The Moon is waning towards darkness and will shine New on Sept. 1st. But before the New, there is the Dark, and we must honor it as we honor our own shadow side.

Someone told us that we should be afraid of our darkness.

Who was it? We were not born with an instinct for shying away from our shadow side. We were taught to leave the darkness where it lay.

I love the shadows. When I say shadow I do not imply that it is in any way inferior to our light side. After all, there will always be two sides of a coin, one simply cannot be without the other, if one exists so does its opposite.

I held a coin in my hand as I wrote this, and tried to imagine it being one sided. My mind fought the concept, it seemed impossible, there was no way to visualize a one sided coin. The one side faced the light of day, the other, the dark of my palm.

Even the moon, which is a sphere, is not flat and doesn’t have two sides, as it were, still fails to be illuminated all over its rounded splendid self. The moon reflects our very nature. One side of us basking in the light, while the other rests in the shadows.

I almost never perform magic during the dark moon. This is a powerful time and if an acute need arose, I could cast a spell exercising wisdom and great care, bringing my intention in alignment with Universal forces—but mostly I choose to seek the wisdom of the darkness.

Banishing magic, if you like, can be performed on the waning moon, the first four days right after full moon.

The dark is a friend that teaches me to love myself in my entirety.

There will always be parts of me that need respite—that part will shy away from the light because light inspires action. We are not meant for continual action.
When the moon is dark we can make room for three things:

Casting away of anything that requires releasing—emotions, relationships, worldly goods or destructive habits.

Gaining insights—when we are still, we are ripe for receiving messages from our soul. Meditation is especially powerful during the dark moon.

Healing—the goddesses Hecate, Cybele and Ceridwen can be called upon for healing of any sort. Include them in your meditation.

As the moon wanes into darkness (left hand side of the moon is illuminated and the ride hand side is dark) we sink into introspection, we can accept that we are both shadow and light, we can send love to whatever parts of our darkness seeks illuminating and rest our spirit from its seemingly ceaseless activity.

Think of the natural earthly cycles, winter is dark and everything sleeps, dreaming of spring time and a renewal of life.

We humans experience the yearly cycle on a monthly basis, every lunar cycle—we live, regress into darkness, rest, are reborn and resume our pursuits. How magical!

The moon pulls us along as she rises and sets, waxes and wanes, shines and slips into darkness—we are her earthly subjects and she is our queen.

At the dark moon, just before the waxing moon emerges, you can seek guidance from Isis or Sophia, depending on the tradition you choose your goddesses from. Go inward, deep into your consciousness and explore everything that has been hiding within.

Anything you find that needs the light can be brought out. Meditate on your propensity for doing good in the world, appreciate the gift that your dark side provides, it is a temple for learning.

Most importantly, learn to love your shadows. Love all that is you. It’s fascinating to me how deeply engrained is our fear of the dark. We’ve been taught to hide our truest selves. To be ashamed.

If so inclined, explore your darkest sexual nature—using the dark moon as inspiration. What do you find forbidden? What can you ask your lover for that perhaps you’re afraid to admit is a turn on? Which acts seem appropriate for the powerful energy at this time? Your shadow side will guide you, practice acceptance of your kinkier side.

This is a planet of duality. Light and dark. Winter and summer. Male and female. Violence and peace. Fire and water. Sound and silence. Good and evil.

I live a better life when I embrace the shadows as welcome teachers and natural parts of my nature.

This month, find some time to love your shadow side.”

 © Monika Carless/elephant journal