Since the dawn of time humans have understood that the moon's cycles influence our lives and the whole world all around us— from women's menstrual cycles, to when to plant and harvest our crops. However, what used to be an easy and innate knowledge base for how to live, we have now become more disconnected and lost so much of our ancestral connection to the earth. I've spent the last few years studying how to reconnect with the seasonal and lunar cycles to improve my health and my life. Seasonal cycles are a big part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, guiding our nutrition and meridian theories. Lunar cycles can be a beautiful addition as well! Below I describe each cycle of the moon, and how we can use it as a guide to find more balance and harmonize our bodies and nature.
The new moon is the first part of the waxing phase. It begins when you just begin to see a small sliver of the moon, and lasts for three days after. It's the beginning of the cycle, and as the month goes by, the moon will grow and the energy builds until it reaches its full potential, then it darkens and begins again. The new moon is a clean slate, a time for planning, and setting intentions for what you hope to grow during this cycle. Because this time is about new beginnings, this is an excellent time to begin paying attention to a health issue, or to start that new change or routine you've been wanting to start. It is a perfect time to manifest healing in your life.
The moon is waxing when it appears to be growing larger on the right side. The time between the new and full moon is the best time to put action into the intentions you set on the new moon. There is a rush of energy and a forward moving strength that you can utilize. Your motivation is fresh, so take action on your new ideas and plans! Healing wise, this is a great time to address fertility, sexual desire, and growing healthy habits.
When the moon is full it is in its most powerful phase, and we often feel all of this energy on the strongest and most deepest level. It's time to really take stock of all the changes your intentions have created this month, and to release anything you want to let go of for the future. The full moon is a powerful time to work with fertility, pain, and strong emotions that are surfacing.
The waning phase is when the moon appears to be growing smaller, and the bright side is on the left. The waning moon is all about getting rid of things, and getting things out of your life that no longer serve you. This would be an ideal time to quit smoking, get toxic people out of your life or work on stopping negative self talk.
The day or so between the last sliver of waning moon and the new moon is the dark moon. You can't see the moon at this time in the sky, but of course she is always there. This is a time for rest, like the first planted seed in the dark dirt. We rest and we collect ourselves after the last cycle. Resting is important so that you may be inspired when the light returns in the new moon and you can begin the cycle again with new intentions.
Happy Moon Living!