4 Ways to Practice Dark Moon Magick with Reiki, by Melissa Tipton
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
During the Dark Moon, the earth-facing side of the moon is in shadow (in contrast to the Full Moon when it is illuminated by and reflecting the sun's light). Magically, this is an ideal time for plumbing our inner depths and shadow realms and releasing stubborn patterns hindering our growth. Adding Reiki to the mix helps us maintain self-love and compassion in the face of potentially challenging material. Internal parts that might be hiding from the conscious mind out of fear of judgment and shame often feel safer in revealing themselves to the healing process in the presence of Reiki.
Dreams are a potent way of interacting with our unconscious landscape beyond the meddling of the conscious mind, which might otherwise try to shape and mold our reality according to the ego's directives. As such, our dreams act as windows into our hidden nature, and we can use the energy of the Dark Moon to assist us in our truth-seeking. To begin, settle on a question to guide your dreamwork. You might be seeking clarity in regard to a relationship, a work situation, your health, etc. The more specific your question, the easier it will be to interpret the guidance you receive. For example, "How and why am I contributing to my conflict with Aaron?" will likely yield richer insights than asking the broader question, "How can I fix my relationship?"
Once you've settled on a question, perform a simple bedtime ritual to pave the way for insightful dreams. You'll need a cleansed quartz crystal and your question written on a slip of paper. Take a few minutes to focus on your breath, allowing your inhales and exhales to lengthen, calming your mind and bringing your awareness into the present moment. Envision your crown chakra opening to receive a clear stream of Reiki, which fills your entire energy body with white light. Hold the quartz in your left hand and your question in your right.
I enter now the land of dreams—
What once was hidden, now is seen.
I call upon the power of Reiki
To guide my dreams in love and truth.
And this question, I pose to you:
[read your question three times]
Close your eyes, and imagine the energy of your question being absorbed into your right hand, diffusing into your energy field and outward in all directions, like a beacon attracting relevant information and assistance. I often see this as an infinite web of light strands, with pertinent energies flashing like stars in the night sky. See these helpful forces traveling toward you, condensing into the quartz crystal where they will be recorded throughout the night, ready for you to retrieve when you awake. Place the quartz by your bedside or under your mattress—sweet dreams!
The following morning, hold the quartz while you mentally review your dreams. Don't worry if your memory seems spotty; just engage with whatever details arise and trust that they will expand as you do so. Feel the energy in the quartz and imagine accessing it, like a computer file, simply by holding and concentrating your awareness on it. If you use Reiki symbols, you can trace one over your palm chakra before holding the quartz, enhancing the energy flow and communication. Ask to be shown the parts of your dream that are most relevant to your question. To further the work, continue with the next technique, ideally as soon as you wake up.
Building on the previous technique, before you brush your teeth or otherwise engage in starting your day, grab your journal and record anything you can remember from your dream. Often, as you write, other important elements of the dream will resurface. Assume that an answer to your question is hiding in plain sight, like a word jumble, and that the more you interact with the dream content, the clearer it will become. If any interpretations jump out at you, jot them down before proceeding with the following exercise.
Who, What, When, Where
Who: Make a list of the characters in the dream, then free write any associations that come to mind with each character, working with one at a time. Don't censor yourself, even if the words seem a bit random and unrelated. What feelings does this character evoke? What memories do they bring to mind? If you met them in waking life, what would you think about them?
What: Make a list of any memorable objects (e.g. a white dress, a bucket of fish) and occurrences in the dream (e.g. flying a kite, losing your keys), and follow the same process of free association for each. What feelings or memories do these things or events trigger? Do they have any parallels in your waking life?
When: How would you characterize the time period of the dream? Does it remind you of a time from your past or does it feel current?
Where: Describe the environment of the dream. What feelings or memories does this place evoke? Does it remind you of anywhere in your waking life?
Take a few moments to focus on your breath, once again opening your crown chakra to the flow of Reiki, and ask that Reiki assist you in understanding what is most relevant for you to know right now. Reread your dream question, and go over your Who/What/When/Where notes, looking at them with the assumption that they contain answers to your question.
For example, using one of the dream characters, how might you imagine this person responding to your question? What would they do in your shoes? And how do you feel about this potential course of action? A dream character might illustrate aspects of something we want to do but aren't giving ourselves permission to explore, or they might show us something we're doing, perhaps on a subconscious level, that isn't in our best interest. Look at your question through each of the characters' eyes to see different options and understand how your whole self, not just the parts you are conscious of in waking life, feels about the issue.
Following a similar process with your "what" notes, how do they relate to your question? For example, if you jotted down, "chewing gum loudly in school," and you free associated this with rebelliousness and being disrespectful, this could trigger an insight that an inner rebel part is being triggered in your work conflict, causing you to say and do things that are blocking communication and distancing you from your colleagues. Your "when" notes then lead you to a time when you were ten and you were wrongly accused of cheating on a test by a teacher. Lo and behold, these feelings bear a lot of resemblance to your experience with your co-worker, whom you feel has been taking credit for your contributions in work meetings. Through this process, you see that it's important for you to openly and non-combatively discuss with your colleague other ways to present your team's work in meetings, rather than allowing your inner rebel to take over and damage your work relationships.
To bridge the gap between waking and dream life, look for one concrete action step you can take based on the dream material, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be. In the above example, talking to your co-worker would be a great action step, but if nothing that concrete is coming through, try bringing something from the dream into your waking life by, for example, wearing a white dress or adopting some of the mannerisms of a dream character. Pay attention to how you feel when you engage with the dream elements and notice how the world around you responds, all the while staying open to guidance in regard to your question. Over trying to come up with a single, static interpretation of your dream, which can be frustrating, especially with dreams that seem completely nonsensical, view the dream as merely the beginning of a conversation, the meaning of which will become clearer the more you engage with it.
Hidden Tarot Layout
Using this tarot spread during the Dark Moon is a potent way of revealing unseen aspects of yourself and your situation. While this material can be challenging, approaching it with gentleness and compassion will help you integrate long-lost parts of yourself into your conscious awareness, availing you of the gifts these parts have to offer, while also healing the self-destructive side effects of shoving them under the rug.
Before performing the reading, connect with the energy of the Dark Moon, using the following incantation, ideally outside or near a window.
By the darkness of the Moon
I see myself in all my parts.
With Reiki guiding my every step
I expand awareness with my breath.
Throughout the reading, use your breathing, steady and calm, as a touchstone to keep you centered and in a slightly altered state of consciousness. Open your crown chakra to the flow of Reiki, and at any point during the reading when you feel stuck or triggered, pause and re-establish a connection to your breath and to the flow of Reiki.
Shuffle the cards three times while concentrating on your question, then lay down a single card, face-up. Place a second card on top, face-down so that it is covering up half of the first card. You will be left with a fifty-percent view of the first card's image. The partially visible card represents aspects of your situation and within yourself that are partly hidden from conscious awareness, yet are strongly influencing your situation. Take in any insights from this card, exploring how your perception of the card changes with half of it hidden. For example, perhaps the character's arm is held aloft, so you cannot see the sword in their hand. You might associate this with feeling vulnerable and "unarmed," or the hidden sword feels related to backstabbing behavior. Perhaps without the weapon visible, the character appears as if they're throwing their arms out with joy or in an embrace. Check in with your breathing and the flow of Reiki.
Flip over the second card. This represents aspects of your situation and within yourself that are trying to conceal, block, or otherwise impede the flow of energy represented by the first card.
For example, a fear of being vulnerable and unarmed is being concealed by the Devil card, which might be an indication of addictive tendencies being used to mask uncomfortable vulnerability. Once again, check in with your breath and the flow of Reiki.
Finally, shuffle the deck three more times and lay down a third card above the first two, representing a way to integrate the energies of the original cards in a productive manner, supportive of your growth and expansion. How might the influence of this third card change the dynamic of the other two? For example, the three of cups might invite you to practice expressing vulnerability with close friends or get help for a substance abuse issue.
The Dark Moon is a powerful time for self-reflection, and using this phase as a monthly reminder to dialogue with our unconscious keeps the bridge between our inner darkness and light vibrant and productive. Over trying to eradicate our shadow aspects, we partner them with the light of consciousness, granting us deeper access to our unique gifts and a greater appreciation for our whole selves. Learn the seven steps to creating a life you love with the power of Reiki in my book, Living Reiki: Heal Yourself and Transform Your Life.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2019. All rights reserved.