20/5/2021 0 Comments
One of things I get asked about most is what the different phases of the moon “mean”, and when is the best time to put out your crystals to make them happy! So here’s a quick and dirty guide to the phases of the moon – what they’re called, how you might work with them, and when your crystals might like to get a little moonlight.
Like most things, there are many different ways of seeing moon phases – but here’s the concepts that I have found most useful – and I hope you will too.
The New Moon – also the “dark moon”
This is the time when you don’t actually see the moon in the sky. This is a great time to connect with new intentions – digging deep to connect with what wants to come forth into the light. In your yoga practice, it’s a great time to turn inwards with more lunar or meditative practices, but with the intention of clearing some space to plant seeds which will sprout with the actions you take over the rest of the month (or coming months). At Amethyst Yoga and Healing, we have our online women’s circles around the new moon to make use of this energy, to connect with what’s inside and support ourselves to live our intentions.
This is when the seeds of intention that you’ve planted during the new moon might start to feel like they’re starting to germinate! It’s called “waxing” because the visible moon is getting bigger. This is a time when there can be a feeling of feeling committed to the new intentions that you have set, and there’s some energy behind them. You can use this energy to start to really fire yourself up and support yourself to be determined and courageous.
First Quarter Waxing Moon
Now things are getting serious! Although it’s called a first quarter, it actually looks like a half. This can be the time when we are really feeling like it’s time to take visible action in the world, and may even start to feel a bit antsy if we don’t! At Amethyst Yoga and Healing, our newsletter comes out on the First Quarter of the moon, to help us to use that energy to start to make our intentions conscious and alive in the world. So in your yoga practice, you might like to continue to build some heat with practices like sun salutations, to support your determination and ability and willingness to take action.
The Oxford English Dictionary (let’s face it, the authority on such things) says that the word “gibbous” means “convex, rounded, protuberant”. So, basically like a pregnant belly sticking out – and in fact, that’s what this energy is about. It’s a time when things feel like they’re coming towards fruition, and we’re just getting ready to give birth to something new.
This is the time when we can feel so full of energy that we’re at our peak creativity – but also our peak emotionality, our peak level of insight or clarity – and for some of us, our peak inability to sleep! It’s a great time to surrender that which no longer serves, or to let go of what isn’t working.
Traditionally, the time to cleanse and charge your crystals is the full moon – I like to put out my crystals for the three night of the full moon – usually the night before it’s actually at its peak, the night thereof, and the following evening. If you can keep them on the windowsill or outside during the day as well, then they can get some solar energy too (although some crystals fade if left in full sunlight for long periods, so you may prefer to go easy on the sunlight, especially for the quartzes).
In some yogic traditions, they don’t do any physical practice during the three nights of the full moon, believing that it’s best to rest during this time. You may prefer to do yin or restorative yoga practices, or I love to do moon salutations during this time. Physical practices which are more cooling, fluid, support introspection and surrender are soothing to potentially frazzled nerves at this time.
Waning Gibbous or Disseminating Moon
Hopefully this is a time when we can harvest the fruits of our intentions and share them with the world.
Last Quarter Waning Moon
The moon is said to be “waning” when what we see in the sky is getting smaller. This is a good time to clean up loose ends of projects, and to start to evaluate our progress – with a view to turning inward again.
Balsamic Moon or Waning Crescent
This is a time start to turn inwards again, to start to open up to the fertile darkness that is returning. It can be a great time to do shadow work (if you are drawn to this), and to integrate, restore, rejuvenate and open up to insight, vision and intuition. This is a great time to use restorative or yin yoga practices to rest and reset – and create space for learning, dreaming, and the possibilities that might start to emerge as we move back to the next lunar cycle.
This is just my take on the phases of the moon – and I hope that it is useful! How do you like to observe the phases of the moon? I’d love to hear from you!