The Powers of the Dark Moon

Transcendental Significance of the Dark Moon

In preindustrial times humans were in deep attunement with life cycles both within themselves and within all other energies of life. Indigenous communities all over the world developed great wisdom and prospered not by just respecting, but also by using the gifts of the cycles of nature.


Later on, in the name of civilization and through organized religion, those living the natural ways of life and its cycles were declared barbarian and even evil. Complete indigenous communities were decimated or enslaved, and their ways of life annihilated. The once revered spirits of Earth, Stars, Animals, Plants, Elements and everything else were told to be inferior to, and under the dominion of men. Humans progressively forgot that we are nature and have been fighting against the natural cycles in self and in all.


The consequences of us humans not following the natural cycle of life and maturation can easily be seen in these examples: Many suffer from mental and physical disorders as their life is focused on one area, while all the others are neglected. Many demand of children to behave as adults while the adults behave as children.


Nature continues nevertheless, moving and evolving through cycles and offering us the gift to attune ourselves to these healing and balancing natural rhythms of life. One of these most powerful cycles is of the moon. The cycle of the moon phases repeats every 29.5 days as she orbits around the earth, and the earth around the sun. Each of the eight phases of the moon brings a different energy teaching us about our own natural cycles.


The New Moon is the beginning of the moon cycle. Within the new moon cycle, there are two nights when the moon is in conjunction with the sun and the earth, and it is not visible to the naked eye. This is known as the Dark Moon. Ancient societies all over the world revered the darkness as much as the light. The night, winter time, winter solstice, and the dark moon were honored as times of death to the old ways of life and regeneration.


Wise women - later on called witches - all over the world held Dark Moon sacred ceremonies where they were nurtured in the darkness’ womb, journeying into the depths of their unconscious, where truths about patterns and real motivations were revealed, healed and transformed. Through these consistent sacred ceremonial circles women reached high levels of consciousness and wisdom. Their healing powers raised breaking barriers of time, space and form. But as these wise women were demonized and witch hunting expanded, these sacred dark moon ceremonies were lost for centuries.


During the past decades, as women began regaining their sense of self and power, there has been a resurfacing of moon ceremonies, with most focusing on the full moon which represents the light. For many the fear of darkness persists, as it is difficult to dispel the demonic associations given to it. A practice that can help us to transcend those fears, is entering into these sacred ceremonies connecting with the archetypal energies of the powerful goddesses of the dark.


Goddesses of the Dark

The different powers of darkness took form in the goddesses these communities revered and called for guidance, protection and help, when entering the sacred process that today we call facing the shadow.

These goddesses are still the embodiment of the magical energies of darkness and their archetypes are of invaluable help for us to see clearly, even in the deepest darkness.


Humans are constantly called to different spiritual and maturational processes which are fostered by the natural cycles of darkness. These are represented in the distinct archetypes of the divine feminine that we can invoke to gift us with their wisdom and make of this a successful journey. The main goddesses that oversee these initiation journeys are:


Nyx: The Greek goddess of the dark. She was one of the primordial gods and it was believed that even Zeus feared her power. Nyx is the goddess that helps you walk through the veils of mystery about your future. There are times when the seeds that contain your future are dormant, and there is no other recourse than to stay in the darkness until the veils begin to lift, and a new direction and first steps are revealed. You can call on Nyx to gift you with her unmovable faith as she knows that after darkness there is always light and every secret is revealed.


Hecate: The Greek goddess of the crossroads, the night, magic, witchcraft, and the moon. Hecate’s powers can be invoked when you are stuck between the world that you have overgrown and the new one your heart desires. Hecate will show you the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions that you are choosing, and how they relate to both, the life you are letting go and the one your deepest, unconscious desires have now called into manifestation. Hecate will also help you release your attachments to these patterns bringing peace and alignment between your mind and heart.


Kali: The Hindu goddess of liberation and revolution. The fierce and courageous Kali can be called to help you break your attachment to your old story, especially if you have seen yourself as a victim of others or circumstances. She can give you the strength to break your ties with the familiar ways to deal with others that have enslave you by succumbing to the fear of setting appropriate limits. As you embrace her unrelenting power you will be able to claim your power to liberate yourself from caring about what others think of you. Kali is here to help you see and destroy the untruths of the story you have made up so your authentic self can shine and illuminate the world.


Lilith: Her name means Night Monster and she is not recognized as a goddess but as a demon in Jewish Mesopotamian folklore. The demonization of Lilith is a cautionary tale for women to be subservient to their husbands. She is nevertheless a powerful goddess with the power of independence. According to the myth she was the first wife of Adam and asserted herself against the irrational demands from her husband. Tired of the quarrels she left her husband, and god sent three angels to force her back, but she will not subject herself to the angels…or to the demands of god. Lilith refused to be dominated and she is here to teach you that no one can really prevent you from choosing freedom, growing, learning, exploring and being who you really are. Ask for her power of courage to liberate yourself from the fear of being demonized for being fully who you are and living the life you desire.


A Revival of Dark Moon Ceremonies to Reconnect with and Reclaim our Power

As woman we are naturally inclined to the process of planting seeds, nurturing them and fostering new life. But without intention and direction our seeds cannot take root. The Dark Moon is about unearthing all that will prevent the seeds to become trees. This is the time of endings, releasing and healing to prepare the sacred ground for the new to flourish.


Yet, as many of us are reconnecting, embracing and reclaiming our native roots, ceremonies to honor darkness are resurfacing. The collective power of our energies and the dark moon when we take time for sacred ceremony, are helping to heal our fear of darkness which is our own feminine power of disintegration of the old and regeneration.


Every month the Dark Moon invites you to listen to the call of your inner self, to find and embrace any part of yourself who has been disowned for you to survive. It’s a call to release patterns of thought, feelings and actions that keep you in bondage. It’s a call to be fully who you are and sit in your power. Would you listen to this call?


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Elizabeth Alanis, LCSW, DD.

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