By Mary Hopper
The moon is a guide for all of us. She can teach us many things about ourselves, if we are willing to take the time to look within and to observe her cycles.
Like life, the moon cycles through phases of abundance and outwardness, then to periods of more internalization and rest. If we tune into what the moon is doing at a particular time, we can gain insight into our own personal cycles. We are all unique, yet we are all affected by this one constant, the moon.
The following guide will help you discover where the moon cycle is right now, what that phase can mean, and how that plays out in what is happening in your life. This will look different for everyone, the important thing is to take the time to pause and reflect, this is when we truly start to see ourselves and discover ways to live our best lives.
Self Care as a Ritual
In a world where we are busy taking care of everyone around us, creating a ritual of self care is really important. Self care is essential for health; we must have habits and rituals in place that support our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well being. Creating these rituals in alignment with the rhythm of the moon’s phases will give us an anchor to keep coming back to over and over again.
We know we need to make time for ourselves. And yet, we often don’t. But why?
Sometimes it’s just easier not to. We’ve been conditioned to believe that sacrificing our health and care is noble and kind. And taking space and time for ourselves is selfish. We also know that this isn’t true, which is why I’m passionate about empowering women to prioritize their health and well being.
How to Use this Information
Each phase of the moon provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how things are going in our lives. After reflecting, we can then choose a simple self care activity to focus on during each phase. Look up the moon’s phases and the dates they will be occurring and write them in your calendar. If you want to keep it really simple, start by paying attention to the new and full moon.
Next, write the corresponding self care ritual into your calendar next to the phase. Commit to checking in on where the moon is at in her cycle, and pay attention to your energy, what’s happening around you, and how you are feeling. As you continue to notice where the moon is and how you are feeling, you’ll begin to see patterns that are information for you to make choices on how to best care for yourself during each phase.
The Moon Phases + Self Care Activity
NEW MOON– Set an Intention
The new moon is the start of the moon’s cycle. It’s a time for new beginnings, and is the perfect time to plant the seeds for what will be harvested later on in the cycle (or even subsequent cycles). This is a fertile time for new ideas, projects, and ways of thinking and being. Ask yourself how you want to feel over the next 29.5 days. Based on your answer, set an intention reflecting this feeling, so you can focus your actions in alignment with this intention.
WAXING CRESCENT– Information Detox
Hold your right hand up and make a C. This is the waxing crescent moon, the beginning of seeing the moon again in the night sky. Waxing means what we are seeing is getting bigger each night. This is a ripe time of potential and opportunities. You are more receptive during this time, so it’s best if you quiet the noise around you and really pay attention to what you’re consuming. An information detox is the perfect self care activity to practice during the waxing crescent moon. More information about how to do an information detox can be found in my book Lighten Up Your Life.
FIRST QUARTER– Pleasure snack
The first quarter moon looks like a half circle. The waxing moon is associated with the planet Venus, which is all about sensuality and pleasure. During this time I encourage my clients to take time to give themselves lots of pleasure snacks. A pleasure snack is something simple that you do for yourself that gives you pleasure and boosts your oxytocin. Some examples would be having a cup of tea, sitting down to relax for a few minutes, spending time outside, going for a walk, self massage, reading a book, or anything else you love to do that fills your cup.
WAXING GIBBOUS– Protect Your Energy
The moon appears to be getting bigger and bigger and is on its way to becoming full. The time between the first quarter and the full moon is called the Waxing Gibbous. The energy that is building can at times feel chaotic or frenetic if you aren’t aware. This is a great time to practice protecting your energy by doing energy clearing meditations or using your visualizations to keep an energy shield around you when you’re noticing other people’s energies affecting you.
FULL MOON- Celebrate, Gather, and Abundance
The full moon is ripe with abundance. This is the perfect time to gather, especially with other women. As the full moon illuminates the night sky, the dark parts of ourselves and our emotions can be illuminated too. Feeling through them, instead of avoiding them will get you further up the healing spiral.
WANING GIBBOUS- Calm Your Nervous System
As the moon starts to wane, you can see less and less of it each night. The full moon might have brought an intense energy, and this is the time to recover from it. Check in with your nervous system. Are you living in fight or flight mode? How can you start incorporating calming activities into the pockets of your day (ie breathwork, meditation, stretching, walking, being outside, rest, self massage, etc)?
LAST QUARTER – Clear Out, Purge
The moon is a half circle in the sky, this time the rounded side on the left. As the moon continues to wane, we are given the opportunity to clear out. This is the end of the cycle, and soon we will prepare for the cycle to start all over again. To allow for new, we must first clear out the old. This can look like clearing out physical things in your home, digital clutter, or even letting go of limiting beliefs or a relationship that isn’t serving you.
WANING CRESCENT– Slow Down
If you hold your left hand up and make a C, you’re looking at a waning crescent moon. This is where it’s important to start pumping the brakes. You’ve been doing so much work this entire cycle, healing work, that it’s time to coast for a while. Take this time to see where you can move slower. Walk slower. Take your time when you’re brushing your teeth. Cook a meal from scratch. Read a book for fun.
DARK MOON- Get Grounded, Rest
The 3 days before the new moon, we experience the dark moon. It’s time to set down the tools, and appreciate the work you’ve done. Give yourself space and time to rest. While you rest, look around and ground yourself to Earth. Go barefoot on the Earth. Lay in the grass. Surround yourself by water. Do yoga. Practice grounding meditation. Eat red foods to support the root chakra.
Following these self care rituals during each phase of the moon will help you align your life with the energy of the moon. Committing to honoring the different phases of the moon will bring you consistency with your self care rituals and overall improve the quality of your life.
I host a monthly membership Voxer broadcast called the Moon & Me where I share in real time how I’m using these self care activities during each phase and how the energy of the phase is showing up in my life. I drop short messages that you can listen to on the go that will support you in your journey of prioritizing your self care.
A little bit about Mary:
Mary is an occupational therapist, mom of 2 and highly successful business owner. Mary is on a mission to help women slow down their lives, live in alignment and create ease and simplicity. In a world where productivity is often highly valued, Mary is flipping the script and showing women that when we slow down and prioritize our own wellbeing, that is actually when we create space for self love and self care. Plus a wonderful byproduct of this is that creativity and productivity naturally increases!
Mary shares her health journey, from motherhood and grief, to learning about the power of slowing down her life and her dedication to showing women how to embrace this in her exclusive experiences like the Slow Down Retreat and her book Lighten Up Your Life. Mary offers 2 online memberships: the Moon & Me and the Slow Down Space and 1:1 coaching.