The power of the Moon beckons us to release our well constructed behaviors and false identities. What will happen if we can’t be who we are expected to be? What will happen if we follow our own desires and intuitions? What will happen if we open up the door to our subconscious and see what is really going on in there?
Lunacy! Insanity! We will turn into wild animals! We will never return! We will be committed and put away forever! These fears are real. It is very difficult and painful to step out of a carefully constructed reality. It is a painful process to strip off all the ego protections and benefits of fitting in, or at least appearing to. In this card, you can see the two guardians of the gate – they are the Ra Kings of ancient Egypt, the Sun Gods. They will protect us as we enter into the process of dismantling the ego. The jackals who stand at their feet can sniff out any remnants of the old self that we are tempted to try to sneak into the other side. They are the bullshit detecting dogs!
Tibetan Buddhists have a practice called Chod, in which they welcome in the demons of fear in order to befriend them and tap their power, become their allies, so that they cannot dominate the spirit. Chod rituals are held in graveyards or sky burial sites, so that the true terror of death may be fully understood and experienced. Chod practitioners are known as “Mad Saints” – because they dwell on the fringes of society, and appear as “Lunatics”. In Tibetan society, they are respected and feared. In our society, they would be drugged and institutionalized.
Walk through the gates of the land of the moon, and see what is there. The drumbeat of natural cycles and rhythms calls us – do we have the courage to step into it? Do we have faith in the shadow, and what it has to tell us?
Make friends with our demons. Face them and welcome them in. They are part of us. They are a very important part of our psyches. When we repress our anger, pain, we are repressing our creativity. When we repress our creativity, we feel like shit. When we feel like shit, we try to cover it up with self soothing and escapist activities. This often only leads to feeling like shit.
We have been conditioned against following the call of the shadow, the power of nature, the pull of our own fears. The moon tells us not to turn away, but to welcome all aspects of our being, so that we may be healthy and whole. Feel the feelings, and ask what they are expressing. What are the needs behind the feelings? What do we really need in order to progress beyond the darkness and into the sunlight?