The Moon and its Cycles
Not only does the moon hold powerful influence over the geographic bodies of water on our planet, but also over the microbodies of water that are human beings. Specifically, the moon rules our emotional cycles, guiding our deeply embedded patterns of thinking and feeling, that most of us are not wholly conscious of. The moon exerts the strongest, and perhaps most noticeable, pull upon us and our planet when it is full and when it is new, and at times when the sun, moon, and Earth are all relatively aligned.
The moon represents the movement and rhythm of
the cycles that surround us. It reminds us to embrace all sides of ourselves,
from those that shine brightly to those that remain in shadow. The moon
highlights the power of reflection as it shines down upon us, utilizing
reflected light. It is the precipice between conscious and unconscious, waking
and sleeping. As the Earth’s only natural satellite, the moon influences the
movement of the tides of earthly bodies of water via gravitational pull.
What is Moon
Moon meditation refers to a practice of meditating on the themes connected to the current phase of the moon. Each phase is a time for focusing on a different piece of the emotional cycle: the New Moon is the beginning of the cycle, it calls for internal reflection and planting the seeds of intention into the soil of darkness. The waxing crescent phase is next; this is a call to action, a time to work on the goals at hand. Then comes the first quarter moon, this is a time to seek balance in how we spend our time and resources. Next, we reach the waxing gibbous phase, a time for breaking free of limitations. The Full Moon is the halfway point in the cycle; we are asked to focus on culmination and celebration. The Full Moon is followed by the waning gibbous phase, a time for letting go of bad habits, stress, and negative thinking. Then we reach the third quarter moon, which asks us to focus on acceptance of all parts of ourselves and to hold ourselves accountable when necessary. Finally, we arrive at the waning crescent phase, a time for surrender, rest, and preparing for a new beginning.
Meditating with the moon strengthens a
connection with the Earth’s rhythms and our own natural cycles. When we are
aligned with nature it is easier to listen to ourselves and work with universal
currents, rather than struggling against them. Furthermore, aligning oneself
with the present phase helps prepare us to meet what is upcoming and to release
what we may be carrying from the past that no longer serves us.
Step by Step How-To
I couldn’t find very much description of the
precise steps involved in a moon meditation, so I am offering a detailed
description of how I structure mine.
- Find a quiet place to sit or lay
down for somewhere between 5-20 minutes.
- Quiet the body and mind. Maybe
engage in some light stretching and some deep breathing.
- Sit or lay in a comfortable
- Focus on the theme(s) of the
current phase of the moon. I followed guided meditations that I found on YouTube,
but if that doesn’t appeal, do some research or pull from already existing moon
phase knowledge and focus on the theme(s) in the way(s) you feel called to.
These elements are optional but helped me
deepen my practice:
- Water: Because the moon controls the ocean tides and is associated with the element of Water, I felt called to incorporate it in my moon meditation practice. I usually meditated while soaking my feet, and sometimes with my whole body in the bath. I can imagine sitting near or in contact with a pool or other body of water would have enhanced my experience as well.
- A dark space: Ideally with a window or skylight, if indoors, or just right out under the moon, at night. You can engage in moon meditation at any time of day, even when we cannot see the moon it is still there. But sitting in the dark, near a window, helped me feel a more unimpeded connection to the moon.
I had little firsthand experience with moon
meditation before writing this piece. I embarked upon a two-week trial of
nightly moon meditation, and below are my main takeaways.
- I found a sense of peace that enabled me to be more grounded in the present. I was comforted knowing that as I continued with moon meditations, there would be a time for everything – every feeling, every desire, every fear, every clinging, and every release. The deeper into the process I got, the more grounded, clear, and at ease I felt.
- I was able to move through hardships with more grace and patience because I was more aware of what part of the emotional cycle I was in. During the waning crescent moon, for example, I centered surrender. And as I encountered obstacles, instead of getting overwhelmed with frustration, I moved through them as best I could, while keeping in mind that this was the time to yield to the forces around me, and I was not in control.
- It was a treat to center my nights around these meditations. I looked forward to finding out what each new phase asked me to focus on. I challenged myself to go past the surface with each focus.
- I was made more concretely aware of the length of each moon phase and I looked forward to the shifts with excitement.
- In contrast with my regular meditation practice, in which I strive to find a heightened sense of focused awareness, I found that moon meditation took me to more of a relaxed, almost subconscious place. I sort of drifted in and out of awareness, not sleeping, but closer to the unconscious realm than I allow myself to be in my regular meditation practice. I had the sense that I was meditating on more of a dream level, and that was new and interesting to me. I often felt deeply and profoundly affected in ways that I couldn’t quite put into words after a moon meditation.
A Place in
The moon is a powerful presence that is
connected to mystery, intuition, deeply held knowledge and feelings, and
emotional cycles. Meditating in alignment with the current phase of the moon on
a consistent, nightly, weekly, quarterly, etc., basis is a useful way to sync
yourself with the rhythms of the planet and the Universe. This syncing can
provide you with a broadened perspective on your role in the big picture as
well as on the timing of the micro happenings of your daily life and your response(s)
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