The moon orbits the spinning earth, and in its phases and cycles, seemingly shows us aspects of itself: new, crescent, quarter, full. Although it appears to be changing shape on its journey, the moon is actually reflecting the light from the sun. It is always moving, intact, whole. In truth, the moon is always full.

Sometimes in our search for meaning, we tend to take concepts and symbols apart, and then focus on the parts, and not the whole. A symbol we are all familiar with is the Taoist symbol of the yin yang. The image is a static version of its wholeness. Life is always in motion, always in a process of becoming, and changing. Like the moon, the yin yang is a symbol for change, for motion, for the play of light and shadow. We think of it in halves, and opposites — but it is not day or night, fall and winter. It is all things: day becoming night, fall becoming winter, growth and decay. It is always moving, intact, whole. This is time.

In the richness of Jungian psychology, this concept and its symbols are understood, and utilized, as the anime and animus. The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men, and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women. But this energy is not static, neither halves or opposites — male or female, logic or compassion, conscious or unconscious, light or shadow. It is always moving, intact whole. This is being.

Yeats said, “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on the battlefield.” Our life path is to realize the self. Not merely to explore and reconcile our light and our shadow, but to awaken what already resides within us. Like the moon, we are reflecting light, serving as mirrors for one another, not static, but reflective, responsive. This is transcendence.

In truth, like the moon, we are always moving, intact, whole, and full.


  1. March 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I try to remember this, especially your last two paragraphs. It’s hard sometimes when my intentions even for myself are misunderstood, like all the mirrors around me are broken. That happens to me more when the illusive “business” world or “political” world dictates clash with what I need for myself spiritually. It’s been hard to keep my balance lately, but I look for ways. I try.

    • March 29, 2012 at 7:41 am

      Me too. We are always regaining balance. Spiritual and psychological growth are not easy, and require our commitment, patience, and courage. There’s a lot to learn from fractured images and even other people’s projections, they draw us in for a closer look. I love the image from one of your stories with the fun house mirrors — it makes the self examination seem less painful. I thank you for that.

  2. March 29, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Wow, Toni. You are a master of brevity, because this piece is so densely packed with wisdom, it could easily have been three times longer. “Neither halves or opposites,” but fluid, dynamic, unfixed, un-pin-downable. The whole post feels like that to me, like a true embodiment of the Tao, in that it itself actively, dynamically undermines my efforts to fix and pin down things into fixed, static concepts.

    “Not merely to explore and reconcile our light and our shadow, but to awaken what already resides within us.” So true, but there’s so much in this one sentence, so much that flies in the face of what a LOT of folks believe and teach. (Also, fab Yeats quote!) Anyway, thanks for this. Zowee.

  3. March 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks Sam – ha, brevity…the things you learn using Twitter!

    Maybe, like the yin yang symbol, you have to slow a concept down to see it, but keep in mind that it is not tethered to anything and likes to roll on.

    Your thought processes and concepts are always clear, and flowing like water. I am a big fan of your work (and a big fan will come in handy if the weather gets any warmer).

  4. Jamie Dedes
    April 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    That quote of Yeats is one of my favorites.

    Nice, nice post.

    • April 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Dear Jamie,

      It is a great quote, isn’t it? Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.
      I enjoy your writing.


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: