Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Poetry for the Esbat: Mourning Moon, Frost Moon 2012

"Sleep" by artist Louise C. Fenne Image gratefully borrowed from A Polar Bear's Tale.
"Sleep" by artist Louise C. Fenne
Image gratefully borrowed from A Polar Bear's Tale.

What a consistent creature I find myself to be! I selected "Solitude Late at Night in the Woods," by Robert Bly for this month's Esbat poetry, but something about it rang all too familiar. I consulted last year's post, Poetry for the Esbat: Mourning Moon 2011 & there is was. Ah, well, its words resonate so true for the Full Moon in this bioregion at this time of the year...

XVII The Moon from The Love Tarot, by Liz Dean
XVII The Moon
from The Love Tarot, by Liz Dean*
Once again, names abound for this month's Moon & I find myself under much pressure to address concerns outside this laptop, so the bioregional & historical analysis of Moons monikers for the month of November will have to wait for another year. This time, I am embracing two established names instead of creating my own -- Mourning Moon & Frost Moon. Normally, as indicated on my revamped "Wheel of the Year," this would be a period of waiting; waiting for the migration, waiting to fly, waiting to return home. I probably would have named it the "Waiting Moon," but this year is different. I find my heart is sad & achy. I am beginning to understand that how I define "home" is tied to place in temporal ways, spiritual too. It is painful to know I cannot fly home... Wings clipped, I sometimes wake in the night. Sleepless, I grieve.

In this way, the cursed Llewellyn calendar's name for this Moon is apt: they've dubbed it the "Mourning Moon." Like I mentioned last year, I don't know where this title came from, probably someone sitting around making up stuff at Llewellyn... (oh, wait, they don't do that, do they?) Dubious origins aside, it works. Having two names means I get two poems. The poetry-for-mourning is not about the Moon, but it does come from Nancy Willard's Household Tales of Moon & Water, my new perennial favourite. It is the very last poem in the book, a "Blessing for Letting Go." In this instance, the first three lines are all that I need:

"I pick up Sad,
I burn it, I scatter the ashes. 
Now be thou glad."

Let's leave it at that.

Frost: Sacred Geometry
Frost: Sacred Geometry
As for the Frost Moon... this place is cold! Since Mother Hulda's Night, there has been very little snowfall & the temperatures have been frigid -- crisp, clear, rarely above the low teens (on the Fahrenheit scale). It is great weather to chase the Northern Lights, but so frosty on baby's feet & hands! When we walk, the snowpacked ground creaks & squawks like grouchy styrofoam. When we breathe, the air nips at our nostrils. It is dry, like my desert, but it is also very, very dark. It is the perfect incubation nest for Frost. Like an albino algal bloom, the Frost grows overnight, spreading, blanketing everything. Under the sharp Winter Sun, it abates. But when the Darkness returns & conditions give it opportunity to ripen, it returns. Again & again it returns & recedes...

I am wonderstruck by this creature Frost. I am amazed by all the many cold, dark creatures here, but as I sit by my "Happy Light," I long for the warm embrace of a Moonlit garden. With fireflies. So the poetry for this Esbat has been chosen not to reflect the present season, or even the present bioregion, but to scratch my itch for more paradisal environs. Taken from an obscure book entitled, A Pagan Anthology (a book of poems composed by contributors to The PAGAN Magazine), the poem "Moonrise," by Helene Thurston both feeds my need for images of sublime garden scenes & pays a magnificent tribute to our Lady Moon. May "Her face smile down upon the waiting world" this night.

"Moonrise," by Helene Thurston
"Moonrise," by Helene Thurston

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.

P.S. This is the smallest Moon of the year, but it comes with bonus penumbral eclipse. Look for it on the 28th. 

XVII The Moon, from The Love Tarot, by Liz Dean seemed an aptly cool choice for this Esbat tarot. I purchased this Majors-only deck primarily for collage work, but I was also taken by the author's addition of the "three graces" cards. 

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