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Moon phases meditations: your emotional rhythms

Moon phases The beautiful illustration above is by collage artist Stephanie Wild. You can buy her prints here.

I’ve been drawn to meditation since my early twenties but over the years my understanding of it has changed. When I was young meditation was a mysterious phenomenon only accessible to the initiated, those much wiser and more enlightened than I. Then, after my first ten-day Vipassana course, I began to see meditation as something we can all experience, but never-the-less bounded by a system of methods and rules.

Now, years later and with a little more experience under my belt, I realise meditation is nothing more than focusing the mind on one thing. Whether this is the breath, a mantra, visualisation or simply a candle flame it does not matter; the important thing is that you take hold of the reins of your mind and learn to remain conscious, present to this moment.

I’ve been thinking recently about how affected our minds are by our emotions. I wrote about this a few weeks back in my article Mercury and Mindfulness: Understanding our Monkey Mind, but today I want to focus on the source of our emotional ups and downs: the Moon.

Because I don’t have much dedication when it comes to routine I find cultivating mindfulness difficult as it requires regular practice. So I’m wondering what it would be like to try integrating the emotional states and responses of the Moon Phases into my meditation. This would allow a practice that is varied and that shifts according to a monthly cycle.

The following series of meditations are a work in progress. They explore the process of growth and change over time and are designed to be completed consecutively over the course of a monthly moon cycle. However it’s also possible to complete them individually. A pdf of this Moon Phases Meditation can be downloaded for free here.

Moon Phases Meditation: the New Moon

Find a comfortable position and face North, the traditional direction associated with the New Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

Imagine that you are standing in a bare field surrounded by trees and with a small stream running through it. Inside your hand you hold a single seed, the seed of a tree. As you survey the field you look to see where you might plant this seed, where it might flourish. Walk towards the spot you have chosen. Feel yourself as you walk, noting the motion of your body and the sensation of your feet touching the soft ground.

When you arrive, look around until you find the right place to plant your seed. The soil should be soft, moist and fertile. Take a small trowel from your pocket and begin to dig a small hole, cultivating the soil carefully to create the best possible conditions for your seed. Place the seed into the hole and draw the soil back over.

Now, allow all the wishes and intentions for the coming month to pass through your mind and as each comes draw it down into your heart centre. When all your intentions are gathered together take a deep breath and as you exhale push all your wishes down into the seed. Water carefully with the small watering can that sits beside you.

Imagine yourself becoming one with the seed, deep in the darkness of the Earth. Feel what it is like to contain that vast potential, the beginnings of life itself. Imagine yourself drawing in the nourishing water, feel the first stirrings of life within you. Remind yourself that you are supported and protected by a vast network of living beings. Rest here for a moment, focusing on your breath.

Now look within. What sadness or regret, shame or self-pity remains from the cycle that has just past? Allow each emotion to come up, acknowledge it and then let it go. Open your eyes and take a few moments to be still and silent. You may like to write down your intentions for the month, create a vision board or draw the changes that you wish to make in the coming month. All forms of creative expression are powerful agents for manifestation during this time.

Moon Phases Meditation: Crescent Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the Northeast, the traditional direction associated with the Crescent Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

The dawn is just beginning to break as you walk across the field to where you recently planted your seed. The first rays of the Sun cast their magical light through the branches of the trees and the dew is still wet on the grass. It shimmers in the Sun’s new light.

When you arrive at the spot where you planted your seed you see that a small sprout has emerged from the soil and is visibly leaning towards the light of the Sun. It’s a tough little sprout and as you watch you see that it is filled with courage and optimism for the future.

Feel yourself joining with the little sprout and becoming one. Feel the earth around your brand new roots, grounding you, providing stability. You are anchored, your foundation is firm and true. Feel the life that pulses through your being. With each breath you grow stronger as you draw up the energy of the Earth and feel yourself bursting with the power to create.

Now, feel yourself coming back into your own body. Feel your breath moving in and out of your body. You are alive and full of potential just like that little sprout, yet in many ways just as fragile. Ask yourself if there is anything in your life that is holding you back from growing into your full potential. Acknowledge these things as they arise and consciously let them go.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Moon Phases Meditation: First Quarter Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the East, the traditional direction associated with the First Quarter Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

It is early morning and your field is drenched with sunlight. Small pasture flowers sway in the breeze and the birds sing as you make your way down to where you planted your small seed. As you approach you see that it had grown considerably since you were last here. The tender shoot has become a robust little seedling full of vibrant colour.

Again become one with your plant, entering into its being. Feel your new roots reaching down deep into the Earth, drawing up energy and nourishment. Feel your new stems and leaves as they move gently in the breeze. Reach out your branches and draw in the energy of the Sun. Feel strength and vitality coursing through you.

Return now to your own body and feel that same strength and vitality continue to pulse in your veins. You are like a magnet drawing good fortune and abundance towards yourself. Consider the actions you have taken and the decisions you have made since the New Moon and channel this strength and energy towards your goals, visualising them coming to fruition.

Now consider any obstacles that are currently in your path, including your own doubts and fears. Visualise each of these obstacles slowly dissolving as the Sun and the Moon shine their light upon them, showing them to be mere illusions. As the light shines upon you see clearly where your priorities lie and what is no longer important.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Moon Phases Meditation: Gibbous Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the Southeast, the traditional direction associated with the Gibbous Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

It is mid morning and your field is full of the sound of bees buzzing amongst the flowers. You walk slowly towards your little plant focusing on the sensations around you: the warmth of the sun on your skin, the smell of the Earth, the many sounds and colours that surround you. As you approach your plant you see that it has become a strong young sapling.

Moving inside the sapling you find yourself contemplating your purpose, the reason you are alive. Slowly you come to a realisation: your purpose is to blossom. As you understand this you feel a swelling within you and the buds that are already bursting with life begin to crack open and the colourful blooms emerge. The cracking is a little painful. As you feel this pain consciously let go of anything in your life that no longer serves this higher purpose.

Now return to your own body and concentrate your energy in your heart space. Visualise it as a growing orange ball of light. When you have a nice strong ball of energy gathered, push it outwards, concentrating on visualising your goals beginning to manifest. This is your own flowers emerging. Allow your flowers to come in their own time. Be patient and do not force them. If you are tired or run down draw your energy back in and let it fill your entire body.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Moon Phases Meditation: Full Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the South, the traditional direction associated with the Full Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

Again you find yourself in the beautiful green field. It is high noon and the summer sun is hot. The grasses nod as their heavy heads move in the breeze. As you approach your tree you see that its blossoms have formed into fruits. The fruits are lush and ripe and you pick one to taste. It is tart but delicious.

Enter into your tree and feel the weight of your fruit as it hangs from your branches. Feel how sturdy you have become: strong enough to hold all this fruit. Feel the sensations of completion and accomplishment, of having fulfilled your purpose. Rest in this feeling.

Come back into your body now and become aware of the physical sensations as they come and go. Notice whether you feel full or empty, open or closed, joyful or sad. Allow these things to be. Return your attention to your breath and as you breathe out imagine your breath joining with the breath of a thousand others. Feel this common breath filling you with healing energy. Feel your unity with these others as you all breath together.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Moon Phases Meditation: Disseminating Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the Southwest, the traditional direction associated with the Disseminating Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

As you approach your tree in the late afternoon you see that Autumn is well on its way. The sky is darker and the grasses in the field are becoming brown and drying. Your tree is full of fruit and its boughs are hanging low to the ground. Already many fruits have fallen and there is a rich, sweet smell of decay.

Carefully you begin to pick the fruit and gather them into the basket on your arm. The work is hard; the branches scratch your arms and soon the basket grows heavy. You rest a little under the tree but know that you must complete this task or the fruit will be wasted.

When you have completed the harvest move inside the tree and feel the sense of relief of a job completed. Your branches are now light and your energy is waning, moving downward into the Earth. What else do you feel? Tiredness, fulfillment, peace? Allow the feelings to arise and sit with them for a while.

Return now to your body and reflect on your own harvest for the month. What have you brought into being, to nurture yourself, to nurture others? What hard work is still ahead before the harvest is complete. Do not dwell on these questions or begin planning or thinking about the future. Just allow the thoughts and feelings to arise and then let them go, remaining centred in this moment.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Moon Phases Meditation: Last Quarter Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the West, the traditional direction associated with the Last Quarter Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

It is sunset and as you make you way through the field towards your tree you see that many of the now brightly coloured leaves have already fallen and the remaining fruits are now rotting on the ground. You can smell the sweet scent of decay and as you push aside the thick leaf litter you see that the soil beneath is rich and dark brown.

Entering into the tree now you feel your energy moving steadily downward, towards the soil. Consciously open your crown chakra and feel the sensation of the energy moving from the top of your head down through your body and into the Earth. Feel any dis-ease or stress draining out of your body and into the Earth. Feel yourself being cleansed as all that no longer serves you is flushed away.

Return now to your body and reflect on what you have accomplished this month. Allow any regrets, judgement or blame of yourself or others to arise, and then let them flow away. Acknowledge that all you have achieved has been in collaboration with the energies of the universe. Let pride and ego slip away, remembering that in reality you are a conduit for a power greater than yourself.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

Moon Phases Meditation: Balsamic Moon

Find a comfortable position and face the Northwest, the traditional direction associated with the Balsamic Moon. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body. Take a moment to ensure you are comfortable and then begin the visualisation.

It is night and as you cross the cold, empty field the silhouette of your now bare tree is clearly visible in the dim moonlight. It is beautiful, its limbs reaching ever upwards. You are tired so you sit with your back against the trunk of the tree and rest a little.

As you sit, feeling the strength and energy of the great tree behind you, the remains of a rotten fruit catch your eye. Inside is a cluster of small seeds which you gather together and hold in the palm of your hand. They are hard and shiny, full of potential for new life.

With these seeds in your hand you feel a great sense of possibility. What was no longer exists, and what is about to come into being is unknown. Acknowledge this and observe your feelings. Do you feel fearful or uncertain? Excited, eager or something else? Just observe your feelings as they arise and then let them go.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes. Be present with your surroundings as you gradually return to your daily life.

For an excellent chart on the affects of the Moon Phases on mind, body and spirit, as well as our dreams, the weather and magical energy, see this article on TechnoHarp. For a PDF version of this Moon Phases Meditation Cycle click here.

Your experience of the Moon Phases…

Have you noticed the cyclical rhythm of the the Moon Phases in your daily life? Do you ever incorporate the Moon Phases into your meditation practice? Do you find that being conscious of the Moon Phases helps you stay more emotionally balanced? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.

The beautiful illustration above is by collage artist Stephanie Wild. You can buy her prints here.

9 Comments on Moon phases meditations: your emotional rhythms

  1. Phillip // May 21, 2015 at 3:29 am //

    Jose Arguelles and the 13 moon calendar first made me aware of lunar cycles as something more than a light in the sky. Awareness is about the extent of my interaction with the moon though. Well, other than transforming my view of time itself. I feel the lunar energy and meditate with it but haven’t gotten much further. There is so much potential. I’m slowly beginning to observe the moon’s effect on the world around me. I suspect I will understand my own emotions more too. Your lunar meditations are pretty powerful stuff and I hope to incorporate them into my life.

    • Thanks for sharing these thoughts Phillip. I had to google Jose Arguelles – he looks like a fascinating guy. Would love to hear how you go with the meditations. The proof of the pudding is whether they help ground and balance the emotions. Love Faith

    • Thanks for sharing these thoughts Phillip. I had to google Jose Arguelles – he looks like a fascinating guy and I’ll be reading further. Would love to hear how you go with the meditations. You are right: there is much potential here to connect with something greater than our little selves, as well as to share our experiences with each other. Love Faith

  2. These are great! Now just put them on audio will be brilliant. :))

  3. Fabulous article, Faith! I’ll tell you a story on my meditation experience. So I started to meditate when I was about 21, 22. I had tried in the past but couldn’t center my mind enough. This time, I guess I was ready, and found I was able to get really deep into it. After a few weeks, I started having dreams that would come true. I used to have prophetic dreams as a child, but it went away as a teen. The meditating brought it back for me. But this time, it was much stronger. The dreams were more lucid, and I started having visions in my waking state as well. I ended up foreseeing a couple of tragedies. But it’s not like on TV – you can’t do anything to stop a plane crash! I got freaked out and stopped meditating after about 3 months. I haven’t meditated since. LOL!

    • Hi Nic, I have a friend who had a similar experience with meditation. It just opened him up so much it was overwhelming and scary. I wonder if that has to do with a strong Neptune? I checked his chart just now out of interest and he has Sun and Mercury in Pisces with Chiron in the 12th House and Neptune opposed the Asc. He also stopped meditating, actually only a few days after he started. I’m not sure whether I’d be able to cope with that kind of insight either! Contrary to what some people believe I don’t think meditation is for everyone. There are other ways to grow in awareness… Thanks for sharing. Love Faith

      • That would make a lot of sense. I have a Pisces Moon, and my Neptune is at a critical degree. Neptune is also square my Sun, so that’s probably why I freaked out!

        • Neptune is not very strong in my chart at all so I hardly ever dream – when I do I usually consider it significant. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy visualisation: it helps open up that inner sight…

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