Misty moon at tramstop in downtown Rotterdam (Photo: Irene Bom)
Praise him, [brother] sun and [sister] moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
Psalm 148:3 (NIVUK
) / Francis of Assisi
Full Solar Spirituality vs Lunar Spirituality
In her book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor makes a case for “lunar spirituality” and letting the darkness teach us what we need to know. She writes,
“Full solar spirituality … deals with darkness by denying its existence or at least depriving it of any meaningful attention … it focuses on staying in the light of God around the clock, both absorbing and reflecting the sunny side of faith.”
“… my spiritual gifts do no seem to include the gift of solar spirituality. Instead, I have been given the gift of lunar spirituality, in which the divine light available to me waxes and wanes with the season. When I go out on my porch at night, the moon never looks the same way twice. Some nights it is as round and bright as a headlight; other nights it is thinner than the sickle hanging in my garage. Some nights it is high in the sky, and other nights low over the mountains. Some nights it is altogether gone, leaving a vast web of stars that are brighter in its absence. All in all, the moon is a truer mirror of my soul than the sun that looks the same way every day.”
“Even when light fades and darkness falls — as it does every single day, in every single life — God does not turn the world over to some other deity. Even when you cannot see where you are going and no one answers when you call, this is not sufficient proof that you are alone. … darkness is not dark to God; the night is as bright as the day.”
(from Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor, pp 7-9, 15-16)
may we see You at work in the rising sun every day.
May we see You at work in the rolling fog or the cloudy skies.
May we see You at work in the rain that falls upon the earth.
May we see You at work in the setting sun and the rising moon,
the stars that shine, whether we can see them or not.
May we know always that You are doing something new,
every moment, every day, every year around the sun.
Great is Your Faithfulness, O God,
as You faithfully renew us every day.
written by Rev Mindi, posted on her rev-o-lution.org blog
See The Sun, the Moon, and Prayer where Vance Morgan explores solar vs lunar spirituality in more depth.
Quote: “If prayer is lunar rather than solar, then everything changes. Prayer becomes a matter of reflecting the divine light into the world in whatever way that light is shining on you and in you at the time. It is not up to me to generate the light; rather, it is up to me to reflect divine reality in ways that are unique to me and represent the seasons and cycles of my life.” (Vance Morgan)
Also check out this article by Moshe Benovitz on the Jewish ritual of blessing the new moon.
Revisit the blog post, In the school of prayer with St Francis.
(song by Donovan from the movie, Brother Sun, Sister Moon)