The phases of the moon have long been linked to behavioral changes in humans, depending on the phase. Ancient philosophers believed that the gravitational pull of the moon affected the tides, as well as individual body fluids.
We have since become disconnected with nature’s rhythms, but humans still remain connected to our moon and the light emitted. You may have heard that women who spend a lot of time together end up syncing their fertility cycles. This really goes true for all women, as cycles are regulated by the moon and its light. (In times before electric lights and the glow of televisions, women menstruated during the new moon, when it is dark. With all of today’s technology and conveniences, cycles have become disrupted. Even the glow from an alarm clock can disrupt this natural cycle!)
If we take a step back to become more connected with nature and the universe, we will see that the moon’s forces have always had a direct impact on humans.
By identifying which phase happens when and activities to take advantage of during those times, we can make the most of opportune times while keeping it low-key during unfavorable times.
The moon’s phases are divided into new (dark), waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, and last quarter, and waning crescent.
During the New Moon, you cannot see light reflecting from it so it appears dark. During the New Moon, the moon is located between the Earth and the Sun. Therefore, the lighted side of the moon faces the Sun, and not the Earth. Because of this, when you are outside during the day, you will be receiving the energy from the Sun AND the moon, because they will both be in the sky. This is what creates a wonderful balance of energy. This is an ideal time to reflect and visualize.
The Waxing Crescent phase of a New Moon brings about new beginnings and growth. This is a great time for planning the rest of the lunar month’s activities, projects, and goals. It is also a great time to begin a new health/exercise or weight loss program. It is best during this time to take things slowly and build one thing at a time in order to create a fail-proof lasting plan.
Halfway through the waxing period comes the First Quarter, when the moon is half lit. At this point, there will often be a major change or breakthrough in a project or idea that has already begun. Take note of this, and do not get discouraged if the shift creates a speed bump. Request help if you need it. Be sure to get feedback from others and use it as inspiration to adjust your projects in order to gain better results!
The Waxing Gibbous phase is when the moon is almost fully lit. Approaching the full moon, energy levels begin to rise. You may feel anxious or eager. It is a great time to start planning activities for the full moon, in order to take advantage of the upcoming peak energy.
The Full Moon is the period where the sunlight reflected off the moon illuminates the entire surface. On the night of the Full Moon, the moon appears on the horizon at the same time the sun sets on the western horizon. The sky is illuminated and bright, unless blocked by storm clouds.
Overall energy during this period peaks, and sometimes people become restless and they notice changes in behavior. During this natural energy peak, it is best to participate in social activities and business events.
The Full Moon also brings peak rates of natural conception and ovulation in women (this does not apply to women on controlled hormones).
It is also a great time to invest time and energy into projects, as creativity, intuition, and inspiration rise. If you are artistic, this is a fantastic time to write music, paint, draw, design, sculpt, build, and do whatever sparks the fire inside you to shine bright.
After the Full Moon begins to dim, the light reflected decreases which is called “waning.” While energy levels are still somewhat high soon after the Full Moon, be sure to begin wrapping up the completion of an activity or project.
Finish up remaining tasks by determining which are critical to complete, and which may not need to be done at all. If they are not mission-critical, then it is alright to let them go. You may also want to determine what other facets of your life may not be helping – and let those go, too. Use this time to remove emotional negativity (people and ideas) that may hold you back in the future.
If you had begun a diet program in the beginning of the moon’s cycle, now would be a great time to try a juice cleanse or fast. This will prepare your body to feel rejuvenated before the New Moon when energy levels become lower. This is also a time to start relaxing and reflecting on what you have accomplished during the last few moon cycles, and what you have left to achieve during the next lunar month.
Hartman, E., 1966. Dreaming sleep (the D State) and the menstrual cycle, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 143:406–16; Swanson, E.M., Foulkes, D. 1968. Dream content and the menstrual cycle, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, vol. 145(5):358–63.