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Does Your Lunar Magick Embody Capitalist ...

Does Your Lunar Magick Embody Capitalist Ideals?

Oct 15, 2021

The Moon is a multi-faceted, complex satellite that orbits our planet. It affects water on our planet, from our tides to our individual bodies. On clear nights when the Moon is shining, it conjures moisture on the earth. It goes through a monthly cycle, lasting approximately 28 Earth days. Astrologically, the Moon stays in a sign for roughly two to three days, casting that energy down onto our planet.

The Moon is always phasing, shifting and changing. The Moon is nonbinary. The Moon is a queer icon.

A few lunations ago, I started really tapping into the energy of the Dark Moon. The Dark Moon is the final phase of the Moon, after it has Waned completely, cast into shadow until the New Moon. In most modern witchcraft, the Dark Moon gets ignored. A lot of people move right from the Waning Moon's light to the New Moon.

Ultimately, there's nothing wrong with this. The Moon is always present. We can always work with their energy. But, if we're going to work with phases of the Moon, why are we so quick to only focus on the New Moon and the Full Moon? These phases are not opposite. They are not the only phases of the Moon.

Earlier this month I offered my first Dark Moon Gathering, an online circle to get witchy and talk about the Dark Moon, and settle into this very special face of the Moon. While I was writing about the Dark Moon in Virgo, I realized that the Dark Moon is the most anti-patriarcal, anti-capitalist phase of the Moon.

Lia, that's awfully incidiary. Witchcraft isn't patriarcal or capitalist or any of that bullshit!

And yet. It can be.

Every twenty or thirty years (give or take. Interestly enough, it often aligns with Saturn moving into Aquarius, and Pluto moving into Scorpio), witchcraft and the occult will hit the mainstream, inundating our world with pop culture witches, and a plethora of new books on magic spells and divination. It's always an exciting time, in a lot of ways. Personally, I love seeing people claiming their witchiness. For a lot of people, it probably won't be permanent, but the fascination with the occult and the mystical is in itself fascinating and magical. However, when something becomes popular or mainstream, it is natural that people (and companies and corporations) will start to find ways to capitalise on it, and capitalise on the way that the popular thing makes people feel.

Eventually, it cycles back to witchcraft and the occult being synonymous with buying. Buying crystals, books, a new deck, outfits adorned in occult symbols. I'm not critical of that. People like stuff. I like stuff. I don't think there's anything wrong with maximalism, as long as it's nurturing your soul. But that's the thing... generally it doesn't. When we're pushed to buy into something, it stops nurturing us. Suddenly, what we have isn't enough. We aren't enough.

So then there's the phases of the Moon.

Lunar Magick has become synonymous with MANIFESTATION. Lunar Magick has become synonymous with being busy and doing something. It can start to create the illusion that if you're not actively doing something, that you're failing as a witch or a spiritual person. God forbid you don't put out your crystals to charge. God forbid you don't do an elaborate spell to get what you want. God forbid you just exist and acknowledge how you are the Moon, and the Moon is you.

Here's some things I've been thinking about in terms of how we see the Moon, and how our views of the Moon can embody cis-hetero patriarchal capitalist (and oft. white supremacist) ideals.

1. We see the phases of the Moon (specifically the New Moon and the Full Moon) as a reminder that we should be working. We don't look at the Moon as a reminder that we should be resting, or the beauty of darkness, or how wonderfully small we are in the scope of the universe. We see the Moon as a reminder that we need more, that we should be doing more.

2. We gender the Moon, choosing to see them as a female entity. Which is kind of fucked up, when we consider how we're always blaming the Moon for our problems, and demanding that they do more for us. If we're going to look at the gender binary and patriarchy, and the history of those things, the responsibility to care for the world and do the work and everything always falls to the women. The mothers and grandmothers are expected to teach, raise, fix, care for, all the while being treated like a second rate citizen (or being actual property).

3. We actively ignore the one phase of the Moon that acknowledges rest and renewal. The Dark Moon allows us to rest, to reflect, to consider the shadow parts of our life like death.

4. We only engage with the Moon when they're visible. This kind of instills the idea that something only matters if it's visible and present. Which is kind of interesting when we think about social media. There's kind of an idea that if you don't post it then it didn't happen or it wasn't important. We're trained to think that we need to perform for others, ever-present and ever-engaging.

5. Darkness = bad. This is some of the dichotomous / binary thinking within witchcraft and the occult that has been really mistranslated and misunderstood. In traditional witchcraft, the shadow and darkness is a sacred time. Yet, in the mainstream and public consciousness, we're told that darkness is bad. Black is bad, white is good. It's a dichotomy that's rooted in white supremacy and racism. Do we ignore the Dark Moon because it's not light? If that's how we practic our magick, how are we letting those kinds of ideas leak into our mundane life?

There's some ugly things revealed here, huh?

Not going to lie, I like the call the Moon my lesbian Mom. I do see the Moon as a mother, but I also see them as a father, a shining genderless beacon, the most magical crystal in the world, and a nonbinary sibling who gets me. The Moon is all things, and the Moon is us. They literally affect our bodies every month because we are made up of so much water. How incredible is that? Gender in itself is a construct. In most civilizations, the Moon is characterized as a masculine figure, but the Moon will get conflated with the "female" because of menstruation being on a similar cycle. Don't get me started on how transphobic it is to suggest that periods are a female experience. In other civilizations, the Moon is an animal, existing off of the binary altogether.

The Moon is not ours. We belong to the Moon. We belong with the Moon. We want to believe that we care about rest, and the planet, and the outdoor world, but we demand so much of nature, even the Moon. Once a month, the Moon vanishes from the sky, and we don't look at that as an example of something we can do. We don't consider "well, the Moon is taking a break. Everything on this planet is taking a break and shifting. Why don't I?"

We demand so much from the Moon, which is something we continue to embody because of the world we live in.

What can we learn from the Dark Moon?

1. We can learn to rest and to take time to be comfortable. We don't have to do anything. We can just be.

2. Darkness is beautiful. Darkness is where seeds take root. Darkness is a womb, nurturing us and holding us safe. Darkness holds our secrets, our hidden histories, and our tenderest emotions. In the dark, we are safe. There's nothing to illuminate our fears, or our anxieties, or shine a light on our mistakes.

3. It is okay to conceal ourselves. We can hide our face from the world for a little while. Solitude is sacred.

4. Renewal is important. If we don't allow renewal, we can get burned out.

5. Cycles seem infinite, but part of the cycle is the ending. We can grieve, and feel, and mourn. We can acknowledge that we age and change. We can acknowledge that these cycles are a powerful and meaningful part of life, even if they come with hurt.

6. We don't need to accomplish things in order to matter.

7. We can release what we don't need.

The Dark Moon holds all of these ideas so sacred. I came to love the Dark Moon because I realized that what I needed from the Moon was to feel held and validated. Sometimes there's nothing more validating than knowing that someone else is in the same place. I have come to know that I need rest and slowness, and so does the Moon.

When the Moon is shining brightly and casting down their magick, how can we remove capitalist and patriarchal ideals from the Moon? This is up to you to decide, but I think that first and foremost we need to stop demanding things from the Moon and from ourselves. Maybe we can choose to deepen our relationship with the Moon by understanding what happens to us during different lunar phases.

During the New Moon: do you feel more inspired to start a new project? Do you feel restless or alert? Do you still feel like you need some rest?

During the Waxing Moon: do you feel like things are expanding? Do you feel like you're growing? Do you feel like you need more water?

During the Full Moon: do you feel awake? Is it hard to sleep? Do you want to be more active?

During the Waning Moon: do you feel like winding down? Do you feel yourself shifting towards rest?

During the Dark Moon: do you feel tired?

Understanding how we feel about the allies and energies around us will deepen our relationship with magick, far more than some Instagram post reminding us to manifest on the Full Moon. Don't make the Moon into another symbol of capitalism and patriarchy. Let the Moon be the Moon; mystical, magical, ever present, ever sacred. The Moon was here before capitalism, and they'll be here long after we're all gone. The Moon was there when we were born, and during every moment of our life. Strengthen your relationship with this sacred celestial body, and see magick change in your life.

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