There was an eclipse. For a few, brief moments the face of the full moon turned to red, like the flesh of a blood orange. It was expected. Anticipated. Of course there were technical explanations – shadow of the earth, refraction, reflection, the scattering of light in the atmosphere. But for those who acknowledge the Goddess, it signified a surge of energy. Astronomers adjusted their telescopes, made images, wrote down numbers – as indeed they should – whilst the daughters of Diana lit candles and meditated. I tried to do a bit of both.
Among my various studies I have acquired a basic knowledge of astrology, not enough to demonstrate any expertise, but I know enough to calculate a birth chart and make a clumsy attempt at interpretation. Thus, I learned something of the influences of the moon, of its reflective nature and of how it gathers energies from the heavens and concentrates their essence on the Earth below. Then, a few years ago, I began to take an intense interest in the female Diety. It was more than coincidental with the commencement of work on my third novel, The Moon Spun Round. The two had, I am sure, arisen from the same influence so that, whatever it was that stirred my imagination, it sent me on a double journey. The plot developed and characters formed. But the dominant factor was the Moon herself, and her presence in the lives of those women who were, over the course of a year, to become my friends. What started as research – the phases of the moon – the female god-forms – the subjugation of women in society – soon drew me onwards on a personal journey. I found myself carefully plotting the four quarters of the moon and trying to sense the corresponding moods carried on the tides of cosmic energy. This soon led to the need for appropriate ritual – the lighting of a candle, a meditation, a small offering. During that phase I not only grew closer to the Goddess, but I became more aware of the history of women in general – their suppression, their struggle for freedom, their power and potential. Of course I was around in the sixties – Women’s Lib and the fight for equality. But thinking back on that time – and I’m sure it was no coincidence – this was the era of space exploration. In 1969, on July 21st, under the Astrological sign of Cancer, (ruled by the Moon, and don’t tell me that was a coincidence), for the first time a man stepped onto the face of the Goddess. Now there’s a plot for a novel! So, what did this novel-writing- moon-worshiping journey teach me? I realised that women are different from men – physically, mentally and spiritually. We need our own god-forms in order to awaken and sustain our spiritual being and awareness. One of the worst injustices ever done to women was to deprive them of their Goddess. This was done in ancient times by religious patriarchs who saw spiritual domination as a weapon of power. Traces of their bigotry still linger in Western civilisation. It has taken generations and in many respects we are still fighting for our freedom. But many women are now finding their way back to the ancient images of the Goddess. For others, well – women are free to express their creativity and I guess we have invented new god-forms to inspire us. But it is still the same Female Principle, the same inner strength and power to endure. She is the Mother Goddess, the Giver of Life, no matter what face she wears, (or what colour her lip-gloss) So why is this happening now? Why has this terrible force been unleashed upon the world – a male dominated power-cult that seems driven by such an irrational fear and hatred of the very women who gave them birth? And why is there blood on the face of the moon?