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How The Moon Phases Affect You

A long time ago I realized I was affected by the moon. Full moon more vibrant energy, waning moon shifting to restorative thoughts and reflection. The moon has been the subject to many of my favorite song lyrics, you read it in poetry and enjoy the beautiful imagery. Scientist and mystics marvel over the moon, which is why we need to pay attention to its changes.

When you pay attention to the moon, you’ll notice its subtle changes everyday. If you live in a city or a place where there is a lot of light pollution you may not be able to see this big rock as clearly.

Here's a site to see the daily moon cycle. Syncing energetically with the moon, I feel more productive and aligned with the universe and myself.

For the next month, I'm challenging you to instead of looking at our calendar as days of the weeks and months; what day is a holiday, what day a meeting falls on, begin looking at the calendar through the lunar cycle.

I’ll Break This Blog Down Into The Science, Ayurvedic and Yogic Tradition oF The Moon

and Give Tips on What to do During Each Phase

Besides the Sun, the Moon is the most obvious object in the sky. Radiant , tranquil and tantalizing, right? It affects the tides, time, light, our sleeping and eating habits. So why not us? We are 70% water. Skeptics have yet to believe (my own son included) just how much we are affected by the moon. Now science has caught up with the ancient wisdom of just how much we're affected, even if we can't see it.

Science Stuff

The moon is basically a giant ball of rock, with the surface being pretty dark. It looks bright to us because it’s sitting in full sunlight. The Sun illuminates it and reflects that light down to Earth. Everyday within the orbit you’ll notice the changes it makes. Sometimes it’s up in the day, sometimes at night, and the shape is always changing.

The moon is between the Earth and the Sun so from our perspective we only see the illuminated side.

Let’s Look At The Phases

There are 8 lunar phases the Moon goes through in its 29.53 days lunar cycle.

The 4 major Moon phases are New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Last Quarter.

Between these major phases, there are 4 minor ones: The Waxing Crescent, Waxing Gibbous, Waning Gibbous and Waning Crescent.

The New Moon - when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon. At New Moon, the Sun, the Moon, and Earth are in alignment.

Moonrise: around sunrise

Moonset: around sunset

Illumination: 0%

Waxing Crescent (crescent moon)- is the second phase in the cycle of phases. This Moon phase occurs once a month, rising around 9 AM, and setting around 9 PM, sticking around for approximately 7.38 days before going into the First Quarter phase.

Moonrise: morning

Moonset: afternoon

Illumination: 0.1% to 49.9%

First Quarter (Half Moon) - A first quarter moon rises around noon and sets around midnight. It's high in the sky in the evening and makes for excellent viewing. Now most of the Moon's dayside has come into view, and the Moon appears brighter in the sky.

Moonrise: around midday

Moonset: around midnight

Illumination: 50%

Waxing Gibbous - The waxing gibbous phase is between a half moon and full moon. Waxing means it is getting bigger. A waxing gibbous moon is in the sky when darkness falls. It lights up the early evening. It appears more than half lite.

Moonrise: afternoon

Moonset: early morning

Illumination: 50.1% to 99.9%

Full Moon - The Full Moon is when the Sun and the Moon are aligned on opposite sides of Earth, and 100% of the Moon's face is illuminated by the Sun.

Moonrise: around sunset

Moonset: around sunrise

Illumination: 100%

Waning Gibbous - The waning (shrinking) gibbous Moon rises after sunset, transits the meridian after midnight and sets after sunrise.

Moonrise: evening

Moonset: morning

Illumination: 99.9% to 49.9%

Third Quarter (Half Moon) - The seventh phase in the cycle of phases. The Moon appears lit on the left side during the Third Quarter because the Moon is on the other side of Earth.

Moonrise: around midnight

Moonset: around midday

Illumination: 50%

Waning Crescent - The Waning Crescent is the eighth and final phase in the cycle of phases. This Moon phase occurs once a month, rising around 3 am, and setting around 3 pm, sticking around for approximately 7.38 days before going into the New Moon phase.

Moonrise: early morning

Moonset: afternoon

Illumination: 49.9% to 0.1%

Ayurveda and The Moon

According to Ayurveda, one of the oldest healing systems in the world, the moon has a soothing and calming effect on the body-mind complex. The moon, called Chandra in Sanskrit, is also associated with the kapha dosha that combines water and earth elements. Ayurveda emphasizes wisdom and practices to encourage you to discover their inner rhythms and learn how to nourish and nurture yourself through connecting to the moon cycle. When we honor the moon, we honor our bodies.

Pitta Phase - Accomplish, celebrate, be sensual. (Full Moon)

Vata Phase - Finish up, shed, move inward. (New Moon and Waning))

Kapha Phase - New beginnings, start projects, move outward. (Waxing Moon)

New Moon Vata Phase

The New Moon represents a time of darkness and reflection. The new moon is a time for looking inward. It is a time for stillness and quietude. The new moon is a powerful time of deep insight. When you take the time to withdraw from the busyness of life and go inward, you will be richly rewarded with the ability to access your own inner wisdom.

Tips For The New Moon Phase

  • Slow down and take time and personal space. Retreat.

  • Let go.

  • Spend a half or whole day along or in silence. Take time to be alone in nature.

  • Practice self-inquiry. Check in with yourself. Take time to review, reflect and engage in inner processing, journaling, and resting.

  • Spend more time in meditation.

  • Read a book that provokes inquiry

  • Set intentions for the month ahead.

  • Accept that this is a low energy week and avoid doing vigorous physical activity and scheduling too many social engagements and tasks.

  • Don’t pressure yourself to engage in new challenges. Save that for next week.

  • Rest, eat simple foods. Refrain from extensive projects.

  • If you have kids, ask your partner or kids to take them so you can have some space

Waxing Moon Kappa Phase

The Waxing Moon is when the moon grows toward fullness. In Ayurveda, this is the kapha time of the cycle, with the energies of earth and water dominant. This is the time when energy builds. If your body released, detoxed and shed during the New Moon, your body is now ready for nourishment and activity. If you rested well during the new moon, you have the energy to take on new projects. At this phase of your cycle, you may feel you have a stronger appetite both for nourishment and for projects. The waxing moon has a Spring like energy filled with optimism, extroversion, assertiveness, self assurance, goal orientation. This is a good time for clarity, concentration, researching, structural thinking, physical stamina, independence, learning, and mental creativity. It’s a time for acting on new projects or goals, for acting on new ideas.

Chances are, during this phase, you have more self confidence. You can dive into your seedling ideas. Your mental capacity is strong during this phase, so this is a great time for brainstorming and building the structure for your evolution. This is a good time to research your ideas and get your projects going. You are moving out of the introversion time and into the extroversion. So, formulate your plan and get things rolling.

Tips For The Waxing Moon

  • Move out into the world.

  • Confidently act on new ideas.

  • Plan and execute your projects.

  • Make appointments with allies and friends.

  • Build connections.

  • Be assertive.

  • Use the energy and momentum of this phase to take on more challenging work.

  • Challenge yourself physically.

  • Enjoy your strength.

Full Moon Pitta Phase

The Full Moon represents the culminated outward expression that builds from the seeds that were planted during new moon time. The Full Moon is a time of physical strength, emotional connection, fullness and abundance. In Ayurveda it is represented by kapha dosha (earth and water) moving into pitta dosha (fire, summer). The body is strong and the digestive fires as well are strong. This is a time of celebration.

This is a time to feel vital, beautiful, whole. Regardless of your age, you can use the full moon time to be expressive and to celebrate abundance and to celebrate union. This is a heightened time for communication, empathy, creating relationships, uniting with your lover and/or uniting and enjoying the pleasure and company of others. Workwise, the full moon is a time of strengthened productivity, teamwork and emotional creativity.

Tips For The Full Moon Phase

  • Enjoy your strength and beauty.

  • Give yourself an oil massage with added essential oils such as rose.

  • Host a meal or party with friends and loved ones.

  • Your digestive capacity is strong at this time. Enjoy celebratory foods.

  • Spend time outside at night moon bathing.

  • If it’s summer, host a fire pit. If it’s winter, bundle up and moon gaze.

  • Take a full moon bath with essential oils, rose, lavender.

  • Enjoy your sensuality and sexuality.

  • Make time for romance and love.

Waning Moon Vata Phase

After the peak of the full moon, the energy shifts into the waning cycle. This is the time to complete tasks, strengthen the breath and life force, detoxify and cleanse and bring the fruits of your labor to completion.

According to Ayurveda, At the full moon, the energy moves from kapha, earth and water to pitta, summer, ripeness, heat. And then as the moon begins to wane, the pitta cycle gives way to the vata cycles of air and ether. This cycle has the dominant force of cleansing. We move again into the vata (air and ether) cycle and the body prepares to shed.

‍As we move closer to the new moon time, there is a change in the mood and energy in the body. You might even notice changes in your appetite, digestion and elimination. The invariability that vata is known for is at its peak. As you get closer to the new moon time, it is best during this time to start to reserve your energy and rest up.

Tips For The Waning Moon Phase

  • Celebrate what you have achieved, created, succeeded in this cycle

  • Let go of what you haven’t been able to finish or achieve.

  • Don’t be hard on yourself.

  • Don’t start any new projects, rather finish things off.

  • Start to notice the things that aren’t working in your life in readiness to let them go

  • Return to your center. Start to move inward.

  • Re-evaluate and reorganize.

  • Clean and clear your physical space.

  • Integrate what you have learned.

  • Begin the movement back to darkness, intuition and the unknown (New Moon)

  • Take time for being creative, imagining, doing out of the box thinking, problem identification, deep cleaning, tidying, clearing away of emotional and mental debris

  • Get ready for your retreat time.

  • Be aware that at this time, the physical and spiritual world gets thinner.

  • Cook.

  • Slow down.

  • Start to imagine how you want your next cycle to go.

  • Start to make time for quietness

Yoga And The Moon

The Significance of the Moon in Yoga

Much of the focus in yoga is in balance — physically, emotionally, mentally — and in energy.

Hatha yoga, 'Ha' means sun

and 'tha' means moon.

The sun and the moon, both, have their place in yoga, signifying the balance in all things.

We love to bask in the sun's heat but forget to appreciate the restorative glow of the moon.

New Moon: Self-Reflection

The darkness of the cycle is a good time to reflect, if not rest.

Suggested pose: Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Waxing Moon: Creativity & Action

With the growing light of the moon, so does our creativity, energy and focus on making improvements grow and expand as well, whether that be in our yoga practice or in life.

Suggested pose: Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

Full Moon: Intuition

The full strength of the moon at its brightest illuminates and reveals the rewards and missteps of the previous weeks.

Suggested pose: Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Waning Moon: Harvest & Completion

In the waning moon, the cycle comes to completion -- a good time to accept the good that came with a dedicated practice and release the negative associations of the cycle. Surrender and soften.

Suggested Pose: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

This post is dedicated to all my Moon Child sisters!

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