Books Magazine

Midweek Magic: The Moon

By Bethkemp @BethKemp
This post was originally here at the Hearthfire two years ago, in January 2011. I've dusted it off and brought it back out in honor of this week's lovely Full Moon.
Midweek Magic: The Moon
Symbol, deity, influence: people believe the moon to be many things.  This flexibility as a literary or filmic metaphor or motif allows it to be used and re-used again and again.  For me, the moon is mysterious but beautiful.  She (there's no possibility, for me, of a masculine moon) has subtle power, less direct than the sun, but all the more interesting for it.  Contemporary representations tend to be 'spooky' however: a full moon on screen practically always indicates danger to come.
In the Tarot, the Moon card is the Unconscious, the unknown and the unpredictable.  For some, it represents falsehood (since we see more clearly by sunlight, the moon is thought to be deceptive), but I cannot square that view, personally - it feels like a relic of more openly misogynistic times when women's wisdom was inherently mistrusted.
Women are related to the moon perhaps because of her liminal nature, waxing and waning, which seems to be mirrored in the lives of human women, most clearly through our menstrual cycle, but also through the longer cycle of girlhood, fertility and post-menopause.   Lunar deities, however, are often virginal - e.g. Diana, Artemis - although the moon's phases are also associated with aspects of the wiccan Triple Goddess (maid/waxing moon, mother/full moon, crone/waning and dark moon).  Perhaps it is the relative 'coldness' of the moon's light which leads to its association with virginity, especially in the case of the Roman Diana and the Greek Artemis, both of whom are depicted as strongly protective of their single status.
Plath and The Moon
In teaching Sylvia Plath's Ariel collection, I often find myself having interesting discussions with students about the 'meaning' of the moon.  For me, "The Moon and the Yew Tree" is a beautiful poem about the failure of the church to satisfy Plath's desire for truth, while the moon, although (or perhaps because?) she is "bald and wild", is ultimately more appealing to her as a symbol.  In that poem and elsewhere she associates the moon with her mother, which complicates her use of the symbol, ascribing it negative qualities as well as the 'wildness' which I suspect she admires.  It is largely because of this negative association with her mother that some find "The Moon and the Yew Tree"'s moon difficult to read positively.  Personally, I think this is symptomatic of the complications of the mother-daughter relationship.
image by Graur Codrin from freedigitalphotos.net

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Fighting Aging With Clarisonic

    Fighting Aging With Clarisonic

    This post is sponsored by Clarisonic and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Caits Cozy Corner possible! Read more

    14 hours, 24 minutes ago by   Cait
    LIFESTYLE
  • Classic Yet Modern Wedding in Athens | Amanda & Andreas

    Classic Modern Wedding Athens Amanda Andreas

    Amanda and Andreas wanted to create a wedding that will combine classic and modern elements together. They chose to decorate their wedding with white flowers,... Read more

    14 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • Varina by Charles Frazier

    Varina Charles Frazier

    What a writer this guy is! He can craft a sentence or paragraph like nobody's business. Charles Frazier's latest novel is a richly imagined account of the life... Read more

    15 hours, 24 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Vintage Wedding Styled Shoot in a Villa

    Vintage Wedding Styled Shoot Villa

    Today we’re sharing with you a unique photoshoot that will transport you back in time! The aim of this shoot was to enhance the beauty of a 1500’s Villa in the... Read more

    16 hours, 1 minute ago by   Eleni Balkouli
    LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, WEDDING
  • This Weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd & 24th June

    This Weekend Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd 24th June

    Here’s the map! Good times! It’s Bier Passie Weekend over the whole weekend on Groenplaats. Bier Passie opens on Friday at 5. The opening hours for Saturday... Read more

    18 hours, 3 minutes ago by   Nessascityblog
    DESTINATIONS, TRAVEL
  • The Sticky Date Pudding to Die for and Amazingly Egg-less Too! - HIGHLY...

    Sticky Date Pudding Amazingly Egg-less Too! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    version;Why will I die for these plain and simple looking sticky date puddings?Simply because it is so insanely irresistibly yummy!!! Perhaps you might do the... Read more

    21 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Zoebakeforhappykids
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Matcha Nama Chocolate

    Matcha Nama Chocolate

    (recipe adapted from Justonecookbook)Ingredients:400g white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I used Ghirardelli chocolate)125ml heavy whipping cream25g... Read more

    21 hours, 24 minutes ago by   Cathysjoy
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES

Magazines