I’m seeking a sense of flow. Being flexible and allowing has never been my strong point, I’ve always erred more on the side of control, regime and routine. But I find my desperate need for control subsides when I find real connections with the world around me, when I can find peace in letting go of the reins and trust that I’ll still keep moving forward. It quietens my frantic busyness and leaves me with both a calm, appreciative warmth for everything around me and the peaceful knowledge that I’m better off moving with the world than trying to wrestle it into submission. The Boy and I planned out a new routine this morning (we still haven’t quite recovered from the lack of routine at Christmas) and found a really nice compromise between my more driven, purposeful nature and his spontaneous, freedom-loving character. It got me thinking about planning and how I could find a system of planning that combined all of the above, that would still be a beneficial, productive way to work. My idea: to learn about the lunar cycle, what to do during moon phases and how I could use that to shape my life flow.
“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” – Tahereh Mafi
Why use the moon phases for planning?
What I love about lunar cycles, besides the symbolic and beautiful inspiration an object like the moon can embody, is the flow they have. They allow for frequent new beginnings, reminders to reflect and let go, times for relaxation as well as times to really push yourself. I’m not going to go into whether, scientifically, the moon has any kind of effect on us, it’s not my area of expertise, nor does it interest me much. For me, the lunar cycles are symbolic – they’re a peaceful, but powerful flowing system that sets a good example of for how to move. The moon is company and motivation, a way to feel like you’re not alone in your goals and progress (a big, glowing lump of ex-Earth has got your back) and feel a little more connected and grounded in the world. Let’s take a look at each phase, shall we?
What are the phases of the moon?
What is the New Moon?
The New Moon occurs when the moon is fully hidden from us, as the sun is behind the moon and illuminating the side that faces away from us. This is the beginning of the lunar cycle.
What should I do during a New Moon?
The New Moon is time to begin. Set your intentions for the cycle, plan out your goals and go-plan. This can be a nice time to reset things, mentally and in your space – clean and tidy to have everything fresh for the cycle.
What is the Waxing Moon?
The Waxing Moon is seen as the sun slowly emerges from behind the moon, illuminating the moon’s right side, and leave us with a thin, visible crescent.
What should I do during a Waxing Moon?
As the sun begins to reveal itself, you should too – solidify your plans and start making some moves, put your research in and put energy into building yourself up. Establish healthy habits to make sure you’re in your best shape.
What is the First Quarter?
The First Quarter is when the sun is exposed to the whole right side of the moon – we see this as half the moon being illuminated.
What should I do during the First Quarter?
The sun and the moon are side-by-side, with the moon lit up halfway. Continue working, but take time to reflect on your plans and how far you’ve come. Take a deep breath before throwing yourself into the next stages.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
What is the Waxing Gibbous Moon?
The Waxing Gibbous Moon leaves only a slither of moon unilluminated as it’s almost completely exposed to the sun’s rays.
What should I do during a Waxing Gibbous Moon?
Start making big strides towards your goals and plans. Pay attention, concentrate and hone your energy. In this big push, remember to continue looking after yourself, sticking to those habits we laid down earlier, so you can use your strength to your full potential.
What is the Full Moon?
The Full Moon is the phases in which the whole moon is illuminated. The sun’s rays are hitting our side of the moon and lighting it fully.
What should I do during a Full Moon?
This is your period of full strength – you’ve done the work to build up to this point, this is your chance to really knuckle down and put 110% into everything you’ve planned.
Waning Gibbous Moon
What is the Waning Gibbous Moon?
With the Waning Gibbous Moon, the sun’s light starts to recede again, illuminating most of the moon but leaving a slither of shadow on the right-hand side untouched.
What should I do during a Waning Gibbous Moon?
This is your chance to begin to tie up loose ends of your goals. Start to turn inward, spend more time on introspection and really appreciate and evaluate the work you’ve put in this cycle so far. Take a good look at your habits and rejig them to help you through the cycle’s final stretch.
What is the Third Quarter?
The Third Quarter is the opposite of the First Quarter, where now only the left-hand side of the moon is illuminated.
What should I do during the Third Quarter?
As the sun begins to draw more and more of its light away from the moon, use this stage to make any final pushes and then turn your energy inward to consciously let go of the weight of anything you’ve picked up over this cycle.
What is the Waning Moon?
The Waning Moon is the final stage of the lunar cycle, where only a slither of the sun’s light is left illuminating a crescent on the moon’s left-hand side.
What should I do during a Waning Moon?
Take a breath to appreciate how far you’ve come in the last few weeks. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, focussing on the good you’ve achieved and noting the ways in which you can work to improve and continue.
Then, you’re back to the start, planning and setting your intentions with the New Moon.
I’m trialling this way of planning, working with a system that leads me through a more purposeful, refreshing process than a simple however-many-days month does. And wow, to be inspired by the moon, to have that great glowing giant to look to when you feel like giving up – at least to the poet in me, that’s really something.
As always, there are no rules here. You don’t have to complete every cycle over and over, just know that it’s there for drawing on when you need it. If you end up giving this a go, let me know what you think in the comments below!
See you later, Space Cowboy. Love, Ella-Rose xx