Feeling a bit unbalanced in your life? Do you feel like you’re always “on” and addicted to work? Or do you find yourself void of energy and spending hours in front of Big Mouth on Netflix? I’ve been there. Generally, when I chat with people who are feeling a lack of balance in their life, there is a over emphasis on either the masculine or the feminine energy. As a woman, the best tool I’ve found for consistent balance is through following the moon phases.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, it’s hard to argue that the moon does not effect anything here on earth. In fact, the moon is responsible for the changing behavior of the ocean tides. Additionally, researchers have noticed a change in animal behavior based on the phases of the moon.
If you’re a woman, you should feel an even greater connection to the moon. Did you notice that the moon cycle is the same number of days (28) as an average menstrual cycle? In ancient societies, the women would come together in red tents beneath the new moon to bleed together, usually enjoying rituals as a sisterhood.
We have lost this connection to sisterhood and the natural rhythms of the earth. With unnatural light and luxuries such as heaters, we no longer experience the earth in the same way. We aren’t reliant on the light from the sun. We don’t need to cultivate our lives around the seasons.
While this can be a blessing in many ways, it’s also disconnected us from nature and, in turn, our feminine energy. Our society shifted to one that once celebrated the feminine energy to one that stifled it. The masculine energy and it’s strong nature has been celebrated. With masculinity comes ambitious, drive, and the addiction to doing that is currently applauded to heavily.
The female nature tends to be softer. She creates, explores new wisdom, and allows herself to just be (rather than be stuck in doing or performance mode). It is in this yin nature that we restore and replenish ourselves. It is where we can explore the depths of compassion, sensitivity, and love.
Following the Moon Cycles
While I have always felt a deep fondness for the moon, it has been amplified the more I have explored her cycles. In connecting my own rhythm with hers, I’ve been able to enjoy more rest in my life and more balance. It has helped me to find focused intention within each 28-day cycle.
I am grateful for the teachings of Ezzie Spencer and her book, Lunar Abundance. I highly recommend her beautiful book for those who are looking to explore the moon a little further. Additionally, you can find a free moon chart on her website to help you keep track.
She follows an 8-phase moon, which I have really enjoyed myself. The eight phases are each a few days long and switch back and forth from the yin energy (rest and recharge) to the yang energy (active). You may notice that this flows naturally for you or that your moons are heavily affected by the moon. Enjoy exploring all that may come up for you.
Also call the Dark Moon, the New Moon is the start of the moon cycle, when the moon is invisible in the nights sky. Scientifically, this occurs because the sun and the moon are on the same side of the earth and, thus, the sun is not illuminating the moon for us to see. As this is the start of the moon cycle, it is a Yang period that is designated to reflection and new beginnings. In this phase, I enjoy setting an intention, or goal, for this moon cycle ahead.
This is a great time for disconnecting from others for a bit. Perhaps spend some time offline and really think through what you want in life. This is a moon phase for active reflection and personal exploration.
The crescent moon moves into the first yin period of the cycle and is perfect for further reflection on the intention that you’ve set. Allow things to slow down in this period. Spend time in meditation or pranayama practice. This is the time to do all the mental preparation for your intentions. Start plotting out possible courses of action for you to take and allow yourself to be guided by whatever higher powers you may believe in.
First Quarter Moon
Hopping back into the Yang energy, the first quarter moon is a create time start taking steps towards the intention you have set. It’s time to get moving into the actions of your goals. As it is now time to start making clear decisions and following through, you may notice a bit of resistance during this time. Know that it is completely natural to feel this way. Keep yourself on track by creating checklists with simple tasks you can cross off when you are feeling that resistance.
The moon is starting to grow brighter as we move into another relaxing yin phase. This is a great time to relax and trust that you are being guided to the next steps needed for your intention to become reality. This is right before we start to actively release things in the next moon phase. It may be wise to spend time reflecting on what is not working for you or discovering the fears that may be holding you back from accomplishing your dreams.
This is a good phase for reflecting on limiting beliefs that may be blocking your potential.
This is my favorite time of the month and is the halfway mark of the moon cycle. The full moon is the perfect occasion to releasing, letting go, and surrendering what is not working for us. If your intention is not working, can you let go of something to get it into alignment? If not, is it better to let go of the intention entirely? This is a great time for releasing and, maybe, course correcting.
The Full Moon is the perfect occasion for rituals. This can be a super simple practice of meditating on the things you want to release, or summoning all your witch friends to dance in circles under the moonlight. Whatever works for you. Here is a quick explanation of my traditional ritual for the Full Moon:
After an active cleansing in the full moon, we lean back into a resting yin cycle under the Disseminating moon. In this period, we focus on receiving. This can be a major challenge for some of us who are more comfortable in the giving state. However, the more we allow ourselves to receive (abundance, love, support, etc.), the more we can give back in the next moon. Rather than focusing on what you receive, use this moon phase to simply make gratitude the center of attention. Really take advantage of a gratitude journal during this time.
Third Quarter Moon
This is the last yang moon of the cycle and is the opposite of the previous moon phase. Now is the time to focus on giving. How can you actively express your gratitude for another? Can you give back to the community through gifts? Time? Resources?
This may also be a good time for getting rid of belongings you no longer need. Perhaps look into a place to donated unwanted clothing or household items?
As the moon cycle comes to completion, this moon phase is dedicated to reflecting back on the rest of the month. Give thanks for whatever came up for you. Then, focus on resting and restoring before the cycle begins again. This is a time of complete surrender and can be really challenging to allow. I suggest trying some restorative or yin yoga during this time and avoid more active exercise.
Reflecting on the Moon
If you decide to start embarking on the quest of following each moon phase, I highly suggest journaling how you feel throughout the experience. Are there phases of the moon that seem to impact your mood more than others? Do you struggle with the yin phases? Or the yang?
Keep all this information handy, as it may show you where you are misaligned. Additionally, it may help you to prepare for given moods that may be experienced throughout the month. Best to know ahead of time if you’re going to be an unreasonable mess, right?
I’m still exploring these cycles myself and learning new things every month. I would love to know about any rituals you enjoy throughout the moon cycle. Let me know in the comments below.
Questions? I am here for you! Comment below and I would be delighted to assist.