As I grow older, the cycle of the moon seems to hold more and more weight for me, and its effects seem to be more noticeable and important. There are many mythologies around the moon and its phases, just as there is lots of scientific information around it as well. I love learning more about it, feeling how it affects me, and tuning into my own personal truth around the moon. The moon is what controls the tides of the ocean—can you imagine!? Such a powerful presence the moon is that it can affect the vast and endless ocean. Both the moon and the ocean hold so much mystery for us humans that we have only begun to scratch the surface—both bodies possess such deep secrets, we will probably never know the true power buried in each of them.
I value the new moon and full moon greatly. With the fast-moving life of adulthood, it seems as though one or the other is always upon me, the two-week cycles barely containing the swiftness of time. There is plenty of information out there about these two astrological moments, and some of us may notice that around these times our Facebook feeds fill up with links about full moon rituals or new moon rituals or what it all means.
At a certain point, I think we just have to let it all go. There shouldn’t be any pressure about what each moon means and which particular ritual you should subscribe to at any given point. For me, a valuable practice has been tuning in with myself and my own body and seeing what comes up for me around the moon. Whatever is coming up, then that’s what I look at and address. Though the new moon is a great time for releasing what is no longer serving us, this can simultaneously collide with honoring renewal or the regeneration of tiny seeds that are sprouting. Letting go is so closely connected to accepting the new that sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart.
My own rituals often come in interesting packages. I don’t always find or create the time to go sit outside in the moonlight (though many times, I do). And sometimes releasing the old comes in subtler forms—without fire or tears. Sometimes my moon rituals are secret, a quiet recognition in myself of the depth of my emotions, or the celebration of my tears, even if they come at inconvenient times. Sometimes when the moon is full I can feel it in my bones, a luminous ache that keeps my eyes open late at night—the blue light setting my walls aglow while the family sleeps. Sometimes during the new moon I realize that certain cycles are suddenly over. An issue that I’d been obsessing over suddenly releases me, like a small child who has found a distraction and run off. These are pleasant surprises, and I’m reminded that sometimes we just have to surrender to the universe, and things will shift. An emotion that was dominating our space for so long can suddenly dissolve with a new moon or full moon shift (and hallelujah for that!).
These days, tuning into the moon comes naturally to me. I recognize the rhythms in myself and in those I love. Sometimes my children have a hard time sleeping when the moon is full—bedtime takes longer and the vibration seems a bit more haywire than usual. Though this can be exhausting, I find it ultimately fascinating and infinitely magical. I love to view these tiny beings as humans who are still a bit closer to the natural magic of things, for they have not lived long enough to separate themselves from the earthly flow. I look to my children as cosmic indicators; very often they will feel (unbeknownst to them) the power of the lunar cycle, the pull of the new moon, the wildness of the full one.
They remind me to tune in, too.