It’s Not Just A Phase.
Welcome to the tail end of the Astrological Year, also known as The Dark Sun Phase. You may have some understanding of why it’s Magical to align your Self with the phases of The Moon but did you know this is an excellent time of year to align your Self with the Phases of The Sun?
Wait, The Sun Has Phases? Yes, The Sun has phases, similar to the Moon's phases; energetically at least. Obviously, the Sun’s phases are not generated in the same way the Moon's phases are but they have similar Magical impacts and potentials. The Sun Phases are best understood in a more abstract way rather than a literal way like we can do with The Moon’s phases.
The reason for this abstraction is the celestial mechanics of our Universe. We don’t all see The Sun’s phases in the same way see The Moon’s phases. However, some of us see a change in the quality or duration of sunlight during the annual cycle; this depends on where you live. The closer you get to the equator the less you’re able to "see" the phases IRL however we’re all sensitive to its cycle.
What Is The Dark Sun Phase? The Dark Sun is similar to The Dark Moon. It is about endings (death) and letting go of the things that aren't meant for us anymore. This is a time for big ShadowWeRK.
During The Dark Sun, we’re often able to end and/or release bigger things. It is also about tending the connection between doing our personal, interpersonal, and collective ShadowWeRK. This intersection of ShadowWeRK makes it an important tool for Sweet Disruption, revolution, and healing.
Intersections of The Dark Moon & The Dark Sun. During each of The Dark Moon phases per year, we can be Magically called to banish what is no longer personally needed or helpful. It can also be a time to set strong boundaries around things that are harmful to us. Dark Phases have a lot of protective energy for doing exactly that.
With The Dark Moon, we can go deep, deep, deep within our emotional center to reconnect with our core Self. It is a time of composting our emotional and energetic trash, which can build up during the lighter and brighter phases.
The Dark Moon is more focused on Moon-related WeRK (see: Moon keywords and themes like emotions, instincts, intuition, and more private or internal work we do IN within our Self).
The Dark Sun is focused on more Sun-related WeRK (see: Sun keywords and themes like ego, vitality, purpose, and the more public or external WeRK we do IN the world).
During it's Dark Phase, which happens when The Sun moves from about 7º of Scorpio to 29º of Sagittarius, we have the opportunity to merge that personal ShadowWeRK we did during The Dark Moon cycles of the previous annual cycle (year) with the ShadowWeRK of our friends & community. What needs to be tended to as we all pushed into the “cave” of winter?
This time of year forces us inside. It offers us less time to be outside in the sunlight and brings us more hours of darkness so we can gather together and dream our way thru what needs to be tended and improved before Spring returns. This dreaming also connects us to the collective unconscious realm, allowing us to tend to the Shadows of the collective.
When we do this WeRK intentionally we can be reborn in Spring with plans to make life better for every living thing. Surviving The Dark phase together makes grateful AND encourages us to help each other thru the cycle; from when The New Sun returns to the next Dark Sun Phase.
Using nature as our metaphor for this exploration of The Dark Sun.
Please Note: If you live in the Southern Hemisphere you’re experiencing the opposite Sun Phase so you will want to learn more about the Dark & Full Sun Phases during your Autumn Season, aka: Gemini and Cancer Seasons.
For those of us in the more northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere, this time of year can be very pronounced and dramatic. In these regions, The Dark Sun season often starts about a week into Scorpio Season; with a flash of deep purple, bright red, orange, and yellow foliage. This color shift is dramatic but by the end of Sagittarius season, much of that foliage has fallen to the ground and composted away. Notice how stark the leafless trees look as this season progresses. Notice that you don’t see as many birds or animals running around. The Dark Sun is the time when many (but not all) animals and plants tend to be entering into their "death" cycles; which can be everything from growing more fur to entering hibernation to an actual death. Many of the trees and plants also enter a more subtle sleep phase during The Moon’s Dark Phases while The Dark Sun’s cycle is often bigger and more pronounced periods of rest. The basic physical science most of the west worships has validated the correlation between the Moon’s phases and changes in every aspect of life on Earth too. (Yay, science is Magic and Magic is science!)
The energy of both The Sun and The Moon's Dark cycles feels heavier and we're called to rest more. Of course, both capitalism and patriarchy despise this and that’s likely the root of why humans are the only part of this ecosystem that actively resists and attempts to deny The Dark part of every cycle.
This is also why capitalism and patriarchy are constantly calling us into the frenzy that all the autumn and winter holidays (aka: The HollerDAZE) have become. What should be a time for resting and deep introspection has become a stressful time filled with fake lights, forced joy, and running around panicked while overspending.
Now, it can be hard to give up the nostalgia around the holidays but it's important that we look at that more closely. And sure, maybe YOU don't feel stress or dismay this time of year. Maybe it's joyful and wonderful for you. If that's true, great. But, you may want to examine the layers of privilege you have around it before you get upset at the folx who are trying to call out its toxicity too.
We must look at the extreme levels of oppression, appropriation, and environmental destruction this time of year can create. Consider this a gentle invitation to examine how this information feels: if we aren't willing to sacrifice the nostalgic things when we learn they are harmful we will never be able to change in any meaningful, permanent way. And, this doesn’t mean we cannot have celebrations, it means we absolutely should have them but in more aligned and conscientious ways.
And remember we are exploring The Dark so expect this to be uncomfortable WeRK. If you can’t move through simply thinking about this and the discomfort becomes too much, please reach out for support.
This time of year is difficult for many not because The Dark part of the year is terrible or dangerous but because we’ve been severed from accessing the power and assets available to us when we do our ShadowWeRK during The Dark phases. We need to remember the value of The Dark and reclaim it as the Magical Gift and Tool it is. We must also acknowledge that this struggle occurs is because this time of year has become a giant boom of power and profits for the three-headed hydra (patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy) rather than a time to honor death, our ancestors, and our deep need for each other.
The Dark Sun asks us to examine how the WeRK we do to tend to The Self during the “monthly” Dark Moon phases connects to the collective whole. The Sun is the source of life for every living thing in our ecosystem, it is the center of our galaxy and we are meant to collectively tend to this part of the larger cycle as if it is vital to our Self (pssst…cuz it is).
Let me summarize in case this is getting too abstract; during the twelve Dark Moon phases of each annual cycle we are meant to tend to the inner ShadowWeRK of our Self and during The Dark Sun phase, which is roughly eight weeks of each year, we are meant to bring out “tended to and cared for Self” together with the larger collective for collective ShadowWeRK. This is where we can tend to all of our intersections, including where we intersect with nature (plants, animals, water, air, earth, fire, etc.).
We’re not meant to be doing the hardest part of the cycles alone and this is likely why most cultures across the globe have celebrations about death (both literal and figurative) during the Dark parts of the annual cycle (which, again can happen at different times of the “calendar year”).
These celebrations are commonly about death but also about coming together in birth/rebirth WeRK too. Many of these celebrations allow us to commune with our dead ancestors; they are times to celebrate their lives. Death is part of life and when we try to deny it or avoid it we miss out on it's powerful personal and collective Magic. Looking at our own death as part our Self WeRK during The Dark Moon can be very heavy AND bringing that into our collective WeRK can feel terrifying…but not because it IS terrifying. That is an important distinction. We’ve been intentionally conditioned to believe that feeling terrified of death and The DaRK is normal and correct. The power-over structure that surrounds us does not want us to change this belief because we are easier to manipulate and control when we are terrorized, especially by something inevitable and out of our control.
And that is precisely why we must do this WeRK.
Reclaiming The Dark, Embracing Death.
In an act of Sweet Disruption, we can reframe the toxic belief that The Dark and Death are scary and terrible. We can remember that we ARE nature and much of what we “know” about nature is an intentional lie. We can also examine our relationships with nostalgia, traditions, and the health of our relationships with the collective and with nature and then build stronger, different relationships there.
Some questions about Nature to ponder and reframe:
Why do you believe that nature is rooted in competition? Do you think that's really true?
Where do you see nature act in a scarcity mindset or pattern?
How does the “violence” of nature make you feel? For example seeing a predator “kill” it's prey. How do you feel about this concept?
Is it more violent for a predator to starve or the prey to be killed and eaten?
Why do you think death is painful or terrible and do you believe animals and plants see or experience their deaths the same way?
What mysteries of nature do you feel are important and which make you feel afraid?
Take some time to journal about this questions. Do some research and question EVERYTHING you've learned in “school ” about nature and science. Come back and review these answers and/or answer them again at the end of The Dark Sun Phase.
The Dark Sun Phase sounds scary and terrible. And that's intentional. This time is meant to be a time that feels cozy and contained. We're creatures who are meant to be nuzzled up indoors during The Dark phases. We cannot wOrk all the time! We are meant to nap and to rest. This phase is designed to give us space to review the lighter parts of the cycle from our safe, cozy caves. It is designed for composting and recharging. It is also an imperative part of bonding with our communities and the collective. This requires vulnerability and compromise but it fruits the relationships we’re all seeking to have. We are designed to share and to need each other. We're meant to let our food sources rest too. If we lived aligned with nature we'd have created stores of food and supplies during this period; we'd also turn off or consumerism and consumptions but instead this system hyper activates that with holiday eating, shopping, and stress.
We cannot have sustain life much longer in a culture of endless consumption and growth models. We cannot have Light without Dark and we cannot truly thrive in this life without each other. Additionally, none of us will survive this life. Death will come for each of us and no one really gets to know what happens afterwards. We may have faith and belief about what happens but thus far science hasn’t been able to find proof; perhaps this is a good thing? This is a deep topic and rather than dig all the way into it (at least here) this is an invitation to sit with the ideas and beliefs we hold and to see if you can reframe WHY you have the thoughts, feelings, and reactions to Death and The Dark that you do. This is another reason why we need our communities and the collective too AND another reason why we’ve been intentionally severed from those support systems.
Let's set an intention during THIS Dark Sun Phase: let's promise to dig into this WeRK together and support each other through the uncomfortable process of composting
How do we remember and reclaim The Dark Sun? This phase was intended to be the time of year when we review the past cycle as a whole. We look at the introspective WeRK we did in each of The Dark Moon phases and we begin to see how that WeRK layers on top of and threads thru our life as a whole. If used as intended we can use this time to see where our Self meets the collective in a healthy way. And it can show us what may have become unhealthy and needs to be tended to or removed.
The Dark is where we connect to the power of knowing we are worthy, valuable, and unique because of faults and failures rather than trying to keep hiding our shit. It also gives us space to move through any guilt, shame, or regret we have for our mistakes WHICH I want to be very clear about this: those “negative” feelings are also valuable. Those “negative” feelings are edges, they are important information about where we meet our core Self, each other, and the collective whole. The goal is never to not have guilt, shame or regret - or any negative emotion for that matter. The goal is to hold them usefully as tools for excavation, transmutation, and gaining empathy for our Self and others.
It is an intentional act to keep us from embracing this part of the cycle. This is why the annual celebrations (aka: the holidays), times that were meant to make us feel good about all of our ShadowWeRK, have been stolen and commodified.
There is little to do when you’re holed up in your cave but think about your Self and what you’d like to do better, both for your Self and the collective in the next cycle and most of us are missing this ritual in our lives.
As you prepare to reclaim the cycles and integrate The Dark back into your life, consider this new information as we move through the HollerDAZE ahead.
Notice what The Dark Moon Phase typically brings forward for you. Are there any themes that come up during these phase each month?
Keep notes on what comes up for you during this Dark Sun Phase so you can reflect on it again next year.
Notice when/if stress comes up as you doing any of this WeRK during The Dark Sun Phase. Where is your ShadowWeRK rooted this year?
For many, the first layer of this WeRK is rooted in nostalgia. There is a lot of nostalgia connected to this time of year. Ask your Self if what’s actually needed is some ShadowWeRK to release the bonds of nostalgia, which is a weapon of the toxic system. There is so much beautiful, disruptive WeRK we can do by releasing our connections to the nostalgia.
Consider creating new celebrations, rituals, and traditions that honor disruption and the reclaiming of the cycles in our daily lives. We don’t have to give up the celebrations but we do need to acknowledge the roots we are holding today may be rotten. This is exactly what doing ShadowWeRK in The Dark phases offers us.
As we begin to pull up these nostalgic roots and reclaim the rituals and celebrations we deserve we may start to see how to pull the whole Sun Cycle into our daily lives throughout the entire year. May The Dark Sun bring you the blessing of removing what is not serving, or worse actively harming your Self, and may it bring the blessing of deeper connections in your interpersonal relationships and to our collective as well.