There is no celestial body that is so powerfully linked to our internal feminine cycles as the moon. The moon has long been subject of ritual, of folklore, and of awe from people of all tribes and cultures, particularly from women. It didn’t take long for our ancestors to realize that the moon waxes and wanes in a continual loop every 28 days or so. As the moon changed shape, the pull of her energy shifted as well, and living in rhythm with the moon is as ancient as time itself.
Many women already look to the moon for Divine Feminine power, and feel a sort of kinship with this silvery orb in the night sky. Perhaps you are already familiar with certain full moon or new moon rituals, or you like to celebrate each cycle in your own way. But did you also know that the moon has 8 distinct phases? And that each phase hold its own wisdom and invitation for us to do our inner work? While it may be widely accepted that the full and new moons call upon our spiritual selves each month, to take your personal practice deeper, you should explore the other six phases!
Because we are living, breathing, electromagnetic beings, we have the power to tap into the moon’s energy in each of her phases. The moon is known to create a force field that affects life here on Earth, altering the tides, stabilizing our gravitational pull, and influencing animal behavior. So it’s no wonder that we are inherently drawn to this celestial body! Particularly for women, the 28-day cycle of the moon mirrors our own internal hormonal cycles. Whether you currently menstruate or not, your internal processes still wax and wane over the course of the month, just like the moon.
To better connect with your own body’s wisdom, and to incorporate the insights of the moon into your daily life, it’s time to learn about each of the 8 phases and what blessings they bring. Consider printing out a moon phase calendar for your region, and making note of each one’s unique insights.
This is a sacred time to go within. When the moon is dark, she invites us to also explore our inner quiet. This is a time for planting seeds, for putting new things in motion, and to set intentions for the month ahead. Each new moon allows us to rest, to re-gather our energy, and to open our eyes for new ways of doing things.
Themes: Fertility, quiet, preparation
Following the new moon, the crescent moon is all about sitting back and gathering information. You’ve set your intentions for this month, and perhaps did a ritual or two, and now is the time to test the waters. During the crescent moon, start putting your new plans into motion, and make observations on how your life shifts in response.
Themes: observation, first steps, awareness
First Quarter Moon
As the moon reaches her first quarter, she calls on us to use our discernment to address potential problems, even in the face of discomfort. Now is the time for action, for decision, and for laying the foundations for better success. Self-knowledge, gathered during the crescent moon phase, is put into action now.
Themes: confrontation, navigation, intellect
This point in the lunar cycle is all about trust. The gibbous moon allows us the space to make changes, to refine our intentions, and to alter our course if necessary. It may be challenging or frightening to change course, but now is the time to do so. Allow yourself to trust that all will work out for the best.
Themes: change, trust, creativity
As the moon reaches her zenith, this marks the time of the fullest energy...a climax of sorts. This is a time of brightness and illumination, revealing truths about yourself and the world around you. In this light, you can see what no longer serves, and release it. You’ve got the full moon’s power behind you now, so celebrate what you’ve accomplished so far, and prune the rest.
Themes: illumination, truth, abundance
This is the time to get back in touch with yourself and your personal gratitude practice. Now is the time for sharing and for socializing, as you reorient yourself in your environment. The disseminating moon calls on us to receive with an open heart, and know that you are worthy of receiving. Go within and tap into your self-worth during this phase.
Themes: connection, receptivity, love
Last/Third Quarter Moon
This final quarter of the moon’s monthly light represents the last push of energy for you to use for your own healing. After receiving during the disseminating moon, now is the time to give freely and with joy. This is also the time to release things you’ve been grasping to, and to confront your fears, so you may release those too.
Themes: sharing, compassion, release
This is a sacred time of reflection and rest, as the moon’s light fades into darkness. Now is your chance to look back on the last month, and learn from what has manifested. This is a perfect time to reconnect with the Divine, with your higher self, and with your true purpose. As you rest and and restore your energy, release your inner judgments and give thanks for whatever has transpired.
Themes: restoration, observation, taking stock
Working with the moon in such an intimate way can open your heart and mind to incredible wisdom. Our culture has too long been disconnected from these sacred celestial cycles, and now is our chance to reclaim this healing tradition. As women, we especially can benefit from working with moon cycles, because we too have been disconnected from our own bodies. And these bodies are truly remarkable!
One of the great side effects of having a lunar-based spiritual practice, is becoming more in tune with your own biochemistry. Learning to understand yourself better, anticipate your needs, and re-frame your emotions, are all wonderful things. Additionally, connecting with the moon can help keep us grounded. She is always there, always present when we look up into the night sky, watching over us and calling us onwards into a sacred dance.
From the quiet beginnings of the New Moon, to the bright abundance of the Full Moon, we experience four phases of intention-setting, gathering data, and making adjustments. As the moon’s light fades from Full Moon to the next New Moon, we again experience four different phases, exploring our gratitude, letting go, and going within. Each of the eight phases of the moon holds its own unique energy fingerprint, and you may be surprised at what happens when you align your own life to these cycles!
Living in harmony with the moon is not that far-fetched. We already adjust our lives based on the four seasons and the sun’s daily cycle, so why not the moon too? Give it a try this coming month, and see how aligned and empowered you feel when the next cycle comes around.