Contemplation Days

In my tradition*, the three days of the Dark Moon are contemplation days, where we spend time in darkness and reflection to better understand ourselves and our places in the world. These days are for rest and healing for ourselves, and also the hope to come out into the new moon a better, more self-aware person.

There are three major themes that run through the rites and prayers of the dark moon: reflection, order, and service. We reflect on our highlights and challenges in a dispassionate way through meditation and journalling, using this knowledge to guide us forward. This is not the only time we reflect, of course — both meditation and journalling are staples of my practice — but at this time we look for patterns and consistencies over the past month, and this reflection is accompanied by a purification rite which sanctifies the process.

Once done, we turn our attention to reordering, with careful attention paid to moments in time, orienting ourselves into the cosmos. This is a reminder of who we are, our birthright: to live embodied in the centre of all things, knowing the movements of the stars and of seasons and of truths. It is likewise a reminder that this work takes discipline and focus.

Finally, having been purified and reoriented, we revisit and meditate on our vows, and how we carry them into the world. We strengthen our personal alliances with the Kindreds, most especially the goddess who oversees this dark moon work.

During this time, it is helpful to engage in practices that encourage an inward focus, in addition to the meditation and journalling that is required now and always. Fasting from certain foods, curating media and social media use, spending additional time in nature, or sacred reading are simply a few examples of how to enhance the practice of the Contemplation Days.

O Kindreds, Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits,
We come to the hearth in this sacred time of contemplation.
Guide us as we look inward;
reveal to us the truth of who we are and what we will become.
In this time of healing darkness,
we honour the interconnectedness of all things,
and we find our place therein.
O Lady of the North Star, silent and still, be here with us;
may your steady light guide us as we navigate this path.

* That is, the tradition that I practice at my own hearth. I do not represent any organization or tradition of which I am a part, and speak only of my own practices.

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