midwinter rituals

Blogmas: This dark new moon can help us cast a vision forward

4 Dec 2021

Do we even dare to cast a vision? 2021 is coming to an end and I am seeing lots of comments about how this year was not all that great after all. It seems that hope, faith, and optimism have waned. And exhaustion, frustration, and complacency are on the rise. And, just when we thought 2021 would save us from 2020, we realize now that it has been yet another tough year. Different, with some glimmer of hope, but still tough + frustrating + maddening. As I write this, the Omicron mutation of Covid is on the rise – threatening travel plans for the holidays and the lives and health of others. How can we even muster the energy, much less, hope to cast a vision for the future?

But, we must find a way forward. We cannot give up. We need balance + rest, yes, but our story is not yet over. It is time to close this chapter, though, shift the energy, and begin anew. Luckily, today is an inspiring day to help us cross the threshold into a whole new way forward – even as Covid still continues to freaking rage on.

Today is the first Saturday in December and the last new moon of 2021. Which just so happens to also be a solar eclipse. Magic! And this cosmic event, which turns out the lights + leaves us in the middle of a very dark December day, also flips things around. Even though we are in the darkest of the darks and this year has been yet another shitshow (my projection, of course. I have no idea how you have experienced 2021), the dark is precisely what we need to help us see our way forward. Makes no sense, I know. How can the dark reveal the way forward? But, the energy of today and of all of December will totally shift the energy + is here to help us cast a vision for the future.

A little about new moons + eclipses

New moons occur every month as the moon orbits the sun. During a new moon, the moon that is not being illuminated by the sun, making the moon blend in with the dark night sky. It’s the phase of the moon where the moon is between the sun and the earth making it impossible to see the moon in the night sky. In other words, the moon, the sun, and the earth are in alignment, with the moon in the middle. It is that time of the month where our skies seem dark + moonless. We are literally left in the dark.

Today is December’s new moon. But it is also a solar eclipse. When the Moon is perfectly aligned in front of the sun, blocking out the sun from us for just a moment.

Many associate eclipses with portals, thresholds, and changes of energy. I’m thinking there has to be some magical symbolism in the fact that the sun, moon, and earth are all perfectly aligned. Like a moment of perfect balance, or pause, before everything shifts and moves onward.

New moons are the start of a lunar cycle and, therefore, used as a monthly marker to pause and reflect. Most importantly, it is the perfect time, in the dark, to set intentions and to cast a vision for the month ahead. Solar eclipses are that moment of alignment and shift. Both signal the end of one phase + the beginning of another.

I cannot ignore the deep darkness that is occurring today. It feels like an extra dose of darkness. There is a solar eclipse, so the sun is blocked. Today is the new moon, so the night sky is darker than usual. And, it is December, the darkest month of the entire year. So much darkness. Making it hard to see. We cannot rely on our eyes, our vision. So, perhaps, right now, we might learn to see in other ways.

Perhaps, if only for today, we stop looking outward for answers, thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Instead, since it is dark + we literally cannot see as much, perhaps this is the time to look inward. To let our intuition and our own wisdom help us see a way forward. Perhaps this new moon solar eclipse in December’s darkness is exactly the inspiration + energy we need to help us cast a vision for what comes next. To dare to think ahead + create a vision for the future.

Today’s solar eclipse is the last eclipse in a series of eclipses since May 2020. Remember what you were doing, what life was like in May 2020? Most of us were in the thick of lockdown and restrictions and understanding that Covid was not going away anytime soon. Life had changed drastically. Personally, Lina + I were also celebrating that we had been assigned a donor so that we could move forward with starting our family. It was a time of highs + lows.

Today, as we look back over 2021, and even back to 2020, we have an opportunity to use this darkness, this shift in energy, this reset, to ask ourselves a few questions:

  • What are we meant to learn from this past 1-2 years? In what ways did we grow? How have we changed?

And from that, we can begin to let a way forward rise from our souls. We can begin to cast a vision for the future.

But, it’s just so dark right now. And we’re exhausted.

But, do we dare to hope? Do we even bother to cast a vision? I vividly remember New Year’s Day 2020. It was a new decade. I was overflowing with hope and inspiration for this new age that had arrived. It didn’t take long before the news turned grim: fires in Australia, a presidential impeachment, a pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, the continued existence of racism, the rise of even more discrimination, violence, and prejudice, and a whole world that changed. And, like everyone, I held on. Hoping. Wishing. Praying.

And, last December, I put all of my hopes into 2021. 2021 had to be better than 2020, I thought. It would be better, dammit.

Alas, 2021 has been only a different kind of difficult, both personally + globally. And, now, here we sit again. Only a few days left until 2022. Wishing for a good year. But, again, do we dare to hope that it will be better? Do we even have the energy? How is it even possible to cast a vision for a “good year” from the deep darkness that we are in?

The thing is, what am I looking for? What am I hoping for? What is it that makes a “good “year? Is it moments of happiness and fun? Or is it something deeper? Perhaps I continue to be disappointed because I’m seeking surface happiness. I’m looking forward to a year that feels good and moves along with ease where I get everything I want.

But, damn. That’s a selfish and shallow way of thinking about life.

What if it isn’t even about good + bad years? I mean, good + bad things happen each and every year. And, if they are not happening in my life, then they most certainly are in others’ lives. When has there been a year without challenge, disappointment, struggle, grief, injustice?

Perhaps the point is to simply cast a vision. To continue to hope even when it seems all hope is gone. Perhaps a good year is one in which I have been alive and evolved and transformed and learned and grown because of all of the “good and bad” things that have happened.

We’ve changed, though. So we need a new vision.

Yeah. It’s been tough for the entire world for the past 2 years as we have faced + fought a pandemic. And, yeah. We need a fucking break. But, we are not the same people we were in the beginning of 2020, just before Covid began to spread rampantly all of the world. We are all different. The world is different.

I am not the same after 2021. I became a mother-to-be and then we lost our little peanut 16 weeks in. I longed for my family in the States. I ached as I watched my wife suffer in her own grief at losing Sophia Ruth. I stumbled painfully through the last few months of work before I quit, feeling betrayed, frustrated, and loved all at the same time.

But, my marriage strengthened tenfold. We picked up + moved in order to bring more life + positivity to our life. I tackled the task of getting a Swedish driver’s license. Being without a job gave me the chance to really reflect on what I want and how I want to live. And then there’s all of nature. Renewing me with her cyclical rhythms. Teaching me through moon phases, sunrise, sunsets, and seasonal changes that there is beauty to be found in a stages of life, in all of the moments of a year.

Perhaps this is exactly where hope is found… in the dark of a new moon solar eclipse of December.

Darkness is part of it all.

So, it’s dark today. Really dark. Literally + figuratively. But, it is possible to use that darkness as a blanket. To wrap ourselves up in it, letting it envelop and surround us. To let the darkness provide us a place of rest and restoration. Darkness is part of the journey of life. It is part of the lunar cycle and the rhythm of the seasons. It is the place where hope is found + love is born. It is how we understand what light really is. It is the end of one thing, but the beginning of another. It is the creative void where everything is possible. It is the chaos from which creation comes. It is the empty space where a new, hopeful, just, loving vision can be cast.

Today we remember that there is always hope, that we can learn much about ourselves in the dark + “bad” moments of life, and that we are the agents of hope + love + justice in the world. Today, is the shift toward that future. And, today we rest under the dark new moon that helps us cast a vision forward.

xoxo. liz.

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