A Beginner’s Guide to Moon Cycles

Moon cycles

Have you noticed how so much of your life happens in cycles?

It certainly does.

The sun rises and becomes day then falls until we’re shrouded in darkness only to circle back to the light when the sun rises again the next morning.

Think of a runner who runs marathons. She trains hard for a race, runs the race, then starts training even harder for the next race.

You get thirsty, drink something to quench your thirst, your body uses the hydration then you get thirsty again.

Each year cycles through the seasons. The earth revolves around the sun until it’s back to the beginning again. You go in circles around the Monopoly board, passing GO each time you get back to the beginning until you win the game.

See? Life is full of cycles — big and small, all day, every day. It’s amazing really.

That’s why life flows so much more effortlessly when you are in tune and flowing with the cycles that occur in your life.

Think about Monopoly as a simple example. When you get that ‘proceed directly to jail. Do not pass GO.’ card, it sets you back and you’re stuck in jail. You have to work at it and wait in order to get out.

But when you get the ‘go directly to GO and collect $200’ card, it’s smooth sailing and very exciting! You leap ahead of the other players and build up your abundance of Monopoly money. Think about how much more relaxed you are about the game when you’re winning than when you’re not.

The Moon

There are 3 major energetic cycles that are worthy of paying close attention to: the astrological cycle of the year, the seasons, and the monthly Moon cycle.

In this post we’ll talk about the Moon because it has such a powerful effect on us (physically AND psychologically) and it is one of the best tools we can use to co-exist in harmony with the heartbeat of the Universe and to manifest what we want into our lives.

The Moon is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun.

And this is interesting because the Sun and Moon have equal but opposite effects on us.

The Moon holds the push and pull of the tides, sets the calendar, and touches us more deeply than most planets. Our emotions, associated with water, are deeply influenced by the mighty Moon as are the tides in the oceans.

The goddess-like Moon, symbolizing the mother-child relationship and the nurturing women in our lives, governs fertility and creativity. She is a gentle, yet powerful creature, an ally with whom we can merge energies to manifest our deepest desires.

The Moon, also called “luminary”, represents the “yin” energy – feminine, passive, dark, cold, wet – opposing the Sun’s “yang” energy – masculine, active, light, hot and dry. The Moon is half of the interaction of the yin and yang that maintains the harmony in the Universe. One cannot exist without the other.

Moon cycles

Having no light of its own, the Moon reflects and is illuminated by the Sun. It is the angles of light reflection that define the potent and powerful phases of the Moon.

The Phases of the Moon

The Moon cycle repeats about every 29.5 days. It begins with the Dark Moon, or New Moon, when the Moon is completely dark. You can’t see it in this phase because the Sun is shining on the side of the Moon that is facing away from the Earth.

The dark New Moon begins to display a sliver of light and continues to grow in brightness until the side that you can see is fully illuminated. It’s what you know as the Full Moon. From there the light of the Moon dims until it’s back at the completely dark New Moon to begin the cycle again.

This cycle of the Moon — from New to Full to New again — is broken up into 2 periods and 8 phases and it’s these periods and phases that carry the potent energy that we can work with in our lives.

The Periods

The 2 periods are waxing and waning. As the Moon goes from dark to full (the light gets bigger and brighter), it is “waxing.” From the Full Moon to the New Moon when the light gets dimmer, it is “waning.”

It’s very important to understand the difference between the waxing and waning Moon energies when working with the Moon cycles.

The waxing period is best used to create and start new things, or draw things into you — to manifest things into your life. This is when fertility and creativity are high and you’ll find the most creative inspiration and growth.

The waning period is best used for completion of projects, harvesting what you have sown, review of where you stand, releasing things that don’t work for you anymore, and retreating to your inner self for rest and renewal.

So, if you try to start a new project or call something into your life during the waning period, you’re working against the naturally occurring energy and you’ll find that it’s much more difficult to accomplish during that time. So you want to make sure you’re going with the grain and not against it.

The Phases

Moon cycles & phases

Now, the 8 phases of the Moon are split between the 2 periods. So, the Moon goes through 4 phases as it’s waxing, and 4 more phases as it’s waning. Each of the 8 phases hones the Moon’s waxing and waning energies even further into more specific, distinct energies that are useful for different things.

During the waxing period, the Moon travels through its first 4 phases:

1.  New
2. Crescent
3. First Quarter
4. Gibbous.

When the Moon becomes full, the waning period begins and the Moon travels through these 4 phases:

5. Full
6. Disseminating (or waning Gibbous)
7. Third Quarter
8. Balsamic (or waning Crescent)

You can identify each of these phases when looking at the Moon in a clear night sky.

The Good Stuff – Using the Phases to Create

Here’s an overview of the 8 phases of the Moon in the order they appear in the sky and the energy each one carries:

Waxing Moons:
1. New Moon – begin the vision of something new; set an intention
2. Crescent Moon (aka Waxing Crescent) – communicate your intention to move forward
3. First Quarter Moon (aka Waxing Quarter) – take the action necessary to achieve your goal
4. Gibbous Moon (aka Waxing Gibbous) – gather information and analyze progress

Waning Moons:
1. Full Moon – complete something or make an adjustment to get back on track
2. Disseminating Moon (aka Waning Gibbous) – gain clarity by sharing what you’ve learned
3. Third Quarter Moon (aka Waning Quarter) – close the cycle, follow up, complete activities
4. Balsamic Moon (aka Waning Crescent) – let go of everything not working; rest; restore; prepare for a new cycle

Notice that in the waxing period you are stating your intention and taking action to call it into you. But in the waning period you are completing work, sharing (in other words, sending out) what you learned, releasing what’s not working, and resting for the start of the next cycle. The first period is active gathering. The second is passive releasing.

Following the energy of these periods and phases will help you attract what you want into your life and release what you don’t so that you become a more authentic, less burdened version of yourself. As you work with the Moon and start shedding old layers of you that might not fit any more, you’ll feel lighter and more inspired, and your spirit will be freed.

Don’t make this too complicated as you’re starting out. The best way to begin working with Moon cycles is to focus only on one of 2 things:

(1) Is the Moon waxing or waning? If it’s waxing, then you can call things into your life. If it’s waning, you want to be completing and releasing things from you (can you say clutter clearing??).

(2) Is the Moon New or Full? To start working with the Moon phases, just concentrate on the New Moon and the Full Moon. The New Moon is for setting an intention or starting something new, and the Full Moon is for releasing and clearing what’s no longer working in your life.

For example, at the New Moon you might set an intention for more money, a better job, good habits, or a new love to come in.

Then, beginning at the Full Moon, you might choose to release fear around taking the next steps toward one of your intentions, let go of a toxic relationship, or drop bad habits.

It may be that you want more wealth, a new car, a bigger house, or season tickets for your favorite sports team.

Or, it could be that you want to find your Soul mate, be more creative, or deepen your intuition.

Whatever the case may be, working with the phases of the Moon can drastically help you achieve your biggest dreams and deepest desires.

Depending on what you ask for, it may take several Moon cycles to accomplish or manifest what you want, but with consistent intentions and following the waxing and waning energies of the Moon cycles, you can create your life however you wish it to be.

Don’t forget that when you set and intention to call something into your life, you need to pay attention and be willing to receive it when it gets here. The Universe often delivers its gifts without fancy wrapping paper.

What have you had trouble calling into your life that you could use the Moon cycles to help you manifest? Drop a line below in the comments so that we can hold space for you to live your dream.

Love you to the Moon and back!
Jen

Image 1: photo credit

Image 2: photo credit