There’s a Full Moon this week, and even though it’s not the first Full Moon of the season, it is the one that determines the Spring festivals of renewal this year, like Easter and Passover.
In the world of the fairy tale, this is the Full Moon that signals the sacred time each year when the Earth regains the center, when the castle doors open, and the powers that wait on noble deeds* peer into the world, to assess the actions of human beings on the Earth.
Every month the Full Moon rises just as the Sun is setting, but only once every year does the Full Moon rise below the celestial equator for the first time. And when the Full Moon is below the equator, that means the Sun is above it, and that’s the cue that the year’s great mystery is upon us!
So, picture your favorite horizon when the Sun is setting in the west and the Full Moon is rising in the east (you can do this on Thursday, starting at 7:45 pm). As you stand there, imagine the equator of the Earth, which is not coincident with the horizon~they’re tilted to one another. Now, as you look toward the setting Sun, imagine that even though it’s setting below the horizon, it’s still above the Equator; while the Moon, even though it’s coming above the horizon, is still below the equator.
At just such a moment, the Earth becomes the castle that is east of the setting Sun and West of the rising Moon. And then, the castle doors open, and all who would enter must know that now the mighty tests will ensue, tests that will reveal whether we have the stuff to discern truth from error ~ which is what happens in all fairy tales where heroes and heroines would find their way to happily ever after.
Follow this link for the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon
And at this link you can hear my radio segment on this terrific mystery The Storyteller’s Night Sky on Interlochen Public Radio.
*I borrowed this line from Alfred Tennyson’s poem “Godiva”
ps you might notice that I reference this tale a lot! It’s because I was born at the moment of the Spring Full Moon, just as it was rising in the East, while the Sun set slowly in the West. Finding the mystery of this moment has been a personal quest, but also informs the larger picture regarding the quest to find the spiritual mystery of the year, which begins every year at this sacred time between Spring Full Moon and the first Sunday Sunrise following, in a rhythm that changes from one year to the next. How will you spend those sacred days this year? They will be from sunset Thursday, April 18 until sunrise Sunday, April 21, 2019.