Whether we realize it or not, we’re continually pulled by the moon. Lunar cycles shape life here on earth, and they can impact our moods just as much as they impact the tides. The more we can tap into these cycles, the more we can create calm and purpose in our lives.
This is especially true when it comes to the new moon and the full moon. Representing the waxing and waning of the lunar cycle, these precious nights have been marked by religious and cultural beliefs and practices for millennia – probably longer – and with good reason. By tapping into this energy, we can also tap into ourselves.
There are eight phases of the moon cycle, which is called a ‘lunation.’ New moons and full moons in particular can have dramatic effects on our moods and well-being; the more you can tap into this energy, by paying attention and creating mindful rituals, the more you can channel it in the right way.
New Moon vs Full Moon: The Science
First, let’s get clear on the moon cycle, and on our pivotal new moons and full moons.
As we all know, the moon circles the earth, and it’s position relative to our home and our sun determines how much light it reflects back to us.
Like we’ve covered, the moon cycles through eight phases each month, beginning with the new moon, also called the dark moon. This is when the moon is directly between the earth and the sun, so this is when it’s the darkest - so much so that you might not see it at all. Note that this makes it a lovely time to go stargazing, as you’ll get a better view of other celestial bodies without the moon outshining them.
Midway through the lunar cycle we get the compelling full moon, when the earth, sun and moon are aligned. The moon is fully illuminated – it’s the brightest it gets, and innately beautiful. From here, it will start waning, becoming less and less full, until we reach the new moon again.
The new moon and the full moon have very different and dramatic impacts on the tides, as well as on our moods. Paying attention to this cycle, and honouring it (and ourselves) with fulfilling rituals, can help focus this energy in a beneficial way.
New Moon vs Full Moon Rituals
Since the new moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle, it presents us a special opportunity each month to focus on new beginnings in our own lives. This can be a time to embrace citrine crystals, which help channel abundance, confidence, and self-worth, and amethyst crystals, which can help you dream big.
On the other hand, the full moon offers a good time and energy to focus on wholeness, completion, moving forward, and letting go. Please note that the full moon in particular can be a stressor and have a dramatic impact on your mood, making this an important period to bring more mindful moments into your daily routine.
When it comes to creating rituals to celebrate and honour the new moon versus the full moon, I like to focus on three areas: journaling, meditation, and manifestation.
Journaling For The Moon Cycle
The new moon is a new start. Mark it by setting new goals, intentions, and ambitions. Envision what you want to achieve, short or long term, and write it down.
Meanwhile, focus on gratitude journaling during the full moon. This is the time to release what has held you back or no longer serves you. Get it out on paper, and let it go.
Meditation For The Moon Cycle
During the new moon, I like to focus my meditations on self-confidence. This is a time to believe in yourself and change any self-narratives about any perceived limitations. Of course, to change any self-narratives, we have to be aware of them in the first place. The new moon offers an opportunity to create more self-awareness, which we can use for growth.
Alternatively, the full moon is a good time to bring cleansing rituals into your meditations. Meditate on forgiving both yourself and others. Cleanse your heart, mind, and soul of any lingering resentment or pain you’ve been carrying. This will the clear the way for new opportunities and blessings in your life.
Manifestation For The Moon Cycle
The new moon is the time to manifest your heart’s desires. This is a fresh start. Set intentions to match.
And then when the full moon comes, don’t allow yourself to focus on what hasn’t gone right. This is the time to relax and reset – maybe light a calming candle to set the mood. Give yourself a fresh start, for the new cycle to begin again.