The lunar cycle is a mirror of our own menstrual cycles, and whether you bleed or not it offers a powerful reminder of the ebbs and flows of life. Of the yin and yang energy that flows through all of us. Of the cycles of death and rebirth that we are all constantly living through alongside the natural world. After becoming a mama, like with every aspect of my life, I had to relearn and navigate how my magical practice fit into my life now that I have much less time and energy. Gone are the days of elaborate rituals, ceremonies, and daily practices. But I quickly realized that motherhood is in itself a type of magical practice, connecting us to the flow of life, our own power, and strengthening our intuition.
My connection to the moon is so important to me. Just like my practice of menstrual cycle awareness, it at once keeps me grounded and at the same time helps me navigate my ever-changing inner landscape. In fact, my friend Lisa writes beautifully about how the phase the moon is in during our bleed-time holds potent meaning. Understanding how these energies might come into tension with one another – for example if the outer energy of the lunar cycle is waxing at the full moon while your inner energy is waning while you bleed – adds another layer of our personal awareness, as we learn to navigate these tensions and honour the many cycles we are each inhabiting at any given moment.
Whatever the phase of the moon, the best way to have a relationship with her is to get outside and look at the night sky. Go for evening walks when you can. Learn where she’s situated in relation to your house. Can you see her from your windows, garden, or front door? Watching her light wax and wane is such a beautiful reflection of our own inner landscape, and our connection to the rhythms of the Earth. I also have the iLuna app on my phone as a reminder of what phase of the lunar cycle we’re in. This digital reminder has helped me to stay connected in those frenzied, overwhelming periods of motherhood when I don’t even know what day of the week it is.
For those who are perhaps new to following the lunar cycle, or who are looking for ways to stay connected within the realities of motherhood, I’m sharing these small, simple rituals to honour and harness the energy of each phase of the lunar cycle. They’d also be wonderful for sharing with children.
The Dark Moon
The time when the moon is not visible in the sky. The end and beginning of the cycle, which corresponds to the first days of our bleed. The time when the veil is thinnest. A call to rest, to fiercely trust our intuition, and replenish our energies.
- Rest. Go to bed early. Treat sleep as your spiritual practice (because it totally is). I highly recommend trying yoga nidra if you have time – I love these ones.
- Make time for quiet introspection. Sit quietly with your eyes closed for even a couple of minutes and allow anything that comes up to arise and then move through you.
- Journal, especially about your feelings or any fears that have been coming up for you. Even a few minutes of free writing will be so cathartic and can help to shift any stuck energy.
- Write down dreams and ideas that arise during the dark moon. Don’t act on them yet but capture them somewhere safe.
- Pull a tarot card for each of the coming moon phases. If you have time, journal about each one but even spending some time looking at the images on each card or writing down a few keywords that come to mind can be incredibly illuminating.
The New Moon
The first sliver of light in the sky. A time for healing, for introspection, and for planting the seeds of new dreams, projects, and ideas.
- Set intentions for the coming moon cycle. What do you want to do, be, and have? You could use the tarot cards you drew under the dark moon as inspiration. It’s also a great time to think about where you want to be six months from now as moon cycles correspond with the cycle 6 months before and 6 months after.
- Make space to dream. Now isn’t the time to take big action but create some space to consider what it would feel like to bring your dark moon dreams to life. Journal about them or spend some time visualizing them – perhaps while you’re walking with your baby in the park.
- I love to make flower essences or start potions, tinctures, and other infusions under the new moon. If they need to steep, I allow them to do so for an entire moon cycle, shaking them regularly, blessing them, and offering them my intentions for the magical properties I want them to have, and then decanting them on the following new moon.
The Waxing Moon
A joyful energy of growth, productivity, and hopefulness as the moon’s light grows in the sky. A great time to start new projects in earnest or develop new habits.
- Nurture the intentions you’ve set. What daily rituals or small, consistent actions can you create now to bring them to life?
- Choose an affirmation to support one of your dreams or intentions.
- Create action plans for the bigger dreams you’ve been tending to. Make a commitment to them by taking the inspired action that feels most right to you (even if it’s a bit scary).
The Full Moon
The full, vibrant energy that is excellent for manifestation as well as for letting go. Some people find this energy quite intense and unsettling and it often brings big feelings to the surface to be witnessed and healed.
- Check in with the intentions you set under the new moon. Are they still a good fit? If so, now is a good time to take solid action towards them. If not, set the intention to release them and allow more suited ones to call to you.
- Talk to La Luna. Whisper to her through your window. Tell her about your dreams and desires and everything you want to be in the world. Tell her what you’re scared of and anything you’re ready to let go of. Bring all of this into her light and allow her to hold it for you.
- A lot of people charge their crystals under the full moon by putting them on their windowsill or out in their garden. Personally, I don’t believe this is necessary – crystals are energetically stable and wherever they are, the moon’s energy will reach them (as evidenced by how poorly my baby sleeps under the full moon!). However, this ritual might appeal to you. Or you might like to choose a crystal to support one of your dreams or intentions, and carry it with you as a physical touchstone of what you’re creating.
- Make a list of everything you’re ready to let go of: limiting beliefs, damaging habits, self-destructive behaviours, toxic relationships, expectations that aren’t your own, energy you’re carrying around that isn’t yours or doesn’t serve your highest good. Burn it. Make a list of everything you want to call in: new relationships, patterns, habits, career advancements, creative projects, material possessions. Burn it, too.
- Fill a small jar or bowl with water and set it on your windowsill to infuse with the moon’s energy. You could drink it the following morning or I like to add a splash to my morning cuppa for the next two weeks to absorb all of that beautiful lunar magic.
The Waning Moon
A time of slowing down, moving inward, and letting go as the moon’s light fades from the sky.
- Practice surrendering. Trust that your dreams and intentions are coming to fruition without having to force them. This means that it’s okay to slow down and to rest. It doesn’t take constant hard work and action to make things happen.
- Identify an outdated belief or habit you’re ready to let go of and commit to leaving it behind.