living by the lunar phases
Updated: Aug 7
At the beginning of 2020, I had stumbled upon a podcast episode by Sahara Rose that was about to totally transform my life in an unexpected way.
I have always thought New Year’s Resolutions were cheesy and pointless, especially since every year I told myself it would be the year I would become a supermodel and achieve everything in the world. Needless to say, I faced disappointment every year in that regard.
However, after listening to this podcast episode, I decided there was something small I could do, to change my year, and change my perspective.
In the ways of spirituality, I had already begun to “awaken” as they say. I was becoming more aware of my place in this world, and the purpose of my life. Living by the phases of the moon, was just the beginning of my journey.
For those of you who don’t know, there are eight phases to each lunar cycle. A lunar cycle traditionally lasts about 28 days, and therefore does not always correlate with the traditional western calendar consisting of 30/31 days.
The lunar phase begins with the New Moon, which is usually the best time to manifest your goals for that coming cycle. It is the time to set your intentions. Think of it as a “mini resolution” but it is only for 28 days.
I started simply by journaling and writing about what the New Moon meant. This was a time of learning and practicing for me in the beginning. I would set goals or intentions for that cycle, and keep up with them as I went.
The second phase to take note of is the lovely Crescent Moon. This is the time to remind yourself of your intention and breathe into it. Look into the sky and find reassurance in your intentions. The moon supports you and holds you accountable for that change.
The First Quarter Moon is a time to ask yourself again, are you bringing your intentions to action? At this point you are a quarter of the way through this cycle. What changes have you been making to keep your intentions?
The Gibbous Moon is the fourth phase in our cycle. This is a time to trust that your intentions are coming. Perhaps your intention has shifted in an unexpected way. This is the time to listen and trust
Then of course, we are greeted by the Full Moon. This is usually a time of energy abundance for most. Personally for me, I have noticed the Full Moon is usually an overwhelming time for me, as if the stir of energy is too much.
I would sit down and journal during the full moon and reflect on how my intentions are growing and transforming. The full moon is the halfway point. This is the time to release and let go of whatever is not serving you. Perhaps, your intentions have not bloomed like you hoped, then it is time to let them go with the full moon.
The sixth phase of our journey leads us to the Waning Moon. This is the time to accept and show gratefulness as you follow this cycle on its way out. Your intention is coming to completion by this point, in whatever way that is. Accept what the universe has handed you.
The Third Quarter Moon has a special place in my heart, for I know it is a sign of the close: a sign of completion. To me, the third quarter moon is the symphony swelling at the end of a movie, the sunset showing on screen, as we all prepare for the credits. This is a time to breathe, reflect, and give back to the universe.
And of course, finally, The Balsamic Moon. This is a time of total reflection. What happened for you in the last lunar cycle? Did your intentions blossom, or did they burn out? There is no right or wrong answer for this. The Balsamic Moon gives us the space to observe without judgement, and make preparations for the next cycle to come.
If you’ve made it this far, then perhaps this is the moon calling to you. What started as a simple journal prompt for me, turned into a lifestyle that transformed me. Let me explain…
I started by simply journaling my intentions, staying on the surface of things I wanted to change. I hadn’t even made it to the third lunar phase, before I had “failed”. Why did this happen? My intentions were not aligning with my soul’s truth.
The second time I went in with a different mindset. I picked up a stack of tarot cards, and did a simple reading. Through this action, I gave myself a structure to set my intentions to. I also began journaling a second time, during the Full Moon. This was where I would write about whatever energy I was feeling, what I was struggling with, and whether or not my intentions were in alignment with my truth.
Not only did I start to see changes in my life, but in my body as well. For women, our menstrual cycle often correlates with the moon. There are oodles of resources on this, if you care to invest in it. I noticed my cycle began to shift, and I began to bleed with the New Moon. It strengthened my connection with the internal work I was doing, and honestly eased my menstrual cycle.
I began to notice how my body felt during a Full Moon. I felt like I was buzzing, but mentally exhausted at the same time. Through this self awareness, I began to prepare myself for extra mindfulness practices as the Full Moon neared. It helped me maintain calm in a time where energy is swirling around us.
I also learned a lot about forgiveness. Oftentimes, my intentions did not come to light in the 28 days. I would look up at the sky, see the balsamic moon waning, and I would sigh. Before this practice, my life had been full of disappointment. I hated letting others down, and constantly felt that I had let myself down.
However, there is something beautiful about the fact that you get to try again. In the dark of the new moon, I would sit with my tarot cards, and forgive myself. The moon does not hustle and the moon does not fail. It simply is.
She knows her journey, and she follows it through, and does not always know, what will happen in that time. I have become the same.
If you are looking to transform your life this year in a small way, start by looking up.