“We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.” ~ Anaïs Nin
As we enter the holiday season, we can feel the distinct energy of the season come upon us. Malls fill with eager and anxious shoppers, chilly winds blow from the north, holiday lights flash along storefronts and homes. While this familiar electric energy can be quite exhilarating, it often serves as a grand distraction from the beauty and stillness of the season. For it is in the moments of quiet that we can ponder the mysterious and mystical side of the holidays. It is in the silent night that we can truly feel and connect with our higher selves.
The night plays a profound role in many spiritual holidays this time of year. We sing songs about silent and holy nights and relish the way the colorful little bulbs on a Christmas tree softly brighten a dark room. We light candles and menorahs. In the stillness of the night, we find peace in the triumph of light over darkness.
In ancient spiritual traditions, the moon’s phases have long represented the circular nature of our lives—as above, so below. In each cycle—whether it is the moon’s cycle, the seasons, a single flower or even our own lives—there is a time of new beginnings, a time of growth, a time of harvest, a time of decay and a time of death. And so the cycle begins again and again. As another year comes to a close and we look forward to new beginnings, this is the perfect time to reflect on what is working in our lives and what is not. We do not want to repeat the same story next year if that story did not serve us well this year.
As you have time this holiday season, during December and early January, try to stay up into the silent night and write your prayers, intentions, goals and ideas in your journal under the stillness of the moon. Pay attention to the moon’s phase, as each phase is believed to have spiritual significance and carry special energy you can tap into. It is easy to find the moon’s current phase online. You may begin this practice at any time.
When the moon is positioned directly between the earth and the sun, it is called the New Moon. During this phase, we cannot see the moon from earth, because its dark side is facing us. The darkness of the New Moon is symbolic of fresh beginnings similar to a seed buried deeply in the earth or a baby in the womb. At this time, the energy is strong for “birthing” new ideas with an explosion of creative energy. During the New Moon, write down your clear intentions, prayers and goals for things you would like to bring into being—perhaps a new job or a new relationship. In the spirit of the season, think of all the new beginnings in the past that have brought you peace, joy or growth. Write these down in your journal with deep gratitude in your heart.
After the New Moon, the moon begins its waxing (growing) phase over the next 13 to 14 days. If the sky is clear, we see it begin as a slight crescent, slowly move to a quarter moon and continue until it’s almost full. The Waxing Moon represents strong forward-moving energy for growth and development. You can tap into this energy each day by continuing to expand your thoughts on the prayers and intentions you wrote down during the time of the New Moon. With the New Year coming upon us, think of how you would like to start fresh in different areas of your life. If you love writing, now is a good time to use this growing creative energy to write poetry or a story.
The Full Moon with its mysterious and magical aura has long been believed to intensify emotional energy. This moon phase represents fertility, abundance, and completion—you may see your intentions and dreams come into full bloom at this time. This is also a time of maximum insight and illumination, making it easier to identify anything that is not helping you on your life journey. This is the perfect time to think of specific New Year’s resolutions that involve release. Under the Full Moon’s full disclosure, write down things that are not working in your life that you need to let go in the coming days. This could be a bad habit, such as smoking or procrastination, a negative belief about yourself, or an unhealthy relationship or job.
Now is the best time for releasing. Just after the total illumination of the Full Moon, the light begins to wane, or diminish, gradually over the next 13 days until we arrive back at the New Moon. But before we get back to the new beginnings of the New Moon, we need to let go of anything that doesn’t serve our higher purpose. In your journal, expand your thoughts on the items you put up for releasing during the Full Moon. Express exactly why you need to release each thing. How exactly will you do this? Why will this make your life better? This activity will help bring insight and clarity to your New Year’s resolutions.