The Buried Moon Virtual Spiritual Retreat

Week Three, Day One
      Welcome to the third week of The Buried Moon retreat; we are so grateful for your commitment to meaningful inner work over the past two weeks in this sacred virtual community. I find myself seeing the moon everywhere-in the sky, in my children’s picture books, on clothing, jewelry, and business signs. Plunging into myth stirs within us new attentiveness to the world around us and encourages us to be present to the wonders of our daily lives.
    As we delve into our final week of spiritual retreat we make a slow turn towards hope. For two weeks the good mother Moon has been ensnared by a vicious bramble and entrapped in a dark pool. Now, as we move toward the conclusion of our tale, we discover the importance of memory, community, and the wisdom of asking for help. It is nearly impossible to survive the Dark Things alone; we need each other most in those tender, difficult moments of life. This week may we sense in our own hearts that same turn toward connection, renewal, and sacred possibility. 
Lecto Divina

As we have each week, we will use Lectio Divina, or "divine reading" as a simple practice for experiencing and contemplating a text. There are three steps that will invite you into reflection and contemplation of the myth of The Buried Moon.

Begin by lighting your candle to set your intention to listen to what comes and to mark the space as sacred or as an intersection of the present with deeper meaning. 

First, listen to the audio recording of the story and pause it after the first reading. You may also follow along with the text of the reading below. As you hear the story, listen for a word or a phrase that stands out to you. Take a minute or two to reflect on this word or phrase. How do you experience it? Does it evoke senses like sight or touch? How is it resonating in you?

Second, continue the recording and as you listen again, contemplate how the story is speaking within you. Rather than a cognitive exercise, this is a mode of receptivity to what is stirring within you. Pause the recording again for a few minutes of contemplation. 

Third, resume the recording to listen to the last reading of the story. This time reflect on how the story is connecting with you. What are the points of consonance? Has it created any openings? What responses are emerging within you?  Spend a few minutes reflecting on the story through journaling. 

Finally, spend a few moments in silence to conclude your encounter with the story. Blow out your candle, take a stretch, and turn your attention to the rhythms of daily life.

Special thanks to Darby Ray for recording the third reading.

Play the audio recording
Myth of the Buried Moon
Week Three
The days passed, and it was time for the new moon’s coming – but the Moon did not come. And the nights remained dark, and all the evil Things ruled over the bog, wilder and madder than ever before. And so the people of the land went to the Wise Woman who lived in a small stone cottage in the old oak wood, and asked her if she could help them find out where the Moon had gone. The old woman looked in her book, and she looked in her brewpot, and finally she looked into her fire – but nothing could be seen of the Moon. And so the people went away, wailing.
The nights passed in darkness, and passed and passed until one evening, his memory jogged by a fleeting conversation he heard in the street, the man who had strayed into the bog began to wonder to himself whether the light that he had seen in the pool might not have been the Moon. But because he had been lost that night, he knew that he would not be able to find her again. So off he went with the other people, back to the Wise Woman in the old oak wood. She listened to what he had to say; she looked in her book, and looked in her brewpot, and finally looked into her fire – and then she nodded her head. ‘I see it now,’ she said to them: ‘I see where you will find the lost mother Moon.’ And she told them how the men must go into the bogs, just before the night gathered, each one with a stone in his mouth and a hazel wand in his hand. And she told them the way that they must follow, and how they might recognise the place where the Moon was to be found. 

The next night, off they all went together, the men of the village, led by a woman who carried a burning stick to light their way and to turn back the dark Things from the path. They travelled on through the growing dark, stumbling and fearful of the sighings and mutterings all around them, and the cold wet fingers which reached for them . . . but soon it was as the old woman had said, and they recognised the signs and came to the pool where the Moon lay buried. They stopped, amazed, for there was the huge stone, half in and half out of the water. But the lid did not fit tightly and through a crack they saw a sliver of light shining out from underneath, like a dying candle. Taking the strength of all of the men together they lifted up the stone, and forever afterwards they were sure that just for a moment they saw a strange and beautiful face shining up at them out of the blackness of the water – but all at once they were blinded by the light which came so quickly and so dazzling, and they covered their eyes . . . and the next thing they knew, there was the full Moon back in the sky shining down at them, bright and beautiful and kind as ever, making the bog and its paths as clear as day, and stealing into all the dark corners.

Weekly Outline

Mondays: Listening Deeply with Lectio Divina
Tuesday: Spiritual Art Practice
Wednesday: Civic Reflection Journaling
Thursday: Sacred Aesthetic Experience
Friday: Creative Writing Prompt *optional Zoom gathering @ 1 pm EST
Sat/Sun: Time for rest, catching up, and integration

Previous Emails

If you would like to look back on previous emails of the retreat, they can all be found here.

Creating Space

An essential part of 'retreating' while at home is to create intentional space that feels sacred, designated, and distinct from your ordinary routine. This can be a small corner of your desk, a part of your shelf, a nightstand by your bed, etc. Objects you cherish can help create a special space.
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Bates Multifaith Chaplaincy · 163 Wood St · Lewiston, ME 04240-7687 · USA

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