A-Z Blog Challenge M: Moon as Metaphor, Metamorphoses for Changefull moon

“It has been said that the myth is a public dream, dreams are private myths. Unfortunately we give our mythic side scant attention these days. As a result, a great deal escapes us and we no longer understand our own actions. So it remains important and salutary to speak not only of the rational and easily understood, but also of enigmatic things: the irrational and the ambiguous. To speak both privately and publicly.”

from: Mary Zimmermann, ‘Metamorphoses’, American playwright and director adapted from the classic Ovid poem ‘Metamorphoses’ with thanks to Merril Smith who posted this quote on her Monday Morning Muses earlier this month.

We were in Plettenberg Bay last month for our son’s wedding to his beautiful bride. A few nights later it was full moon (23rd March) and I took this photo from our balcony. I felt full too, on many levels, fit to burst.

Already when we returned home the moon was on the wane and no longer visible in the night sky. I see it in the day, white, high or a little bit lower in the sky depending on the time of day I look up. The stars are brighter these nights. Last night she seemed to have passed the half-way mark and was bright.

We are like to the moon in our meanderings, sometimes visible sometimes not. We also wax and wane in the process of change. Sometimes we shine bright, sometimes we’re in shadow.

What is more powerful than the moon who causes tides to change from shore to shore

Oscar Wilde in his ‘De Profundis’ (one of the most depthful, profound and beautiful writings ever, for me), writes:

‘He is in sympathy with the artist who knows that the poet must sing and the sculptor who thinks in bronze and the painter who makes the world a mirror for his moods…’ and that this imperative ‘… is as sure of that of the hawthorn in spring and of the corn that will turn to gold at harvest time and the moon in her wanderings will change from shield to sickle and sickle to shield’.

I came across this from brainpickings.org:

Henry Miller:

‘Art is as deep and high and wide as the universe. There is nothing but art, if you look at it properly. It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis’.

From full to empty to full again – always returning – always in change. And sometimes at night when looking up I wonder  about the myth of the moon, and what is my myth? Am I working on it to give it space to unfold?


38 Comments on M: Moon: Metaphor, Metamorphoses for Change

  1. I’m devoted to myth and the Moon, planet of every day change. I have huge night skies on my hill and watch Her in Her glory from new to full to early morning white against a blue sky.

    This poem helped me live after my husband died:

    Your body is away from me
    But there is a window open
    from my heart to yours.
    From this window, like the moon
    I keep sending news secretly. ~ Rumi

    • The poem is so beautiful Elaine thank you, I can imagine those powerful words and the image being so helpful to you. And the moon in Her glory that you watch in those wide open skies …

  2. A powerful post Susan but my brain is a little spent right now to express much of anything. Must be in the moon’s shadow.. We can’t always shine, right? Thanks as always

    • My brain at this late hour (Sunday night after our return last evening) is completely spent Sharon … the waning moon is no longer visible …thank you for coming by 🙂

  3. If I were a theoretical pediatrician, I might wonder if the high tides caused by the moon on planet earth have an important value for the in-utero development of the child. It is very much possible that the developing baby is influenced at the DNA level by lunar cycles, and the repeated changes as equal time intervals “programs” the baby’s internal clock that regulates sleep and metabolism. In the far-future, when some of our great grand-children are colonizing planet Mars, our descendent relatives will be different from us. Change is interesting, is it not?

  4. This is such an important post. Life is not linear, it’s cyclical, just like the moon. Except we fight those changes expecting to be a full moon at all times.

  5. Thanks Gwynn ,,,, I’ll be out of touch for next several days. My posts will go up (prescheduled) but I’m sorry I won’t be able to comment on yours and others – no wi-fi where I’m going. All good thoughts as metamorphoses continues … xx

  6. I loved the picture of Plettenberg Bay. The moon adds so much to our life in the way of changes… seasons, tidal, and heck even my moving. The metamorphosis of moving from one thing to another is mind boggling. Thank you.

  7. Another lovely post. Thank you for the shout out.
    I love the two other quotations you used, and I may have to borrow them. 🙂
    I love how you connected the moon, myths, and art.

    This song popped into my mind. Do you know it?

    • Thanks Merril for coming by! Wish I could listen to this – it’s now 7.30 a.m. Sat my side, been up since earlier and about to set off for airport. Will listen when back from bush.

  8. Powerful post, Susan. Our moon mirrors us in many ways — from stability to gravitational pull. Such a lovely picture of the moon. Thank you or sharing. Have a great time in Batswana!

    • Thank you Silvia for your good wishes re the trip. And you’ve got those opposites there, the stability and the gravitational pull. I’ve only now finished with my T post .. I thought I’d done it for the 23rd – but no. How’re you doing with it all, the A-Z? You’re doing great. Awfully late here already… have a lovely weekend.

  9. Susan, Yesterday, my daughter received a diagnosis of melanoma. Devastating and metamorphosing in many ways for all of us involved. (and I may not be spending as much time on my A to Z blogs due to this. I know you will understand)

    • Beth, my heartfelt thoughts are with you. May the melanoma be successfully removed and may all be well …
      My very best wishes are with you and your daughter. Thank you for letting me know. Please let me know …

  10. Ebb and flow, myth, moon and metaphor and Oscar Wilde. No writer like him. He is one of my favorites. I haven’t read “De Profundis,” but have been meaning to — I may have it in my Kindle. “Metamorphosis” also makes me think of Franz Kafka — the “what if” of things.

    Thank you, Susan, for for your beautiful full moon photo, beautiful thoughts and beautiful Oscar Wilde quote. Transformative.

    • Thanks so much Samantha .. 🙂 De Profundis is long and so worthwhile. And of course Franz Kafka who wrote book of this name ..

      We’re off tomorrow to Botswana just back from Susan Schwartz’s talk on Longing and Belonging which was so excellent … still to pack, and the night moveth on. It’s actually quite late already, the bright moon is high in the sky.

  11. I do love the moon as metaphor, in beautiful cycles of change waxing and waning, fullness and darkness, reminding us of the way all things shift. I’ve long paid attention to the lunar cycles – it feels like the natural rhythm of my life now. I recently stumbled upon this quote from Rumi: “Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” And now I’m pondering myself as a room with variable windows.

    • What a wonderful quote from Rumi, thank you Deborah! Very imageful and real …

      And I’m thinking of women who have their menstrual cycles in synch with the moon, the women all at the same time, those who are in touch with this primal force.

  12. “We wax and wane in the process of change.” Oh how true. There’s no escaping the fact that accepting change means starting out with fear that we have to overcome.

    Great post, my dear.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  13. Love the moon changes, and yes they do seem to reflect our own. Your picture is lovely! I’m ready for a metamorphosis, change is needed and wanted, and has to happen.

    • Thank you Yolande … I’m reminded of the serpent who sheds its skin when it becomes too tight and uncomfortable as what happens with us and that skin needs to be shed – or like the butterfly that emerges form its cocoon … timing is all ..

  14. I like the connection you draw between myths and dreams; I had not seen such a connection before.
    It occurs to me to that though change is constant, changes often cycle back again, repeating themselves. I wonder if there is a word for that besides metamorphosis.

    • Thanks Marian … when things return as they do, there is a reason – perhaps unresolved issues as what happens on a collective level. Or, as Freud pointed out, the repetition compulsion …we don’t learn from history and until we do, the underlying dynamics are still there, unresolved ..

  15. Hi Susan – fascinatingly written … the moon does change and sometimes it’s here, other times it’s not, it fades and glows, it shines silver or gold … and certainly we are all changing in so many ways we don’t understand and certainly can’t foresee …

    Loved this – when our Icelandic rain disappears we’ll see the moon again and I can reflect … have a good weekend .. Hilary

    • Silver and gold – lovely image Hilary! Like liquid amber or mercury/quicksilver …

      Icelandic rain? Brrr … hope all warms up and that the rays of the moon reach down into you. Have a lovely weekend – off to Botswana tomorrow morning!

  16. Sounds like the ‘personal fable’ I’m familiar with, where we describe ourselves in our mind’s eye not always exactly as others see us, and not always the truth. Interesting article.

  17. She who rides the night sky fatly.
    Here, where I live so far from my dearest friends and family, I sometimes regard the moon and consider those I love regarding it as well. There is a beam of reflection that connects us all. The sun is so obvious, so brash, so male – but she – she helps me birth babies and poems. I love her.

    • She’s getting fatter – what a lovely thought of thinking of the rays of the moon reaching all, especially those dear to you Jan. May she continue to inspire you in your birthing.

  18. I strongly believe in the power of myth, art and the moon. I am really relating, at the moment to your moon metaphors. Yesterday I was in a really foul mood; today all is well!

    • May your moon shine better Stephanie – I just looked now and she is definitely getting fuller. Thank you for coming by.

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