“It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the Moon.” — Galileo Galilei
There has always been something so marvelously enchanting to me about the glow of a Full Moon hung amid the stars in the velvet night.
I can remember one balmy twilight I spent in Greece, sitting on the cool black sand beach of Santorini and gazing up at the Moon for hours — mesmerized by her gentle exhale of light twinkling in the swells of ocean beneath her as she made her way across the sky, ushering the devout tides along with her in her course.
We ourselves are mostly water, and just as the seas are pulled by the gravity of the Moon it is no surprise that we, too, can feel her eternal pull within us.
The Moon is said to govern our inner world — our shadow self — reflecting our deepest fears and most profound desires back to us and charging the well of our intuition and creativity. Each phase in her cycle is marked by a distinct ebb and flow of powerful lunar energy, and by aligning with her cycle we can keep ourselves in balance and better regulate our intentions, monitoring where we are and how to best move forward.
Working With the Cycles of the Moon
The New Moon is the start of her cycle, when she resides between the Earth and the Sun and she is in shadow. This is the peak of her yin energy — when she is pregnant with potential — and thus the perfect time for us to reset ourselves and restore our energy for what is to come. This is a time to reflect on new beginnings, to explore our fears and our desires, to pay attention to our dreams, to plant seeds and to set intentions for that which we would like to manifest in our lives.
As she continues along her celestial path and slowly moves out of shadow, the Waxing Moon grows larger and her light shines brighter. She begins to gain presence and build momentum — encouraging growth, advancement, learning, planning, organizing and collaboration. This is a time to make upgrades and adjustments, do research, schedule, declutter, cultivate new connections, pay attention to the synchronicities around us, and to trust in the Universe to open the right doors.
When she is full, she reaches the height of her dominant yang energy. Our emotions and intuitions are magnified during this time as they are brought into light, and we recognize our growth and the progress that we have made. This is a time to honor that progress and the rewards that we have reaped, to give gratitude to those who have supported us and to the Universe for the opportunities given and the lessons that were learned in the process.
Now she is ready to move back between the Earth and the Sun, and as she wanes and her energy decreases, we can release with her the negative energies that we have built up in ourselves — lingering fears, doubts, anxieties, hurts and anger that has mounted and created blockages within us. Like the Moon, we can begin to move inward once again and into self reflection, to review where we are and what new intentions we would like to set for ourselves.
Working with the Moon Throughout the Year
As the Earth cycles through its own yearly journey around the Sun, the Full Moon in each month has a unique and characteristic energy associated with it as well. I often like to meditate on this energy each month to guide the intentions that I set for myself:
Wolf Moon asks, “What do I hunger for?”
This is the time to think about the year ahead, to reflect on our goals and desires, and how we would like to focus our energy to realize them.
Snow Moon asks, “How can I fortify my environment?”
When we become more clear in our intentions, when we have planted our seeds, we must be sure that we are giving them the best soil to grow in. This is the time to consider what structures in our lives will support our growth, what will distract or get in the way, and adjust accordingly.
Sap Moon asks, “What needs to be healed?”
When we have created a safe, calm and peaceful environment, we are able to see into ourselves more clearly. This is the time to assess any lingering wounds that need to be tended to in order to continue to grow and flourish.
Pink Moon asks, “What makes my life beautiful?”
As flowers begin to bud and bloom around us, we are reminded of the beauty that surrounds us. This is the time to appreciate — big or small — all that makes our lives beautiful and brings us joy.
Flower Moon asks, “How must my Spirit grow?”
As we continue to reach new heights, we must remember to check in with ourselves on a soul level. This is the time to explore the ways in which we can expand ourselves spiritually in order to fully step into the flow of the Universe and thrive with our fullest potential.
Rose Moon asks, “What can be celebrated?”
This is the time to give pause and fully appreciate and honor growth — both in ourselves and in those around us.
Thunder Moon asks, “What inspires me?”
Like lightning that ignites the sky in midsummer storms, this is the time to tap into our creative energy and explore what ignites us and sets fire to our soul.
Red Moon asks, “How can I show gratitude to my loved ones?”
Love is the sun that warms the Earth — without it we would be frozen in darkness. This is the time to shine back on those who have been light in our lives.
Harvest Moon asks, “What can be forgiven?”
This is the time to start reviewing the year behind us, tying up lose ends and weeding out the things that are wasting our energy. Grudges that we hold, whether for our own mistakes or for the wrong doing of others, only end up depleting our own reserves — best to take these experiences as lessons learned, rather than let them fester inside of us and hinder our growth.
Hunter Moon asks, “What lessons have I learned?”
This is the time to truly reflect on those lessons and how we will go forward with greater awareness and strength.
Frost Moon asks, “How can I best prepare myself?”
As we begin to think about the new year to come and integrate the wisdom we have gained with our plans for the future, we can consider how to best prepare and protect ourselves from potential challenges ahead.
Cold Moon asks, “What can be released?”
This is the time to go inward once more, to reflect on the year behind us, meditate on the year ahead, and release all that which no longer serves our greatest good and highest potential. Heal what needs yet to be healed, forgive what needs yet to be forgiven, cut chords, let go and make space for new opportunity.
Each month I mark each moon phase on my calendar and set some time aside to connect with her energy. Here is a list of some of my favorite moon rituals for you to try:
- Meditate and Journal
Reflect on your intentions during the new moon and check in with yourself during each phase — where you are, what progress you have made, what you have been thinking about and how you have been feeling.
As you look ahead at where you want to go, how you want to see yourself and how you want to feel, close your eyes and imagine that you are already there. See it in as much detail as you can, feel it in your heart and in your bones.
- Moon Bathe
If there is a place where you can lay undisturbed outside in the light of the full moon, this is a beautiful and invigorating way to soak in her energy.
- Take a Moon Bath
If you are unable to go outside, alternatively you can take a Moon Bath in your own bath tub. Like the Moon, water is the element that rules our emotions, so being in water is just as effective. Light some candles, gather your favorite *healing crystals, add some rose petals and a few drops of essential oil — Rose, Jasmine, and Sandalwood are my favorite for Moon Baths.
- Give your intentions to the Universe
Lastly, after meditating on them for a while, I like to write my intentions down on small slips of paper or draw a signifier — things I would like to manifest and things I would like to release — then (safely!) burn them. As they disappear in the flames, they are given to the Universe, purified and potent with fire energy.
* Best Crystals for Working with the Moon
Selenite – Helps you connect with your higher self (hold it while meditating to hear your inner voice)
Moonstone– Helps you tap into your intuition (place it under your pillow to enhance your dream world)
Clear Quartz – Amplifies energy (hold it while meditating, moon bathing, or setting intentions)