Dan Furst's
Dance of the Moon
Dance of the Moon: Celebrating the Sacred Cycles of the Earth was published by Llewellyn Worldwide on July 1, 2009.
Like most dances, Dance of the Moon moves in a circle. It’s about how we once knew all the moves by heart when we lived in good health and harmony with our bodies, our communities and Mother Earth. How we forgot the steps when we started to worry about whether we were doing it right, and about whether the dance was profitable and useful. And how we’re learning the dance again from our ancient sacred memories, as we return to living in the lunar, feminine time of birth and nourishing in the rhythms of the Moon.
Dan Furst will do a tour of book signings and talks on Living by the Moon in the USA from November 2009 to March, 2010. For current tour schedule, click here.
About Dance of the Moon:
The story begins 10,000 years ago in communities whose main aim was to protect and serve the woman’s body as the vessel of new life. We lived by the body's cycles of heartbeat and breath, sleep and nutrition, menstruation and birth, all timed to the monthly cycle of the Moon. It all began to change by 5,000 years ago, when new civilizations and technologies changed our time reckoning to the yearly cycle of the Sun – and in so doing, changed the center of gravity in our lives from the feminine priorities of birth and protection to the masculine values of control, power and profit. Time has become a tool for making money rather than making and growing new life.
The results are everywhere now, in lives and societies that are sick, chaotic and Earth-hostile because our time is set only to clocks, computers, flow charts and bank cycles rather than our bodies, our births and our souls. This is why more and more of us are looking for ways to align again with the healthy, natural flow of the Moon’s time. Dan Furst’s compassionate, comprehensive, elegant and funny story of the Moon’s journey is the essential guidebook for getting back in the Dance. It is time.
Chapter Outline
Part I:

 Before We Invented Time, We Had Time for Everything

Chapter 1:            The Circle is Cast: Living in the Moon's Time
Our earliest ways of growing food, predicting events and running our lives all came from the rhythms of the body: heartbeat, breath, digestive and sleep cycles, and the menstrual cycle, named for its connection with “Moon.” The female birth cycle, like the fields where crops grow, works for nine months and rests for three. The woman’s body was the tribal timepiece long before anyone made a “clock.” And the Moon was our earliest, most immediate symbol of rebirth: If she vanishes every 28 days, then reappears in the cup of the newborn crescent – do we do the same? Does the human soul pass through darkness and back into birth, as the New Moon does? The Triple Goddess knows.
Chapter 2: The Earth Time of the Celts
The origin and early history of the Celtic peoples of Europe. The "Knowers of the Oak," the Druidic Orders of Druids, bards and ovades. How the system of training Druidic high magistrates was a powerful cohesive force among the various Celtic peoples -- and why it posed a persistent and formidable threat to the Roman aim of imperial control. Celtic and Druidic time, and myths and realities about the "Celtic tree calendar." The Druidic Otherworld, and why Celtic and Druidic philosophy and ethics have made the Celts an especially attractive model for neo-pagans and practitioners of Wicca.
Chapter 3:            Four Beasts: The Great Mid-Season Festivals
The Fixed Cross of the Angel or Man (Aquarius, birth and thaw in mid-winter), the Bull (Taurus, youth and leafing out in mid-spring), the Lion (Leo, growth and ripening in mid-summer) and the Eagle (Scorpio, harvest and death in mid-autumn). The most ancient of all Earth festival cycles, born in Sumeria 6,000 years ago, but better known as the cycle of Samhain (Nov. 1), Imbolc (Feb. 1), Beltane (May 1) and Lughnasad (Aug. 1) celebrat-ed by the ancient Celts and Celtic-Druidic, Wiccan and “neo-pagan” communities today.
Chapter 4:            Enter the Snow Dragon: Lunisolar Calendars
Circular timekeeping saw life in endlessly recurring cycles of birth and decay. Cyclical time in Celtic-Druidic, Egyptian, Norse, Vedic and other cultures as the basis of lunar calendars with movable feasts that most religions – Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism and indigenous communities – still use to align their spiritual and mundane lives with the life cycle of the Earth. Even the timing of Christian Easter depends on the Moon. In ancient Eurasia, the Chinese New Year we celebrate today was a Universal New Year that affirmed the sacred feminine in what the Chinese call the Care of the Cow.
Part II: 
From Cycles to Schedules -- or, How 13 Got Unlucky and 12 Got Religion
Chapter 5:         Going Like 60: Solstices and Equinoxes
How solar calendars evolved in the Age of Taurus, from Mesopotamia’s crucial invention of a time system based on 12, so that mathematicians could create a calendar of fixed dates that remain the same from year to year, and replace the movable feasts. Celts in Britain built Stonehenge and other sacred sites in order to predict solstices and equinoxes. The new Cardinal Cross (of dates beginning each season) begins to replace the Fixed Cross of mid-season festivals as a more accurate and intellectually satisfying way of managing, rather than living within, the life cycle of what is no longer Mother Earth.
Chapter 6:         The Zodiac Gets Official
Why the 12-sign zodiac evolved the way it did, in the Age of Aries (c. 2,300 – 140 BC). Asklepios the god of medicine, his miraculous rites of dream healing, and the mysterious “13th constellation,” Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer. From mystic union to mental analysis – or, how the Eleusinian Mysteries faded into Ptolemy’s zodiac. The emergence of the new Sacred 12 in the solar months and the zodiac signs. Julius Caesar and Roman time.
Chapter 7:         Time Out! How 13 Got Unlucky
How Egypt, Greece and early Christian Europe made time a technology for increasing production and adding value, and ultimately for gaining power through control of money and labor. How old lunar numbers were demonized as feminine 13 became unlucky and unholy: on Friday the 13th (sacred, naturally, to Venus), the Death card in the Tarot, Jesus and his 12 disciples. Sleeping Beauty as a tale of trouble that ensues when the King has only 12 golden plates – but there are 13 fairies who all want to come to the Ball.
Part III: 
Spiriual Time and the Wheel of the Year 
Chapter 8:         The Sacred Time of the Maya
An introduction to Mayan calendars. The sacred Tzolkin calendar of 260 days (13 spirit-ual states or phases called uinals, each lasting 20 days) as a soul evolution tool for both individuals and the community. The genius of Mayan astronomers in devising multiple calendars based on cycles of the Earth, Venus and Mars, and the Long Count controversy that began a hundred years ago in classical Mayan studies by Mark Twain, among others.
Chapter 9:         Insh'allah, the Moon Appears: the Muslim Calendar
Muslim time is unique. Its 12-month lunar calendar is the only one that aligns itself with neither solar year nor Earth seasons, but only with the will of God. In its 356-day cycle, the only important days – the Prophet’s birthday, the journey to Mecca, the holy month of Ramadan move backwards 10 days each year in Western time, so that every great feast, sooner or later, falls on every single day of the solar year. We’ll see, insh’allah (God willing) how the cultural divide between Islam and the West is a matter of time.
Chapter 10:         The Circle is Cast Again: The Wheel of the Year

Witches’ Wheel: Wiccan and Earth spirituality calendars combine the solar dates of the solstices and equinoxes, and the four mid-season sabbats. This chapter will have eight brief sub-chapters, devoted to the Eight Great Festivals of the Earth Year:

Spring Equinox (March 21): Sun enters Aries. Birth. The fire and drive of Mars

Beltaine (early May): mid-Spring. Sun in high Taurus. The green abundance of Venus

Summer Solstice (June 21): Sun enters Cancer. Homebuilding. Dance of the Moon

Lughnasadh (early August): mid-Summer. Sun in Leo. The solar alchemy of Love

Autumn Equinox (Sept. 23): Sun in Libra. Homecoming, ingathering and atonement

Samhain (early November): Sun in Scorpio. Harvest, passion and death. Pluto rules

Winter Solstice (Dec. 21): Sun in Capricorn. Rebirth of the Light. Scythe of Saturn

Imbolc (early Feb.): Sun in Aquarius. Thaw. Quickening to birth. Trickster Uranus

Chapter 11:           The Year According to Those Who Know

The heart of the book, based on the lore of those who are called “witches” because they have knowledge: of stars, plants, stones, and all other signs that enable Wise Women to guide the life of the community according to the birth cycle of the female, and the life cycle of Mother Earth.

This chapter has 13 sections: an introduction of the esbats, then the 12 lunation cycles (of the Full or Dark Moons) in the Lunar calendar.

These sub-chapters show how the main holy days and festival cycles of the ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Shinto, Taoist, Christian and indigenous traditions all share the same symbols and mythic stories of the soul's journey and the life cycle of the Earth, as the author has presented it in detail since 1998 in his Universal Lunar Calendar.

Chapter 12: 2012 and Spiral Time
Today’s 2012 controversy has grown since the 1980’s out of new research in the Mayan calendar, archaeo-astronomy, world mythic traditions – and has been stoked above all by pimps of Doom who know profit is spelled F-E-A-R, as it was in the Y2K folly of 1999. How the Maya saw the End of Time, as their Long Count expires, not as a terrifying “end of the world,” but as an end of ignorance, a moment of liberation from our misperception of time, space and our own possibilities, as we ascend and expand into greater spiritual consciousness in spiral time.
Epilogue: 
Time's Up! -- but the Beat Goes On
Chapter 13: The Circle Opens
As the Age of Aquarius begins, time has become a matter of conscious choice for increasing numbers of people who seek to live in Earth-revering communities, to build sustainable local economies, and to invent mythic rites and festivals. As we perceive and realize the power of our own alchemy of manifestation, and of our collective intentions held in a spirit of love, acceptance, unity and compassion, we are able to use time itself as a kind of artist's medium for bringing about planetary healing and a breakthrough into new spiritual consciousness. How, and why, more and more people choose to live in the Moon's time.
Appendix: 
Lunar Festival Resources, Tribes, Ceremonies and Networks
Bibliography
For additional publication data on Dance of the Moon, see Llewellyn Worldwide.

 

Copyright 2009 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.