When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars that You have established; what are human beings that You are mindful of them, mortals that You care for them? [Psalm 8:3, NRSV]
The night of July 31st is a special occasion that, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, only occurs every 2.5 to 3 years: a blue moon. This does not mean that the moon will appear with a blue hue. That’s another phenomenon altogether which is caused by volcanic eruptions or an exceptionally large fire. The kind of blue moon I’m talking about is when there are two full moons in one month. The second is known as a blue moon.
There are a lot of opinions regarding what we should do when a blue moon occurs. Some treat is just like any other full moon and take advantage of its ritual power. Others see it as a special gift that should be used for special purposes. A number of those who fall in the second camp see it as a time to write down the goals we wish to accomplish during the remainder of the year. Since this blue moon falls in July, when we begin “the long dying of the year,” this is a perfect theme for the evening. As we make a list of goals we wish to accomplish, it will involve us letting go of some activities so that we create space for those that are more important to us.
As I was thinking about what ritual I wanted to create for this blue moon, the words from the above Psalm came to mind. I picture the Psalmist staring at the heavens with the full moon shining luminously upon him/her. This sight inspires him/her to ponder one of life’s greatest mysteries: The Divine Presence who created everything the Psalmist sees also draws near and pays attention to him/her. If that’s not a humbling and powerful experience, I don’t know what is!
So, this blue moon, I’m going to ponder the same mystery the Psalmist did. I’m going to go outside and sit in silence, taking in the majesty and power of the blue moon. I will create space for the Divine Presence to speak and to inspire me regarding the magical work I need to be doing for the remainder of the year. When my vision feels clear, I will write down these goals along with what steps I need to take in order to accomplish them. Then I’ll celebrate the occasion by dancing under the light of the blue moon (if no one’s watching!) and sing a song praise and gratitude to the Great Mystery whose presence is known to us in so many varied and wonderful ways! Blessed be and Amen!
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