Four Quarters of the Moon

Four Quarters of the Moon

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Although my soul resonates with the old Night Religion, I am not Wiccan. That is nothing against Wicca, merely my own preference to stay free of group-minds. I have certainly learned a lot from Wiccan teachings over the years, those that have been available to the public through books and things. Back around 1980, I found many of the early witchcraft books very inspiring, such as The Spiral Dance, The White Goddess, The Sea Priestess, etc.  There was very good one long out of print called Moon, Moon. One of the primary figures that fascinated me was the Triple Moon Goddess.

One of her most evocative images was as a row of three identical mothers in peaked hoods carved in stone on some ancient Roman wall. These three mothers are primal. I later discovered the concept of the Triple Moon Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone. I don’t recall, or don’t remember, the origin of this idea, but it was everywhere. As a sky watcher since childhood and a moon lover, this symbolism just never felt right. Clearly, in my original, un-indoctrinated,  mind, the moon did not have three phases, but four.  Somehow, like the famous Durer etching of the “Three Witches”, the obvious four had been reduced to three and, despite the obvious presence of the fourth figure, this mistake continues to be made. ( see my post Four Witches, Three Graces, or Something Else). The old academic mind  has seemed to be entranced by the Three Graces, the Three Muses,  the Three Fates, the Norns, to a blinding degree. Why do they ignore the fourth? What are they afraid of?

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I rebelled against mainline Feminism, hanging on to my femininity at all costs. Not only did I enjoy embodying that quality, I knew the inherent, soulful power of it. I was actually frightened by the idea of giving that up to become to a kind of imitation and therefore lesser “man”, for that could only lead to drainage of the woman’s wild soul. In those days the alternate path was made available through “Women’s Studies”. Under that umbrella was the Women’s Spirituality Movement where, in the bookstores,  the ancient mythologies of the world could be found. There I found my elders, the Grandmothers who, if I sifted through the pop-ideological nonsense, I found keys to the deep knowing.

Clearly the moon has four phases: Waxing Crescent, Full Moon, Waning Crescent, and Dark Moon, wrongfully called the New Moon. The term New Moon more accurately describes the slim first crescent as the moon re-appears in the sky after three nights of darkness. This is Diana’s bow.  (The varying iconography of the Goddess Diana is worthy of another blog post). It seems the Dark Moon is being left out. Perhaps it is because it is the Black Moon of Death.

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Back in the 1980s “Women’s Mysteries” were so-called because no one ever talked about things like menstruation which is our distinct connection to the moon. Womanhood was equated to giving birth. We were meant to represent fertility only in the most active stages: either being the Maiden in preparation for conception of  children, the Mother, pregnant and nurturing, or the Grandmother, or Crone (another mis-applied term) taking care to guide the younger ones. These are beautiful concepts, but by leaving out the Dark Mother — the real Crone — the ancient Old One — does not protect us from the disturbing subject of death, rather it cuts us off from the natural cycle of Life, Death, and Re-birth. It severs us from our souls.

There may have been a hidden agenda as well in hiding knowledge of this fourth phase of the moon that has to do with the Dark Side of the Moon. There are two issues here.

1: Denial of the Dark Moon is denial of the Dark Predator in the psyche. By keeping our inner darkness unconscious, we remain children ( as Patriarchy wants us to be) Naive and easy prey to externalizations of the evil force. By recognizing and owning this wild creature within, we are empowered by it, able to fight and defend ourselves and those we love like mother bears. we also earn how stop pushing, to let go, to rest, to allow rejuvenation and rebirth, safe in the silence of the Dark Mother.

Esoterically the Moon has always been considered to be the gateway of souls falling from Heaven to the Sub-Lunar atmosphere to enter a quickened womb to be born again on earth. This purpose is that of the life-giving phase of Waxing to Full Moon that is the sign of the Fertile Mother.

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Spirits of the Dead by Kieron Rhys-Johnson

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2: There is an esoteric planet behind the moon, at the Dark Side. This is called the Eighth Sphere, portal to the realm of the dead.

This Eight Sphere is a tricky issue, for it is said that it is a realm of hungry ghosts, or demons. The Women’s Spirituality Movement of the 1980s slipped into the larger New Age Movement ( all these “movements” crikey!) so easily that almost became synonymous. (As a born clairvoyant, I was drawn into this “movement” against my will as I knew my abilities had nothing to do with any commercial/ political “movement” but were a natural condition of my soul. Clairvoyance is Seer-ship. It does not depend on spirits to see into the Unseen, but are symptoms of an awakened Inner Eye.) The job of the New Age was partly to seduce some people into becoming dependent upon spirits by joining the ranks of Channelers and Trance Mediums. ( I was warned against Mediumship very early on) These methods of “communicating with the dead” lead directly into contact with that Eighth Sphere, home to the the Shells  and what Qabbalists call the Qlippoth. These things want your soul.

I will not elaborate further on this, except to say that the two are Not the same thing. In the esoteric realm it is so important to get the symbolism straight because symbols are keys to the psychic core. They effect you in subtle ways which is one reason why so much of this stuff was, until very recent times, kept secret.

Secrecy cuts both ways, of course. My goal is enliven Soul.

Christian Influences on Our Perception of the Moon

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I just want to share a fragment of my forthcoming book, The Grail Keepers’ Tarot, to illustrate an important junction in how lunar, and therefore female and fertility symbolism may have come to be manipulated for propaganda purposes. It comes under my description of Trump number 18, The Moon, depicted in my tarot deck as The Three Maries of the Sea.

“The image of the Three Marys of the Sea may have its roots in the pagan Triune Goddess of the Moon, or the Three Fates—-Spinner, Weaver and Cutter of the cord. The moon and the sea are of course inseparable, for the tides are ruled by the phases of the Moon. The introduction of the dark-skinned servant, Sara the Egyptian, suggests the hidden presence of the fourth lunar phase, the dark moon. In the old legend, the Three Marys threw Sara overboard, but a raft took shape beneath her and she was saved. On a symbolic level, this cruel behavior is early evidence of the Christian tendency to fear the hidden side of things, things that only come out in the total darkness, and move at the edges of consciousness, banished deities like Sara, who are yet saved by the invisible ones. Many of the Black Madonnas of France and Spain are associated with the hidden Sara of the black moon.”

Sara is worshipped under ground, in a cave, a place reserved in the ancient world, for the dead.

This is not glorify death, or to encourage a Death Cult. Not by any means. Nihilism leads to all kinds of abuses and has to do with that Eighth Sphere. But to deny the existence of that fourth, Dark Moon, is to flee the very cycles of life that lead to our deepest natures, our courage and maturity. Denial of this dark makes perpetual children of us. The Ancient Mother is ultimately our teacher and protector.

Those who disagree with me are free to comment. This is a deep topic, prone to dogmas and worthy of debate.

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12 thoughts on “Four Quarters of the Moon

  1. How refreshing to have the four quarters of the moon acknowledged – I am seeing this trend a little bit more but still not very often. One of my favorite ways of thinking of the aspects of the Goddess is Maiden-Mother-Queen-Crone (four phases)- it just feels more complete to me and reflects and honors the phases of a woman’s life in a well rounded way (time of maidenhood learning and growing, time for nurturing and motherhood, time for honoring self and expanding, time to share wisdom)
    Lady Rose´s last [type] ..Table Tipping

  2. I like that Queen aspect. I think of it also as a teacher aspect. You cannot argue with the evidence of the eyes, can you? But still they try.

  3. Hello,
    I think your article is great and very interesting.
    there s not much one can disagree on here.
    first,being free of any kind of groups is something very important to keep in touch with our inner selves and path but also to avoid any kind of herd mentality and conformity.Whether you want it or not being yourself is what you need to be part of an unseen and natural group,as groups usually insist on creating like-minded individuals instead of recognizing that were are all part of a higher group called the Universe because we are all different and our difference creates the group like each star has its own placeand shine and creates a constellation with other stars.
    I myself was always scared to be part of a group or to be as you say an imitation or a lesser man.
    Secondly,i always liked the Moon and found myself as well falling all the time on this triad,and when i looked at the reality of what the moon really was it was obvious that there was a fourth side which has been omitted.this side is the most important one as it sets the three other ones in motions and permits life and death to follow its course and most importantly it gives wholeness through four dimensionality by creating the fifth side where one has understood the magic of the moon.Omitting this fourth side is handicapping and as you say is like seperating the soul from its body.It s crazy i think!
    i don t know if it is done on purpose or not but there s obviously a problem with recognizing an encompassing the dark side,whether by need of immobilizing and emprisonning so that change never happens.
    Looking at the root of this question makes us go very deep into the history of this practice,i mean who else but masters of magic could have had this idea,or is it just an indirect effect materialism?
    You are very good and amazing through this article!
    Also your story reminds me of a band called Goat Of Mendes,who are pratitionners of wicca,they actually released an album called “Consort of a Dying God”.
    Aside from the fact that the album is great,it tells the story of the mysterious gypsy saint “Sara la Kali of Saintes Maries de la Mer”.
    I quote :She is displayed as a madonna-like statue with ebony skin in the mentionned church “Saintes Maries de la Mer” and is being adored by the gypsies evry year on the 25th of may.it tells the story of a former nubian princess called sara that acted voluntarily as Magdalene s servant.After the crucifixion,Magdalene being pregnant with Christ s offspring fled to France with Two other women also called Mary and with Sara.She gave birth to a daughter also named Sara where they stranded in southern france,and Sara la Kali acted as the secret guardian to the offspring of Christ and gathered money for sustenance by begging.They supposedly travelled through France to settle in great britain.
    Sara s cave underneat the church “Sainte maries de la mer” was also an earth sanctum for the goddess kybele in ancient times.
    Sara has then been associated with kali in her aspect as a mother fighting for her lost children but also as Isis carrying the infant sun god Horus.”
    Your story of the eighth sphere is very interesting too.
    I just wrote down what it made me think of and disagreeing with you would be pure non sense.

  4. and obviously it is also what you mean that as a woman and not a lesser man as you put it you embrace that darkness too and you live your dark side of the moon in your relationship with others.Which is what the woman movement wasn t about.

  5. Thank you for your thoughtful response. For me the need to acknowledge the fourth quarter of the moon (They are called quarters!) Has less to do with death than with resurrection. The entire cycle is necessary for life to continue. Its a life-death-life-death-life cycle. Only considering three phases to the moon, woman, or any other living thing is like a broken wheel. It can’t turn. That is death and destruction, right there.
    I hesitate to equate Sara with Kali. Practicing Hindus from India that I have known are very cautious around Kali. They give her a wide berth. Unfortunately, many Europeans and Americans, under the influence of pop culture, I think, get involved with this very dangerous deity without realizing what they are doing.

  6. Its about the complete cycle of life-death-life, or death and rebirth. The feminine is also the Mother, the caretaker of living things. One must be gentle with baby things, and children if the world is going to healthy. In most languages the word for Woman is the same as that for House. Its all there. The system forced us into what I consider a false paradigm in order to enslave us and take the children.

  7. yeah i didn t know that woman meant house but everytime i m thinking about “woman”and what it means i was always thinking about home or like a place i was living in which makes me a point or a star.home to the stars.

  8. which also makes me think that it is the kind of thing i was looking for as well causeit s more interesting because it is more spiritual and soulfull.tahnks

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