13 November 1929

Dr. Harding:

In all these myths and legends we find certain facts standing out. First, the changing character of the moon struck man’s attention, in its contrast to the sun. The sun either shines or does not shine; it is either here or not here. But the moon is not like that. The moon may be partly here; she changes continually. From this come such ideas as that the moon is changeable, the fickle moon. These are terms that are also applied to woman. he also is said to be changeable and fickle, and from the man’s point of view it is so. That is the way her moon-like character appears to him, for it is hard for him to understand its nature.

But to a woman, that her life should flow in cyclic phases is the most natural thing in the world. For her the life-force ebbs and flows not only like the tides, coming up and going down in a nightly and daily rhythm as it does for a man, but also in moon cycles–quarter phase, half phase, full moon, decline, and so round to dark moon. During this cycle her energy waxes, shines fully, and then wanes again. T he change affects not only her physical life and her sexual life but also her psychic life.

To a man this seems very strange. But he experiences the same law in his own inner life of the unconscious through his anima, and if he does not understand it, it irritates him and makes him moody. In the ordinary case where a man finds this strange unaccountable thing happening inside himself, he does not realize that he has to wait till the right phase of the moon comes round. The ancients understood this when they said that certain things must be done at particular phases of the moon.

This is a lesson that a woman is compelled to learn. She has to submit to this law of her nature whether she will or not. But for a man it is much harder to submit. It is his nature to fight for a thing he wants and strive to overcome all obstacles by force. But when he comes to dealing with the moon, whether within himself as his own anima principle, or in the woman he is closely associated with, say his wife, he is compelled to submit to an order that is different.

His nature is like the sun. In the daytime it shines, and man works and accomplishes. Then at night the sun is not there and man goes to bed and is not there either. A man under the sun, in a world of reality, would expect his feeling to be stable, accountable, reliable. He either likes a thing or he dislikes it; he either loves a woman a woman or he does not love her. But he finds his feeling is as erratic and unreliable as a woman. He finds he loves one day and is indifferent the next. This is terribly disconcerting, and so he decides to get along without feeling, to disregard it, to base his conduct on those things that can be relied on–facts, with no nonsense about them.

This disregard of the moon principle of relatedness through feeling has led to a great deal of conflict and unhappiness between men and women. For a man disregards it, while it is the woman’s basic principle. On account of this disregard of feeling a man can live in the most unattractive surroundings.