One of the ways contemporary people can reconnect with natural cycles is by following the path of the moon each month. From the slim crescent visible in the western sky through the full moon that rises at sunset, and the waning moon visible in the morning sky, the rhythm continues each month throughout the 13 moon cycles that make up a year.
Native peoples gave each cycle a name evocative of that season, such as “moon when acorns fall.” Will Felker, creator of “Poor Will’s Almanack,”(which I highly recommend) continues this tradition in his almanack. The following is excerpted from this week’s entry:
“As the cold deepens with the advent of Early Winter, the promises of the whole year ahead lie out across time in the names of its moons.
Behind the last of November’s Sandhill Crane Moon and the high cries of the migrating cranes that call out the close of the past natural year, lies next week’s Tufted Titmouse Moon the moon brings the earliest calls of the new mating cycle and time’s rebirth.
Then comes the Skunk Cabbage Moon that brings the first flowers to the wetlands, then the Running Maple Sap Moon sweetening the last days of Late Winter, then the Golden Goldfinch Moon that turns the finches gold in April, then the Rhubarb Pie Moon for pies in May, then the Duckling and the Gosling Moon of June, watching over the birth of birds, then the Cherry Pie Moon when pie cherries ripen, then the Lily Moon in middle summer, the Wild Plum Moon in August, the Elderberry Wine Moon when the first leaves are turning, the Cricketsong Moon for the autumn chants of crickets and katydids, the Sundog Moon promising frost as the leaves come down, and then back again for the next new year, the fragrant Orchid Moon.
And through all of this, a person’s own steps and phases might be named according to a visible or invisible landscape, like moons guiding each observer in private seasons. If there is little difference between the mind and what it sees, then the creatures of the world and their names in our mindfulness become both cause and effect, impeccably binding us together in a strange stability of ephemeral beauty, passage, birth and rebirth.”
Consider taking Will’s suggestion, and naming the moon for the happenings in your local area (visible landscape) or your inner spiritual life (invisible landscape). Follow its graceful path, and reconnect with this part of the rhythm of Earth and sky.
Find Will Felker and his wonderful almanack at http://www.poorwillsalmanack.com/