Near the middle of the month in January of 2019 there was a super blood wolf moon. A super moon is one that appears larger because it’s in the perigee of its orbit around earth, it’s actually closer; and, a blood moon is a moon in total eclipse that turns a rusty red color.
Those two things happened on the same night.
And a third thing. Because it was a January full moon, it’s nicknamed a wolf moon from olden times when ancient families were taunted by the nighttime howling of hungry wolves on the frozen perimeter of their village. Such a confluence of lunar events is rare, and yet that very event was shared among several million souls, happening in slow motion, close to midnight, and visible to the entire Western Hemisphere.
One of the players in this drama is sunlight that is, of course, eternally present. Less conspicuous is the shadow that is also always there beyond our earth. But where there is light, there is shadow. The “dark side” gets a lot of press. Taken together, however, the darker aspect of light is not a thing to be feared, only known. A lot of mental and emotional therapy techniques cannot proceed to health without “shadow work.”
When I was a kid, I once told my grandmother that I had a toothache. “Bite down on it,” she said. “It’ll quit hurting soon enough.” She did not tell me, aw, just ignore it, boy. She suggested I go with the pain and see didn’t it lead me out of it.
Hold this image in mind: At every second, even when the moon doesn’t prove it, earth has a shadow, a tubular shaft of darkness extending deep into space. The shadow goes almost a million miles (3.7 times the distance from earth to the moon) seeking validation from some celestial object before our umbrasort of fades away in an outer space night that’s darker than a shadow.
Truth, what is real, never changes, and cannot be threatened, is also often inconspicuous. But truth, sometimes called the light, extends infinitely and captures all of creation in its radiating path. It doesn’t play out in a million miles, or in a million years.
Truth is both light and shadow. And, shadow waits in the void to be discovered and validated by experience. Truth’s infinitely long shadow is patient until some insight is experienced, like a full and silver moon that finds the earth’s shadow, and yields to it’s presence. Then, moves back into the light.
My blend of religion doesn’t include petitionary prayer. It has been said that God knows what we need before we ask. I believe that. I didn’t need to incessantly tug at the hem of my grandmother’s dress to get her attention and remind her to remember what I need. She loved me and was always ready for me with her wisdom.
It has been said that we should go into a closet to pray. I also believe that.
In quiet solitude, then, I ask five questions. With answers to those questions, I have everything I need.
How should I see this? What should I do? Where should I go? What should I say, and to whom should I speak?
And God, being the God of both light and shadow, outside of time and fully aware of my needs, has already put the answer out there for me. I only have to move into its path.
Long shadows at night,
invisible in darkness.
Then a lamp comes on.