This issue of The MOON is about the moon. That beautiful one who shines down upon us nightly. That “inert rock” that holds seas and craters, dreams and aspirations, gives light to the dark and inspiration to lovers and dreamers and nocturnal creatures of all stripes and persuasions.
I love the moon. I love her quiet. Her gentleness. Her ability to illuminate, not by burning, but by reflecting.
I love that a different world becomes animated when she appears. The sun presides over the human endeavors of the day, but the moon presides over the comings and goings of animals who wish to hide themselves from us. Bears and owls and raccoons and foxes; coyotes and wolves; all my relations.
I love that the moon occupies the dark, making it habitable; making it friendly. I love that we think of her as “she.” Our beautiful grandmother Moon. By making the dark accessible, she invites us to explore that which is hidden: our fears, our desires, our unconscious longings and aspirations. “Take a look,” she says. “It’s not so bad. It’s only hidden. Here’s a light.”
I also love that she inspired this magazine, The MOON, to create a platform for those whose voices are not shouted at us from the rooftops by day; those quieter ones doing great work, visionary work, creative, healing, and rebuilding work.
I originally themed this issue “How MIGHTY is the Moon,” in honor of the total eclipse—in which our tiny Moon, dwarfed by a factor of 400 by the sun, nevertheless positioned herself to completely block its light. However, in observing my first total eclipse last month, I was perhaps most awestruck by the SUN, which is so powerful that even when the Moon has blocked all but the merest sliver of light still manages to create twilight. I also gasped aloud at the beauty and grandeur of this cosmos we inhabit, which executes its intricate movements in absolute perfection, while we on Earth fume and fret over trivialities like traffic jams and wreak horror on each other as if we weren’t all one living, pulsing Gaia. So I’m now renaming this issue “How GENTLE is the Moon,” in honor of the power and beauty of the gentle ones in our midst and in our heavens. The meek, after all, shall inherit the Earth.
This issue of The MOON features an interview with Dr. Anthony Aveni, who has made it his life work to study the people who study the moon. A cultural astronomer, he is as interested in what the moon means to people of other cultures and times as what it means to westerners today. Dr. Aveni also shares with us an essay on how words fail to adequately describe the experience of a total eclipse, while astrologer Ariana Barrett shares an essay on the astrological portents of the recent eclipse cycle, and naturalist Dana Visalli describes how life on Earth would be different if there were no Moon.
Madeline McEwen and Steve Price contribute delightful short stories. And, as usual, The MOON is blessed with an abundance of evocative poetry—this month by Lorraine Caputo, John C. Mannone, Michael Lee Johnson, Aju Mukhopadhyay, Elaine Reardon, Margarita Serafimova, and Maya Shaw Gale.
I was unable to recommend any “Movies You Might’ve Missed” on the subject of the moon (not that they don’t exist, but my guess is that you’ve seen them; besides, they’re not that much about the moon!). However, in this month’s Gallery you’ll find the video of my own (first ever) total eclipse experience, as well as two videos on the birth and history of the MOON and its impact on life on Earth. Plus, as always, this issue features MOON Shine—this month with provocative quotes on our gentle, heavenly night light.
Dear readers, you know I always close with a plea for support. I am doing so again, with the hope that you will take my request to heart. If you love The MOON and want to keep her shining—and more importantly—if you want to support her transition to a print publication, then please consider donating whatever amount you can. If you can afford to spare the equivalent of a cup of coffee monthly, then please visit our Patreon page, where you can become a patron of The MOON for as little as $5/month. The MOON you save may be your own!