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The Moon Key XVIII:
Longing
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2006


Honey why you calling me so late?
"Lips of an Angel", Hinder

"It's 3 a.m. I must be lonely"
"3 A.M.", Matchbox Twenty

Lindmara Tarot: The Moon (c) Linda Gravill

The desire is thy prayers; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.
Saint Augustine

All I want is the moon, Helicon. I know it advance what will kill me. I have yet exhausted all that can make me live. That is why I want the moon.
Albert Camus

There is an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for.
Saul Bellow

In the Tarot, the Moon is a card which speaks of hidden or latent psychic abilities, deceit, hidden enemies, concealment, illusion, fantasy, fad, delusion, seclusion, forgetfulness, the abyss, the pull of the tides, indiscretions, psychological issues, photographic memory, lucid dreaming, the fog of addictions or addictive behaviours, mood swings, the menstrual cycle and bafflement in relationships. To me the essence of the Moon is longing. It represents strong, persistent, intense yearnings or wistful, teary desires and dreamy dispositions. This longing can usually not be fulfilled due to impossibility, unrequitement or unrealistic expectations.

The lonely wanderer, who watches by the seashore the waves that roll between him and his home, talks of cruel facts, material barriers that, just because they are material, and not ideal, shall be the irresistible foes of his longing heart.
Josiah Royce

The Moon plays a powerful role in myth, fable, legend, superstition, astrology, religions both old and new, in our dreams and in our psyches. The mysterious, misty, magical and sensual beauty of the Moon enchants us all. To the ancient Egyptians is was a symbol of faith which would reveal unveiled truths. In many cultures it is a symbol of fertility, creativity, imagination, lucidity, lunacy, maternity, the feminity of nature, female dignity in marriage, male will and female passivity, renewal, the depths of the unconscious and powerful psychic forces. In Jungian psychology it is called the Shadow. The Moon acts as the bridge between the light of the sun and the darkness. It is a link between the conscious mind and the nocturnal unconscious. Astrologically, it is a symbol of the soul and rules the sun sign of Cancer. In Tarot, The Moon card represents the sun sign of Pisces, ruled by Neptune.

People of this world are deluded. They're always longing for something - always, in a word, seeking.
Bodhidharma

In some mythologies a much darker side is attributed to the Moon, in Greek and Roman mythology it is associated with jealousy, passion and murder as in the story of Orion and Diana. To the Maori, the Moon can be vengeful, to the Hindu a revered intoxicant. The ancient Peruvians believed that silver nuggets were the Moon's tears, given to us to remember the Moon's generosity and loneliness. In Japan, there is a legend about the daugher of the moon and a young prince who doesn't requite her love. She is sent to bless a human family and lives on earth in human form until she is 20 years old and falls deeply in love with the son, the young prince. Upon her return to the moon, she cries and cries from the heartbreak of her lost love. Her tears were magical and when they fell to the earth, they glowed a bright green and became fireflies.

The act of longing for something will always be more intense than the requiting of it.
Gail Godwin

Songwriters, filmmakers, artists, poets, jewellers and storytellers have all been captivated and inspired by the beauty, grace and mysterious ways of the moon. It stirs our imagination and calls to us with the resonance of a primordial howl. It doesn't matter if it is a moonless or a moonlit night, or whether we are waking or dreaming: the Moon is our companion on our night's journey of the soul along the moonstruck path that is life. It is there entangled with our thoughts, wet emotions, tender achings, hopeless expectations, excited anticipations, deepest held memories and griefs,

If some longing goes unmet, don't be astonished. We call that Life. Anna Freud

We have all felt the painful angst of rejection or the ending of a relationship that was not our choice, be it through death or another form of parting. We may be longing for a reconciliation that isn't going to occur, a phone call that isn't going to come or a phone call that changed our whole world and took us where we did not want to go. We would crawl 800 miles through broken glass just to hear them say our name or to put our head on their shoulder and rest. We would promise them the moon if they would or could only return to us. Many of us have waited and longed for recognition, acceptance and acknowledgment both in our personal relationships and our work. We bargain from our longing. We think "surely this time he/she/they will notice/love/want/promote/respect/share with/include me" and we despair when we are disappointed yet again.

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
"My Immortal", Evanescence

In our sleep we shed our tears of longing and sadness. We all have an Irish heart, a heart that knows much about tears of longing. Our eyes become weary, our minds anxious, and our heart desperate. We cannot hide our sighs. Where is our beloved? We mourn the absence or loss of the one who our soul loves, the one we were over the moon for. Where is our peace of mind? We are crying to the moon for something that we can no longer have. Where has our serenity gone? We are dazed, restless and confused, moonstruck and mooning about. We can seek for the oblivion of sleep but our dreams can haunt us and restful sleep can elude us, denying us even that comfort.

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
Bertrand Russell

We stumble around wildly, tangled up in our longings. We long for lasting pleasure, deeper meaning, certainty and perfection. We know that pleasure is temporary and often illusory. We live in an uncertain, unstable and impermanent world. Perfection is an impossible standard. It is better to focus on being distinctive and being the best person you can in whatever circumstance life may throw at you. We have to get better at savouring and accepting our quirky complexities. If you feel the need, go out and howl at the moon, just don't let the neighbours see you. We may be stumbling around in the dark like wild people but we need to remember that wild people stumble but they never fall.

Sources

The Mammoth Dictionary of Symbols
by Nadia Julien
Robinson ISBN 1-85487-273-7

Acquainted with the Night: Excursions Through the World After Dark
by Christopher Dewdney
Harper/Colling ISBN 0-00-200639-1

 




This page was created November 23, 2006.