How does the moon affect us?
With the moon affecting the water on Earth and humans were made up of around 80% water, not to mention the studies that have been carried out and named “The Lunar Effect”. It has been proven that the moon really does affect humans along with animals in many ways from human production to behavioural and physiology from a scientific perspective. While the lunar cycle correlates with the menstrual cycle, the moon possessesa powerful creative force not just for women.
In witchcraft the moon embodies the feminine be it the goddess, intuition, emotions, nurturing and keeper of the light during dark times. Through its journey in the sky, we can learn from its different phases and apply it’s cyclic nature to our lives to not only bridge the gap between the self and the environment but also to manifest your desires, release what no longer serves you and gain wisdom throughout the process. As witches, the moon is an inherent part of our practice, our craft because the moon, in essence, is a goddess who light the way and guides us through the mysteries of life.
How I started to work with the Moon
I’ve always noticed the moon and I can remember as a child looking up at the sky in the summer and wonder how the sun and the moon could both share the same sky. To me, that was magical and mystical. The moon was this elusive wonder in the sky that you’d be lucky to see and that constantly changes. It made the connection it was a reminder that we were part of something bigger, part of the universe. When I was 9 my favourite ever thing to learn was the phases of the moon and I remember vividly we were all to draw a phase of the moon and then they were put up on the classroom wall. I remember feeling that it was so spectacular and from then on I’ve always loved the moon and it changing faces.
In my adult life, and the more conscious journey started around 11 years ago, I was 19 and I used to smoke. I would sneak out the front of my parent’s house once they had gone to bed I would spend time stood to outside the front of the house and I started looking up at the stars. I was in a point of my life where I was trying to make things happen but the energy of my home was negative and toxic so while I had the best intentions to “think positive”, I really struggled. That time at the end of the day where I would look up at the night’s sky became my solace, my peaceful quiet part of the day.
On the nights where I could see the moon, I would start talking to her. I would tell her what I needed and communicate with her on how it was going as the lunar phase progressed. As the lunar phase came to an end and my intentions manifested I would express my gratitude for her presence, her help in my life. Ever since this time in my life I have always followed the journey of the moon in the sky but my knowledge has developed stemming from my intuition to observing my menstrual cycle and the lunar phases, applying the four female archetypes to the phases, the astrological influences as the moon travels through the zodiac as well as acknowledging how I feel throughout them.
The phases of the moon and what they mean
The different phases of the moon serve as reminders for different aspects of active and receiving energies. As the moon is waxing we engage in more extroverted and outgoing activities whilst when the moon iswaning we may partake in more introverted and restorative pursuits. One thing remains, like the seasons, there is a moment in the lunar cycle that serves a purpose, a reason. While we may find that we are more tired at a new moon when the energy is at it’s lowest, we can utilise the full moon energy when we need a boost of energetic momentum to see our intentions through to manifestation. When you become acquainted with the lunar phases you can work with them in harmony, push yourself when the moon is waxing and retreat without resistance when the moon is waning.
Below describes each phase of the lunar cycle and what they represent
New Moon – It’s time to start fresh and create new intentions. New moons are a time of new beginning offering a time to wipe the slate clean in our lives and spaces. There are no limits on the possibilities while planting seeds of intentions.
Waxing Crescent – A burst of energy as we see the first slither of the moon in the sky, intentions now conceptualise. A time for planning and focusing on the details so that our intentions may come to be over the coming cycle.
First Quarter – Momentum is underway as the moon makes its way to fullness. The energy is climbing and although it can present challenges in plans, it can create roots and foundations for intentions. This is a time to take action towards goals and intentions.
Waxing Gibbous – You have come so far, from planning to gestation. Take time to nurture your life and be patient as your intentions come to fruition.
Full Moon – The lunar energy is at its peak and it’s time to celebrate the blossoming of intentions, hopes and dreams. Counting your blessings, practising gratitude and expressing your joy is a key theme of the full moon.
Waning Gibbous – This is the harvest time of the lunar cycle, a time where we can receive our wishes and a time of abundance. During this time it is essential to give time to self-care. This is also a time for releasing what no longer fits in your life.
Last Quarter – A transitional time as we enter an introspective time which allows the breakdown of what doesn’t serve your life as you readjust your life to integrate all you have learnt in the lunar cycle. Practising forgiveness now is favoured.
Waning Crescent – Surrendering to the darkness that is to come and diving inwards allows us to rest and rejuvenate ready for the next lunar cycle. This is a great time for reflection and gaining insights through intuition, signs and visions.
Why work with the moon?
The moon is incredibly potent of creative energy so whether you desire to conceive a child or simply an idea you have into the world, the moon can help you manifest your wishes. Try asking at the new moon for something you intend to bring into your life, keep it simple to start with, then observe the moon and how it manifests throughout the lunar cycle. Of course, as with all magic, you have to do the work but the moon will help you along your journey. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t manifest in one lunar cycle, it may mean that there is more work to be done and you can carry your intentions through the next lunar cycle – but this is dependent on what you are asking the moon for and how big an ask it is.
Another way you can work with the moon is if you wish to let go and release something from your life. When the full moon is bright in the sky, it illuminates the soul to us and can let you know if there is a habit that needs to break or a situation in your life you need to let go of. It’s like an a-ha moment when the full moon is here and although it might seem like you are going crazy, you have really just been awakened to the truth. Performing rituals or casting spells for banishing can be powerful during the full moon and waning phase but also on a practical level this can simply mean decluttering the home during this time also.
With the moon, you can do as big or as little magic, but one thing remains, the mother moon will always be in the sky shining her the light.
If you are looking to develop your connection with the moon further I highly recommend journalling through the lunar phase. Start by journalling at new moon and taking note of how you feel, what you learned in the last lunar cycle, I there is anything you want to leave behind in the last lunar cycle and what you would like to invite into your life over the coming lunar cycle. Again, at the full moon take a moment to note down how your intentions are manifesting, how you feel in the moment and any insights you have gained while the moon is at it’s brightest.
Astrology has it’s part in the lunar cycle, but what does that mean?
Throughout the lunar cycle, the moon travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac. I like to look at it as if the signs give the moon a particular flavour. These influences can be present in our lives individually as well as externally. As you deepen your connection with the moon and the zodiac you’ll begin to notice the signs play out in your emotional landscape as well as in the world around you.
Noticing that you feel more emotional than normal could imply the moon is in a water sign and in particular the sign of Cancer. An example of seeing the signs play out in the world around you would be when the moon is in Leo the Sun is likely to make an appearance even if it is overcast, the sun will appear even just for a moment. The lion can’t resist being in the spotlight!
Astrology, whether you believe in it or not, has a part to play in our life. As the Earth will always be a part of our solar system and we share that with the moon and other planets. Coming from the school of thought that we are one with nature, with our environment, it seems logical to believe that the movements of our universe have an effect in our lives on earth just as the moon does.
How can you harness the power of the Moon?
Connecting with the moon is as simple as observing its presence in the sky and watching it move through its phases. Note down the lunar phase and how you feel can help you to connect with the lunar phase. Take notice of how others are feeling too as often we can collectively feel the lunar energy whether or not we are conscious of it.