One of the things I enjoyed about the evening of and day after the Super Moon was listening to and watching how people responded to it, whether or not they were even aware of this event. Many of those who were aware of it reported to me a day of quite startling, fluid events, all moving along without effort, though some of the tasks they had at hand were quite difficult. Others described serious disorientation, forgetfulness and confusion. One person forgot to go to work the next day. Still others reported experiencing altered states of consciousness even as they were competently navigating their grounded, mundane lives, full of work and other activities.
Here at my own home, I watched an unconsciously spontaneous evening of sharing unfold in my neighborhood, which is the purest kind of ritual. Unplanned and authentic. Advertisements and staged events pale in comparison to the natural way that natural humans have of just coming together, for no apparent reason than to enjoy each other’s company. No entrance fees are required. It happens all on it’s own, if we just get out of the way and let it.
I do live remotely, as I have for many years. My current home looks out on a sacred mountain honored by the native americans here and which is barred from any human travel, save for those by the indigenous themselves. It sits, undisturbed, dominating the landscape directly East of my window. I live under the movements of the heavens without interference from artificial sources of light. This world of the netherlands, of nature herself, and everything under her domain, is a constantly remarkable revelation.
My current neighborhood lies at the very top of a long, narrow valley that, after 20 miles of descent through multiple and varied microclimates, opens out onto vast plains of sandy desert to the South. For three of the four years I have lived here, I have lived “down below,” amidst the red rocks, high canyon walls and the dry, open landscape of arroyos, juniper and pinion pine.
After my time living in South America, I found myself returning to the valley and, through chance and circumstance, relocating much higher up in the valley. At the very top, in fact. Culturally, climactically and geologically, it is a vastly different experience.
Up here, the landscape is pine forest, high mountains, meadows and running streams. The people in my neighborhood are also radically different from those “down below,” and are made up of a much lower, working class group who drive beat up trucks, do real work and socialize with each other over cans of cheap beer. Far more conservative and mainstream: cowboys and guns. But no posturing and false air kisses or superficial hugging that goes on down below. People up here are willing to be seen and are out and about on their daily chores alongside their neighbors.
It is also understood that, living so remotely, we all depend on each other for support and safety and it is remarkable how much that understanding transcends orientations of any kind. These are folk who continue to labor hard for a living and know that, in times of crisis, abandonment of each other is not an option. A great deal of bartering occurs here quite naturally, often over the hood of a pick up truck while passing by on a walk. I find this kind of tolerant give and take, and individual respect, to be a testament to the plain, simple honor of human integrity and, though such folk are not my native people, I find it easy to socialize, and fit in, with them than I had ever imagined. And depend upon them. As they know they can do with me. I know that, when the going gets tough, we are all going to show up at whatever shows up in our collective backyard. And, somehow, figure out, together, the right thing to do. That’s no small change in the universe, in my opinion.
That said, my neighbors are not the kinds of people who would even necessarily know that this particular Saturday night was some special Super Moon; I could not run out and point them to this website at all. They would scratch their heads and consider me more odd than they already do. And, yet, as the sunlight waned yesterday evening, I watched as they began to come out and perform a spontaneous, communal ritual all on their own. And that is always how magic happens. Magic is all about plain, simple, breathing activity. In that, the mother, and the spirit, are always honored. She descends to be amongst the truly living. And always will.
So, last night, I arrived home after my own day’s work about an hour before the Super Full Moon was scheduled to rise above the pine hills. The sun had set and I went out to await her arrival. My porch faces Northeast and I set my sights on that area where I always see her come up. I know it by my own internal/celestial compass.
After a while, there still was no sign of her. No glow just below the mountain horizon. I know this place very well and found myself becoming impatient with waiting. I know where to expect her, so where was she?
Just then, I walked indoors to my kitchen window and found her impending, bulbous form just below the ridge much further to the South. Odd. That’s not right. Disorientation ensued. That is unusual. Anyone who has been noticing the rising of the moon will know it is swinging fairly wildly north and south of late. Not on a seasonal or yearly basis, but on a daily basis. She was, in fact, coming up closer to where a winter moon would rather than a late spring/summer moon would. Interesting.
I pulled my chair out onto the back porch lawn, in line with her current location, and waited as her orb began to rise through the outlines of pine trees over the hills. Her round head began pushing up through the terrestrial flora, seeking birth out into free, open space.
Directly East of me, just about 150 yards away, my neighbor had started a bonfire. I could hear his distant response to my other neighbor’s questions about what he was doing over there: “just burning the trash pile.” Regardless of his mundane reason, his lighting of that sacred fire on this day at this time was quite remarkable and could not have been planned any better than one of those staged rituals so popular in the “alternative” community. He did it, for whatever reason/intuition might have influenced him, spontaneously and without fanfare or contrived self-importance. That is the place and spirit in which true magic can be found, always hiding her presence in simple activities. Somewhere in him, he knew to strike the match to honor this evening, above all other evenings.
As the moon rose, the sky fell into darkness and I could see others joining him around his fire. The shadows and reliefs of children and dogs and other adults moved across the flames and around the circle he had made. I could hear their quiet murmurings and laughter as the flames rose up and died down and rose up again while the moon made her ascent. A perfect metaphor for the passionate flame of a deep Scorpio moon.
Meanwhile, my other neighbor’s horse had been wandering around my own yard grazing throughout the late afternoon and now started on a snorting galloping run, tail held high aloft, up and down our dirt road and through the yard. He was feeling himself and his power, running with wildness and abandonment, yet contained within the confines of our cul-de-sac dirt track (well there’s that Moon in Scorpio and Venus sextile Mercury showing up, feeling all full of her/himself, prancing about and seeking dalliances).
After a time, another neighbor behind me began strumming on his electric guitar. Nothing acutely disruptive and dissonant (ala Jimi Hendrix acid), just something quiet and easy and in complete harmony with the evening and the bonfire and the rising moon and the snuffling horse and the otherwise quietude of a natural landscape.
I sat out there in the dark listening to all of them, humans and animals alike, making a concert to the heavens that, in the spirit of the Tao, is all about unconscious, spontaneous and authentic self expression.
As they did so, the moon continued to rise and I observed the shadows move and change across her own bright, cratered face. I saw the chinese rabbit in her there – the one which honors fertility and abundance. I saw a blue aura (probably the reflective effect of my glasses) surrounding her entire orb. I saw her climbing ever higher into the cosmos. I watched her and listened to the simple humanity unfolding under her radiant influence upon the grasses and dirt of our earth, in the dark, filling the night air with the song of fire and instruments and voices. It was lovely to be allowed my own place in the dark and to turn my attention back and forth between the celestial and terrestrial events unfolding just as they should. As above, so below. As within, so without.
And then I grew cold.
And then I grew tired.
And so I retired for the night, leaving my communal companions to their night time reveries while I slept and dreamt deeply, knowing all of us were safe and sound under the light of the female moon.