You can see why – understanding the energies associated with each phase of the moon can only help you better understand where you own mental and physical energy is at, if you believe the moon impacts upon us.
And many of us do in some capacity. How many people do you know that dismiss lunar influence yet still are superstitious on a full moon?
The idea that the moon can affect us isn’t new, rather it’s gaining a new kind of momentum thanks to TikTok and Instagram, among other modes of communication.
An expert from SwitchBack Travel says: “Many of us are learning that the more attune we are to the moon cycle, the better we can harness the different energies it creates and use this to our advantage.”
If you’re intrigued, here’s what you need to know.
What is the Moon Cycle and what are its phases?
The Moon Cycle is when the moon orbits the Earth, which typically takes 29.5 days. The Moon displays eight consecutive phases, as it moves through its cycle each month, which includes a New Moon and a Full Moon. Each phase has a different effect on our emotions, so it’s important to keep each phase in mind throughout the month.
The New Moon is when the sun and the moon are on the same side of the Earth. The New Moon not only represents a fresh start but also a time of retreat – a time when you can regain your strength to start over. The spiritual themes surrounding the new moon are new beginnings, fresh starts, and clean slates.
“The key to making the most of the New Moon is to practise self-care and give yourself some alone time. It may sound negative but by embracing feelings of isolation, you will be able to reconnect with yourself,” their expert says.
Waxing Crescent (12th- 18th May)
As the sun moves closer to the New Moon, it illuminates the moon and presents a crescent, hence the name Waxing Crescent.
This week represents intention, hopes and wishes, and this is the time when you should begin to develop your desires for the month ahead and laying down the mental groundwork.
First Quarter Moon (19th May)
The First Quarter simply means the point where the moon reaches the first quarter, which is one week after the New Moon. Typically, around this point in the cycle, we tend to start feeling resistance with our manifestations.
“The First Quarter challenges us as typically we start seeing obstacles and hurdles against our goals. It’s important for us to make decisions and create action plans for us to push through and jump over the obstacles,” they say.
Waxing Gibbous (20th May – 25th May)
Scientifically, the Waxing Gibbous is the phase leading up to the full moon. The moon is easily seen as a large portion is illuminated by the sun. Similarly, to the First Quarter, during the Waxing Gibbous we will need to readjust, refine, and edit our goals.
“Humans are creatures of comfort and leaving our comfort zone is something that can concern us. However, it is important at this stage of the moon to not resist the feeling of change and instead we need to adapt our mindsets to help us achieve our goals.”
Full Moon (26th May)
A Full Moon occurs when the sun and the moon are on opposite sides of the Earth, which subsequently means the sun is completely illuminating the moon. As the sun and the moon are also opposite Zodiac signs, this will create feelings of tension and unease, as we fight the balance between two extremes.
“Emotions are high during the Full Moon, and the most important thing to remember is to not get overwhelmed during this phase. You should also start seeing the benefits of your intentions set during the New Moon as this time, so make sure you don’t let your emotions rule you and be open to receiving these,” they advise.
Waning Gibbous (27th May – 1st June)
Shortly after the Full Moon, the moon starts becoming less illuminated again.
“At this stage, as we near the end of the cycle, you should continue to feel the benefits and rewards of your work over the last two weeks. You’ll feel grateful and want to share this feeling with your loved ones.”
Last Quarter (2nd June)
As the moon is gradually decreasing in size, you too will start to feel yourself wanted to let go and release. As the cycle is slowly coming to an end, it’s important to allow yourself to let go of any grudges or feelings of resentment, especially from the harder points on the month. A good way to let go and purge the negativity is by cleansing.
The expert says: “Whether physically cleansing your home or workspace, or emotionally cleansing and freeing yourself from toxic friendships, you’ll feel motivated to make a positive change in your life.”
Waning Crescent (3rd June – 9th June)
As the final illuminated fraction of the moon slowly begins to disappear, becoming the New Moon, we will find our emotions reflect this.
Be warned: “We’ll feel empty and even exhausted, as we are winding down and entering the next moon cycle. At this stage, it’s important to relax and surrender to the universe.”
You may reflect on the month just gone and start to consider what you could have done differently, but at this stage it’s more rewarding to allow yourself to unwind and embrace the end of the cycle.
There are many kinds of rituals out there depending on what you want to achieve and get from the new or full moons.
Rituals are becoming more popular, as data shows in the last month there’s been a 9700% increase in online searches for them.
One way you step into this is by journalling. Good for your mental health generally too, journalling allows you space to reflect, release pent up emotions, and think about what you want manifest.
Take a monthly check in so you can see what you’ve achieved and where your goals are for the following moon cycle.
It can be a good way to keep track of your progress and desires.