Cycles, Renewal

We tend as people - particularly those of us under the influence of Western culture - to place great emphasis and value on the "up cycle". But, as the name implies, a cycle is an oscillation, or a vibration, between the low and the high. Nowhere is this clearer than in the cycles of the moon. The waxing and waning from New Moon to Full Moon - and back again - is a pattern writ large for all of us to see, perhaps so that we can apply it to our own lives. 

The Super Blue Blood (Full) Moon that we experienced last night was like a cycle within a cycle: a short, three-hour light to dark to light cycle within the regular 29 1/2 day cycle. (It was made more extreme by the great brightness - the "Super" part of it - before and after the eclipse.)

This rare event (the last time this happened was 1866) coincided yesterday with another cyclical event: Tu B'Shevat, otherwise known as New Year for the Trees. {I have no idea how rare it is to have a Super Blue Blood Moon coincide with Tu B'Shevat, but that must be even more extraordinary.} This holiday occurs when the sap of wintering trees starts rising in the first preparation for Spring. In the yin/yang of the the trees' life cycle, this marks the nadir. That means that it also marks the beginning of the up cycle.

These bare white branches belie internal processes that are readying a new burst of life. Some branches of other plants couldn't wait, and new leaves have already begun to displace the old dead ones.

So today has clearly brought with it the theme of cyclical renewal. For me, this presents me with two lessons. First, birth and death are not more and not less than the up and down slopes of the wave we call life. Second, at any given time, there are parts of me in descent and parts of me in ascent. Both are good and beautiful and part of a whole. The best use of my will might just be to let go of the parts that are descending (like the dead leaves) and to invest my energy in the parts that are ascending (like the new shoots).

Perhaps a simpler way of stating it all is this:



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