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How to use the phases of the moon to benefit your daily life

Gather round and look up, we’re talking about the sugar bowl from the time before time, the collective feminine, ancestral egg, the anchor of the unconscious mind and the bringer of blood and tide.

The moon.

A mirror to ourselves and a key to the power within, the moon and its phases reflect the waxing and waning of life cycles. If respected and integrated, these phases hold the power to ease, express and exalt. Working with and under the moon enables reflection and release, and supports our successes and drives our dreams.

Our guide to lunar living will be Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, general luminary and author of “The Moon Book: Lunar Magic to Change Your Life.”

As Gottesdiener explains, “Once upon a time, this planet lived by the moon. Our calendars were lunar. We planted by the moon, made decisions in harmony with the seasons and the constellations.”

Looking for evidence of a life once lived by the moon? The word moon itself derives from the ancient words for “month” and “to measure.”

How lunar life took a backseat to the patriarchy and the bastard seed of capitalism

Gottesdiener continues, “Over time, through war, violence, and colonization, the shadow solar life-productive, binary, externally focused, competitive, came to dominate. Industrialization removed people from nature. Lunar life receded.”

In short order, the unequivocally f–ked patriarchy rose and the divine feminine and the power of the other was suppressed and subjugated under its boot heel and lack of breastfeeding. Industry eclipsed intuition and concrete conquest banished wilderness.

Moon work is a return to what has been cast out. As Gottesdiener writes, the moon represents “our soft power; power with, power within, not power over.”

Moon work is not about directing your body but aiding it. Moon work teaches that the animal in you is always sure and never guilty.

Living in moontime

Gottesdiener seeks to help others tap into their intuition and sync themselves to the waxing and waning of their life cycles, a process she calls living in moontime.

The author explains, “Living in moontime means rejecting the toxic solar imperative. To be “on”- productive, producing, exerting, competing — the majority of the time is not natural…Living in moontime isn’t necessarily about going off the grid and living in the forest. It is about paying attention to our own cycles…Understanding what our needs are and meeting them. Buying less into a system that wants you to mindlessly consume, to be detached from your intuition and your body, or to feel as if you have no agency. Living in moontime is to know yourself well enough to be adaptive to life, to accept change, and to develop and use your own set of resources.”

F–k yeah and full send.

The moon in astrology

In astrology, our moon sign reveals our style of need and the nourishment we did and didn’t receive as children. If the sun is the light we shine, the moon is the shadow we keep. Within the birth chart, astrologers look to that shadow to determine survival instincts, defense mechanisms and even eating habits.

How are we fed and formed folks? By the light of the ever-loving moon. 

The moon has long been associated with fertility and childbirth. Likewise, the Moon in astrology is indicative of maternal influence and how we tend to the soil of our own inner child. 

Working with the moon phases

As Gottesdiener writes, “Our energy bodies, creative processes, and healing cycles all correspond to the moon’s cycles. The moon can serve as a tracker for our dreams, our self-development and more.”

She recommends following the phases of the moon and tracking energy levels in a lunar journal and observing ritual actions that complement and support each phase.

The moon cycle is typically divided into nine phases; New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Waning Crescent, and Dark Moon.

For purposes of brevity, we will be discussing four primary phases.

New Moon

The new moon marks the first day of a lunar cycle. Many people refer to the new moon as the “dark moon,” the point when the moon is precisely between the sun and earth and metaphorically, the point of pure potential. If you’ll allow the dark soil metaphor, the new moon is when we set intention and plant the seeds of what we might yet become. It’s a time of cutting clear anything that clutters, be it psychic debris or bathtub grime.

Because nothingness is the last act before creation, Gottesdiener recommends giving yourself an abundance of empty, neigh invitational, time to explore what is undeveloped, “Nothingness is sacred because everything comes out of nothing. Nothingness is sacred because it is where we all return. Darkness is a gift; it is where germination takes place. A place where we can rest, renew, and move toward birthing or rebirth.”

Waxing Moon

The waxing period is the roughly two-week span between the new and full moon. The moon is growing and gaining and so too should we. This is active, healing jock strap Mars energy, an opportunity to align mind, action and pattern and refine the holy trinity of all. Gottesdiener explains, “The waxing moon is the time of above-the-line consciousness transformation…Make the most of this time and channel your power into long-lasting results…Imagine every intentional action as magical — you are pouring offerings of love and devotion into the chalices of your life.”

Cheers to THAT.

Full Moon

The full moon is the halfway point in the moon’s lunar cycle and the time when tides and emotions ride high. There is no hiding under a full moon and its light reflects what needs tending and what can no longer be ignored or endured.

Gottesdiener writes, “The full moon is where our subconscious and consciousness meet. Our desires and fears commingle. It is a site of alchemy. It is an opportunity. The ‘everything all at once’ feeling that the full moon illuminates for us is not a gift to be wasted. We receive revelations and illuminations. We are shown what we must next process in our own particular process…Our transformation becomes tangible under the portal of the full moon.”

Waning Moon

The waning period of the moon’s cycle falls between the full moon and the new. The light of the moon begins to decline as she builds back towards total darkness. It heralds a time of rest, reaping and reflection.

Gottesdiener explains, “If you’ve been doing work during the new, waxing, and full moons, then now might be a chance to coast, rest, and integrate…The waning moon phase is synonymous with interiority. Interior work is crucial to our development. Even though what we are working on can’t be easily seen by others or performed on social media, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth investing time and energy in. Interior work is also incredibly active — it takes a lot of energy and a lot of discipline and focus! Give yourself credit as you allow space for rest, decompression and integration.”

Astrology 101: Your guide to the star

For more comprehensive information on rituals, actions and aids for lunar living visit The Moon Studio. To light your way on the road to lunar rhythm I highly recommend purchasing and feverishly highlighting your own copy of “The Moon Book.”

Shine on, tap in, burn bright, hug your shadow, carpe noctem and damn the man my dudes.

Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.