The intensity of the Moon's influence on us varies. The Moon's phase determines the strength of its involvement in our lives, while the twelve signs of the Zodiac determine its breadth.
For our purposes, the three Moon phases are the waxing Moon, the waning Moon, and the dark Moon.
The new Moon is a time to acknowledge the beginnings in life. Starting an activity at the new Moon and sticking with it through the full Moon can create a lifelong practice of using the Moon's growing energy.
A friend of mine successfully created the habit of exercise by using the Moon's waxing energy to assist her. Rather than diet, she chose to start new eating habits by buying healthy foods. As a result, she was able to lose and maintain her weight.
The positive, growing energies of the waxing Moon are particularly conducive to improvements, repairs, and growth. The Moon's transformation from a silvery sliver to a full, shining orb reminds us of our own growth and desire to improve.
Hundreds of activities coincide with the waxing Moon's energies. Use the following examples to identify appropriate activities: initiate or continue an exercise program; paint the house; repair the car; balance the checkbook; shop for a major purchase such as a car; plan a vacation; leave on an active, fun-filled vacation; host a party; work on a major relationship; experiment with new things, ideas, or recipes; read a favorite book; participate in hobbies; be creative and artistic; ask someone on a date for the first time; write a book; select a pet; or try to become pregnant.
As you can see, the general theme of the waxing Moon is birth and growth -- the beginning of new exciting experiences and the continuation of things previously begun.
Just as the new Moon is a time for beginnings, the full Moon is a time for endings. As the Moon changes from full to dark, its effect on nature shifts, changing from a growing, progressive force to a dying, retreating force. To have help in giving up a bad habit or bringing a project to a close, start the process on the full Moon and progress towards completion as the Moon wanes.
While adding exercise and a proper diet to her life, my friend also gave up smoking. She stopped smoking on the full Moon and allowed her urges to die as the Moon waned.
It is best to align tasks which require a decreasing or letting go with the waning Moon. The waning Moon, which begins as the full Moon, decreases to a sliver just before it disappears completely. It is a shining portrayal of the decline seen in the death process.
Again, hundreds of activities naturally align themselves with the declining energies of the waning Moon, including the following activities: start or continue a diet; clean the house; hold a garage sale; cut the grass; harvest garden crops; turn under old garden growth for the winter; write a last will and testament; sell a car, or a house, or anything else of value; quit a job; visit a stylist for a haircut; clean out closets; give up smoking or drinking; reduce stress; or pay bills.
Any activity which requires a decline or death of any nature is well suited to the waning Moon. When we break an old habit, we kill it. Once it is dead and gone, there is space for something new. It is common to develop a new habit when giving up an old one. A void is left by the things we give up. It's equally beneficial, and very efficient, to replace an old bad habit with a new good one, thereby filling the void. Push out an old bad habit in the waning Moon by starting something wonderful in the waxing Moon.
The few days between the last sliver of the waning Moon and the first sliver of the waxing Moon is known as the dark Moon. It signals a time for regeneration and renewal. The darkness is a reminder that all life must die.
Death is common to all things. Every activity, job, or thing dies at the end of its cycle. The process of reading a book dies when the book is finished; a job dies when you leave it; and objects die when they are used or broken. I have mourned finishing a good book, as I have mourned quitting a job.
After two weeks of concentrated effort directed at ending something, take the opportunity to mourn that which has died and recover from its loss. The dark Moon is a time to look inward. Assess what happened and how the situation was handled.
A fellow firewalker offered sound advice. When an important aspect of life ends, give it a funeral service. Experience its death. After receiving an impersonal wedding announcement from a past lover, my friend took a memento of her relationship with him to the beach. She meditated with it, said good-bye to her old relationship and tossed the memento into the ocean.
A death ritual provides the opportunity to release that which has ended and begin the mourning process. This is useful following the death of anything, but especially when ending relationships. The willingness to allow the relationship to die begets mourning and healing.
This article is excerpted with permission from the book:
The Moon & Everyday Living
by Daniel Pharr.
Daniel Pharr is a writer, firewalking instructor, and Pagan living in the Pacific Northwest. He is an avid practitioner of Eastern and Western spirituality, divination, and energy work.