How I work with the moon
I am not an expert on the moon, and I am not an astrologer, however I am a human being, and human beings have been working with the moon for centuries, so the information I’m sharing in this post is not so much to teach you or give you information, it’s more to help spark a deep remembrance within you, that has perhaps been hidden.
This isn’t a ‘how to’ guide, this is a ‘how I…’ stream of thought, so that you can perhaps choose if any of what I share resonates and maybe start going down the magical moon rabbit hole that I have found myself diving into over the past few years! Many people often ask me about these topics, so I thought I would share my approach to working the wise grandmother moon.
What do I mean by ‘working’ with the moon?
In simple terms, I just simply mean attuning myself to the cycle of the lunar phases, and using this natural ebb and flow as a guide throughout my life. The word work perhaps suggests that it is a job or a task, but for me this is really about connecting more deeply to nature’s own schedule. It isn’t a challenge, it is a gift, and I am so grateful to have collected resources and learnings over the years to help feed my curiosity to Mama Moon.
Working with the moon can feel, at first, a little ‘woo woo’, people have often in the past rolled their eyes at me when I’ve said ‘the moon made me do it’ (she has been responsible for many things - including skinny dipping in the ocean on my teacher training - but we don’t need to go into that now!), however there is no escaping from the impact that the moon has on the natural world. As much as many people like to separate humans and the planet from each other, preferring to believe that we are just inhabiting this earth instead of being PART of it, if the moon can impact animals, the tides and weather systems, then it sure as hell can effect us.
For the logical minds…
If you are still not convinced, here is a little more scientific information for you. I like the mystery around the moon and am quite happy to trust my natural instincts that it has an impact on me, but I am also curious and like to ask questions, so I am always keen to combine logic and magic!
The moon controls the earth’s tides, causing sea levels to rise and fall due to the gravitational pull (you can geek out on this here if you like). Now, the human body is made up of around 60-65% water, and energetically water and emotions are linked, so while I am no science expert at all, it makes sense to me that the moon could impact our emotions - particularly if we are very sensitive to the changes in the environment.
You can google to find out lots more information on the moon, and forgive me if I make a mistake (I am human!), but the purpose of this post is not to give you a science lesson!
My own journey to the moon
I started my ‘moon journey’ when I realised that my sleep was being affected in the run up to the full moon. I was confused as to why I kept feeling this tired but wired feeling some nights in the month. When I started to delve deeper I realised it was always corresponding to the days leading up to, and of, the full moon.
I then started to pay more attention to when the moon was full and from there my fascination/obsession began!
Now I have read and listened to so many people’s thoughts on moon magic, and in the process I have picked out the things that resonate with me. I urge you to do the same. There is no hard and fast rules here - well perhaps there are but I don’t stick to them! It is all about connecting in with ways that feel right to you in honouring this wonderful natural source of mystery that if we let it, can teach us so much about ourselves.
Let’s start with some basics…
Let’s get back to basics for a moment.
The moon completes an orbit around the earth every 29.5 (ish) days. The amount of visibility we have of the moon depends on where it is in it’s orbit, and how much of it is being lit up by the sun. (more Moon geekery here if you want it)
New moon is when we can see no moon at all, the sky is at it’s darkest. It is the beginning of a new cycle.
Progressively, we shift from New Moon to Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous and then we arrive at full moon. The term Waxing is used to describe the moon as it is increasing in visibility. On the night of the full moon you will be able to see her whole glorious luminosity (providing the clouds don’t cover her up of course!). After this pinnacle, she begins to wane (become less visible) and transitions to Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Waning Crescent, back to the darkest skies when she begins at New Moon again.
You of course don’t need to memorise all of that - but I thought you might like to know!
So how do I celebrate the moons?
When it comes to the new moon, this for me is the perfect time to sew seeds of intentions for the next cycle.
I actually feel most ‘myself’ at this lunar phase. I am comfortable being in the darkness and so I don’t fear the unknowing or uncertainty about what is to come for the next phase, in fact - for me it is an exciting time of new beginnings, but I know for some that being without the light can have the opposite effect.
This is why I am sharing this as guidance only, the real teaching is when you start to listen and learn about your own relationship with the moon. She will impact us all differently.
I love the fact that we get a new cycle every 29.5 (ish) days, it takes the pressure off things like new year or birthdays being the only chance to ‘start a new’, because knowing that we can set intentions and create new visions for ourselves on such a regular basis is comforting to me! If I don’t quite get it ‘right’ the lunar phase before - there is always one just round the corner to try again!!
Rituals to mark the new moon…
On the night before the new moon, when she is in what is often called the dark moon phase, I like to write a list of all the things that I want to let go of and not take with me into the next phase. This can be objects, ideas, relationships, emotions, beliefs… whatever you don’t feel is contributing to your growth anymore.
Then I burn them (safely!), or tear them up at the very least!
It can be extra powerful to read them aloud to yourself, or even better to a trusted friend or partner, or even better still, in circle if you meet with others at this time.
After the new moon has occurred (you can check out the time here - make sure you set your country location) I spend some time planting seeds for the phase ahead. This is where I write down my new moon wishes. It can be as many as you like, but make sure they come from the heart and not from a place of ‘should’.
Some of them may be ongoing wishes that you are working on consistently (don’t be disappointed if your wishes take a few phases to manifest) but I also like to add in some new ones each time. Mine tend to be a mixture of practical everyday things and big goals!
Ask yourself… What does my heart desire? What would I like to welcome in this moon phase? What would I like to spend more time doing over the next few weeks? How do I want to feel this lunar month?
Finish by reading them out loud to yourself, and I always like to sign off with ‘This or something better’… just to open up to the possibility that the universe probably has a better idea of what is in alignment with me than my human thinking mind does!
I know some people like to burn these wishes, or destroy them in total faith that the universe will deliver, but I like to check in with them when it comes to the next new moon to see if I want to let go of any, to celebrate anything that has already manifested, and to ensure they still align with my heart and soul.
I also like to honour the new moon with an oracle card reading, my favourite is this spread by my wonderful friend Vix at New Age Hipster, as well as doing a Yin yoga practice - my energy can be a little lower at this time of the month (especially as it is often when women menstruate - more on menstruation and moon phases another day). For free Yin Yoga practices online I like Yoga with Kassandra here.
And of course - you can also download my free Yoga Nidra for the New Moon by clicking here!
For many people, me included, emotions are a lot more ‘full’ around the full moon (the clue is in the name of course!!) If you ask anyone who works in a hospital or police station they will nearly always tell you that there is a much higher intake of crimes/accidents on a full moon.
Anxiety, irritability, sadness, intense love... all of the feels can come up around this time of the lunar cycle.
The full moon, for me, is a time when there is often immense clarity over situations, but not always in the way I expected. When she is at her brightest, her luminosity shines light on all elements of our being. I can see clearly, I can connect to my truth deeper (which is not always comfortable or welcome when it shows difficult things) and it can be hard to see this.
As I said earlier, my sleep is often interrupted on the full moon, sometimes I feel like I am awake all night, and I often refer the next day as having a ‘full moon hangover’ with a kind of groggy, swimmy head feeling!
The full moon shines light on all of us. That means it brightens where we are light, but it also shines light on our shadows. The parts of us we are not as keen to see ourselves or show to others.
Rituals to mark full moon…
The first thing I like to do is write a list of things I am grateful for. I do this everyday anyway, but this is specifically from the time since the last full moon. It is a wonderful opportunity to look at the ‘fullness’ of your life and celebrate the abundance.
I then like to practice forgiveness by looking at and letting go of any negative feelings that may have come up recently, these can be towards myself or others and I find it really healing.
Lots of people put their crystals out under the light of the full moon to cleanse and charge them. I would love to say I do this every month but the truth is... I don’t. I do when I remember, but it isn’t a priority for me (sorry crystals - I do love your shiny magic, honest I do!).
The full moon for me is a great time to contemplate and honour my emotions. It has taken me some time to not shy away from what my emotions are telling me - particularly if anger or grief is coming up - but by opening myself to let the light of the moon shine on parts of me I need to see, it is a huge gift of growth and a chance for evolution. This is the time of month I journal the most.
All this said - it doesn’t have to be fancy at all - and there are some months when I just don’t feel called to do all this. I think simply acknowledging that the moon is at her fullest and spending some time basking in her light is enough.
On the night of the full moon - and the nights around it too actually - I will simply stand outside for a few minutes and stare up at her, thanking her for her light, smiling at her wisdom, breathing deep and just taking her in.
As my energy is often higher around the full moon, I like to either do a more energising yoga practice, or actually go and sweat with a more rigourous exercise class. For some reason working up a sweat feels good in order to help release further at this time!
You can also do my full moon yoga nidra practice by downloading it here.
Begin your relationship with the moon…
There are some simple and easy ways to start becoming more aware of the moon and consciously working with her. The first is to simply mark in your calendar the new and full moon dates.
I have created a downloadable 2019 Moon Dates PDF that you can access when you sign up to my FREE TOOLS library. To do this click here.
You can create a moon Journal (I use the same one that I track my menstrual cycle with) or add a little line in your regular journal, or diary, to note down how you feel. Once you have done this for a couple of lunar cycles you will begin to notice patterns that can guide you.
Here are a link to some of my favourite moon resources…
My favourite Moon book is Moonology, written by Yasmin Boland. She also has a daily moon email that tells you what is going on in the sky that day.
The Moon Journal has been created by the beautiful Jo, who is an artist and ‘moon worker’ (I just made that name up I think!) and she creates wonderful resources for manifesting and making magic in line with the moon. You can learn more about her work here, and I thoroughly recommend her cards!
The Alchemise Healing Blog has an energy report that is released regularly. This for me gives me so much insight. You can check it out here, and I really encourage you to sign up to the newsletters too.
If you run a business, or want to know more around the moon and your career, then I highly recommend signing up for Soulshine Astrology’s newsletters. There is so much wisdom to learn about the way we incorporate the moon and our work life.
Do you have any favourite moon related resources?
I would love to hear how you work with the moon, and if you don’t, whether this has perhaps inspired you to delve into her magic a little closer. You can always email me questions or add your thoughts to the comments below, and please do share this article with anyone who might be interested to explore lady lunar in a little more depth.
Happy Moon Bathing!