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Western Astrology

The Dark Days of the Moon

by Michael Erlewine April 30, 2011 04:58 AM EST
The Dark Days of the Moon Michael Erlewine

The Dark Days of the Moon

 

As I grow older (and hopefully more aware) I am amazed at how the moon cycle (and the phases of the moon) seems to affect me. I should say “affects us” since astrologers (and psychologists) have pointed to the effects of the moon cycle on all of us for about as long as we have a history. The monthly moon cycle along with the daily return of the sun each morning are perhaps the oldest ways of measuring time we know of.

 

I have spent years studying the monthly cycle of the moon in the astrology of both the east and west. In Asia the moon is given much more attention. In fact, in Tibet they don’t have birthday celebrations as we do here, when the sun returns to where it was in its orbit on the day of your birth. Instead, they celebrate and ask about where was the moon in its monthly cycle when you were born. For example, no one celebrates Buddha’s birthday but rather they celebrate the day he was enlightened or died, etc., and that is always a Full Moon or some part of the lunar cycle and not the solar cycle.

 

Unlike here in the west where we have the four quarters of the moon, in Tibet, India, and China the month-long cycle of the moon is divided into 30 distinct lunar days, not to be confused with the 30 solar days of the month as marked on our calendars. The 30 lunar days are measured by the angular separation of the sun and moon in the sky in intervals of successive 12 degrees. But I am getting off topic here. I have written many articles on this and those interested in learning more can see my free e-book “Mother Moon: Astrology of ‘The Lights’” here:

 

http://astrologysoftware.com/books/index.asp?orig=

 

What actually prompted me to write this today was the realization that we are (right now) in the last three days of the month, the days just before the New Moon. Astrologers both east and west agree that these last days before the New Moon are unusually tough to get through and can be rougher than the rest of the month. In Medieval times the days just before the New Moon were called the ‘devil’s days’ and in Tibet and India they are termed the ‘dharma protector days’ and special rituals and prayers are recited to call for protection during this time.

 

My point is that I tend to forget about these days being more difficult than other parts of the moon cycle until I kind of wake up in them each month realizing things have taken on a darker tone, one in which I often find myself struggling along. So I thought I would mention this to readers in case you notice this too or would like to.

 

I can’t say exactly why this is so. Perhaps it is because the existing moon cycle is coming to a close and we are winding down to the New Moon but have not yet reached it. That ‘new’ impulse or tone that is said to emanate at the New Moon (when the Moon is in a line – and between -- the Earth and the Sun) has not yet arisen. We are still in the backwater of what remains of the current cycle.

 

I really don’t know the cause, but I do know that astrologers and meditators are very much aware of these “dark days” each month and take precautions. As mentioned, I tend to forget all about them until I find that things are not going smoothly or the train of thought I have been on kind of evaporates, leaving me looking around for a path. Who knows the cause?

 

The bottom line is that over the centuries wise men and women have kind of hunkered down during these most waning three days of the lunar cycle and waited them out. The traditional advice is not to start anything new just now, but to keep your head down or, if you must keep busy, be busy tying up loose ends, finishing what is unfinished, paring down your needs to essentials, and so on.

 

This is a “seed time,” one to cull out what you don’t need and to cling to what is true and lasts longest – the seed for the next cycle, not the dross.

Anyway, you get the idea. For those of you who would like to monitor these days I have written a small practice calendar that keeps track of these days for you. It is available free on both mobile smart-phones and desktop computers at this link.

 

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.10150228755052658.363781.587252657

 

On that calendar, you want to look for the lunar days 28, 29, and 30. These are the dharma-protector days, the dark days of the moon. Observe these next few days and tell me what you experience.

 

 

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