As you may already know, I have been consciously attuning to the cycles of Nature for many years. I find this keeps me feeling connected with the world in which I live, and keeps me tethered to myself, to the world around me, and to the constant cyclical evolution of life.
Actively following and working with the cycles of the Moon is one of the most rewarding ways I've found to do this. It's proven so profound and so expansive that I started my monthly Moon Meets group to share this process with other folks, as well.
Of course, you are welcome to join in on the Moon Meets yourself, if that feels resonant for you. Exploring this kind of intimate personal cosmic relationship can be deepened and enriched by the support of a group experience. However, not everyone wants to (or needs to) embark on these kinds of transformative experiences with others. There are many people who find they are better able to access their intuition, focus and vulnerability when they are alone in the safety of their own sacred space.
It is for these people—and I am often one of them—that I am writing this post. My intention is to provide a loose structure for how you might embark on your own exploration of working with the cycles of the Moon to bring more clarity, more agency, more authenticity and more connection into your own life. Sound good? Here we go ...
So, first let's go over some basic information about the Moon and Her cycles. The Moon is a luminary. Like the Sun, She sheds light in the sky, and is a celestial body, but she's not technically a planet. However, because of Her unmistakable physical and energetic effect on us humans, She is given the same importance in the astrological lexicon.
It takes roughly 28 days for the Moon to make one full revolution around the Earth. During this cycle, She goes through each astrological sign of the zodiac, spending usually 2-3 days per sign. Each revolutionary cycle is also broken down into 8 distinct phases. The infographic below gives a description of each.
It can be daunting, when first beginning to cultivate a relationship with the Moon and Her cycles, to keep up with every phase and every zodiac shift. So, to simplify things, I recommend beginning by only observing new and full Moons. You can use an app to track which sign the Moon is in at any given time, or just do a google search for each new and full Moon to find which sign they inhabit. I personally enjoy the iLuna app. (I'll go into more detail on what to do with this information in a bit ...)
Once you feel comfortable working with the two basic Moon phases of new and full, you can then expand to the four phases of new, first quarter, full and last quarter. (This is what I do in my monthly Moon Meets.) Working at this level gives enough detail to fully experience the magick of the cycle without requiring the sometimes overwhelming commitment of tracking what's happening every few days. With time, you may find that you naturally begin to feel the shifts between each of the eight phases, or you may find that you like working at the 4-phase, or even the 2-phase, stage best. As with anything else in life, I invite and encourage you to experiment with different ways of doing it until you find what works for you.
Okay, so now let's move on to understanding what to do with this information, or the HOW of working with the Moon.
I will begin by saying that there is no one perfect way to do this. Whatever works for you is your right way of doing it. But, for the purposes of this post, I am providing the structure that I use for myself and my Moon Meets group. This structure provides enough presence and participation to keep me engaged, without requiring my constant vigilance throughout the entire month. It's a broad strokes kind of structure. A little Saturn x Pisces flavor, if you will.
Here's what it looks like in outline form:
New Moon: Set an intention. I recommend choosing a word or small phrase to represent an intentional theme rather than getting too specific, especially at the beginning of a Moon practice. However, you can get as detailed as feels right for you. Once you have your intention WRITE IT DOWN in a journal, on a scrap of paper on your fridge, on your Notes app ... wherever. Just make sure you have it someplace you won't lose it and where you can add notes throughout the cycle. It can also be nice to make notes at the new Moon about what this intention means for you and/or why you chose it for this cycle, but , of course, it's not necessary.
First Quarter Moon: Take action! At this time, make some concrete plans on how you want to actively pursue your intention. Then start doing those things, tout de suite. This is the most active phase of the cycle and requires your full participation. Make notes, if you wish, about what steps or actions you are taking and why.
Full Moon: Notice and celebrate. The full Moon marks the fruits of your labors. It illuminates whatever it is that you manifested during the first half of the cycle. This is a time to notice what your efforts actually produced. You are just being asked to witness your manifestation at this time. It does not involve internal or external action. However, it is a great time to celebrate your wins and to mourn your losses.
Last Quarter Moon: Reflect and integrate. As the Moon's light diminishes, you can begin to reflect upon and dissect what you witnessed at the full Moon. Take this time to assess what you planted, how you tended it and what actually sprung up out of the proverbial ground. Make notes about what you did that turned out as planned, and where you had unexpected results. Spend some time getting curious about the feelings that came up for you around your manifestation. This is also a time to harvest the gifts of your failures. Failures are opportunities to get clearer data around what we want and how to get it. Make notes about how you might have tweaked your efforts in order to achieve your intention in a more resonant way. If you manifested your intention in a way that felt perfectly fulfilling to you, take the time to integrate those gifts, as well. This is part of our evolutionary process.
That's it! Easy peasy! It can be as broad and generalized or as detailed and specific as you want it to be. Use this structure as is, or tease it out to make it your very own bespoke cyclical ritual. With consistent practice, you will find that you are feeling these rhythms of the Moon's waxing and waning energies in your body and in your life without even thinking about them. You may even find yourself evolving into a more present, connected and authentic version of yourself who is living life with more sovereignty, more conscious curation and more bliss.
I hope this post has helped you to cultivate a Moon practice that feels good for you. And if you'd like to step out of your own solitary practice, you can invite others to join you in your own monthly rituals, or you can join my monthly Moon Meets.