I've had several people ask me already about the name of my art therapy practice, Mothermoon. I chose this name intuitively, because the moon represents to me the sleeping / dreaming world of the Unconscious, whose language is symbol, metaphor, and art. Many great works of art have been inspired by dreams. Many insights have been reached through unconscious means, seemingly out of nowhere, but always with that feeling that "I already knew this somehow." The moon is rich in its heritage of myths, stories and rituals that continue today through the common practice of Astrology.

In Astrology, the moon rules the emotions and senses. The moon is cyclical in nature, and reflects the cyclical and transitory nature of our own emotions, the primary fuel-source for art creation. The moon also typically represents the feminine, and internal, personal issues.

Information about Astrology and the moon from First Principles: Symbolism of the Sun and Moon by Therese Hamilton.

Some words associated with the moon, that are also closely related to expressive art therapy are:

intuition, illumination, psyche, cycles, transition, emotion, perception, progression, mystery, wonder, shadow, balance, and renewal. Taken from Symbolic Moon Facts.

A separate article could be written from each of these words, as they are so integral to the process of expressive art therapy. Reading through them, you can get a sense of what you might experience as you progress from session to session, and even within a single expressive art therapy session.

The full moon can represent a state of wholeness and self-realization (from meditation on full moon, symbolism and self-realization by Sadiq Alam) the ultimate goal of expressive therapy.

I am more personally connected to the symbolism found within the Jungian archetypes. Jung called the moon "The Great Mother," symbolizing "Matriarchal Consciousness," or sympathy, wisdom, spiritual transcendence and growth and fertility ("Quite a moon!": the archetypal feminine in Our Town.) As a typical Cancer, ruled by the Moon, I find some of my greatest joys and fulfillment through making my home a safe, nurturing, and beautiful place for my family.

But the most personally meaningful symbol of Mother Moon comes from a sweet little story I made up for my daughter when she was a toddler and having nightmares. I told her, when she was frightened, she could look out her window at the moon, Mother Moon, and know that she was there watching over her. This story / symbol actually endured throughout much of my daughter's childhood, helping her through times of stress and anxiety.

I will finish with a poem called The Mother Moon, by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

HE moon upon the wide sea
Placidly looks down,
Smiling with her mild face,
Though the ocean frown.
Clouds may dim her brightness,
But soon they pass away,
And she shines out, unaltered,
O'er the little waves at play.
So 'mid the storm or sunshine,
Wherever she may go,
Led on by her hidden power
The wild see must plow.
As the tranquil evening moon
Looks on that restless sea,
So a mother's gentle face,
Little child, is watching thee.
Then banish every tempest,
Chase all your clouds away,
That smoothly and brightly
Your quiet heart may play.
Let cheerful looks and actions
Like shining ripples flow,
Following the mother's voice,
Singing as they go.