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Aligning with the Lunar Cycle

How understanding and aligning with the moon’s rhythms can help us come into balance.

While many of us are coming around to the idea that a more “natural” way of life may be better for our health—like ditching synthetic materials or chemicals for natural alternatives—there is another less obvious way we can align ourselves with our body and mind’s natural tendencies. We can follow the energy of the moon.

Due to the advent of electricity and the introduction of a Gregorian calendar, we rarely even notice the moon anymore, let alone consider its rhythm as being inextricably linked to our own. Yet our species, for most of our existence, looked to the moon’s 29-day rhythm over thirteen moons as Nature’s cycle. And advocates of following moon rhythms suggest that following the phases of the moon can bring us back into balance.

There are eight phases of the moon, but for simplicity, we can think of the lunar calendar as having two movements of energy—waning and waxing—punctuated by a full and new moon.

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full moon

The Full Moon

The full moon (when the moon is opposite the sun and fully reflecting its light) is seen as the time when Nature is abundant with energy—but it’s not always a balanced energy. We’ve all heard of crazy events happening during a full moon! If we follow the rhythm of the moon, we can expect a few emotional outbursts because the full moon signifies the turning point towards a period of release. It is also viewed as the day in the month to focus on gratitude and forgiveness. According to Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe, authors of the book, Moon Time, strenuous exercise should be avoided during this time because water accumulates more easily in the body causing connective tissue to weaken.



Waning Moon

The Waning Moon

Following a full moon, light from the sun that reflects off of the moon begins to decrease for about 14 days. We can tap into that energy of release and use this period of the waning moon to assist us in letting go of anything that doesn’t serve us. This part of the cycle is, therefore, a perfect time to detoxify the body, and also to clean out the home. Paungger and Poppe go as far as to say that operations and dental work are more successful during a waning moon.

Emotionally, the waning moon offers us a chance to just rest, breathe and try to accept what is. It is not, therefore, a good time to start something new, nor is it a time for partying and socializing. As the 14-day period draws closer to a new moon, then the intensity of release increases from acceptance to full surrender. Endings are actually just an emptying, so something more wonderful can fill us up.



new moon

The New Moon

And that filling up begins with the new moon. It can be a little unsettling because we can’t see the moon during this period so we can feel disoriented. But the new moon is also a time of pure potential and excitement. Seeds of intention sown at the time of the new moon benefit from the increasing energy of the waxing period that follows it. According to Yasmin Boland in Moonology, a new moon is, therefore, time to think about what we want, and most definitely not to think about what we don’t want.



Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon

As the sun’s light begins to fill the moon, this period is when we should be moving forward in our goals, and become mindful of any internal chatter that is deterring us from our heart’s desire. Socially, it’s a great time to be with friends and make plans as energy is gently increasing.

And physically, Paungger and Poppe suggest this is when the body should be strengthened. If you are deficient at all in any minerals or vitamins, then now would be the time to take supplements and have healing treatments to fortify the body and mind.

Beyond tuning in to the rhythm of nature, following a lunar cycle also helps remind us that we are part of something far bigger than we can imagine. That alone can return a sense of perspective and calm to us. When we realize that we are so inextricably linked to the heavens above, we can sit back and enjoy the mystery and wonder of it all.



Photo Credits: Shutterstock

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