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How Moon Phases Affect Our Lives

2011 September 1
by Jackie Slevin

The shining disk in the night sky that has held human attention since the dawn of times tells more than we know.  Those shifting shadows that signaled to our ancestors when to plant and when to reap marked the passage of seasonal cycles as well as the passage of life itself. The display of nocturnal celestial phenomenon held a myriad of visual delights; planets wandered, stars twinkled, and meteors darted about in showers of light. Many star patterns remained constant for the navigation of nomadic tribes. One thing was certain; the Great White Circle was always changing its appearance. It mysteriously monitored the growth patterns of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms and these kingdoms were in a continual state of change, for change is the only evidence of life.

To observe the Moon‘s phases was to partake in the ritual of reflection, which is indeed the Moon’s favorite pastime. This distant disk symbolized the patterns of development from life to death, as virtually all living things have a beginning, a middle, and an end. We’re all familiar with the biblical quote from Ecclesiastes that became a credo for the sixties: “To everything there is a season and time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3).

The Moon pulls the trigger on timing the events that define the experiences of our lives. It can only be observed through the reflection of the Sun and, since it is the nature of the Sun to shine with a fierce light, we can only too easily become blinded by it. Being too bright to comfortably observe, the best way to view cosmic light was from the reflection of the Moon. Although the Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon, the Moon is 400 times closer to the Earth, which is a.ll the better for earthly observation on a clear night. Early peoples knew it was a powerful mirror of their earthly experience and behavior, and thus began to record the occurrences of the changes, or phases, which happened eight times during each cycle.  Some of the most primitive etchings on rocks discovered on archaeological sites worldwide are the recordings of the Moon phases, and these rough etchings were humankind’s first calendars. As the phases repeated themselves without fail over time, the lunar calendar was formulated.

What better way to streamline your life than to plan your schedule according to Nature’s timekeeper? The Great White Circle and her measured movements determine the rhythm of the tides, shellfish activity and marine life, and the surface tension of all fluids on the planet; not to mention the moods of the public. “It has been shown that at the time of the Full Moon, and especially during a lunar eclipse, the surface tension of all fluids is increased (the molecular cohesive forces of the surface of any fluid). Because our bodies consist largely of water, this increase in molecular tension is bound to produce a biochemical effect upon our bodies. Furthermore, our bodies tend to take on and hold larger quantities of water during the Full Moon phase each month. The skull, being the only are of the body that cannot readily expand with increased fluid pressure, therefore exerts greater pressure upon the brain cells, which ultimately affect our behavior patterns. (Jansky, Carl, Interpreting the Eclipses).  Is it any wonder that the root word for lunatic is luna, which is the Latin word for Moon?

Since the Moon rules the Mother Principle and Mother Nature in general, let’s take a look how She intended the population to perform in their daily lives. It’s Her prerogative to change Her mind, only She calls it a phase. She always comes through on schedule, and would like you to follow her example. Your Mother should know.

The first phase is the New Moon, or the Dark Night of the Moon, when darkness reigns. No lunar reflection is visible; living organisms are left to their own devices with no magnetic field to guide them.  All life forms stem from chaos and void. The New Moon symbolizes life at its most basic form, the seed. In order for a seed to sprout, survival tactics are front and center.  It is a pure masculine energy, the primitive warrior who lives on impulse and thrives on spontaneous action, requiring no direction whatsoever. Instinct is the only guide. Mental awareness is acute, yet full consciousness is not present. During this wholly subjective time it is best to plant seeds in all forms, whether you plant a garden, devise a new method of strategy or undertake a new project, the New Moon is the starting point. Not every seed is expected to sprout, as any gardener will tell you. Nor will every project reach the finish line, yet this is the time for laying the foundation for your desired goal.  One never knows where their beginnings will lead them. You’re at the starting line and the shot is being fired. Go for it! Great oaks from little acorns grow.

The next phase is the Crescent Moon, the time of manifestation, when the seeds sprout. The wise gardener now examines his bed of seeds and thins out those that have never sprouted; they are cast aside for the scavenging birds. The promises, vows and plans that were established during the New Moon are now revised as new developments have come into play. Some prospects, like the discarded seeds, have also been completely forgotten. Those visible green shoots, however, represent the first stage of development of your new desire. They struggled through the metamorphosis from tiny speck to organic growth and, needless to say, not everybody else made it through. Your projected thoughts have taken form, and it is in this Crescent phase that we are most vulnerable. There is much unconscious resistance in public attitude during this period and the phrase “yea, but…” is the order of the day. Like toddlers in the playground, we’re up and running, but our definitive outcomes remain to be seen. Just as all promises are not delivered, not all sprouts take root. Those that do move on to the next development: seedlings.

The first quarter Moon, also known as the Half Moon, is the phase of the seedling. Our goals have not take root in our consciousness and sprouted leaves; further growth is assured as there is not turning back. We’re now bound and determined to deliver the promises we made at he New Moon, revised or otherwise. Literally or figuratively, we roll up our sleeves and seize an opportunity to do something – anything- to see our projects through. We become walking combustible missiles in action; we’ll find a crisis or make one happen, but we just can’t keep still.  The outer world steps in with its own agenda and requires us to conform to some degree. Whether this agenda rewards out efforts or throws a monkey wrench at us, we’re ready for it. We’re in the emotional state of the teenager and we need action, whether it’s a challenge to our abilities or a rebellion to launch.  If we’re confused and don’t know which way to turn, this is the time to seek guidance and/or direction.

While undergoing baptism by fire, we are faced with the fact that moving forward with a burning tenacity can lead to problems. Flies in the ointment become inevitable, but they are met with anger and frustration. We’re now in the phase of the Gibbous Moon, where we find ourselves up against a rock and a hard place. After such a good start with the greatest enthusiasm, why do we meet up with obstacles at this point? This phase can bring disillusionment in its wake because we’re up so close, yet so far.  The plant is now ready to bloom, but it can’t bloom fast enough. Something has to give. It’s time to rehash, rewrite, and clarify. It’s the time to weigh pros and cons and put yourself in survivor mode. Pull out all the stops on patience and let go and let God.

The Moon is now at the end of her waxing phase. It will no longer increase in light as it’s reached  its highest point of illumination. The Full Moon is the Moon in full bloom. It’s all it up doing it’s balancing act with the Earth, as it’s exactly opposite the Earth during this phase.  The mood of the population is now blazing at a high pitch and it is open season on human behavior. The Full Moon uses her magnetic field to influence the water levels in our bodies to harness all our capabilities and bring our actions to fruition.  The results of this polarity send a push-me, pull you message to earth dwellers to stand in the spotlight of your particular achievement, because it’s ready to harvest. You’re reached your goal; you can’t shine any brighter than you do right now and if you’re not feeling particularly fulfilled during this time, discontent may take root and flourish and you may shine in a dark light.  All that increased illumination an heightened magnetic energy field has to get channeled somewhere, and if you haven’t planned your schedule according to the Moon’s phases, Mother Nature’s orchestrations become distorted. Agitation becomes blown out of proportion and thus we encounter Full Moon madness; the negative manifestations of which are legendary. Bask in the light of achievement or howl uncontrollably, the choice is yours.  We also become obsessed with relationships during this time, as the Moon is exactly opposite the Earth. It’s as if the two Lights are pitted against each other in a cosmic game of ping pong and heightened sensations are the ball.  The Full Moon marks the end of the waxing phase; she has increased her light to her full capacity and now begins her journey home.

After the emotional feeding frenzy of the Full Moon comes the Disseminating Moon, or what this writer refers to as the “Morning After Moon.” The party’s over, all that high anxiety has passed. Depending on how we reacted during the heightened awareness of the Full Moon, we either cry in our coffee or delight in our results. As the Full Moon represented the plant in full bloom, the Disseminating Moon represents the fruit on the vine. This is the time when we renew where we’ve been, where we are now, and decide our next move. If this process requires deep introspection and painful realization, so be it. Now is the time to hone our skills and demonstrate and distribute. The profit-minded gardener or farmer now harvests his or her crop and heads for the marketplace. The fruit must be picked, or else it will die on the vine. The rest of the population wisely holds it current projects up to the light and troubleshoots for any flaws. This is the sum total of our work and, whether we’re satisfied or not, we must put our name on it and accept it in its final form. Our growing season has ended and we must reap what we have sown. This also the time to reach out and lend a hand to your neighbor who is having trouble harvesting their crop, or bringing projects into their final phase. By doing this, you just may get first pick before it all goes to market. To disseminate means to scatter or disperse widely and, in biblical terms, we must now cast our bread upon the waters and it will return to us a hundredfold.

The Last Quarter Moon represents pay day in terms of consciousness. Our tally sheets are on the cosmic payroll desk and this phase of the Moon will determine our commission and ultimate income. If we completed our tasks and followed through on schedule, we can honestly and humbly expect our just desserts. Are we pleased with our harvest or final result? If so, we can pass “Go,” collect $200. and remain a player. If not, gnawing feelings of inadequacy rise to the surface and we must come to terms with the reality that, in order to remedy our output, then we have to change on the inside in order to improve o the outside. This can result in private disappointment coupled with internal crisis as slowly we turn and head back to the drawing board.  Just as the plant that grew from the seed at the New Moon has withered and now died a natural death, so our inner structure may wither to make room for the new season of growth. The lunar cycle is winding down and coming in for the home stretch.

Draw the veil. The Dark Night of the Moon is upon us. This last and final phase is known as the Balsamic, and old English noun with several definitions. One of which is an “aromatic ointment for ceremonial or medicinal use,” another is “any agency that heals, soothes and restores.” (Websters’ unabridged). This is the perfect description of this Dark Night, as this is the time to to retreat, restore, and rejuvenate. It’s the time to let go of the Moon’s magnetic tie on us and be cast adrift in the void so that the soothing energy can filter through and the healing can take place. The field must be weeded and the desk cleared. It’s the time to withdraw and meditate. Psychic energy is at its peak  as we let our intuition guide us through the shoals in darkness, by tuning in, inner navigation is successful.  By shutting out, we may encounter fog and chaos. Here in the Dark Night we contemplate our higher purpose and clear the path for Destiny to take over.  In this midnight  of the psyche, Mother Nature tucks us in for a good night’s sleep. She’s come full circle back to the beginning, and she wants us to be well rested for the forthcoming New Moon. We’ll need all our energy for the growing season. Mom always did know best.

One Response leave one →
  1. Harold Jay Fannin permalink
    January 10, 2014

    I have often wondered how intersting a book would be to combine the physical phases of the moon as described above with the change Moon sign as the Moon progress through the zodiac. As a writer and achool teacher I have studied people closely all my life. Astrology was the only metaphysical philosophy I could find that could reconcile the paradox of Fate and Free Will exisiting simultaneously. A person’s chart for personality or one studied for karmic implications and design are most useful. But the movement of the Moon impacts us most in a noticeable way. People’s moods are impacted the most. I could always see it in the dynamics of any given day in the classroom.

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