The moon is my primary calendar. I feel the phases in my bones and in my blood.
Perhaps you do too. Although this is true for me now, it wasn’t always this way. It’s easy to lose track of the moon. Sometimes she shows up big and bright, and then she barely shows up at all. Those who have passed down lunar wisdom to each generation have kept the connection to this original timekeeper alive and intact. Others — like me — have to find it for ourselves amidst the artificial lights of modern life.
Mystery, trust, intuition and observation of the natural world are integral to the journey.
As I took comfort in the moon’s rhythms, I began to access those rhythms inside myself. No chart or app could to do that for me. It is a relationship that is both mystical and practical. Tracking with the moon brings me back home to myself, to what it feels like to be a part of the natural world. The unique qualities of each phase are a beautiful reminder of constant change: the budding waxing crescent on the eastern horizon at sunset, the glowing first quarter moon overhead at dusk, the powerful full moon tempting me to bathe in her light rather than sleep, the last quarter moon already gone from the sky by lunchtime, and the faint waning crescent disappearing into the dark new moon.
We all have a connection to the moon that is ancient and beyond explanation.
When did my longing to commune with the moon begin? It’s difficult to trace a single thread back to the origin. Was it my mother’s fascination with how the moon followed us home at night? Was it the images of the sun and the moon, La Luna, imprinted on my mind’s eye as a teenager in México? What about the lunar eclipse near the anniversary of my best friend’s death? When did I begin to take solace in the medicine of the moon? Did my connection to lunar rhythms begin after I gave birth to my first daughter, or was the seed planted long before that?
Begin from yourself. Count outward. Know the world that turns around you*.
I trace the spark of my moon story back to a tent in the desert by the Colorado River. My mother thought she could never get pregnant. Apparently she was wrong. The seed of my life was planted in spring and I was born in winter on New Year’s Eve. My parents gave me the name April. Soon after, my father started a gardening business called April's Garden.
Years later I began to feel the intimate connection between the lunar cycle and the seasons. Aha! The new moon is like winter, a time to go inward and reflect. This phase offers the greatest dose of dormancy and darkness — not a bad thing since I used to feel the need to be productive most of the time.
I am prone to burnout. I forget to rest. The moon reminds me that nature does not work this way.
When I became a mother, my whole life began to restructure - my daily rhythms began to change around the needs of my daughter. In so many ways I lost my old self. The spontaneities, sometimes chaotic self. It was disorienting - not good or bad, just disorienting.
I began meeting on the new moon with a dear friend to set intentions and share what had happened during the previous cycles. After many years we had both gone through so many changes and transformations, and this practice was a container that held me together. I began to find myself again - understanding my own orbits of self-care and burn-out, inspiration and despair, trust and fear, expansion and contraction. I fell in love with la luna and her soothing medicine.
When my second daughter was born I began to follow the lunar cycle daily — not just the new and full moon. This practice birthed the New Moon Calendar/Journal.
In actuality the moon is always intact, even with the appearance of losing her light.
By tuning in to the expansion and contraction of the moon, I have learned to put fewer demands on myself and not feel pressure to always be “on” like the bright light of the full moon. I now give myself permission to relax into the exhale of the waning phase in order to reflect and digest life’s rich, and sometimes difficult, experiences. There is a need to retreat inward to access the source of my being, as well as the need to reach outward to nourish connections around me.
This is why the moon matters — she teaches us that each phase is necessary and has value. The moon reminds us that we are whole.
Read more moon related articles here.