What I learned about prayer from the Hamilton cast

Saturday was the third day of the dark moon. The dark moon is a time of divination. Of illumination. Of healing. And this dark moon was no exception.

She delivered quite the gift, and I’m pretty sure it’s as much for you as it is for me.

Although we now live drenched in artificial light, somewhere deep in our bones we remember when we lived in synchronicity with Mother Moon. We looked up. We heard her songs. We heeded her wisdom.

Mother moon’s gifts helped the whole community, but they were first delivered to her daughters.

Long before patriarchy upended the natural harmonies of life, the women in the community would gather together under the dark moon and bleed together. In the dark, we would sing and pray and cherish their sacred stories. For three days, we were absolved of work so we could devote themselves to heeding the rhythms of the moon. Rhythms that speak of the natural flow of life into death followed by rebirth.

We knew this because the moon told us so.

Rebirth would always arrive with the first glimmer of the new crescent moon, announcing that it was time for the women to the community to share their gifts of insight, divination, and direction.

If you are just beginning to pay attention to Mother Moon, here’s the shorthand for the dark moon ritual:

  1. On the first day, you ceremonially release anything that stands between you and your fullness.
  2. On the second day, you rest.
  3. On the third, your empty, well-rested self receives a gift.

I’ve been following the dark moon ritual for 13 lunar cycles, ever since I first heard about it August of last year. In that “year and a day”—a mythic Celtic saying for 13 lunar cycles of 28 days + 1 or 365 days—I’ve learned to trust that I will receive a gift on the 3rd day of the dark moon.

I never see it coming. It always sneaks up on me. But I always recognize it when it comes. Oh! This is definitely a gift that will expand and deepen my life as a prayer artist and awakening witch and serve my community.

This lunar cycle’s gift was delivered in a strange way indeed. It came via the cast of Hamilton.

On Friday night—rest day—I watched the Hamilton cast and crew answer questions about being in the show. It was a fundraiser for Biden/Harris and over 100,000 people attended.

I’ve never seen the show, so it was an odd choice to watch this special event.

I don't know why I did it, but my gut said go and when my gut says go, I do.

As the cast members spoke, I found myself grabbing my journal to record the richness. Here’s a wee taste. When asked if he had any advice for young people who can’t be in performances right now, a singer exhorted his listeners to sing anyway.

“If it’s meant to be sung, sing it. If it’s meant to be lived, live it. You have no option but to live the art that wants to be lived.”

I stared at him on the screen with wide wondering eyes. YOU, dear sir, are my kind of guy! I don’t know who he was or what part he played, but his message—pure gold.

And then the producer spoke. He said he “produces with his body.

He said that when he has a visceral, physical, full-body reaction to a song or an actor or a play, he knows it’s his work to do. If his body doesn’t respond, then it’s not his work. My body gave that a big Yes because I pray with and from my body. I trust my body to lead me where I’m meant to go.

Now, as I was listening, I wasn’t thinking about the gift I would receive on day three. I wasn’t. I was just relishing being in the company of such creative geniuses.

But my soul was listening. And she surfaced in the night whispering: “prayer isn’t something you do, it’s something you are.”

I scratched that in the dark on the yellow pad that is always in bed with me. When I woke this morning, I looked at what I’d written in the night and smiled. But I didn’t think it was the gift. Then, I did my daily anointing. Often the gift comes during the anointing, but not today.

It happened in deep soul writing.

I had just opened my journal. I hadn’t even recorded the date or written my salutation to “Beloved Vibration of Mother Sophia!” But suddenly I had to write:

Prayer isn’t something you do
it’s something you are

A witch isn’t something you are called
it’s someone you remember

This landed deep in my body as truth. And what a great gift, because my main charter right now is to redefine and re-sacralize prayer and redefine and re-sacralize witch. And what a sweet, simple, clear way to do so.

But one more gift was waiting in the wings. As I finished my soul writing, I wrote:

Be the Prayer
Become the Witch

I think I have been given my signature hashtag!

And now, as the crescent moon beckons in the night sky, I will bring the gifts I have been given to life.

Because this is the art that must be lived by me.

By the time we meet again next Sunday, I will be ready to announce the birth of The 9 Mothers of Stella Maris prayer on October 31 plus a radically different The Lotus and The Lily intensive to help us complete 2020 and enter 2021.

What a dark moon this has been. And what a gift I have been given for my community.

to living the art that wants to be lived,

PS: If you want to feel HOME in your body, join us in the Finding Home intensive. Our second gathering to find home in our land is Tuesday.

FINDING HOME prayer intensive

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