Photo by Terry Richmond via Unsplash

The Full Moons and New Moons get a lot of attention every month, but the dark of the Moon is a subject that is not as frequently discussed. The monthly dark Moon is the retreat before the new beginning, something inherent to all life and life cycles. I want to honor its symbolic and cyclical significance and what that can mean for us in our lives. We experience more than the highlights of New and Full in our lives, and we should savor what happens between these two monthly wayposts by slowing down and noticing other features of the path along the way.

The New Moon in Cancer takes place on July 9th, 2021. But the Moon is dark for some time on either side of the New Moon. The Moon enters the beams of the Sun when it reaches about 15 degrees distance from it. It gets swallowed by the Sun’s light, becoming invisible. The Moon remains dark up until one or two days after the New Moon, when it reaches a waxing crescent phase and escapes that approximate 15 degree space of invisibility behind the Sun’s ray’s.

The dark is a time for renewal and healing. Every dark moon of every month is an invitation to engage with literal and metaphorical darkness. It is an opportunity for respite from the clarity of the light to enter into spaces inside of us that are more blurry, not as clearly defined, or simply more hidden.

Connecting with this inner darkness could be experienced as the same quality of darkness we experience when we close our eyes while we’re still awake, maybe while resting or meditating. There is still an entire world that goes on when the eyes are closed. We become aware of more subtle features of existence, from sounds around us to our own bodily sensations, thoughts, and memories. At a deep enough and still enough level of engagement, transformation can occur as a result of this engagement with the dark — even if it’s the simple transformation of pausing before taking an action.

How often are we somewhere that is completely dark? Modern urban and suburban areas are designed against experiencing total darkness. Unless you live in a remote rural area or somewhere thoughtfully selected or designed for its quiet and darkness, it’s very difficult to regularly be somewhere that dose not have light or noise pollution. When I am somewhere that is completely dark, I feel like the night surrounds me like a cloak, and I can feel my nervous system completely settle and relax because I am not being bombarded by artificial light waves hitting not just my eyes but my skin and entire body. I am starting to appreciate the value of darkness more and more – especially since it seems more difficult to come by in typical urban/suburban areas. In modern times, darkness has to be deliberately sought out and chosen.

Every month the moon’s natural cycle invites us into the darkness. Typically the advice for the Dark Moon time of the month is to rest and go inward as energies are naturally low during this time. If we prioritize syncing with these rhythms and inner quietude, we can usually notice this cyclical ebb.

The Dark Moon moving through each of the signs might bring its own flavor and quality of experience with it. With this month’s Dark Moon in Cancer, we might be more attuned to Cancer’s proclivities for imagination, sentimentality, family, home and property, the web of social connection that comprises a chosen family, nostalgia, old memories, or quickly moving emotions that remain unspoken.

The New Moon in Cancer takes place on July 9, 2021 at 6:16 PM Pacific time, 9:16 PM Eastern time, at 18 degrees tropical Cancer.

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