Friday Musings: Moon Cycle
Two days ago the biggest super moon of 2022 graced us with its fullness. This particular July spectacle is called the Buck Moon because it coincides with the point in summer when the antlers of male deer have reached their largest size. As many of you know, every moon also has a symbolic interpretation that’s closely tied to the name assigned to it by The Farmer’s Almanac. Sometimes these meanings are a bit obscure, or their correlation is very broad, but that’s not the case with this moon. We can grasp its signification fairly easily, and we quickly understand that it’s all about channeling our own potential for growth while recognizing what might be standing in our way. The energy of any full moon, in general, is always about releasing that which does not serve us. This particular full moon pushes us to let go of the impediments that are preventing us from taking the next steps on our journey, the ones that will challenge us to grow and become what we’re meant to be. Does this all sound a bit over the top to you? It should. Full moons are loaded with drama, especially those that are incredibly big like this one. Not only do super moons outshine other full moons in terms of clarity and brightness, but they also score higher on the energy and impact scale as well.
The truth is that some of us really are in the middle of figuring some things out, and so the idea of anything encouraging us to stare down our obstacles may truly resonate at the moment. Others of us may be thinking that none of this applies, and we’re comfortable dismissing the entire idea. Even if you fall into the latter camp, I think I can probably get you to agree that there’s always a little something in our lives that needs some fine tuning, like a goal we may want to work towards or a dream we’d like to consider more seriously. This is where moon cycle energy fits in so perfectly. A new moon comes along each month and we set intentions that will move us closer towards our goal or dream. For the next two weeks, we implement our plan as best we can until the full moon happens and reveals what’s standing in the way of our intentions being fulfilled. We then work on releasing these barriers. This cycle repeats with a different meaning assigned to the moon each month if you’re following The Farmer’s Almanac, or with the moon being in a different part of the sky if you’re going in an astrological direction. Either way, following the cycle of the moon gives us a means of illuminating our deepest wishes in various parts of our lives, as well as helping us to identify how we might make them come true.
Now I buy into all of this, without question, and the way I like to think about the moon each month is in terms of its astrological placement, but I do so with a fair amount of caution. If we really consider the moon, we quickly notice how many things about it remain fairly mysterious. It hangs in the sky every night in one of its phases, moving through the zodiac and lining up with stars and planets as it does, but how many of us have ever spent a full night beneath it watching it the way we do the sun? I’d venture to guess that not a lot of hands are going up. Some people, myself included, may be uncomfortable with the night and with the darkness it brings, and we may feel as though the moon’s illumination is not bright enough to alleviate that discomfort. There are still so many shadows that we cannot penetrate, and nothing looks quite the same as it does during the light of day. Whether we find all of this thrilling or scary as can be, navigating our way around at night requires more that just our eyesight. It demands that we tap into our sense of intuition. This same mandate applies to allowing the moon to act as an inspiration for the personal changes we might like to make each month. The moon can illuminate those possibilities, but may continue to conceal what remains close by in the shadows. We can read The Farmer’s Almanac, or look for more information online, or listen to a solid podcast from a great astrologer, but these are only guides. We need to step outside, stand under the moon, and ask ourselves what it is that we feel in that moment? What directs us towards change or growth does not come from the moon itself, but rather from our own insightful exploration of the places within us where we need these things the most. The moon’s light may perfectly capture the subtle illumination that serves to define intuition, but any power presented for us to harness remains entirely our own.
For today’s cocktail, I chose ingredients that symbolized the process behind the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. I began with the same sake I used in last week’s cocktail because it is the ultimate metaphor for the ritual of cleansing and rebirth. Grapefruit actually represents the way in which we restore our own power and claim our spiritual purpose, making Giffard’s Crème de Pamplemousse the perfect addition to this cocktail. I then made an angelica tea by steeping a tablespoon of dried angelica in eight ounces of boiling water for 15 minutes. I dissolved four ounces of sugar in that tea to create a lighter simple than I normally use. I do this when I want to accentuate the flavor, but hold back the sweetness. Angelica symbolizes that which brings us inspiration, and it has a beautiful lifting flavor that was an ideal match with the other components of this drink. I chose to go with gin as my main spirit because it has that way of pulling multiple ingredients together and presenting them as a whole, rather than in parts. The final result was light and refreshing, but also far more complex than its appearance suggested, much like moonlight. Finally, I decided to photograph the drink in a way that accentuated the more earth-like elements of wood and greenery because I wanted to emphasize the need to stay grounded when considering ideas like these. It can be so easy to get lost in spiritual pursuits of any kind, and we may miss the ways in which they can practically impact our lives in a positive way. One final note: the energy of this full moon lasts for the next two weeks until the new moon comes again, so you’re not late to the game if you missed Wednesday night’s spectacular display. I wish you quiet contemplation and a step towards your dream, even if is goes unnoticed by the rest of the world. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!
2 oz your favorite gin
.75 oz Tozai Snow Maiden saké
.25 oz Giffard Crème de Pamplemousse
.5 oz angelica simple (2:1 ratio)
Long, long stir with ice in a mixing glass.
Single strain into a cocktail coupe.
Express a lemon peel over the top of the drink.