Release. Plant seeds. Rest. Recover.
When the moon wears her veiled face, these are the messages I see, the narrative that cycles every month through my psycho-spiritual media feed.
Cut cords. Begin anew. Dream. Divine.
When the night sky is dark, I contemplate witchcraft. Not the craft of real witches, shuffling chipped tarot decks at scrappy kitchen tables or cramming crystals in their pillowcases after a long work shift. I imagine a type of witchcraft as unattainable as the seemingly absent moon – celestial, cerebral, cosmic. Magazine-quality, art-directed. Aspirational. Everything I’m not.
Lately, whenever the moon is dark, I don’t feel like doing ritual or reading cards or making magic.
Mostly I just feel cranky as fuck.
I’m cranky about anything and everything, about annoyances both grave and stupid, current and ancient: empty gas tanks, dirty dishes, capitalism, lackluster hair, each numberless awkward social interaction I’ve ever caused. That year in high school when my friend decided she hated my guts. Every person whose guts I’ve hated.
I’m honestly just sort of cranky to be alive.
It’s not a sexy kind of darkness; it lacks the toxic siren call of deep depression, absinthe-green and smelling of herbal smoke and empty spaces. And yet, it is a kind of depression, an exasperating kind I’m reluctant to take seriously though it returns again and again, twitchy and itchy under my skin.
Back in the winter, I did a fancy cord-cutting ritual. I wrote shit out and burned it up. I purged and cleared. Self-loathing, I release you! Self-doubt, I see you and I let you go!
Still, when the moon is dark, it comes back. It always comes back.
Here’s what I’ve decided, from the tidal depths of my crankiness: I’m not cutting cords anymore. I’m not holding strips of paper to the flame, hoping to turn my anxieties into ash. The concept of release may work for some, but it doesn’t work for me. Because this part of me is never going away, and that’s just one more thing to be cranky about. Instead of releasing, I’m going to attempt to accept. Not out of self-pity or desperation, but out of self-compassion and defiance.
If I release anything, let it be the notion that my evolution has to be picturesque. Let it be the romantic delusion that my pain must be sexy to have value. Let it be the fear that if my annoying, persistent, tenacious doubt doesn’t go away, it will become the entire truth about me.
When the moon is dark, I shall be cranky as fuck.
I’ll anticipate this mental arrival like a visit from a curmudgeonly relation, the kind of witch who doesn’t set a pretty altar but has the keenest nose for bullshit – their own and everybody else’s. I’ll accept the aggravation and look for wisdom inside it. I will have faith that no piece of me needs to be cut out and tossed away, because I am always more.
I’m always a greater whole, even when that truth can’t easily be seen. Like the moon on a night when the sky is dark.
Cards shown in this post are from the Wildwood Tarot and the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot.