As the moon arcs its cycle from new moon to full moon, we can notice our own cycles of darkness and light. The moon has guided our ancestors in the planting, sowing and reaping of their crops and we can be inspired to observe and honor the same cycles which connect us to the natural ebb and flow of life energy.
During the period of a new moon, the sky is dark and we can meditate on emptiness and the fertile ground in which seeds take root; focus on new plans and write them down. What seeds can you plant to begin the process of moving toward light? We anticipate the coming of the full moon to see our seeds grow and blossom. Full moons symbolize completion and fulfillment, the realization of the seed, and they are times of celebration.
The story of the Maccabee’s entering the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem and finding only one cruse of specially prepared olive oil, which would only burn for one day, was not long enough for the seven days required to make the weekly batch of purified oil. Eager to rededicate (the word chanukah means “dedicate”) the Temple by lighting the menorah, they lighted the one cruse of oil and miraculously, the oil burnt for seven days, the necessary time to make more oil for keeping the menorah lighted. We begin the holiday by lighting one candle and add an additional candle each night until we have eight candles glowing in the dark; this process is reminiscent of the cycles of the moon as it moves from new to full. Each day of the holiday, strengthens us to have more light and clarity; similar to the ‘miracle’ of one cruse of oil lasting for seven days until a weeks worth of oil could be prepared,
Often, we believe that when confronted with darkness, we don’t have the resources to persevere through the darkness and reach light. What darkness are we holding that prevents us from moving toward the light? Write what you believe to be your obstacles to reaching the light you seek. Just as the Maccabee’s were certain that the prepared oil would not last, begin to recognize that your ‘certainty’ that you may not have the resources to move through the ‘darkness’ toward the light may be your lack of faith in your abilities. Similar to the moon moving from new to full, we can take the time of darkness to plant the seeds of commitment and change that we desire and know that as a new moon is followed by a full moon, we may discover that we do have the resources to move toward the light.
One of the beauties of light is that it unfolds to push the darkness away. Through meditation we can cultivate our light to bring more to the world. What light will you share with the world?