Our moon is distinctive by virtue of being an extrusion of the Earth itself, a dead twin. It’s occult power derives in part from this doubling process, for it is not just a neighbor but an affine, an ancestral body. Remember Lucretius who suggested that substances formed from atoms because of an inherent tendency to swerve? Well, look to the moon and its influence on us as a constant introduction of subtle swerves, on the physical and occult planes. Consider the way the moon slowly churns the ocean and where life began.
Geomantically, the nodes of the moon emphasize this. The figures of Cauda and Caput Draconis reflect sudden shifts within a situation, forces that throw down and uplift respectively. While the moon generally operates gently, cyclically, its influence ripples through the material world and can bring together disparate but highly reactive forces, generating rapid but unstable changes.
It is along this axis that we see the moon’s agency, where its usually passive and reactive character resists and pushes back on both matter and will. These fertile streams are where the various spiritual worlds come into being, manifesting a trading zone between the material and the spiritual. There is something very peculiar about these worlds because they partake of both temporal and eternal elements, which is why it plays such an important role in the work of the mother. If she often wears the mask of death, the moon can become her scythe.
The tricky part with the moon is that we can create little worlds of our own within its region. In its passive and still aspects, it receives the form of what is expressed into it and animates it with a modicum or semblance of life. However, whatever manifests in these self-made moon worlds lacks the touch of eternity and so at best can be a vehicle for self-understanding (though more often they are vehicle for self-delusion) and self-expression. They can be vehicles of the will, but as will fades, so do they. Faced with the scythe of the moon, they crumple. On the whole, we spiritually-minded folks grossly overestimate the role of will.
Most living spiritual worlds also cast their shadow over the passive lunar realm, reaching beyond the fertile realm in which they thrive to animate it. These shadows have the same problem as our willful projections except that their presence indicates the proximity of the scythe, the proximity of a spiritual trading zone around which these shadows are thrown up. They are the effervescence that surrounds a vital spiritual world. That effervescence is also a sign of that spiritual world’s mortality, that it has a life cycle of its own (uncomfortable as that may seem).
Spirit work, as in work with spirits, ends up being in part about finding the path that leads to one of those spiritual worlds. That path necessarily winds into the lunar realm, and it is in the lunar realms that we are most easily led astray. We are led astray not only by our own willful projections, but by mistaking the effervescent aspects of a spiritual world for its essence, or, as my partner is fond of saying, mistaking the ripples for the fish (again, though, ripples do help us find the fish, if we see them as ripples rather than fish). Sometimes, too, the spirits of this world are actively misleading, which provides one more prong on the how-spiritual-practice-goes-awry flowchart (though I suspect this one gets overdiagnosed because we have a rich tradition of Christian demonology that overemphasizes this risk).
Obviously, in navigating such a place, the help of others is useful, but only insofar as the community and seeker are in sympathy with each other and committed to cooperation. Here, Frisvold’s sharp insight into the difficulties of initiation come into play (all five posts are well worth any seeker’s time). Okay, I admit, this last paragraph is just an excuse to point out those posts because they are probably the closest thing to required reading I’ve seen come across my dash in a long while.