Moon phases with full moon in the middle

How To Use the Moon Phases To Support Your Self Care

Charli Moore Sep 23, 2022

Moon phases and mental health have long been linked, in fact the idea that the lunar calendar can influence health, behavior, fertility, menstruation, and birth rate dates back thousands of years. 

However, while modern science has largely debunked these claims, the possibility that we are affected by the moon’s cycles isn’t entirely baseless. 

The gravitational pull of the Moon causes the rising and falling of the sea, that’s how we have tides, and influences the natural mechanisms of some of earth’s species. Corals, for example, erupt in a reproductive frenzy and spawn during a full Moon, while levels of melatonin and corticosterone in birds are known to change in line with lunar cycles.

Many spiritual practices over the centuries have taken place during different phases of the lunar cycle, with many feeling a sense of connection to its energy and the time of the year. For example, Native Americans give each month’s full moon a different name tied to the energies of the season, often characterized by animal or human behavior, such as Harvest Moon, Sturgeon Moon, and Hunter Moon. 

To channel the energies of the moon and see how it could support your wellbeing, discover our guide…


What are lunar phases?

The eight phases of the Moon are defined by the amount of the celestial satellite we can see, and our view is directly affected by where the Moon is in its 27-day orbit of the Earth.

When the sun hits the Moon’s far side—the side we can’t see from earth, it’s called a New Moon. In contrast, when sunlight reflects off the near side, it’s a Full Moon. The remaining phases fill the transition between New and Full as the Moon waxes—grows, and wanes—reduces.

These eight phases are, in order, New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, and Waning Crescent. The cycle repeats once a month (every 29.5 days).


How to harness the lunar calendar to support your wellbeing

Each of the Moon’s eight phases is thought to empower a different type of energy within us. These different energies are best suited to help us to achieve certain things. 

To maximize your ability to support your wellbeing and realize your goals, for your first lunar cycle, observe how you’re feeling in each phase. Keep a track of your mood in your journal, and continue charting this over the course of a few months to identify patterns and look for ways to draw down on its energy. 

There are plenty of resources available to help you create and set intentions for each phase, meditations to try, and ways to expand your journalling and self-reflection with guided questions and activities.


The New Moon

At this time we are faced by the “dark side of the Moon”. Manifest a fresh start for the month ahead and put the past behind you. Focus your attention inward, channeling your strength to wherever you need it most. This is a great time to set your intentions for the month and start to manifest the things you want to achieve, so it’s the ideal time to create a vision board.

Best New Moon self-care activity: Write a letter to people or a situation that’s had a negative impact on you during the last month and then burn it (safely), and then let it go.


The Waxing Moon (Waxing Crescent, First quarter, Waxing Gibbous)

At this time the Moon is rebuilding, ready to reemerge. Set your intentions and desires for the month ahead now. This is the best time of the month to work on your self-confidence and self-compassion.

Best Waxing Moon self-care activity: Use this energy to power HIIT sessions and goal-check-ins to empower change and clear self-doubt.


The Full Moon

Two weeks after the new Moon it’s time for the Full Moon to shine. This potent hit of energy lasts about 48 hours and guides us forward by helping us to figure out what to release in order to move on. Use this motivational boost to grab hold of new opportunities.

Best Full Moon self-care activity: Take a cleansing, essential oil or herb-infused bath and release any habits that are no longer enabling you to be productive. Make a conscious effort to follow through on this throughout the following weeks and months.


The Waning Moon (Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, Waning Crescent)

The final phase. After the high intensity of the Full Moon, the Waning Moon brings us down to earth and encourages us to focus on recovery, release, and rediscovering our motivations.

Best Waning Moon self-care activity: Yoga, meditation, and journaling your gratitude for the month can help you to reset and recharge during this phase, ready to start all over again.

By aligning our goals and self-care rituals with the Moon’s four main phases, we can harness its energy to live with positive purpose and support our mental wellbeing.


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