Hunger Moon

The calendar we use today is a fairly recent invention as far as human history is concerned. For most of our existence, we marked time by observing the seasons and the moons. Each of the twelve or thirteen moons that appeared while Earth made one full journey around the sun was named. Mostly those names derived from what was happening in the plant or animal kin-doms where a particular people lived. Systems for determining when one moon changed to another varied, too; some traditions considered a full moon the start of a lunar cycle, others the new moon and still others the first sighting of the waxing crescent moon.

In our neck of the woods we would likely be experiencing the Hunger Moon, which began about a week ago with the full moon on February 2. When our lives were closely connected with Earth’s life systems, this time was often one of scarcity. Even following a good harvest, the winter stores of squash, corn and root vegetables would be running low. The little game that could be found was often scrawny from its own lack of nourishment.

The Hunger Moon. How far most of us live from that experience. Hop in the car and tootle on over to A&P: “fresh” vegetables and fruit line the produce bins; milk, eggs and cheese? no problem; beef, fish, fowl, pork? all here.

Over the past 50 years we’ve put the final touches on our disconnect from the Earthways of our ancestors. Personally, I think that’s a great loss. (Besides, many of us would probably benefit from a “moon” or two of less food each year, and when the Sap moon appears in a few weeks, we’d all be tuned up for the fabulous taste of maple syrup.)

To everything there is a season. Perhaps, if we renew our relationship with the rhythms and systems of the sacred Earth from which we arose, it might be easier for us to recognize—and to heal—the false sense of separation that permits us to destroy the past 65,000,000 years of God’s creative effort on this amazing planet.

I think that’s a goal worthy of our undivided attention, our most fervent prayer, our all-out effort.


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