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 everything I ever wanted to look like and achieve everything in the world. Needless to say, I faced disappointment every year in that regard.
However, after listening to a podcast episode on the lunar phases, 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 become more aware of my connection to the earth. 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. Scientifically, this phase marks the moment when the Moon is positioned directly between the Earth and the Sun, making its illuminated side face away from us.
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. Scientifically, the crescent shape begins to emerge as the Moon moves further from the New Moon phase, gradually revealing more of its illuminated side. This is a time to reflect on your aspirations and find solace in the moon's support.
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? It's an excellent juncture to evaluate your progress in translating intentions into action. Your goals should be well on their way to realization by this point.
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. At this stage, it's essential to trust that your intentions are on their way to fruition. Perhaps, they have evolved in unexpected ways, and this phase encourages you to adapt and listen to the subtle shifts.
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. The Full Moon, scientifically speaking, represents the peak of lunar illumination. This halfway point in the lunar cycle is ideal for reflection and release. It's a time to let go of anything that no longer serves your intentions.
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. Here, it's time to show gratitude and acceptance as your intentions approach their conclusion, however that may manifest. Embrace what the universe has presented to 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. It signifies the culmination, akin to the climax of a movie or the moment when the sun sets in a grand cinematic finale. This is the time for reflection, appreciation, and giving 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. Remember, there's no right or wrong answer during this phase. The Balsamic Moon offers the opportunity to observe without judgment and prepare for the next cycle ahead.
If you've made it this far, perhaps the moon is calling out to you. What began as a simple journal prompt for me eventually transformed into a lifestyle that reshaped my very essence.
I embarked on this path with mere surface-level intentions, scribbled in my journal, unaware of the profound transformation that awaited. Before I even reached the third lunar phase, I faced what I perceived as "failure." Why? Because my intentions were not in harmony with the truth of my soul.
The second time around, I approached this practice with a different mindset. I delved into my past journal entries, seeking wisdom in my experiences. Through this reflection, I found a structure to align my intentions for the upcoming phase. Additionally, I began journaling during the Full Moon, pouring my energy, struggles, and intentions onto the pages. This introspection became a compass, guiding me toward authenticity.
Not only did my life change, but so did my body. For women, our menstrual cycles often dance in tune with the moon's phases. I noticed a shift; I began to bleed with the New Moon. This synchronization deepened my connection to my inner work, bringing ease to my menstrual cycle.
During Full Moons, I felt a peculiar blend of buzzing energy and mental exhaustion. This heightened self-awareness prompted me to prepare for these moments with mindfulness practices, cultivating calm amidst the swirling energies around me.
Forgiveness became my constant companion. Often, my intentions didn't manifest within the 28-day cycle. As I gazed at the waning Balsamic Moon, I sighed. Yet, there was a profound beauty in the chance to try again. In the dark of the New Moon, I sat with my journal, forgiving myself. The moon doesn't rush; it doesn't falter. It merely exists.
Like the moon, I embraced my journey. I learned to follow my path, uncertain of what lay ahead. I have become like her.
If you seek a transformation, however small, consider starting by looking up at the moon. In its gentle glow, you might find the reflection of your own transformative journey, waiting to unfold.
See you again,