© 2019 Dena DeCastro, LLC

The Dark of the Moon at the Dark of the Year


It’s been over a month now since I announced my new site and the return of my regular communications with my newsletter readers and clients. Some have asked me: “Where did you go?”


Fair enough. I disappeared without explanation after writing regular monthly newsletters for a few years. The podcast had also been declining in frequency for some time, and by last year, had stopped altogether. I was still doing readings steadily, but I had become unsure of what I wanted to communicate on a wider scale.

I struggled with whether or not I had anything new or earth-shattering to say about astrology. After all, there is already so much great content out there.

I struggled with exactly what I wanted to say to you, my reader. Because I wasn’t sure what was true for me now.

So, with all this struggling and questioning, I fell kind of mute. I didn’t want to write just to say stuff, just to fill the air with words. I finally gave in to the call to get quiet, go inside, and pay attention to what was shifting and changing. That was over a year ago.

This was not as relaxing or peaceful as it might sound. For many months, I felt really uncomfortable in my own skin. I couldn’t relax. I always felt that there was something I should be doing. I felt the constant pressure every time I saw someone else doing awesome work, getting seen, and getting heard. I judged myself for wasting time. I worried that I’d never have anything to say again.

But my awareness of my own astrological transits helped me. I knew that between the fall of 2014 and fall of 2015, I was in a Big Saturn time. Transiting Saturn was making major aspects to five planets in my chart, while opposing my Ascendant. Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, can bring the chill of wintertime into one’s life, even when the calendar says it’s summer. And that is exactly how I felt all during this past year -- as if I were a dormant seed, buried in the ground, unsure if the spring was ever going to come.

But whether we are undergoing a Saturn transit or not, we will occasionally in our lives need to go “down and in.” It is how the wheel turns. We can’t always be moving forward, up, and out. It’s unnatural, and unsustainable. Just as winter is as necessary as any of the other seasons, we also need the fallow times.

I thought I knew all this. In fact, at the outset of my “down and in” time, I had just completed work on a co-created e-book and site called “Cycles of Wisdom.” But as you probably have experienced, advising people is one thing, and living the advice is another. It wasn’t until nearly the end of my time in the cave that I realized how necessary this fallow time had been. Out of a long period of inactivity -- or shall we say, much less visible activity -- I naturally became ready to create again. I launched a new website. I regained a desire to write about astrology, cycles, ritual and magic.

I’m writing this post on the day before the New Moon in Sagittarius. We’re in the part of the lunar cycle called the “Balsamic” phase, the dark of the Moon (nothing to do with yummy vinegar). This phase, lasting about 3 days, is the total ebb of the energies, the time when we feel the calling to go within. And this particular dark Moon comes at the darkest time of the year. It is in fact the last Balsamic Moon before the Winter Solstice on December 21st. The solar cycle, too, is at its deepest ebb.

This window of time, from now through the next few days until the Moon becomes visible again, it will be especially beneficial to allow dormant time, and quiet and reflective time, so that we can rejuvenate.

I know, it seems counter-intuitive to suggest slowing down, resting, and going within during a peak weekend of the holiday season. But I encourage you to consider how you might invite more of that nourishing down-time into your life over the next few days. With the New Moon in Sagittarius (Friday at 2:30 AM), we are more able to access the overview of our current lives, rather than missing the forest for the trees.

Here are some questions for reflection at this New Moon (energy spanning now through the next 3-4 days):

  • What gives me a sense of meaning in my life? What activities do I find most meaningful?

  • Conversely, what current activities are lacking in meaning? Might I be ready to let them go before the Winter Solstice?

  • Where have I limited my idea of what’s possible?

  • What are my hopes and dreams for this year ahead?

Journal the answers to these questions if it feels right. Or, if that becomes just another thing on your to-do list, allow yourself a few moments to sit quietly and just day dream. The energy of Sagittarius New Moon can enlivens us with the quest for meaning, and can bring in a sense of hope that carries us through these months of winter ahead.

For more about how to work with the ebb and flow of nature's cycles, check out Cycles of Wisdom.

#balsalmicmoon #lunarcycles