Does your New Year’s Resolution feel like a distant memory? The moon provides a monthly fresh start.
Despite our New Year’s Resolutions, January isn’t really the best time to start a new habit. It is the darkest, coldest time of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is a notoriously hard time for our collective health—and that was true long before we were mired in a global pandemic.
If your New Year’s Resolutions feel like a distant memory, you’re not alone—and it’s not too late for a fresh start.
I have been following the moon for many years now, and one of the things I love about it is how often you have a chance to start again. Every month, there is a New Moon, which means a brand new cycle. Two weeks later, there is a Full Moon, and an opportunity to slough off whatever is not working for you and let that cycle be complete. However bad things may seem, every New Moon brings the possibility of new hope with it.
Here are some ways to allow the moon to nourish us as we move into the last stretch of winter.
One of the best ways to honor the moon during the dark season is to go for a walk in the evening when the sky is dark. Look for the moon. Where is she in the sky? Is she milky blue, golden, or a subtly pink hue close to the horizon? Can you see the dark of the moon? Find her peeking through the clouds?
The moon is always present, always there, but also always cycling, always changing, every single night. Spending some time outside in the fresh air simply observing what she is doing can be a beautiful way of communing with the moon, the air, the sky, nature, and yourself.
The New Moon and the Full Moon are both beautiful opportunities to cleanse. At the New Moon, we release the last cycle in order to prepare for whatever it is we are hoping or intending for in the next cycle. The Full Moon represents the end of that cycle, so it’s a good time to wash away whatever is not serving you and focus on letting go.
Take a ritual bath or shower on the Full Moon and the New Moon. It doesn’t have to be anything special except for the intentions you are putting into it. Perhaps there’s a certain skin cleanser, bath bomb, or face mask you’d like to try. Put on some music, try to find a little time alone to yourself, and ritually wash away whatever isn’t serving you.
Start a meditation practice with the next New Moon, and commit to it every night until the Moon is full. There are many styles of meditation that you could practice, so choose one you enjoy. (You could even take my Moon Goddess Meditations audio course, and listen to a guided meditation on a set of Tantric moon goddesses every night throughout the cycle. Details on that at jcpeter.ca.)
Metaphorically, the New Moon is a time of emptiness in preparation for new growth. The Waxing Moon (the period of time between the New Moon and the Full Moon) is thus an ideal time for creating. Make something new, try a new plan, explore, and make mistakes. Again, this could be through whatever way you most enjoy—writing, drawing, dancing, cooking, and so on. The Waning Moon (between the Full Moon and the New) is more about processing. After the Full Moon, turn your attention towards editing, organizing, planning, and categorizing in anticipation of the next New Moon cycle. As you lean into the natural cycles of your own creativity, you might find you’re able to build something brand new.
Discover how to activate your moon practice with hand reflexology.