The appearance of the Crescent New Moon on the 19th marked the beginning of a special ten day/nine night period in which the world is recreated, a tradition which is shared by the Cherokee, the Jewish people, the Hindus, and by those who follow the Greek mystery school. Spiritual union is celebrated at this time. The New Moon which appears closest to the Autumn Equinox begins what is called the 7th Moon cycle of the zodiacal year. The Cherokee call this the "Great Moon" or "Big Medicine Moon". At this time, Cherokee women dance from the time the New Moon crescent first appears until the moon sets, and will continue for several evenings. The Cherokee believe that ,with this dance, the energies of the new time are grounded and embodied; the world has been reborn.
The shadow of the past cycle will generally begin to show itself in those days that fall just before the New Moon appears. All that is doubtful, fearful, and discordant crowds the dawn of every new time. This is even more true this year because there is a convergence of several cycles. The more there is awareness of the personal and the world shadow, the more spiritual power that is invoked for transformation, healing and renewal.
The blowing of a Shofar, a ram's horn, announces the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. The Shofar is blown when the New Moon crescent appears. I live in a Jewish neighborhood, and here a whistle is blown to mark sundown. You can feel the excitement build when that whistle goes off. Rosh Hashanah begins the 10 High Holy Days known as the Days of Awe. Because the New Moon's appearance may vary with location, this year's festival began on the evening of September 18th.
At the sighting of the New Moon, while Cherokee women begin their dance, initiates gather at Eleusis to receive the Mysteries, and Kali enters into homes to consume the past year's discord. Revelation, awakening, and spiritual renewal come through the nine nights and ten days that follow...culminating on the 10th day when Hindu tradition says that the Goddess Kali slayed the demon bull...a symbol of our individual and group shadows.
These ten days and nine nights bring us many opportunities for realizing our hopes and our dreams. The way is cleared through celebration, meditation, and prayers. The more we can attune and listen to our hearts, the more core issues we will be able to resolve and the more empowered we become to recreate our world.