use these worksheets to track your lunar cycle:
The moon keeps me centered, grounded, and in touch with the world around me. The moon helps me plan out my life and use my energy in the most efficient and holistically satisfying way. The moon teaches me that everything has its rhythms and for good reason– everything constantly undergoes great change, it’s better to honor these changes and learn from them than to waste precious energy fighting against the inevitable. At first my relationship with the moon was one of wonder, of silent observation and reverence. I watched her like a little sister eyeing a much older, much cooler and more aligned counterpart. I began to emulate her. She is teaching me her secrets and they save me all the time. She is helping me grow. She will do the same for you.
We honor the new moon by turning within. By getting still and getting silent and using the darkness to cultivate dreams. The new moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle, thus it represents a new start. When the moon is new it’s good to meditate. It’s good to spend quiet time with yourself, preferably turning thoughts and feelings into words or sounds or colors. The new moon is a time for the action of dreaming– creating an inner vision that, as the moon builds, we will make external. It is beneath the new moon that we decide what the focus and center of our being will be for the impending lunar cycle. We decide which of our internal thoughts to turn into external results. It’s a very fruitful and exciting time. Embrace it.
The new moon is now so we’re just in time. Tonight, create a moon ritual for yourself— it can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Don’t worry about starting simple because it will grow with time. Collect a pen, paper, a favorite candle, incense or sage, your personal sacred objects (pictures, keepsakes, tokens, crystals, mementos). Whatever you need to inspire reflection and alert your self that this is a holy time. Carve out a sacred space in your night in which you can be completely alone and in communication with your center. Dedicate as much time, effort, and attention as needed. My personal ritual takes usually about 30 minutes but if I’m rushed I can do it in 10. The point is that I always do it. It is a truly sacred space in my world that I always come back to, no matter where I am or what is going on. It has enriched and saved my life, many times over. I do my ritual within 24 hours of the moon phase, always at night. I like to invite as many elements as possible into my process– earth, air, water, fire. Before the new and full moon, which I especially recognize, I will bathe before I sit down to honor the moon, using Lavender Dr Bronners, coconut oil, and rosewater (if you don’t feel at peace and at one with nature before that, you will after. Trust.). I burn sage or incense to cleanse the space and clear away distractions/negativity. By candlelight, I write. At the new moon, it’s my intentions. Other times, observations, prayers, revisions, affirmations. The more personal and tailored your ritual, the more effective your practice will be. It’s just for you. Make it what you need.
I saw something on the interwebs that made the connection between the presence of depression and a need for “deep rest” — this is crucial because it acknowledges that always from darkness comes light. From stillness comes insight. Introspect saves lives. Every time I experience darkness, treacherous and scary though it may be, I always emerge with a morsel of light that was previously hidden from my preoccupied mind. Someone asked the Dalai Lama what the most important meditation we can do today is and he replied “Critical thinking, followed by action.” Deep thought, decisive action. This cycle could save our world, and it will. Starting with us. The new moon is your critical thinking, your deep thought time. From tomorrow on, the moon starts to build (more of it becomes visible), and that’s acting time. But tonight, chart your course. Make your goals. Set your intentions. Dream it out.
Use the “I AM” space to make positive affirmations about who you are and what you’re capable of. Speaking of what you want as though you already have it is key. Even if you don’t feel a certain way yet, declare it. With time, you’ll see these things manifest. For example– “I AM fully able to meet my needs.” & “I AM an intelligent person who is well on her way.” & “I AM the next great American neurosurgeon.” & “I AM loved and cared about.”
Use the “I WILL” space to declare your intentions. What exactly will you do? What exactly do you will? Write it down. Spell it out.
Use the gratitude space to reflect on the aspects of your life that are light. Think of at least five things, no matter how big or small. “I woke up warm today.” & “This week I get to see someone I love.” & “I’m able to make positive changes, however small, in my life.” Cultivating an attitude of gratitude will shift how you view your life and raise your vibration. You’ll find that the more you’re grateful for, the more you’ll have to be grateful for. Bet.
WAXING CRESCENT MOON
The waxing crescent phase, or “young moon”, is when we get to begin putting our plans into action. It’s when we deepen our resolve and forge ahead. I love the waxing phases because this is when I feel the drive to get things done. I have my to-do lists, I have my plan, and for a while I can forget about fear and doubt and implications and just… work. When you know that on the other side of the full moon — during the waning phases — you’ll have plenty of down time and decompression, it makes working so hard during waxing phases that much sweeter and easier to maintain. For these moments, the center of your life is activity. Your motion is forward.
During the waxing phases of the moon, the light is building. Whatever is on the right side of the moon is what’s coming for you. Remember it like that. Know during waxing phases that the full moon is coming for you. Full illumination and insight is on its way. To get ready for that time, you have to put the work in. You have to build as the moon is building. Still take care of and attend to your whole self, of course, but really zero in on actually getting done what you want to get done.
Think about what stirred you during your introspection at the new moon. What did you decide? What intentions did you set? Now is your time to move in the direction of the dreams you dreamed for yourself. During the young moon, we get to partake in the very first step of achieving a goal: deciding exactly what that goal is– getting very specific, stepping outside of comfort, and using your soul to guide you. If your intention was to declutter your life, a goal you can set when the moon is young is to reorganize your closets, desk, and storage spaces. If your intention was to reexamine your inner circle, a goal you can set is to distance yourself from toxic relationships, the first step of which can be to unfollow negatives on social media and delete unloves from your contacts. Break your intentions into smaller goals. Then, break those goals down into action steps. At the first quarter moon on Monday we’ll act on those steps, for now all we have to do is resolve.
Embody your intentions. Decide for real. Experience bone-deep conviction as you plan out your lunar cycle. Examine your motives, examine the place from which you want– if it’s love, charge ahead!
FIRST QUARTER MOON
The first quarter moon is one of the most exciting phases because this is when we take action. We begin manifesting our intentions. This means making real the ideas we’ve been focusing on and refining ever since the new moon. By now, we are resolved as to what our intentions are– we feel at peace with the goals we’ve set for ourselves and we’ve been devising action steps that will bring our dreams into being. The first quarter moon is when we act upon all this self-generated knowledge and wisdom– when we own our vision enough to begin manifesting it.
Over the next few days it’s full speed ahead. Today’s first quarter moon marks the beginning of us manifesting and realizing our ideas. From now until the full moon (11/14) we are to work relentlessly on realizing the dreams we’ve dreamed for ourselves this lunar cycle. This next week is about activity. You have your goals, you know which steps you need to take in order to realize these goals, there’s nothing left but to just do it!
Lose yourself in the process. Take the necessary steps without being bogged down by thoughts of the past or the future. Following the lunar cycle helps us stay present. It shows us that there is supreme value in surrendering to the needs of the moment, in letting these moments pass over and through us fully. Each phase of the lunar cycle is a chance for us to dedicate our energy to one way of being at a time. Embodying the energy of each lunar phase provides a guideline for energy and behavior that is manageable and regulated. It creates rhythms and rituals– both necessary aspects of healthy human life.
We live in a frantic world. We’re constantly connected to our devices and each other and too often completely disconnected from nature and from ourselves. I’ve been aligning my life with the rhythms of the lunar cycle for about three years now, and it’s probably the most beneficial thing I’ve ever done to attend to my mental, physical, and emotional health. It has revolutionized my life. Following the lunar cycle creates a system that provides for rest, dreaming, activity, reflection, insight, stillness. Its rhythms allow you to experience the full breadth of human experience all while improving yourself as a person, pushing yourself ever forward, and achieving goals that are important to you. Learning to evolve, grow, surrender to the moment, and allow for my own changes has completely empowered me and others I know who honor this system. I hope it does the same for you. Give it time. Feel your way through. As we fight to create a better world, we must begin with the only thing we can control– the being we bring to that world. Our self. Improving, understanding, accepting, loving, and challenging that self– each of us, together– will create the better world we’re seeking. By healing the parts we heal the whole.
Over the next few days, focus on what you can do. Take action. Put all that you can’t control out of your mind. For now, focus on the process, not the outcome. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a singer, sing. Whatever you do, now is the time to do it. As the moon is waxing (building) this week we’ll refine and improve upon what we’ve begun beneath this first quarter moon. Full illumination and insight wait for us at the full moon. But don’t worry about that yet. For today, just begin. Taking those first steps is the very beginning of reaching your destination.
Experience the hard-earned glory of checking off to-do list items as you now complete the steps you outlined during the waxing crescent phase.
WAXING GIBBOUS MOON
While the moon is building toward fullness, we on Earth experience a similar sensation, a heightening. At the full moon, we welcome insights and we embody the illumination that the full moon provides. While we’re approaching that point, it’s up to us to use our energy to keep going. To keep pursuing, perfecting, working on whatever it is we set out to do. During the waxing gibbous moon phase we are asked to see clearly. We’re asked to determine if what we wanted is still what we want. We’re asked to see our lives with a wider view. This requires a razor-sharp innervision and the ability to see outwardly as well. Use this phase to look within, to look around, to draw conclusions, make judgments, and determine if you’re on the best path for you. On the path to self actualization we’re asked to have vision, during the waxing gibbous moon we’re asked to revisit our vision (re-vision) and refine our values, thoughts, feelings, and actions.
During the waxing gibbous moon ask yourself two questions: Is what I wanted still what I want? Am I doing all that I can?
If what you wanted at the new moon is still what you want, by all means, persevere. If you find yourself seeking new answers, open yourself up to a transforming destination. If you are doing all that you can, release your anxiety about outcome, release your doubt. If you’re not, start doing it.
We’re living through a very dark and confusing time. It’s the death of a paradigm. Shifting states of consciousness and dealing with an overwhelming outer reality is never easy. It’s during these times that we must stay grounded. We don’t honor our rituals and keep our personal traditions only when times are easy– it’s when life gets rough that our spirit has the most to offer us. It’s when our conscious mind feels most confused that our soul is waiting to provide answers and insight. If you’re willing to cultivate the darkness, it yields light. This is true for us as individuals and us as a society. As you deal with your challenges today and this weekend, offer yourself up to greater insight, grander vision. The full moon will bring us the illumination we seek. Until then we wait for greater clarity, we dedicate ourselves to doing our part, and we take care of ourselves.
The full moon is my favorite phase of the moon. It’s also the most easily felt and understood phase, even for those who notice none of the other phases. Once you’ve started organizing your energy and life around the phases of the moon, once you’ve aligned yourself with its power, the full moon is a time when you can and will experience full illumination. When you can accept insights. When you can reconnect with what makes you excited, happy, fulfilled, connected. During the full moon your essence is at its height, your being at its loudest volume.
The lesson of the full moon is simple– bask. Surrender to this moment, to its light, and accept what comes to you. Listen closely. Take a second look at your world and the people in it and notice the strange and surreal that is always there but often overlooked or undetectable. The full moon is revelation. All that is hidden comes to the surface. And revelations, as we know, lead to revolutions.
For the past two weeks we’ve been consciously walking a path of our own design. We’ve been taking steps toward a goal that we set during the darkness of the new moon. We planted a seed in that darkness. The seed sprouted with our work, pushed through the soil with our every effort, and now- with the full moon- that plant has burst through the soil and is delighting in the sensation of light for the first time. It broke through. We may feel the same. While the moon was building we’ve been building, our efforts growing, our breakthroughs waiting for us. Now is the time to welcome and surrender to the light that we have earned.
The beautiful thing about a breakthrough is that it takes no effort- the effort has already been put in. The breakthrough is the result of effort. To accept insight all you need to do is put yourself in the position of receptivity. Open yourself up. Open your eyes, open your mind, open your hearts, open your arms. If you do this, insight will come. (As well as love, wisdom, companionship, knowledge, and anything else- closed hands/hearts/minds can’t receive. But that’s another story.) Practically this means seeing our world in a new light, taking the mental steps to notice details that we previously have not- switching your vision to HD, if you will. Participating in a creative or communal activity will also put you in the position to receive insight. Both of these actions involve surrendering yourself to the influence of energy. Sit down to paint a picture, notice what flows through you. Arrange to spend time with three of your closest friends, notice what flows to you through them, or through you to them. And when I say bask I mean that figuratively and literally- spend a few moments soaking the light of the moon tonight. Be still and face the moon. Experience illumination on every level.
Take a look back at your new moon intentions. Notice how far you’ve come. Take a look at your life as a whole. Feel proud of yourself for your perseverance, for your bravery, for your willingness to learn and grow. My full moon ritual mirrors my new moon ritual in that I get clean, clear my mental and physical space, get still, and interact with holiness. I create a holy moment and I love myself there. Gather the sacred objects you collected at the new moon. Set them in the light of the full moon. Tonight, light a candle and take a moment. During the full moon, I write insights and lessons. I meditate on my intentions and my insights, the relationship between them. I write what I have learned, what I am learning.
Living through a dark time requires becoming light. It requires vigilant personal growth and development. How will we meet the challenges of this new moment if we’re blind to ourselves, goalless, drifting, coasting and complacent? How will we survive this new reality if we don’t know how to take care of our whole self- mind, body, soul? How will we survive this moment if we’re not intentional with our energy? For the past week, I have been overwhelmed by the negative emotions and negative actions of this moment in our history. This wave of negative energy hit me like a freight train. I immediately got sick. Waking up has felt impossible. Fatigue has been the ruling sensation of my days. I have just enough energy to do what must be done and absolutely no more than that. All of this to get me to lay down. To be still. To take an unplugged moment to think, feel, process, work with the darkness. To reconnect with what is true amid so much false. This is what I have learned in that time:
- the revolution happens to us each and individuals, and that is how it becomes collective. I’ve known quite a few people who have been in this place of complete disillusion with government, the status quo, the state of affairs for quite a while. What is happening now is that more people are feeling this than ever before. It’s not getting darker– the darkness is revealing itself to more of us. Whatever it took to get us to this moment was necessary. Whatever puts us on the same page is a blessing no matter how it feels.
- the breeding ground for darkness is the illusion of isolation. So long as we feel isolated, we are unable to unite. Division is purposeful because it makes us weak. We have to remember that feeling alone is counterproductive. We are not alone. We are not happening in isolation. We are all happening together. We are the Pando Tree. The powers that be affect us all differently, but they affect us all.
- “this world is not happening to you. this world is happening, and you are, too.” the world happening and you happening can and will affect each other, but they will not rule each other. You can and will and must be able to live your life alongside this world.
- now is the time to get active. We can not weep for a dying paradigm. We must rebuild the world our bones know is possible on top of the rubble. We must prepare. Whatever you do, do it at a velocity you’ve never experienced before. Not only will we survive this moment, this moment will help us thrive.
- the force is with us because we are the force.
Take a look at your worksheet and put into words what you know to be true. Capture your insights in writing. It doesn’t matter how “big” or “small” you perceive your truths to be– capture them. They are light. Go a step further in cultivating and understanding that light by trying to understand what the lesson of each insight is. Write down not just what you know but why you know it. For example, insight: “the force is with us because we are the force” implied lesson: humanity already has what it takes to rise to this occasion, we need nothing outside of ourselves or outside of our realm of possibilities.
Everything about us is different except the source that we connect to within. Inquire within and commune with your source. Let the full moon help you participate in your atmosphere and yield its lessons. Delight in the light you’ve earned by being here. Tonight, bask in the light of the moon that teaches us, “everything in its own time, including and especially you.”
WANING GIBBOUS MOON
The waning gibbous moon (also called the disseminating moon) is when we relate to others the truths we have cultivated over the last two weeks. During the full moon we may have experienced a flood of insight, the feeling of illumination. Now it is the time to share those insights with others. What’s beautiful about light is that it comes from within but its energy affects everything around. If we keep our shine to ourselves, we’re failing to externalize our internal treasures. The world suffers for it. This is a dangerous game to play, especially given the times we’re living through and how short life is– whatever you keep inside dies when you do, only things you’ve let out will out last your body. The waning gibbous moon gives you permission to glow. Take some time over the next week to share your insights with others, to share your gifts with others, to spread your illumination. Express what you’ve found to be true. Embody what you know to be true. Broadcast your revelation.
There is no worksheet for this phase because your actions are clear– sharing is caring and our world needs all the care it can get these days. Be generous with your words, time, effort. From now until the last quarter moon on 11/21, when you can evaluate your lunar cycle and do some internal checking and balancing, make the effort to reach out beyond your self and beyond your comfort zone. Be scared, be nervous, be doubtful (if you must), but do it anyway. You are supported.
LAST QUARTER MOON
The last quarter moon marks the beginning of the end of the lunar cycle. It is during this time that we’re asked to take a hard look at our actions, thoughts, words, and vision and determine usefulness and scope. The last quarter moon phase is a time of scrutiny- taking the time and energy to look and see clearly, and evaluation- determining what needs to be improved, refined, eliminated.
During the last quarter moon phase it can be useful to attempt to see everything in our lives with new eyes. If you were not so close to the details of your life, how would you feel about them? Is there anything you would add or eliminate to your days? Are you working in the direction of your destiny or are you engaging in fear-based busyness? Is that thing you decided to try helping you or is it hindering you? How have you progressed on the goals you set at the new moon? Do you still feel the same about the intentions you set, are you still resolved in that direction or are you being called to alter your plans? Last quarter moon is the time to ask yourself the hard questions and sit with yourself until you come up with the hard answers.
After today the moon will move into the waning crescent phase and you will spend your energy clearing space in your life, clearing negative energy out of your being, returning to stillness, and returning to the calming, clarifying, possibility-filled darkness of another new moon. Prepare for that time by evaluating the aspects of your life so you don’t bring anything with you into your next lunar cycle that doesn’t need to be there. One of the best parts of a new journey is figuring out what to take with you and what to leave behind. The new moon next week will mark the beginning of a new journey for you. Take some time today and tonight to figure out what’s only weighing you down.
Think about the dominant ways you use your time and energy. Try to determine the three main aspects of your daily life. Then look closely at each of these aspects. Think about how they are or aren’t working. Answer the questions listed. Inquire within.
WANING CRESCENT MOON
We’ve made it to the waning crescent moon. Now is the time for stillness, rest, recuperation, and clearing. We must make peace with the lunar cycle we’ve had. As we prepare for the new moon by returning to stillness, take the opportunity to center your self. Practice self-care. Tie up your loose ends. A new moon waits for us on 11/29 and it’s our job now to prepare for that state of beginning again.
At the last quarter moon we made moves to determine what in our lives should continue on and what should cease to be. Now is our chance to put that insight into action by clearing our lives of what no longer serves us. This month we learned a lot of hard lessons, faced a lot of things we’d previously ignored, and tried very hard to maintain our mental and emotional health all the while. We got closer to some things and further away from others. It’s important that we take these events as medicine, let them teach and nourish us, let them heal us– by positively affecting our future. We must let what happens to us change our way of being for the better, otherwise it happens for nothing. And we fail to grow.
Over the next few days, take measures to turn within. The darkness of the new moon is a time for introspection and inner clarity, the waning crescent leads us to that state. Get still. Get quiet. Take some time to sort through your (physical or metaphysical) stuff. Clear space. There are new challenges and new wonders waiting for us in the next lunar cycle. If we don’t clear space these new blessings will have no way in to our lives. As the darkness of the moon grows, embody the “old moon” by being wise, being decisive, making yourself a priority, and moving through life at a slower pace.
Look back at your lunar cycle with grace and gratitude. Learn its lessons. Let it go.