|Galileo's Moon phases, 1616.|
This bout of Sciento-appreciation courtesy WikimediaCommons.
Oh, how long they are!
I don't need to consider devising my own bioregional Full Moon name this month, "Long Nights" is really more than appropriate. I have been doing daily Solar "devotionals" (I do hope to find the time to write about that) & this practice has made me quite aware of the brevity of our day & of course of its inverse -- the great length of our nights. The weather experts tell us that the Sun officially rises around 10:15 a.m. & sets by 3: 45 p.m. But. When one measures the day against the time at which the Sun actually breaks the tops of the buildings to the South, we do not feel the direct rays of the Sun until after 12:30 p.m. By 3:00 p.m., we have already lost the Sun around the corner. Short days = Long Nights indeed.
The boon of all this nonsense is that the Lady remains long, long in the sky at this time of year. I awoke at 6:30 this morning, stumbled into the kitchen & found myself face-to-face with Her through the North-facing kitchen window. These nights, when the Moon swings opposite a low Sun, Her high trajectory keeps Her in view long, long indeed. Say goodnight to Her out a Southerly window, greet her with coffee upon rising in the North. I can embrace that practice.
|Lunar map by Thomas Harriot. |
Harriot was the first person to make a drawing of the Moon
through a telescope. He completed this work on July 26, 1609,
over four months before Galileo. @ WikimediaCommons
With the closure of that discussion, I am opting to segue directly into the poetry, skipping a variety of other discussions (such as Tarot, bioregional names, etc.) for the sake of brevity & time.
I went back & read last year's Poetry for the Esbat: Long Nights Moon 2011. It caused me to think about how place frames one's perspective, expectations, mood & thoughts. I find myself reflective, self-protective & introverted this year. I selected this Moon's poem not because it speaks so much to the Moon herself, but because of how it speaks to me, about us, about all the creatures who endure the long Winter nights under Her watch.
Although the piece was written about the preparations of the trees & their hunkering-down for the Winter, there is something in the language of the poem that made me immediately think of human creatures. It seems to me that many of us also engage in a similar "attiring & disattiring" as part of our Winter ceremonies. Beneath Her liquid gaze, we dress our bodies, we dress our homes, we dress cocktails, we dress a variety of roast beasts & other foodstuffs, we even dress trees! Then, come the dissolution of our calendar year, we undress it all, put it away & hunker down to endure the remaining months of the Winter. None of this really serves to make us more "prepared." (Or does it?) How peculiar we are... we don't even have buds.
Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
May we glean an ounce of wisdom from these trees.
Blessings to you this Esbat my friends.