Earlier this week, my wonderful, wonderful cousin Nancy, who has always been like the sister I never had in so many ways, sent me this quote by Rumi: “There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.” Now, I have written quite a few posts about the moon during the lifetime of this blog; the most recent one entitled Moon Cycle was back in July of this year. It remains my favorite. In it, I talk a lot about the difficulty we can have in trusting the things we see by the light of the moon because they are shadowy and obscure, and we often end up second guessing their reality. Additionally, if we are afraid of the dark, like yours truly, being outside at night can bring on quite a bit of anxiety. To get past these feelings of uncertainty or fear, we have to learn to listen to our intuition, and meeting this requirement gives us one of the moon’s greatest gifts. Because the moon has always been the earth’s only satellite and therefore the most observable celestial object in the sky, ancient astrologers correlated its changing phases and constant movement with both our physical bodies and our deepest emotions. While modern astrology favors the emotional component a bit more heavily, both sides agree that the moon’s reflective quality, as it relates to the sun, symbolizes the means by which we come to understand and interact with the world. When viewed in this way, the moon becomes our interpreter, our transmitter, and our guide.
This is the moon’s universal signification in astrology, but things begin to get a bit more personal once we learn that we are all born under a particular moon that is a combination of the sign and the phase that it was in at the moment of our birth. For example, the moon was in its waning crescent phase in the sign of Leo when I was born. What does this tell you about me? Well, we could google this combination or look it up in certain astrology books and find a blanket statement that reads “Leo Moons are this, that, and the other.” If we approach it intuitively, however, we could look at Leo as a sign whose energy is fire based, and whose means of expressing that energy is fixed or sustainable. Traditional astrologers did not make these things up randomly, but rather based them on the changing of the seasons and the increase or decrease in light. If we keep all these facts in mind, we could reasonably expect a Leo Moon to express emotion in a way that is passionate and bold, fierce and brave, lasting and true, with just a smidge or so of drama thrown in for good measure. This is Leo after all. And how about that waning crescent? The phases of the moon are closely tied to and articulated by the life cycle of plants that begins with seeds being planted and moves through growth, fruition, and harvest to finally arrive at that which needs to be cleared away so that new growth can occur. The waning crescent is this final phase of clearing and letting go, and those born under this moon will always be able to gracefully release the old so that there is room for what is naturally new.
If we look at Rumi’s quote in an astrological way, we might say that he is referring to the moon in each of our birth charts that needs to be acknowledged and respected in order for relationships to occur. If you have the same Leo moon as me, then we are likely to have similar emotional reactions and needs. We may find ourselves saying, “Wow, this person really gets me,” just as often as we say, “I can’t take all this DRAMA!” Or we may not have the exact same moon, but we’ll have moons with similar fire energy or that same constant way of emotionally expressing that energy that is known as fixed. We can see how our moons would be able to understand one another in a deep, intuitive way. If we consider the opposite circumstances, where I have a fire moon and you have a water moon, we may find ourselves at odds when it comes to emotional expression. You may grow weary of always feeling overheated and need to take a step back, while I may tire of feeling like there’s always a bucket water being poured on my head. On other days, you might seek that warmth, and I might appreciate the cool down! Make sense?? Even if we forget about astrology altogether, I think that Rumi’s quote is asking us to do two things. First of all, we need to recognize and accept that we each have a way of expressing emotions that is equally genuine and valid. What an excellent point to remember when we’re struggling to understand someone else’s reaction! Secondly, because Rumi had such deep regard for the ever-changing face of the moon as it moves through its phases each month, he saw each transition as heavy with symbolic meaning that should be embraced and applied to our daily lives. Even if we choose not to think about the moon at all, its monthly journey still has an effect on us, and if we’re willing to broaden our understanding of this impact, we may just find that we also deepen our intuitive understanding of our collective humanity.
For today’s cocktail, I began with gin as my base spirit because its diverse flavor profile always has the ability to attract other components in drinks, in much the same way as the moon has the capacity to bring us together as human beings. I then added vodka that had been infused with grapefruit peels for just 36 hours, so that I could bring the symbolism of spirituality and restoration into this cocktail. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand has always had a pronounced grapefruit signature, so I used it to intensify both flavor and symbolic meaning and to bring acidity in. It’s sweetness is very subtle, which allowed me to introduce a sage simple syrup for the actual sweet ingredient in the drink. Again its flavor worked wonderfully with the other components, but because sage is a universal symbol of wisdom, it was an even more perfect fit. What can we learn by seeing the moon both in ourselves and in those around us? I’d venture to say that the knowledge is endless. Cheers everyone! Happy Friday. I honor and respect the moon in each of you.
The Moon in Me
1 oz of your favorite gin
1 oz of your favorite vodka (infused with grapefruit peels)*
1 oz Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
1 oz sage simple syrup**
Long stir over ice.
Single strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a single sage leaf.
*Two bottles of vodka, one full grapefruit peel.
**Equal parts water and sugar, one small sage sprig per 8 ounces, overnight steep.