This dark moon, I’m inspired by a story I read recently.
The ‘Crescent Moon Bear’ is a story about taming rage that can be found in Clarissa Pinkola Estes Ph.D’s classically witchy text, Women Who Run With the Wolves.
While reading this story, I was reminded of the Strength tarot card. The Dark Days Tarot version of this card features a Leo lion and a magical femme kneeling proudly nearby. She has befriended this cat with love – not fear.
Her power lies in her bravery and compassion. She is loving despite the possibility of danger. The Lion has also exhibited bravery by showing mutual trust in this femme. We can learn from this both of them.
In the Crescent Moon Bear story, a similar theme develops:
A husband returns home from war a battered, angry and destructive force. His partner is stymied as to how to love him despite his protective nature. She consults with a healer, who sends her to climb a dangerous mountain in order to retrieve a hair from a wild crescent moon bear.
The partner faces her fears and climbs the mountain. Upon arriving, she bravely sets aside her fears to explain her predicament to the wild bear. She needs his hair to help heal her partner. The bear, appreciating her bravery and honesty, grants her wish. Upon returning to the healer with the hair, the wise sage tosses it into a flame, explaining the lesson had been learned therein.
What’s important to remember is that all of the archetypes present in the Tarot, and stories like the Crescent Moon Bear tale, represent living pieces of our human experiences. We are, all of us, every character in the story combined. Thus, we are able to access their power as needed.
Access the Crescent Moon Bear characters:
The healer: consult your cards, your altar, or speak to a mentor; the High Priestess / the Empress.
The protagonist partner: (the Magician); seeking solutions and communicating.
The bear: the Wheel; honoring un-tamed wildness.
The war-battered partner: The Tower; openly struggling. Patience is a resource.
Access the Strength Tarot Card characters:
The Lion: taming the ego, loving and trusting despite the past.
The Femme: Loving and trusting, exhibiting leadership despite perceived danger.
Just as the full moon encourages wild manifestation, the dark moon encourages truthful reflection in preparation for the coming cycle. Dark moon days can uproot stagnant anxiety, depression, anger, etc. due to our heightened sensitivity at this point in the lunar cycle. These emotions can be awesome tools for setting intention, if we practice using them creatively.
This is where Tarot archetypes come in handy. By developing bravery, patience, and communication skills, we become better able to take care of ourselves when dark moon messages come bubbling up. These characters can be tools in our imaginative tool belt this fiery new moon in Leo, or any other time.
Also published on the Dark Days Tarot blog.
Inspired to create her way out of complacency surrounding a wary political climate, Wren McMurdo published the Dark Days Tarot deck in late 2016. This deck is inspired by the dark side of the lunar cycle, when gravity and tide unearth deeper truths. Wren has studied art and the metaphysical world for as long as she can remember.
She’s also a feminist queer and lives with her wife in Seattle, Washington. Her Dark Days Tarot Deck and the Dark Days New Moon column can be found at Little Red Tarot, and more information can be found at darkdaystarot.com.