The Standstill Gallery

Jill Smith's recent sequence of pictures: The Moon and the Mountain - the Standstill Journey, inspired by the 1987 lunar standstill were exhibited in the summer of 2006 at the An Lanntair Arts Centre, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and at the Calanais Visitor Centre, Isle of Lewis. Click on the thumbnails below to see larger versions and don't forget to visit Jill's own website (where you can buy originals and see much more of her work). The final picture in the sequence refers to plans to build a huge windfarm on Lewis which would be a bit of a disaster for the local environment and also the beauty of the place. Continue reading "The Standstill Gallery"

Mythology, Menstruation and the Land of Milk and Honey

By André Zsigmond

The Promised Land?

A prisoner of conscience at the age of 18 - escaping from communist Hungary in 1981 - searching for the “truth”, I immersed myself in religious studies in England. During communism the study of religion and the Scriptures  was actively discouraged - it seemed ‘obvious’ therefore that they would have all the answers. Needless to say, the Bible only raised even more questions.

I first became aware of the personal, cultural and religious significance of menstruation during my post-graduate research of the origins of male circumcision. Among other theories, the term “menstruation envy” – men’s desire to equal and imitate menstruation, creating parallel menstrual rituals - were suggested in studies of different cultures all over the world. (But this is a theme for another article.)

This revelation was the opening to me to search for, and discover the Goddess.

Continue reading "Mythology, Menstruation and the Land of Milk and Honey"

Do You Know Where The Moon Is?

by Sheila Rose Bright

full moonThe first time my sister Leslie went to Mexico, she asked a local man: “Do you know where the moon is?” He hesitated, then pointed and said: “Sometimes it’s over there.” But it wasn’t – not that week.

Before she went to Mexico again, Leslie consulted her astrologer sister (me).  “I want to see the moon over the sea,” she said.  I asked which direction the sea is from Puerto Vallata.  West, she told me.  So she chose the dates for her holiday as advised, and sure enough there was the moon shining over, then setting into, the sea before bedtime.  However, if she’d been going to the east coast of Mexico and wanted to see moonlight on the sea, she would need to have chosen a different week for her holiday! Continue reading "Do You Know Where The Moon Is?"

The Lady of the Night

by Hannah Spencer

Full moonThe ever-changing face of the Moon has provided an enigma which humankind has spent millennia trying to solve. In 1962 a carved bone, around 35,000 years old, was found to be engraved with the phases of the Moon; and the riddle continued into the twentieth century where the race to the Moon came to epitomise pioneering development in science and technology.

Modern astronomers know, as ancient cultures have always believed, that life is dependent on the Moon. The Moon is approximately a hundredth the mass of the Earth: exceptionally large when compared to the relative sizes of the satellites of other planets. By comparison, the largest moons of Jupiter – over 300 times the size of Earth – are only slightly bigger than our Moon. The impact of the Moon's very tangible gravitational pull stabilises the Earth's orbit, creating a constancy in environment and climate that has enabled complex life to develop. Without the Moon, likely we would not be here. And its influence in other ways – the tides being the most obvious – are also vital for many aspects of life. Continue reading "The Lady of the Night"

Moon and Sun/Earth Calendars

By Sheila Rose Bright

Earth, Sun and MoonI cannot let Jacqui Woodward-Smith’s reference to ‘our patriarchal solar calendar’ (GP9, Reviews) pass without comment.  To my mind there is nothing patriarchal about using a solar calendar, only about ignoring the moon.  And you’ve given me the ideal opening to leap up onto several of my favourite soapboxes, Jacqui!

I completely agree that we need to let the moon shine in and on our lives much more.  A month is, for me, a perfect length of time to acknowledge and work with one cycle of new, waxing, full, waning, dark and new again in my life.  I consciously attune my physical and spiritual life to the moon’s phases, taking the opportunity to reflect upon what new seeds/beginnings I want to sow, what growth to nurture in my life, what fullness to celebrate and what to empower, what to turn away from or let die, what to cut and end, what I want to return to and resurrect.

Continue reading "Moon and Sun/Earth Calendars"