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Bethany Dawson

Author // Writer // Editor

The Healing Dark

November 27, 2020


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This month’s moon is named in honour of an animal I have never seen. It is believed that the beavers labour to build their lodge at this time of the year before the hard cold sets in. Many of us feel that tug to hunker down, stockpile for the winter and hibernate.

The ritual I put together includes a passage from the Thanksgiving Address of the Haudenosaunee, a powerful invocation that acknowledges every part of creation with gratitude and respect. I also added beautiful words on reconciliation from Pádraig Ó Tuama and Seamus Heaney. At a time when disconnection and separation threaten to pit us against one another, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the ways we might instead find healing together.

One of my favourite writers, an irreverent poet-turned-gold digger, said it best:

Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night,
The healing dark.
~Robert William Service, “Weary”

The ritual is available as a download below. I suggest that you set aside some time out of doors to moon-gaze and tarry over the words. Wrap up warm, light a fire, take a moon walk with a flask of tea, make an occasion of it that is simple and meaningful to you. Use the text as you see fit. I like to read the pieces aloud several times, and slowly. Sometimes, I like to illicit beautiful questions and write down my responses, other times I sit in silence.

I will be thinking of you all when the full moon rises and we pause to find our place in the dark.

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