Sunday, March 12, 2017

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

When I write this I have just woken up. The moon is shining through the window, creating a path on the bedroom floor in otherworldly white – that cold moonlight that touches on blue. It’s five in the morning, and I’m waiting for coffee, as Michael is an early riser, and makes much better coffee than me. While I wait, and slowly wake up, I watch the path of the moon. I’m only halfway out of the dream-world. I come to think of a fairytale, a Norwegian folktale called “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” that I read often when I was a kid. This is a story with a Beauty and the Beast theme; it includes meetings and partings, deals and deal-breakers, and centers around a heroine whose curiosity brings the story forward, and whose persistence seals the deal. She makes a long journey to find the castle that lies east of the sun and west of the moon, where she can find her lover and break his curse, so that they can be together.

 Fairytales and folktales are built on the language of the magical world, the language of the spirit and the soul. I never grew out of fairytales. Instead, I simply added a somewhat more sophisticated understanding of what they tried to say, by immersing myself in symbology, mythology, dream-interpretation, Jungian psychology, and different magical systems from around the world, as well as ceremonies and rituals. All aiming to create a language to bring ourselves closer to ourselves.
The moon-path on the bedroom floor – for a brief moment – brings me to that place, the castle east of the sun and west of the moon. A place we have to go through many trials to reach, a place where our soul speaks clearly. 

There are many languages and paths to get there. They are all a life-long learning. They are all spiritual. They all contain the knowledge that there is more to life than what we see with our physical eyes and hear with our physical ears. In The Echo World we try to create a space for these voices – be they the voice of the healer or the reader of Akashic records, the persons who have chosen the road of Tantra, or astrology. We have many great voices and themes this issue: for example, Margot Anand who finds her way to enlightenment through sexual practices, Simon Hayes who works with spirit guides and energy-healing, and Steven Cardoza who works with ancient Chinese medicine. 

Most of us strive to go to that place of knowing, of feeling, of being close to soul, as much as we can in our everyday life. To find our way to the castle that lies east of the sun and west of the moon. To find our way to those moments when the natural world speaks to us and makes us whole, be it misty rain on our face, a warming sun or a moon-path shining on our floor early in the morning. 
I get my coffee. I’m waking up, getting ready for the day with all its fixings and dealings and sometimes tedious details and pressing deadlines. But I will try to hold on to that feeling, that language of soul, that touch of the divine, and bring some of it with me into the day. Because the castle east of the sun and west of the moon is always with us, waiting within us, and never lost. It’s only the path there we have to figure out, by being curious and persistent. Any path works. Be inspired and find one that works for you.

This text first appeared as my Editorial in The Echo World, March issue 2017.

Illustrations top and bottom by Kay Nielsen illustrations for East of the Sun West of the Moon, first published 1914. Photo middle courtesy of Pxabay - 


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  2. Thanks, Sofia. This is beautiful. xo, Leslie

  3. Thank you Leslie! Your support means a lot to me.