Enough of the magical moon already! I know this sounds terrible. Who doesn’t love beauty, mystery and symbolism of that shiny globe in the night sky? Who hasn’t cried, howled or swooned under its light? I like all that as much as anyone. “Moonstruck” is one of my favorite movies.
No, what I’ve had enough of is the idea that the moon itself (beyond its myths) has magical properties. That it can cure us, guide us, solve our problems. Instead of having to think for ourselves, we can bask in its light and believe the answers some from outside ourselves.
Magical thinking. Used in traditional religion, it is waning, especially among the young. But it’s waxing big time in new age belief systems. According to a recent article in The New York Times, belief in astrology is on the rise with millennials.
This moon-worship fever is invading yoga studios. Maybe because so many teachers are young? Almost every day I see a Facebook/Instagram post or email or flyer announcing a moon-themed workshop or series of classes based on phases of the moon. Here are just a few examples:
Full Moon Yoga
Full Moon Yoga at Waterfront Park
Full Moon Meditation
Balinese Full Moon Yoga
Half Moon Yoga (heal your trauma and live your dharma)
New Moon Goddess Gathering
New Moon Yoga Sequence
Heart Yoga and Reiki New Moon Ritual
Boomerang Blood Moon Bonfire (bring special items to charge in the moon or ceremoniously burn in the fire)
Soothing Moon Salutations
Moon Cycle (11 yoga poses to harness the power of the full moon)
Sun and Moon yoga poses
Ohana Moon Yoga (activated healing moon water)
Mandala Moon (11th day lunar cycle experiences)
Unlock Your Inner Femininity: Women’s Moon Centers
So, why do I dislike these? For at least five overlapping, interrelated reasons.
First, the idea that the moon affects our behavior is false. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that people are crazier, turn into werewolves or have more accidents during the full moon. The beliefs that we or our body parts or “special items” or “activated water” can glean energy from the moon is wrong, untrue, unscientific!
Second, these pseudoscientific ideas contribute to the unthinking, dumbing down of so many citizens and our country. Do we really need more people who think dinosaurs lived a few thousand years ago and that we are not contributing to overpopulation, climate change, pollution and destruction of our environment? Who think it’s okay to eat processed foods and saturated fact and not suffer consequences? Who cannot tell the difference between reality and lies?
Third, jumping on the moon magic marketing bandwagon is exploitation. Perhaps it is not done intentionally. Perhaps those who believe, for example, that they can help yogis coordinate with moon cycles and heal trauma are sincere. But still, they’re making money off people who are hurting or feel lacking in some way.
Fourth, by claiming to be healers, they are astoundingly arrogant. While some physicians might be arrogant, at least the arrogance is based on knowledge and experience. But most educated doctors and scientists I’ve met are the opposite of arrogant. They are humble, always questioning. They haven’t taken a five-week course called How to Mine Healing Moondust and Sprinkle It On the Unwoken.
Fifth, there are no magical, outside answers. The “answers” come from within! If we continue to look for magic in moons or planets or rocks, we avoid looking for real causes of problems. Whether the strife we feel is individual or global, we benefit more by seeing clearly, analyzing, discussing, weighing options. That is more difficult than basking in meditative moonlight. I do enjoy meditating, but I don’t have to pay anyone on my balcony under the moon. And I realize when I come back inside that the real work still awaits me. And it always will.