The way that the moon affects our tides, our feelings and emotions, and our monthly cycles, is a mystical wonder to behold. I have always been fascinated with the moon and, like the Greeks and Romans, I see it as some kind of powerful force that both supports and guides me.
The moon affects the Earth in physical ways; its gravitational pull helps to create our ocean’s tide. The Earth and Moon are attracted to one another like magnets. The moon tries to pull on everything on the Earth to bring it closer, but the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water. Since the ocean is constantly moving and the Earth is unable to hold onto it, tides form.
I have always believed that the moon’s gravitational pull not only has an effect on our oceans but it also has an effect on our brains and emotions — after all, the human body is mostly water.
Whenever I look up into the night sky and see the moon, I know that, by understanding the cycle the moon is currently in, helps me to understand and guide my decisions, emotions and the way I am feeling about, and responding to life right now.
Here’s my guide to understanding the moon and its effect on our daily lives.
New beginnings, fresh starts, optimism, hope and faith.
The New Moon, or “low ebb” of the Moon, signals preparation for a new cycle. The actual day of the New Moon is an ideal day to write down a simple list of what we hope to achieve or to manifest in our lives—to put it out there in the universe.
From New Moon to Full Moon is a good time to initiate new projects and plant seeds. People in general are more receptive to new ideas. This two-week period is the time to make plans and get supplies, to gather our strength, to let ourselves be fortified by getting plenty of rest. The New Moon is also a good time to replace negative habits with new healthy habits. The New Moon is very positive in nature.
If you want your hair to grow more quickly this is the ideal day to give it a trim. It’s also the most auspicious time to start a new health or exercise regimen, make lists of your aspirations for the coming cycle, plant seeds, or start new creative projects.
Building, accomplishments, creativity, strength, growth and learning, positive transformation.
For the two weeks from the New Moon to the Full Moon, the Moon is increasing in light. This is the waxing Moon. Our bodies tend to absorb and retain water as it nears and responds to the hot and dry influence of the First Quarter Moon.
It is easier to gain weight during the waxing phase of the Moon, even if we take in the same amount of calories. That is partly because we are expending less energy as our bodies are in a naturally restful phase as it is replenishing and storing energy. This tendency to gain a little weight is also because everything taken into the body is more effective now, including the absorption of calories, vitamins, and nutrients. This goes for the good things as well as the bad, and the nearer the waxing Moon gets to Full Moon, the more effective our absorption becomes.
Abundance, harvest, wish-fulfillment, manifesting desires, sexuality, achieving all dreams, protection.
The few days when the moon is full or close to it, are kind of a crescendo as evidenced by all that full moon lore. On the evening of the full moon it appears on the horizon exactly at the moment the sun sets on the western horizon.
Full moon is a good time to plan parties and social activities, as well as sales for businesses. Creativity and intuition can feel heightened. Energy is at a peak.
Letting go, clearing away, cleansing, releasing, shedding old patterns, undoing bindings, opening up problem-knots, making space.
Once the full moon is over, it begins to shrink down again, and this is known as a ‘waning’ moon. Tasks of wrapping up and completion of a project can flow more easily during this period.
For us, this can mean a natural time to turn within a bit, taking stock of the growth during the past cycle – sifting through the experiences, cleaning up, documenting. As the dark of the moon approaches you might notice a dip in your energy level, more of an inclination to rest, sleep and replenish.
Finalize projects, take care of last details during a waning moon cycle. If you’re wanting to declutter your home, it’s easier to do it during these weeks because you’re naturally more inclined to let go and throw things out.
Waning moon is also a good time to undertake a cleansing diet program or fast. Your body will more naturally accept the cleansing.
Rest, Peace, deep wisdom, divination, contacting the guru within, letting things die away completely.
The dark new moon – when you can’t see it at all – is an ideal day to complete and prepare. There’s a natural lull in energy levels, similar to the waning moon during the previous week, making it an ideal time to organize and take stock to complete the last cycle and prepare for the next.