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What To Do During The Moon Phases: Magic Moon Rituals

what to do during moon phases

So, maybe you’ve heard of new moon and full moon rituals and this thing called moon magic, but you’re not sure how to work with Grand Mumma moon or what to do during the moon phases.

More women than ever before are talking about and working with the sacred energy of the moon and planning their days in moons instead of months (me included). But if you’re new to living by the moon phases, where do you begin so this doesn’t end up confusing you and becoming yet another thing you have to check off on an endless to-do list?

The Lunar Cycle And Solar Cycle

The moon represents the feminine, while the sun represents the masculine. We follow her cycle, while men follow his 1-day cycle. There’s so much evidence that suggests we first lived in a matriarchal society that worshiped the moon. This has only moved towards patriarchy gradually over the past 5000 years.

It’s no coincidence that human beings lived in lunar cycles instead of months or a solar calendar. Women would come together in moon lodges to bleed together, celebrate how magnificent their bodies are, receive higher wisdom from the Goddess Mother (and from themselves), and carry this back to their communities.

When you consider how old humans are and how old our earth is, the solar calendar we follow today is a new way of living and makes absolutely no sense! The months are jumbled together with a random number of days in each one, just to fit the 365-ish days it takes the earth to orbit the sun. December is the twelfth month, yet “dec” means ten. July is only called July because Julius Caesar had a big ego and wanted a month named after him.

This is how we lost connection to the moon cycle and began worshipping the sun.

lunar cycle

Why Is The Moon Cycle So Powerful For Women?

The moon’s cycle lasts approximately 29 days, the same average length as a woman’s menstrual cycle. She flows through four main phases in her cycle, and we do too. In fact, the energy of each of her main phases matches the energy of our main menstrual cycle phases, too (crazy, right?!). Each moon and menstrual phase is also linked to a season and an archetype.

Phase 1: New Moon / Menstruation Phase / Winter / Crone

Phase 2: Waxing Moon / Follicular Phase / Spring / Maiden

Phase 3: Full Moon / Ovulatory Phase / Summer / Mother

Phase 4: Waning Moon / Luteal Phase / Autumn/Fall / Wild Woman

When we connect to her cycle and our own internal cycle, we tap into our feminine energy. We feel more connected to the planet’s natural rhythms. After all, women and nature are inextricably connected. We mirror Mumma nature with our menstrual cycle and the eternal life, death, and rebirth cycle we both follow.

When we choose to live our lives with this natural flow of energy, we feel more in harmony, connected to our inner wisdom, happier and healthier, and able to manifest what we truly desire. Instead of pushing and pulling, we flow; we ride the wave. We expand when our energy rises, we take rest when we feel the inner call to, and this creates a much more sustainable way of living (as opposed to the go, go, go, hustle mentality).

The great part is, even if you don’t experience a menstrual cycle, the moon offers us a universal cycle that we can all work with, no matter who we are or where we live.

How Working With The Moon Has Changed My Life

Immersing in moon magic has helped me live more seasonally and restore flow and balance to my life. It has also helped me be more intentional with where I choose to devote my energy each cycle and how I approach my desires and goals. She has given me a template to follow that feels both structured and fluid all at once. She has encouraged me to look inward and create change on a soul level so that I can manifest the change I want in the physical realm. And every time a new cycle begins, the slate is wiped clean, and I get a fresh start. No matter what happened before, it’s a chance to start again.

Diving deep into the lunar cycle is actually what kick-started the exploration of my menstrual cycle, female archetypes, and feminine energy. It has helped me understand my own energetic rhythm in a much more intimate way. I have a newfound appreciation and admiration for my body and its magnificence. Once you start working with the moon, I know you will too.

The 8 Moon Phases

What moon phase is best for manifesting?

She cycles through 8 main moon phases every 29 days or so. These are:

  • New Moon
  • Waxing Crescent
  • First Quarter
  • Waxing Gibbous Moon
  • Full Moon
  • Waning Gibbous Moon
  • Last Quarter
  • Waning Crescent

You may also come across a ninth phase known as the dark moon, which refers to the two days right before a new moon when the whole of the night sky is dark.

But in this article, I’m going to focus on the four most potent phases, which are:

  • New Moon (2-3 days)
  • Waxing Moon (around 10 days)
  • Full moon (2-3 days)
  • Waning Moon (around 10 days)

What Is A Moon Ritual?

How do you manifest with the moon phases? A moon ritual is a way to align with, celebrate, and work with the moon’s current phase. You’ll probably have come across a new moon ritual or full moon ritual before because these are the most common moon rituals. If you want to start small, I’d recommend starting with one of these and only incorporating a waxing and waning moon ritual when you feel comfortable. If you only ever celebrate the new or full moon, that’s enough.

A moon ritual will help you set intentions, release, and manifest your desires by harnessing the powerful lunar energy available to you at that time. By tapping into the unique wisdom and gifts of each moon phase, you tap into your own cyclical nature as a woman, without judgment, and can experience real transformation.

An altar will form the perfect foundation for any kind of ritual in your life. If you haven’t yet created your own sacred altar, you can click here to find out how to do this. You’ll also find a list of tools you might want to have at hand, ready for your ritual.

What To Do During The Moon Phases

Let’s explore each of the four main moon phases in a little more detail, along with rituals for each moon phase to help you harness the energy that is ripe and ready.

The New Moon

Keywords: New beginnings, setting intentions, letting go, reboot, taking time for yourself, soul-searching.

The new moon marks a new moon cycle and a new beginning. Although we cannot see Grand Mumma moon in the sky, she is still there.

This is a time to be still, reflect, and tune in to higher wisdom. When we slow down, we can hear what we truly want and need on a soul level, and from this, we can set new intentions for the coming moon cycle and beyond.

It’s also a time for fresh starts—where do you want to place your energy in the coming cycle and beyond? What would you like to create, nourish, receive, manifest, or experience over the next 29 days or so? Don’t think with your head; feel with your heart and let your intuition guide you forward. Dream big, and don’t hold back; you can figure out the details later.

New Moon Ritual

What are some new moon rituals?

The new moon is the perfect time to set new intentions for the coming moon cycle. I create space on the night of the new moon to reflect on the past moon and tap into my heart space to decide what projects and people I want to devote my precious resources to this cycle.

You will need:

  • A journal or paper
  • A pen
  • A candle
  • Some sage, palo santo, a diffuser, or cleansing spray
  • Background music
  • A drink of your choice (plant-based is best)

How to do it:

Find a quiet space in your house or garden where you won’t be disturbed.

Cleanse your space to eliminate any stagnant or negative energy and purify the air. Wave the smoke or spritz the spray into every corner. You may want to chant something simple like, “I cleanse this space of stagnant energy and welcome the new.” This will create a sacred space for your ritual.

Light a candle and place it on your altar (don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy altar, your candle can be your altar!). If you want some music in the background, turn it on now.

Find a comfortable place to sit cross-legged, on a yoga mat, a chair, or your bed. Close your eyes. Center yourself. Find stillness. Drop into your body and be present. Take a few deep breaths. I like to begin with a short meditation to help ground me, but this is optional.

With your eyes closed, think about what is calling you on a soul level. What feels most exciting to you? What do you need most right now? Let images and visions, and thoughts come and go. Sit here and do this for as long as you like.

When you’re ready, open your eyes and spend time journaling everything that came to you. Get it all down, even if it doesn’t quite make sense. What did you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste? What ideas did you have? If you could do anything this moon cycle, what would it be?

Next, pick one or a handful of items from your list that are standing out to you. Write these intentions on a separate piece of paper. Read them aloud to yourself as many times as you like. Visualize your life as if you have already manifested them (this step is super delicious, so don’t skip it!).

Either wait until the candle goes out on its own or blow it out. This symbolizes you releasing your intentions out into the Universe. You will do your part, and she will support you.

Keep looking back at these intentions as you progress through the moon cycle, and make any edits as you feel called to. Have patience while your intentions alchemize and come to fruition. Remember, it may take many moons for your intentions to manifest in the physical realm.

The Waxing Moon

Keywords: creativity, action, getting started, practical steps, speeding up, motivation, overcoming challenges

During the waxing moon phase, the moon will grow larger in the sky, symbolizing a move of her energy inward to outward. This phase comprises three separate moon phases that I mentioned briefly earlier: Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, and the Waxing Gibbous Moon. But to keep things simple, we sometimes collectively refer to these phases as the waxing phase.

Remember those intentions you set on the new moon? Well, now is the time to spring into action, put in the work, and take real, practical steps towards them. This is, without a doubt, the best moon phase to start a new project. What help do you need to support you on this journey?

For example, let’s say one of your intentions is to create a website for your business. Now would be the time to research different hosting platforms, hire a web developer, pick a theme or design you like, and purchase a domain name.

There will likely be hurdles along the way to manifesting what you want, and the waxing phase is about overcoming these. Can you find a solution or opportunity in the problem? Often, it’s simply a case of looking at something with a new perspective.

Your creativity will also be high during this phase, so make sure you set aside time to be creative, whatever that means to you. Expect a rush of new ideas, energy, and inspiration.

Waxing Moon Ritual

waxing moon ritual

Waxing moon rituals aren’t nearly as popular as new and full moon rituals because the new and full moon are the two main anchor points of the entire lunar cycle. But if you do still want to have a ceremony during the waxing moon, this is the perfect time to seek clarity, particularly if you feel confused about where to focus your energy or how to get started on your intentions.

You will need:

  • An oracle or tarot deck
  • A journal or some paper
  • A pen
  • Some sage, palo santo, a diffuser, or cleansing spray

How to do it:

I always recommend cleansing your space before doing any ritual work, so follow the steps above to clear out any negative energy.

Next, grab your favorite oracle or tarot deck, and find a place of stillness. Think about the current challenges you’re facing, any hurdles you’re stuck at, and any questions you seek answers to.

Shuffle your deck, and fan out the cards in front of you. As you think of one question at a time, hover your hand over the cards until you feel a pull towards one. This may be a warm feeling in your palm or an intuitive sense within. Trust what you feel. Go with it. Turn over the card, and allow yourself to muse on what it might be communicating to you. Use the guidebook that came with your deck to help too. If you still feel unsure, or you’re not happy with the card you drew, draw again.

Journal any messages, ideas, or solutions that come to you.

For more ideas on how to create a waxing moon ritual, click here.

The Full Moon

Keywords: Celebrate, gratitude, reflection, expansion, harvest.

Grand Mumma moon illuminates the night sky with the roundness and fullness of her glow. This is the mid-way point of the moon cycle and where her energy peaks. The full moon is a time of completion, celebration, and expansion. It is nourishing, motherly, and high energy.

Celebrate how far you’ve come, and practice gratitude for all you have. What we appreciate will expand. The full moon is the harvest time, a time for reaping what you’ve sown since the beginning of the cycle.

See Also
full moon affirmations

The full moon also illuminates our shadows. She shines a light onto the darkest corners and crevices and asks us to meet that darkness. We are asked to reflect on our shadows, feel our deepest emotions, and use what we receive to elevate. This applies on an individual level as well as a societal level.

Full Moon Ritual

full moon ritual

What rituals do you do on a full moon?

There are a few things I like to do on a full moon: celebrate, set affirmations, engage in shadow work, and get outside and moon bathe! There is nothing quite like wandering the streets underneath a midnight sky and watching in awe as she reigns sovereign above, guiding you home. But one of the simplest and juiciest full moon rituals is practicing gratitude.

You will need:

  • Some sage, palo santo, a diffuser, or cleansing spray
  • A bathtub (filled with warm water, salts, essential oils, flower petals, and whatever else you like)
  • Candles (as many as you want in the bathroom/around the tub
  • A drink of your choice (plant-based is best)

How to do it:

Begin by cleansing your space. Run a bath and gather all the items you’ll need for it. Take time to make this extra special and indulgent for yourself. If you don’t have a bathtub, a small basin just for your feet will work too. Light candles, pour in salts and essential oils, maybe even a bath tea, and add a crystal if there’s a particular energy you want to invoke. Because the moon rules the tide, the full moon is the perfect time to be in water. If there’s a window in your bathroom where the moonlight can trickle in, even better!

Find a relaxing, soothing playlist if you want background music while you bathe. Pop it on, undress, and slip into the water. Let yourself be nourished as it washes over you.

Once you’re settled, think about all the things you’re grateful for in your life, whether it’s over the current moon cycle, many moons, or even the past year. Although you may be facing some challenges and discomfort in your life, remember how much you always have to be thankful for. Sit in this state of gratitude for the rest of your bath.

The Waning Moon

Keywords: receive, release, trust, make space, set boundaries, self-care, breathe, surrender

From now until the next new moon, her light and energy dwindle, and there’s a move from outward expansion to inward expansion once more. Like the waxing moon, the waning moon phase consists of three phases: Waning Gibbous Moon, Last Quarter, and Waning Crescent.

The waning moon phase is all about letting go of anything that’s no longer serving you and the woman you aspire to be—ideas, beliefs, habits, patterns, relationships, and fears. Think about one area in your life that is holding you back and focus your efforts on changing it. Only when we clear out the old is there space for the new to come in. This is the best moon phase for cleansing.

For example, let’s say one of your bad habits is being very judgemental and unkind to yourself. The next time you find yourself speaking negatively to yourself, bring awareness to it, let go of the thought, and replace it with something empowering and positive.

Now is also the time to pour back into your own cup and nourish yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Make self-care a priority as you begin to slow down and retreat from the outside world.

Think about any projects or loose ends you want to tie up by the end of this moon cycle and focus your remaining energy on these. But remember, some things will take longer to complete—not everything can be achieved in one moon.

Waning Moon Ritual

waning phase

Like the waxing moon, waning moon rituals are less common. But if you want to start working with all of the four main phases of the moon, here’s the perfect waning moon ritual for you (it’s more of a date with yourself rather than a ritual, but just as sacred).

You will need:

  • A list of self-care ideas to choose from
  • $5-$20 depending on what activity you choose (this is optional)
  • Some sage, palo santo, a diffuser, or cleansing spray
  • A journal
  • A pen
  • A candle (optional, but lovely to have)

How to do it:

Choose your act of self-care before you get started, and make sure you have everything you need. For example, if you’re going to give yourself a DIY spa evening, stock up on face masks, body scrubs, hair treatments, foot socks, and anything else you want.

Carve out space in your schedule for this ritual where you won’t be disturbed or interrupted (put your phone on airplane mode or switch it off completely).

Cleanse your space and light a candle. Enjoy taking time to pour back into your own well and show yourself love. If we don’t do this, our energy will quickly deplete, turning into exhaustion. Remember, it is not selfish to prioritize and honor your own needs.

When you’re done, journal on what you did and how you feel.

How To Deepen Your Relationship With The Moon Phases

  • Read books and blogs and take courses that deepen your knowledge and understanding of the moon
  • Moon bathe (full moon is the best time for this)
  • Track where the moon is in your city
  • Start tracking your menstrual cycle
  • Create space to celebrate the moon
  • Keep a moon diary (for all your ritual notes and daily journaling)
  • Live & lead in moons rather than months (this will become easier the more you do it)

Ready To Infuse Moon Magic Into Your World?

Now you know what to do during the moon phases; all that’s left to do is take what you’ve learned and run with it in your own special way.

Begin small. Find out what phase the moon is currently in where you live. Plan a small new moon ritual or full moon ritual, or attend a moon circle in your local area. Start a journal so you can keep track of where the moon is, along with your energy levels and mood. Over time, you’ll notice themes and patterns emerging.

Remember, the moon is always there for us to work with and is such a simple way to immerse ourselves in nature and connect to our sacred internal rhythm as women. Whether you choose to use it as a tool for manifesting or simply to make the ordinary in your life more scared, there is no right or wrong. Follow your own compass.

Do you work with the moon cycle?

What do you do during the moon phases to acknowledge and celebrate them?

How has this transformed your life?

Let me know in the comments below!

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