Courting the Moon: Allowing Yourself Downtime

The Moon from Tarot of Trees © Dana Driscoll

When I do Tarot, the Moon card shows up a lot. It’s a card about our unconscious, and the subtle, rich integration process that accompanies the long slow journey into ourselves.

Inevitably I resist it.

I have a picture in my head of a person who goes out and does stuff, who is active, who goes on hikes and plays softball and goes to cultural events and throws dinner parties. And when periods come, as they do periodically for me, when I don’t want to go out much at all, and can’t seem to get enough time doing nothing by myself, I jackal myself quite persistently about it. What’s wrong with me? Wouldn’t I be happier if I were, you know, out, doing stuff.

So I fight with myself. Which usually looks like staying up very late and playing computer games. Which is a way I can be by myself in the quiet of the night, but not really delve into my unconscious. Not really enter the realm of the Moon. But skirt it night after night, watching the dark turn to light outside my windows as I finally crawl into bed.

Because it scares me. I fear that it will swallow me up and I won’t find my way out. I’ve known darkness, and it hasn’t always been the good nourishing kind that heals grief, unravels confusion, and fuels creativity. I’ve also known the kind of gnawing darkness that eats at you and whispers, “What is the point? What is the point of anything?”. And sometimes it’s hard to trust that this darkness is not that darkness. That now the dark can be a place of refuge, of release, of renewal.

And I have the voice of my culture in my ears, the one that encourages us to always be social, to always want to engage in productive pursuits, to always want more, bigger, louder, shiny, yay! And it looks at me and says yeah right. You want to snuggle up in your bed and talk to yourself? That’s what you think will make you happy? Are you kidding me? That’s completely unimpressive. You should sign up for another class. You should get out there. You need a group to be in. Go look at the event section in the paper. Maybe something will jump out at you. You just need some inspiration. Staying at home so much can’t be good for you.

And then there comes a day. When I give in. When some clenched muscle in me finally relaxes and I realize that the only thing I am longing for is some time in that undivided space where I come to understand the deepest things about me.

And when that day comes, I feel at peace. And I start writing again. And eventually, I even feel like going out and doing things. After I’ve had some time to reconnect with the deepest, quietest, most intuitive parts of myself, and validate that they are OK, and they know things, things that aren’t shiny and excitable, but are wise and peaceful and necessary for my happiness.


  1. Emily Sapp says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I deal with my quiet, introspective, not-so-happy (or downright depressed) days. Accepting these dips has been the hardest and best work I’ve done. I thought for so long that the answer was to have none of these days. Ever. Which took me down the ol’ shame spiral.

    It’s definitely harder to turn and face it, but feels infinitely better. I try to trust that I won’t hide forever…even on those days when I’d like to.

    This is wonderfully written. Thank you.

  2. @Em Hi! Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I always think these periods won’t come back. But they do…usually accompanying transition or growth. Which is good, but it’s still hard. I’m glad to hear you have gotten a lot out of accepting them. =)

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