Spirit & Astrology
Part 1: The influence of the moon
As a keen observer of celestial influence from a tender age and in practicing astrology daily, yours truly feels the need to share the knowledge acquired. About the ancient system concerning the stars, we begin our survey of the mother of all sciences with a look at our nearest neighbor, the moon.
Its proximity accounts for the fact it is the only non-planetary body, other than the sun, recognized as having a profound influence in our lives. About ninety percent of all humans live near water, so practically everyone is aware of the tremendous force the moon exerts upon the great seas in the form of tides. If the moon can push around an ocean, imagine what it does to us.
The largest satellite in proportion to the planet around which it revolves in our entire solar system, the moon actually has us living upon a bi-planetary system according to modern astronomy, a science owing its existence to astrology, the older system from which it stems.
Between its distance and size, the moon is a powerful presence hard to ignore even by people who pay no attention to astrology. A widely popular cultural myth has to do with the full moon. Occurring every twenty-eight days (the moon is most responsible for the seven day week by which we mark time), the full moon is perceived as making human beings go crazy to the point of lunacy. Luna was what the moon was called in Latin by ancient Romans and they coined the word lunacy to describe the temporary insanity manifested during the full moon, a phenomena we continue to recognize today.
Why does the moon have such an effect on humanity? The answer is really quite simple: it is a mirror. When the moon is full it is reflecting the maximum amount of the sun's light at us when it is usually dark. Everyone would agree that the sun's light is compelling us to be active during the day and be restive at night when the light fades.
When the mirror fully reflects a day like light/energy in the middle of the night, it is easy to see why we become active when we should be resting and why this dichotomy against the natural order of things make us often act and think we are wild and crazy at the full of the moon.
Actually, we, rather than the moon, are responsible for our lunacy. What we choose to do with its energy determines our behaviors. Rather than automatically cruise a bar at the next full moon, why not consider using its reflective power towards consciously improving the inner life.
After all, have you ever thought the moon is simply telling us that such energy should be geared to inner, rather than outer, activity? In the midst of solitude, one finds astonishing clarity. Solitude makes us plunge into the unfathomable depths of conciousness, leaving us with a sense of harmonious plenitude.
In summary, the moon is telling us to balance our outside activity with our inner activity, or if you prefer, our inner growth.
Part 2: How to work with the moon in our daily life
How might we best put to use the energy of the moon? If we align our inner development to coincide with its phases, we will discover our reflective insights are most keen at the full of the moon. Therefore we must schedule our inner work to develop during the waxing moon, to attain fruition at the full, and to wane when the moon does.
Do you need to begin a new pattern in your life?
Raise your right hand, point at the moon, and say:
Just as the moon is getting full in the heavens, so may (what you want to improve) grows within me, so I can become a true servant of God. (examples of fill-in ... so may my love, compassion, patience, grow within me...)
After the new moon has occurred, begin to work consciously with the waning moon.
Do you need to end an old, unwanted pattern? Then put your attention upon letting it go during the waning moon.
Raise your right hand, point at the moon, and say:
Just as the moon is fading in the heavens, so may my (what you want to get rid of) vanish and disappear for the Glory of God. (Example: ... so may my greed and vanity vanish and disappear...)
The only other item you need to get started with your moon work is so common you see it every day: a calendar. Practically every type of calendar has the phases of the moon printed on it. Now that you've begun the process of inner development, you will be someone who not only knows why, but actually uses the information about the moon's phases contained in a calendar.
The prayers presented above are two examples of the many magical rites performed in phase with the moon. Prayer is a form of magic, if we accept the definition of magic as any ritual enacted to achieve a desired result. Magic is simply an active form of prayer, so it is as unnecessary to fear magic as it is to fear prayer.
Part 3: Work with the moon, the Kabbalistic way
After doing effective magic on a monthly cycle, one is prepared to invoke, in an annual rite, beings who inhabit the spirit world and continually manage the moon's power. At winter's solstice, occurring around 21 December (you'll need that calendar to know exactly when, this year is Dec. 22).
One presents to the Archangel Gabriel a cornucopia, also known as the horn of plenty, the emblem of his spiritual function. Speaking directly to Gabriel, one requests the ending of specific old, outworn life-patterns to be released and asks blessing for specific new patterns to be born for the coming year.
It is no coincidence that the modern ritual of New Year's resolutions happens a few days after Gabriel's winter solstice ceremony because its is the time of the year for the waning of the old and the waxing of the new in our lives.
Why are the Archangel Gabriel, his horn, and winter solstice associated with the moon? It is common knowledge the monthly cycle of the moon governs the fertility of women. A woman's period determines her ability to conceive a child and her receptivity is symbolized by the larger opening of the cornucopia, as it takes on the appearance of a womb.
When the cornucopia is reversed it appears as a phallic symbol and represents man's part in the creation of new life. Therefore, the horn of Gabriel becomes the symbol of humanity's reproductive power and why a horn is necessary when speaking to Gabriel about the beginning of new patterns in one's life.
Feeling "horny" during the full moon is perfectly natural. The moon has power over our sexual drives, and is the foundation of our living with Spirit and Love.
Winter's Solstice is the time for honouring the moon because it is when the sun's light returns from its diminishing and begins to lengthen the days. It is the time of year when the sun imitates the moon and we experience the waxing and waning of our days. It is why we make the replacing of the old with the new the central issue at this time.
Note: This year's winter solstice occurs under a full moon at perigee, the nearest approach of the moon to the earth. It has been 130 years since these three events have coincided, so it is a very auspicious time to begin ceremonializing both winter solstice and the moon.
More Information on Invocational Rites
More Information from the Kaballah about the Moon