earth. In this sense, the lunar cycles by themselves don’t reveal anything if we don’t integrate them into our experiences here and now, even if this experience is inside a flat in a city of 12 million inhabitants.
When the man stepped on the moon, imagine the change of perspective: the moon wasn’t the powerful mystical and magnetic Astro anymore, but Earth was. We became to the eyes of those astronauts, the goddess and gods of the system that had inverted in their experiences. The power of the lunar cycles is in the relations and meanings that we give to them when we pay attention to their rhythms. This might be what really means giving importance to the moon. So…. have you looked at her throughout your window today?
Júlia P. Albertoni
*Image: Vogue, Jul 1930. Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Littérature et art, ark:/12148/bpt6k6542643z
The Chronicles of a Wild Woman were born from the coincidence of the leaves, the dreams and the soul writers. If you want to follow the words that follow instinct, the texts are published in Portuguese and English once per month. Read more here and subscribe to my mailing list to receive them in your inbox