The Phases of the Moon
I’ve begun studying the phases of the moon. Not a full on launch into astrology, but a knowledge of what the earth does and how its seasons relate to planting.
As I put these words to paper, the May Flower Full Moon makes its appearance. So named because of the abundance of flowers that signal winter has finally loosened its grip. A season of newness, of freshness, of growth, of rebirth.
The Flower Moon is extra special this month of May, for it is also deemed a Blue Moon. The name misleading, for the moon is not actually blue, but so named because it is either the second full moon within a calendar month, or as this one uniquely is, the third full moon of four within a season. Each season typically has three full moons, one per month. But on occasion, there are four, and the third one is called the Blue Moon.
As I study techniques and processes of farming, gardening and herbalism, I am also realizing there is an art to the craft. Folklore, if you will, and “old-timer” practices that have some merit, and could offer an explanation to why some things are as they are. Our ancestors planted not by the calendar but more so by the phases of the moon or the feel in the air. I am developing an appreciation for the phases of the moons, the seasons and the cycles. While they are not to be worshipped, the lessons they teach are not to be ignored. I do believe YHWH set these things in place for us to learn, and apply to our lives.
Bare with me a minute, as I delve a little further into novice moon talk. It was Isaac Newton who first connected the gravitational pull of the moon to the tides on the earth. Though the sun is bigger and brighter than the moon, the moon’s pull is stronger because it is closer to the earth. Hence a very simplified explanation of why the earth is affected with the different phases of the moon. The “waxing” phase, when the moon as we see it appears bigger culminating with the Full moon and the “waning” phase when it appears smaller. Tides are higher with the full and the new moon phases, and these same forces could affect the water content of the soil making it a more ideal time to plant.
Ute York, in her book “Living by the Moon” says:
“The old-time gardeners say, “With the waxing of the moon, the earth exhales. ” When the sap in the plants rise, the force first goes into the growth above ground. Thus, you should do all activities with plants that bear fruit above ground during a waxing moon. With the waning of the moon, the earth inhales. Then, the sap primarily goes down toward the roots. Thus, the waning moon is a good time for pruning, multiplying, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and controlling parasites and weeds”
There is no denial that the phases of the moon affect not just the land and the sea, but ask any elementary school teacher, and they can tell you of a certainty when there is a full moon, just by the behavior of the students.
The phases of the moon are teaching me to appreciate and embrace the seasons and cycles within my own life. Oh, how we crave for things to remain the same…well I do. The older I get, the more I resist change. But, as I continue to walk this journey with HIM, HE is teaching me that seasons or cycles are necessary for each area of life to make its completion. The new moon, the crescent moon, the half moon must occur before the full moon takes place. And so it is with us. We must cycle through all the necessary phases before we can reach the fullness of any state. At each phase, we learn or grasp a new tool or techniques or principle which prepares us for the next phase.
I have been in a very strange place of late…more to come on that later…and I still just want it to all be over, for things to go back to the way they were, back to the last phase. But, I’m slowly understanding that this phase is necessary for the next phase. I’m trying to reach full moon status!
Life becomes imbalanced when any phase is skipped. All the phases of the moon are necessary to reach full moon status. No one phase is more or less important that the other. All the phases of our trials are necessary to reach full moon status. Phases of isolation, of despondency and despair, of destitution and loneliness, and even good and happy times; all are necessary to reach lunar status.
Mind you, the different phases of the moon do not in anyway interfere with the original construction of the moon. It maintains its form and structure. As it rotates around the earth and the earth rotates around the sun, it is our view of the moon that is altered. During the different phases of the moon, if you look close enough you can see the outline of the moon in its entirety. The entire moon is there, but at some point, only a quarter of it is lit, sometimes only half of it is lit, but the full moon is still there.
Oh, how this is so life applicable! Regardless of the phase or cycle, you are who you are. The phase nor the cycle can change that. Sometimes we may feel hidden or insignificant, but it does not change who we are. It's just a phase! We can see the full of us, but to the view of others, there is nothing or a quarter of something. We flail around trying to get others to see what we know is there, and the only thing we have to do is stop and wait for the phase/cycle to pass and all things line up in the proper position.
My friends, you are who you are and that is a glorious and wondrous thing. Press through the phase, continue through the cycle, suffer through the various seasons, for at the right time, all things will be as they should be!
Genesis 1:16 (AMPC)
16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light (the sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night. He also made the stars.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMPC)
1 TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven