Every night the shape of the moon seems different to us people on earth. This phenomenon is called the lunar phases or the lunar cycle. This occurs because when the moon orbits around our planet, it also changes it’s position to the sun and therefore the parts that get illuminated from the sunlight (the moon has no light on its own) change with the different positions. So far this is just the science behind it. While this phenomenon in the sky is beautiful to look at, you can gain much more out of the old wisdom about the lunar phases.
Throughout the times, the moon was worshipped by many different cultures. Mostly represented in form of a goddess but there are also moon gods, for example, the Hindu god Chandra. Luna was always a symbol of change, for the cycle of death and rebirth, the mystic, the unconscious. A symbol of feelings, the feminine and mysterious aspects of life. Moreover, calendars were constructed according to the moon (the word “month” derives from here) and up to our present time, these calendars were very popular among farmers or elderly people and were used to plan farming, gardening, householding or important appointments. The people of those times have already known about the influence of the moon’s gravitation to the life here on earth just by observing it. A lot of eastern religions still have festivities that follow the moon calendar and even in our Gregorian calendar, a lot of holidays fall on special days according to the position of the sun or the moon. Right now we’re living in times in which more people wish to come back to their roots and to live their lives more in tune with natural cycles of nature, thus moon calendars are getting more popular again.
Spiritual Meanings of the Lunar Phases
But how can we use the wisdom about the lunar phases for our well-being? Well, first, there is another dimension to the moon phases than just the gravitational influence. It’s the spiritual meaning, the spiritual teachings of these subtle energies. We can use these meanings as metaphors and see ourselves as little “seeds” that grow, bloom and then transform. It’s easier to go with the natural flow than to fight it. Modern times try to standardize everything but life comes and goes in circles and we are affected by these natural cycles as well. Why fight this when we can use it for our best? If we try to live more harmonious with these cycles, then we can use this power to manifest the things we really want in our life.
You can divide the lunar cycle into either four or eight phases. It’s basically the same, but the eight phases give you a little bit more detail than just “growing”, “full” or “waning”, so I’m going to give you a little information on all eight phases.
1. New Moon
It’s the phase with the lowest energy level and you may feel introverted and introspective. This time, in which the moon cannot be seen, calls for new beginnings. A blank page, the dark and mystic potential of creation that holds every possibility that exists within. Use this time to set a vision for yourself, a goal, an idea, a dream. Set an intention and really try to feel it from the bottom of your heart. Plant that seed.
2. Waxing Crescent Moon
After the new moon, the energy intensifies over the period of 2 weeks up until the full moon. In the waxing crescent phase, you get a new, fresh kick start with energy. This time is nice to conceptualize your goals, communicate them to the universe and the world. Plans and ideas can grow and you can organize the resources you need to fulfil your vision. Plan the details, make structures, help your seeds to sprout!
3. First Quarter / Waxing Half Moon
The first seven days are over and as the energies are intensifying we could face some obstacles in our way or heavy decisions are required of us. Use the energy of this moon to step into your loving warrior attitude, push forward, utilize your resources, take action and don’t be afraid now and step back, you are almost where you want to be!
4. Waxing Gibbous Moon
The phase just before the full moon. The energy is almost at peak level, and as the energies intensify we might feel stiff or under pressure. Start slowing down a little bit and don’t push hard here. Rather refine and adjust your goals. Unexpected things can always happen, now is the time to review and make changes accordingly. Everything happens in perfect timing and it’s not a failure to realize that maybe this is not your time. The buds prepare to bloom, give them what they need, not what you want.
5. Full Moon
Full Moon marks half-time in the lunar cycle. It represents abundance, blooming, harvest time. On the one hand, the energies of full moons can make us feel aggressive, emotional and tensed because it’s the time when moon energy is on its peak, but on the other hand, can help us to release things that don’t serve us anymore and recharge our batteries. Full moon energy brings light to the darkness and can help us to realize where we are in life now and what our feelings and thoughts are concerning our circumstances. Maybe you need a timeout because everything feels so “full” or you want to go out, celebrate and enjoy the nice things in life. Everything is signed, sealed and stamped and maybe this wasn’t your time but be sure the intention is out there, just waiting for the perfect timing to show up to you.
6. Waning Gibbous Moon
Now the moon energy is lowering down. This can give us a feeling of lightness after feeling so tensed. It’s a time of gratitude and sharing. Be grateful for what you have and for what you have achieved and don’t forget about others. Share your harvest or share what you have learned on the way. This can help others and clear things up for you that were hidden.
7. Last Quarter / Waning Half Moon
A time to take our energy back, getting slower, turning attention inwards. What have we learned in the last 3 weeks? What things were helpful, which not? Release again things that do harm to you and others. This phase is about forgiveness because forgiveness heals and brings us back to a balanced state of the soul, so nothing can hold us back. Take these learnings and prepare yourself to move on to the next cycle.
8. Waning Crescent Moon / Balsamic Moon
The last phase before we move on into a new cycle. This is the time to prepare the soil for new seeds. So give yourself some alone time, relax. Nurture yourself and recharge your batteries. It’s about peace and surrendering yourself to the universe. It’s okay to feel empty and low on energy sometimes, go with the natural flow. Restore your energy so that you can start planting new seeds in the new cycle.
Going with the Flow
So now you know the basics. These are the meanings of the moon phases. There are different ways to work with them in your everyday life and I think it’s best if you find out for yourself what is working for you best. I like to create some “rituals” during the full and new moons and take some time for myself to journal, meditate and do yoga. Journaling helps me clearing and structuring my thoughts, intentions and plans. Meditation and yoga are helping me to get in touch with myself, my feelings and the things I really wish for without any conditioning making me wish for it. Sometimes I write things that I want to let go of on a piece of paper and burn it as a symbol for releasing it. There are almost endless possibilities and the ones that feel good for you are going to work best for you. I guess the most important thing is to find out for yourself what your rhythms are. When do you feel energetic, when low and are there some regularities in those patterns?
Maybe you feel inspired now to tap a little more in your own natural cycle besides the cycles which society and their Chronos-time-measurement try to put on us. It’s okay to not always shine brightly that’s what Lady Moon is trying to teach us. Relax a little bit, don’t take everything to serious and maybe you find your own power and magic when you tune in to the beats of the universe.
Laugh & Love