It is easy for me to imagine the impact that the Moon once had on the choices people made. People marked the passage of time as she moved through her phases. Those phases were, and still are by some, used to determine optimal times to plant, and to harvest. Women’s cycles still sync with the phases of the Moon. The rise and fall of the tides are still under her influence.
While the interplay between natural life and the phases of the moon where once common knowledge, it is no longer the case. This process now seems dark and mysterious. Those who live in sync with the moon are often considered fringe, or hovering on the edge of “woo”. The reality is that this could not be further from the truth, and partnering with the moon is as easy as setting that intention.
The Phases of the Moon
The Moon has four main phases: new, waxing, full, and waning. This cycle occurs during the lunar month which differs from the calendar month that we use in the United States, typically by a few days. The lunar month is approximately 29 days in length. The phases of the Moon occur based on her location in rotation around the Earth in relation to the location of the Sun.
The New Moon, or Dark Moon, is considered the beginning of the cycle. The Moon is not visible, or appears dark in the night sky, because she is positioned between the Sun and the Earth. This casts the side that we see into shadow. (Sun > Moon > Earth) This phase last about three days start to finish.
The next phase is waxing, which, in this context, means increasing in size. This phase lasts from the New Moon until the full moon. It begins with a thin crescent becoming visible on her right side. She gradually increases in visibility until the Full Moon at which time she is fully illuminated by the light of the Sun on the opposite side of the Earth. (Sun > Earth > Moon)
The Full Moon phase is also three days length. Following the Full Moon, she enters the waning phase. During this time, the Moon appears to decrease in size from a glowing ball to a crescent sliver on the left. The phase ends as she returns to a New Moon.
How does this apply to my life?
Using the phases of the Moon to plan out your month, or year, can influence the outcome of projects and plans. Working with the Moon rather than against it can enhance outcomes and create a natural flow.
The New Moon is a time of receptivity and creation. Ideas, even life actually, begins in the dark. Using this time to set intentions and begin new things means that we are connecting with the natural cycle.
As the Moon waxes, or grows fully, our intentions begin to take shape. We are able to move forward with our plans. Things move toward completion, or revision.
The Full Moon shows us what is working and what is not. It is a time to weed out things that are taking up space that will be needed by what is coming into being. As the Moon becomes smaller on the horizon, we should be actively adjusting.
How does that look in practice?
I set intentions at the New Moon. I begin a practice to ground and center. Once I feel grounded and safe inside my personal energy bubble, I think about the things that I would like to change in my life. I make a list of all the things that seem important to adjust at this time then review it and pick the one that seems most important.
Once I choose the thing that I want to focus on I start to break it down into possible outcomes. Every action causes a reaction and they are not all necessarily things that I want, or am ready to have happen. This list is similar to a list of pros and cons.
If I decide that there are possible outcomes that I do not want to live with, this is not what I actually want to manifest at this time. I back up, choose another thing and process it again.
Once I have a clear winner, I craft my intention using positive language. That means that I say what I want, not what I don’t want. Energy goes where your attention goes so if I focus on the thing that I want to release, I get more of it.
My intentions look like this: At this time, I invite (the change that I most want to bring) into my life. I release all attachment to outcome and any thoughts, beliefs, habits, and situations that prevent this intention from manifesting in a way that serves my highest and best good.
Say my intention is to become more mindful. I set the intention to invite mindfulness into my life. I decide that adding morning meditation would set the tone for mindfulness in my day. I try to meditate in the morning but realize that I already have a fairly full morning to do list. If I am present or mindful about what needs to be done, this is it, but this is not what I had in mind because now, I am actually getting stressed out about trying to fit it in to my existing schedule.
By the Full Moon I am ready to sit down and adjust my plan. What I really want is time to sit in mindful meditation in the morning so that I move into my day in a more connected way. I want to release those things in the morning that are preventing me from having the time and space to meditate.
The new plan is that some of my responsibilities will wait until evening and I can set my alarm earlier by the amount of time that messages usually take up. Now I will have the time that I need. I can use the rest of this Moon phase to determine if this is the best way to go about creating more mindfulness in my life.
At the New Moon I sit with my intention setting worksheet and either make a new intention or adjust the old one. Feel free to use my worksheet or create on of your own as you begin to work with the Moon yourself.
Other Ways to Work with Moon Energy Using the phases of the Moon for gardening
The Farmers’ Almanac is a great resource to find guidelines for planting by the moon cycle. There you will find helpful information such as planting leafy greens during a New Moon, and root vegetables during a Full Moon. The last days of a waning Moon are best for composting, amending the soil for things to take root. You can find a calendar that outlines what to do when.
Using the phases of the Moon for planning your schedule
That calendar I mentioned from the Farmers’ Almanac also includes things like the best days to cut your hair to encourage growth. Job searches may be more fruitful from a New Moon through the waxing phase when thing are moving toward fruition. Cleaning out the closets flows better during a waning moon when release is appropriate.
I use the phases of the Moon when I make herbal infusions. I start them at the New Moon, the time of creation, and let them infuse either until the Full Moon if it is a short infusion or through the Full Moon, the next New Moon then strain them at the second Full Moon, the time of completion.
The energy of the Moon influences when I make certain things. I craft products around the Moon phase that supports their purpose.
Earth based allies in your work with the Moon
You can use crystals and herbs to support your work with Moon energy. They can reinforce your intention, support an area that you are working to improve, or help you to release what is no longer working.
Crystals to use around a New Moon would include:
- Carnelian to support creativity.
- Citrine to support self-confidence and abundance.
- Howlite for fertility.
- Labradorite for new beginnings.
- Moonstone for creating a new reality.
- Smoky Quartz to invite balance.
Crystals to use around a Full Moon would include:
- Amethyst to overcome addictions in whatever form they take.
- Black Tourmaline to transmute negative influences.
- Desert Rose Selenite to remove self-imposed patterns.
- Sodalite to release fears and phobias.
- Turquoise to stop self-sabatoge.
- Prehnite to release both emotional and literal clutter.
Herbs to use around a New Moon would include:
- Calendula to bring a lightened mood and to heal wounds.
- Clove to improve appetite.
- Lavender to bring peace and induce healing.
- Spearmint to attract money, and bring calm to a nervous stomach.
- Rosemary to support memory.
- Sage to invite overall health.
Herbs to use around a Full Moon would include:
- Hawthorne to process grief.
- Hibiscus to release overwhelming emotions and as a mild diuretic.
- Lemon to release residue and remove mucus.
- Oregano to reduce residual congestion from phlegm.
- Palo Santo to clear unwanted energies.
- Rose to reduce inflammation.
I find it helpful to remember that reframing can adapt the use of anything for the opposing phase. An example of this could be Oregano. Around a Full Moon we use it to reduce residual congestion from phlegm because we are releasing. Around a New Moon, we use it to invite clear lungs. Our intentions are individual and so is the way that we choose to use any of the tools that we find in front of us.
I hope that you found this article useful. I would love to hear how you incorporate working with the phases of the moon into your life!