The Call of Celestial Bodies - The Call: Remembering Who You Are

Kindling the Native Spirit: Sacred Practices for Everyday Life - Denise Linn 2015

The Call of Celestial Bodies
The Call: Remembering Who You Are

Almost all living things, including human beings and even the smallest single-celled organisms, have some sort of internal time-keeping system that depends on the sunlight. Our native ancestors intuitively understood this and knew how to live in harmony with the cycles of the sun. They realized that the sun synchronizes rhythms of growth and dormancy, rest and activity.

We are each profoundly affected by the cycles of light and dark, and most of our biological rhythms require sunlight. Within our bodies are numerous biological clocks, which are highly complex with deeply ingrained, repetitive cycles. For example, our body temperature and serotonin levels change with remarkable precision every day. The level of hormones regulating growth is higher in the summer than in the winter. In fact, every biological function of the body follows precise cycles that are dictated by the sun. These rhythms evolved at a time when humans lived more closely with nature. A body’s metabolism, for instance, slows down in the autumn, probably as a way of conserving body fat for the long, cold winter when food would be scarce.

Although some of our biological cycles have evolved to the point where they can be maintained without natural sunlight, our well-being decreases without regular exposure. The modern inventions of electricity and lightbulbs have increased our productivity; however, these advantages have also disconnected us from the natural cycle of day and night. Interestingly, research has found that for those who have trouble sleeping, one week in nature (without any electrical devices) could reset their biological body clock and synchronize their melatonin hormones (which aid in sleep) with the sunset and sunrise.

Our bodies are programmed to be active in the day and to wind down in the dark; in native cultures, one would work in the daytime and relax around the fire in the evening to share stories, recount the events of the day, and enjoy a meal together. This rhythm of work and rest allowed one to renew one’s energy, and it unified the family energy. In our modern life, it’s not always possible to do this, but whenever you have a choice, try to be active in the day hours and rest in the dark hours. When you answer the call of the cycle of the sun, a natural rhythm begins to arise within you, which in turn brings a natural rhythm into your life.



One of the ways you can reestablish your connection to the rhythms of nature is to emulate natural cycles of light in your home. For example, if it’s still dark outside when you wake up on a winter’s morning, instead of immediately turning on bright lights, begin your day by lighting a candle or using very dim light. Gradually progress to full-intensity lighting. This modulation reflects the way morning sunlight starts with pale light, which slowly increases in brightness and intensity.

Also, as much as possible, spend time outdoors in natural light, or sit near a window. This process can be reversed at night—rather than having the lights on bright at night, dim them and light some candles or make a fire. This gives the message to your body that you’re in alignment with the natural rhythm of the sun, and this in turn ignites the native soul within you, and it also helps balance your inner biorhythms.


Another potent cycle, especially for women, is the cycle of the moon. Its gravitational pull affects the tides and the surfaces of the earth, as each month it actually subtly distorts the earth, pulling one side toward it. This cyclical pulling dramatically impacts our energy, our body fluids . . . and for a woman, her menstrual cycles. It’s not a coincidence that a woman’s menstrual cycle and the cycle of the moon are the same number of days. In native cultures, moon ceremonies were considered as powerful as sun ceremonies, and it was just as important to adhere to the cyclical nature of the moon as that of the sun. Someone who’s in touch with the cycles of the moon will be more connected to his or her own internal rhythms. Each cycle of the moon is divided into four phases—new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon. There are not set times when one ends and another starts; they just flow into each other, as does your own energy cycles. Here are some traditional meanings:

· Waxing Moon: This is the time when the light radiating from the moon is growing. It’s the time for the seeds of ideas that were planted in the new moon to begin to grow. This is an excellent time to put the wheels in motion for your new projects.

· Full Moon: This is the time for the culmination of projects; and it’s a great time to celebrate, expand, and expound. Let your creative juices flow! Participate with friends.

· Waning Moon: This is the time when moon’s light is receding; a time to surrender and release what isn’t needed in your life. It’s also a time to assimilate and absorb what you’ve learned in the previous weeks.

· New Moon: This phase begins with the dark of the moon. This is the time for reflection and introspection. It’s the time to be still and listen to your inner voice. Sleep, dream, meditate. Renew your energy.


Eons ago, when people slept under the stars, women’s bodies naturally harmonized with the phases of the moon. Most women had their monthly cycle during the new moon. The full moon was thought to be the time of fertility. During the expansive energy of the full moon, it was not uncommon for ovulation to be at its height. Menstruation (also called “moon-time”) was a time of powerful community among women in earth-based cultures. Often women would have their moon cycle at the same time, so their gathering renewed connections with each other. Females in a tribe would gather in what was called a “moon lodge” in Native American traditions, or “the red tent” in Middle Eastern traditions. They didn’t forage, cook, or prepare food. They allowed themselves time for rest and renewal. (The older and younger women would take over the chores so the menstruating women would have this time in the moon lodge.) As they gathered together, the women pulled their energy inward and replenished themselves, in preparation for the month ahead. Unfortunately, our modern-day culture doesn’t allow women to have downtime during their moon cycle, so we no longer honor this important tradition.

Since we have become separated from the natural world, our body rhythms and our moon-times no longer correspond with the lunar rhythms, and hence we are out of balance with nature. However, there is a way to help harmonize your body rhythms. During the new moon, make your bedroom as dark as possible, and during the three or four days of the full moon, if the moonlight shines directly into your bedroom, open the curtains. If not, consider sleeping with a small night-light, which will serve to mimic the moon’s glow. There is a place inside you that will respond. Women who have done this report that it feels like something that had been out of sync moved back into balance.

When you answer the call of the rhythm of the moon, life becomes less of a struggle. You’ll find an easy flow occurring in your life.



Stand outside at nighttime as often as you can, and take a “moon bath” by allowing the light of the moon to wash over your body. Or, stand by an open window and open your arms to the moon.