New Moon in Leo — August 10, 2010, 03:08 UT

The New Moon starts the monthly lunation cycle. At the time of the exact conjunction of the Sun and the Moon, the Moon is invisible from the Earth. The conjunction occurs in the middle of the Dark Moon period, which lasts about 3 days.

The dark phase of the lunar cycle is personified by various dark goddesses, which symbolize the feminine shadow. Two of these goddesses, Nyx, the queen of night, and Nemesis, one of her daughters, were present at the Leo New Moon: asteroids 3908 Nyx and128 Nemesis were in conjunction with the luminaries. They are still in focus, closely conjunct the Sun.

Asteroid 128 Nemesis is a very large and dark main belt asteroid, discovered in 1872. Asteroid 3908 Nyx was discovered in 1980. It is 1-2 km in diameter and it may be a fragment of the asteroid Vesta.

In all astrological cycles, there is the last, dark phase preceding the beginning of a new cycle, new growth. The dark period is for healing and renewal, and we all have many of these periods during our lifetime. These are times when we may experience a loss, an ending of a relationship, or some other kind of change in our personal lives. We tend to fear the unknown, but still we have to let go of the old in order to start something new.

A threefold lunar cycle consists of three phases: the waxing New Moon, the Full Moon and the waning Dark Moon. These phases symbolize the three stages of womanhood: maiden, mother and crone (the wise woman). The dark phase before the New Moon represents the crone.

The Dark Moon also represents the Jungian shadow, the rejected part of the psyche. We all have a shadow, which we tend to project into other people, and the more these projections are unrecognized, the blacker and denser the shadow grows. The shadow is the messenger of our unconscious mind.

The underworld of the ancients is a metaphor for the unconscious. The dark goddesses were all queens of the underworld. If we acknowledge our inner dark goddesses and are able to develop a compassionate relationship with our shadow, the healing and renewal can occur.

Nyx, Mother Night, was a figure of exceptional power and beauty. She was one of the Greek primordial gods. This group of gods represents various elements of nature, and they were born of Chaos. Nyx took on an even more important role in several poems attributed to Orpheus. In them, Nyx, rather than Chaos, was the first principle.

Nyx was was the black-winged goddess of the night. According to the myth, she laid a silver egg out of which the world is born, in the lap of the infinite deeps of darkness. In her triple aspect, Nyx displayed herself as Night, Order and Justice. The Fates, the Furies, the Hesperides, Nemesis, and sometimes Hekate were said to be her daughters. The task of the daughters was to ensure that the natural laws of the universe were carried out and maintained.

Nemesis, the daugher of Nyx, was the goddess of retribution. She was depicted with a wheel of fortune in one hand and an apple bough in the other. Nemesis symbolizes our conscience and guides us towards right action. When we pay honor to this goddess, then she resides within us as a wise, kindly influence. If we don’t pay attention to her, then we have to deal with the consequences.

Quoting Demetra George: “Nyx, Goddess of Night, teaches us that we are, at our most fundamental level, all part of the same whole. Her daughter Nemesis then guides us toward respecting others as extensions of ourselves through right action with the natural laws of an orderly universe.?

References:

Demetra George, Mysteries of the Dark Moon, HarperCollins Publishers, 1992

Demetra George, Finding our Way Through the Dark, ACS Publications, 1995

Wikipedia, Triple Goddess (Neopaganism)

Wikipedia, Protogenoi

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