Using the Power of the Moon to Manifest Our Greatness
It was a Friday morning like any other when I woke up feeling slightly off. I couldn't put my finger on it; I was neither angry nor sad, perhaps melancholic. On my way to doula training, I tried shaking off the funk I found myself engulfed in, "Stop being a weirdo" I said to myself on my hour and fifteen-minute train ride. "Smile," I reminded myself, "Be Social." Irregardless of my efforts, I found myself extremely closed off the whole day, so much so that I prefaced my class introduction with "I'm a Capricorn, so I'm not emotional." I remained in a funk the rest of the day; the following afternoon, everything changed. I found myself unable to control myself. In a conversation about breastfeeding politics, I could feel my eyes water and my body tremble. "What is happening?" Unbeknownst to me, we were in the Blood Moon--the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
From the sun and planets to the stars and tide: every force of nature around us has an affect on our beings, including the moon. While the sun represents the passionate, conscious, and well-structured parts of our Selves, the moon represents the intuitive, feminine, and subconscious. (I mean, it is pretty magical that the moon's cycle is about 29.5 days and a woman's menstrual cycle is around every 28 days, give or take.) For centuries, the moon has been equated with our feelings; both words "lunatic" and "lunacy" come from the word "Luna," the ancient Roman moon goddess. Classic philosophers like Aristotle and Pliny the Elder blamed mania on Luna and her "evil influences." Since the moon affects the tides, and our bodies are made mostly of water, they argued that Luna caused the water in the brain to be subjected to similar tidal motions as the sea, creating strange behaviors. While various scientists don't believe there to be a concrete relationship between the moon and human/animal life, tracking the phases of the moon allows many to focus on their self care journeys: it allows us to look within, to understand what forces of nature are working with us (or against), and how we can use each phase to cultivate our magic within.
The New Moon happens when the sun and moon are on the same side of Earth. It looks "invisible" because the side of the moon that we see from Earth can't be illuminated by the sun. Oftentimes referred to as the Seed Moon, this phase is a rebirth, the beginning of the new cycle, and like any new cycle, it's a time to wipe the slate clean. Because the New Moon brings a sense of ease and balance into your life, this phase sparks a rise in creative confidence. Always carry a notepad or book with you and jot down any notes you have regarding new ideas. So, let go of the things holding you back and make space for new intentions. Since this lunar phase is a time of self-reflection and creative feats, try journaling, making an alter, meditating, or lighting a candle each day to bring your goals to fruition. Sow the seeds of your newfound creativity.
First Quarter Moon
This is when the sun illuminates the right half of the moon. The goals you set in the New Moon begin taking shape during this growth period. If you're anything like me, once you're preoccupied with a new idea, your mind goes haywire: you want to get everything done all at once. The First Quarter moon reminds you to set reasonable goals for yourself so you're not spread thin. Take on only what you possibly can so you have ample energy to devote to your project. This is a great time to continue journaling, sketching, and brainstorming. Instead of the random creative energetic bursts you'd find during the New Moon, our energies are more balanced throughout the day, particularly between 10AM and 2PM. Try carving out time during these hours to devote to your projects! If you have a 9-5, you can do this on your break!
The Full Moon phase is arguably the most important of all phases. The brightest phase of the lunar cycle, the moon becomes fully illuminated by the sun. Known as the Fruition Period, the seeds you've sown in the New Moon and developed during the First Quarter Moon are now manifest. On the Full Moon itself, a great amount of energy becomes available, so we should try our best to be open and receptive to this Divine force. Try to meditate on this day, even if only for a few minutes since the Full Moon transforms our consciousness, building a new foundation of abundance and creativity. Play your favorite music, take a bath, light more candles. The hardest part of any master plan is getting started, so use this surge of energy to execute the goal.
Third Quarter Moon
This happens when the sun illuminates the left half of the moon. Since we're making our way back to the New Moon, this phase isn't about endings, but about completion. This is a moment of more mental clarity. Start to think about what needs to be done during the next lunar cycle.