The Black Moon

The Mystery of the Divine Feminine:
Lilith, the Great Mother, the Black Madonna.

there was something
formless and perfect
before the universe was born
it is serene
empty, solitary
unchanging, infinite
eternally present
it is the Mother of the universe
for lack of a better name, I call it the Tao
Lao Tsu: Tao te Ching

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"The Black Tara of Tibet"

This mysterious energy point in the birthchart is used by only a small number of astrologers, but interest is growing rapidly. For some years, since I discovered it’s location at exactly the same degree as my 12th House Cancer Moon, the Black Moon has been a passionate interest for me and I always include it in horoscopes.

The Black Moon is not a physical body or object and is not the dark phase of the Moon as many assume. Rather it is more like an energy vortex. Its position is on the Moon’s orbital path or elliptic at the point furthest from the earth ie it is the apogee of the Moon’s orbit, or that point furthest away from the earth in the Moon’s orbit. The Black Moon, or Lunar Apogee, travels along the zodiac at approximately 40 degrees per year. She spends around 9 months in each sign and has a 9 year orbit through the full zodiac.

Many refer to the Black Moon as Lilith, and her story is important in understanding some key themes about this powerful point. Lilith’s ancient Sumerian origins, her unique qualities and power, her ‘demise’ at the hands of the Arian Age forces of the times, her rebellion as Adam’s first wife and her subsequent demonisation by the patriarchal religions symbolically play out in the world and in the lives of women still today.

However, there are clear signs that the original and essential energy of this feminine power is returning to the world at a time when the world is in much need of Her.

In essence, the Black Moon represents the healing and spiritual power of our deepest connection to the mystery of the Divine Feminine. We could also call this the Great Mother, the Mother, the Dark Mother or Dark Goddess, the Absolute.

She exists in all cultures eg as Black Tara of Tibet, the Black Madonna and Magdalene of Christianity, Kali in Hindu India, Black Isis in Egypt and Lilith of Sumeria and Babylon. The Feminine has long been repressed and denied in the world, existing deep in the shadows and our soul memory. This repression has caused much suffering to both women and to men, to children and the earth itself. We live in a world in crisis, born out of the imbalance between the male and female polarities. It is time for God and the Goddess to share the earthly and celestial bed in harmony, mutual recognition, support and love.

Many times, when I begin to speak of this in class or in consultations, students or the client are deeply touched and often moved to tears, or nod their heads in acknowledgement of something that is so seldom spoken. Sometimes a deeply buried rage is stirred and this may be the early signs of a powerful period of transformation. I have received some fascinating feedback from people and heard some even more remarkable stories about family secrets, deep unspoken feelings, dramatic events, moving experiences and profound healings. It always feels as if we are entering a sacred realm and I feel Her presence strongly.

This is not an easy or comfortable energy to explore and understand. It is essentially mysterious, very deep and often painful. What is asked of us in relation to the Black Moon position is our charts is a deep surrender to the Flow of Life and to our heart and soul’s deepest yearning. She is sometimes harsh and seemingly unforgiving and through her we may experience loss, death and suffering. We are truly powerless in Her presence and are often brought to our knees. But through this process, the rough edges of the ego and outer personality are opened, softened and ultimately melted away. We question our beliefs, our attitudes, our identity. We open, learn to accept, to trust the flow of life. Letting go happens and in the letting go, the essence of our true selves is revealed and we are free to be simply as we are.

In my practice with clients and students and in my research of many charts, I have come to understand a number of key themes related to the Black Moon.

  • The Abuse of Women. This may be experienced as sexual abuse or the undermining of women through humiliation, lack of education or economic opportunities etc. It can result in deeply buried shame, confusion, guilt, rage and fury, numbness, illness and depression…. all is dark and hopeless.
  • Childbirth and Fertility Issues: infertility, abortion, still-births.
  • Sexuality issues: prostitution, sexual abuse, rape, ‘frigidity’, genital mutilation.
  • Death: natural death, suicide, sickness, euthanasia.
  • The Demonisation of Women. Woman has long been scorned, reviled, exiled. Eve, Lilith and Magdelene are symbolic of this.
  • The Earth as Mother. The Black Moon is strong in the charts of champions of the environment eg Steve Irwin and Al Gore
  • Feminine Power in the World. Woman who stand against the patriarchal system and fight for the rights of children and other women have strong natal Black Moon placements.
  • Female Spiritual Power. Woman’s courage in the face of often terrible suffering and degradation. Healing power. Phenomenal Compassion. Fierce protection of the downtrodden. Indomitable faith and reverence for the Mother.
  • Emptiness. The Void. The Black Hole. Death. There can be depression, loss, confusion, self-doubt and deep suffering related to the chart position of our Black Moon. Through deep surrender and openness to the loving will of the Mother within, lies redemption, healing, love, peace and ecstasy.

"The Black Madonna of Rocamadour, France"

The Mother is returning to the world and our hearts, bringing the hope of a new balance and healing on planet earth at this extra-ordinary time of transition.

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars
Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Horoscope of Steve Irwin.

There is not 100% certainty on his birth time. This time comes directly from Steve’s memory of what his mother told him.

Steve’s Horoscope shows the Black Moon very prominently placed in Virgo (esoterically the sign of the Divine Mother and traditionally the sign of the natural environment and dedicated service) at the MidHeaven (point of career and soul and worldly fulfillment).

The Black Moon is also conjunct powerful, transforming Pluto, and opposite his Chiron (the Healer/Mentor) / Venus (love) conjunction in compassionate Pisces, the sign of the oceans. Steve’s Black Moon also forms a dynamic quincunx with Mercury the Messenger and warrior Mars, both in revolutionary Aquarius.

Steve’s wife Terry and daughter Bindi were all key figures in his life and he was very devoted to his mother Lyn, who died in a car accident in 2000. The Pluto/Chiron conjunction in Sagittarius of that year was exactly square his Black Moon in 2000 at the time.

Another expression of this Black Moon placement is Steve’s famous hands-on grappling with the monsters of the deep. In Jungian terms, this symbolically represents the spiritual warrior publicly facing and celebrating what we fear most - the shadow.

There were many very powerful and dramatic transits and progressions activating Steve’s chart at the time of his sudden death, but the ones that fascinated me the most were the exact opposition of Uranus (at 12.49 Virgo) to his Black Moon; transiting Black Moon at 24 Virgo exactly on his natal Moon and the Sun on that day was only 1 degree applying to his natal Black Moon! He was called home.

For those interested, other key transits and progressions were the exact lining up of the Saturn/Neptune opposition across his Nodal axis; Jupiter exactly on his Scorpio Neptune (death at sea); Chiron conjunct Saturn; Pluto square Moon; progressed Jupiter conjunct Sun.

A tragic death and loss, yes. But also a powerful statement about a man on a mission from the Mother. He was a conscious Warrior and a Champion of the earth and the Feminine in the true sense of the word and his death brought his life and work into sharper relief around the world. His wife and daughter carry on the work as Women Wildlife Warriors.

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