“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do.”
~ Tahereh Mafi
Today was the first new moon of the year.
While the full moon is a spectacular sight that easily enthuses all who look upon it (but perhaps none more so than poets and lovers!), it seems to me that the new moon does not command the same power to inspire the masses. Perhaps this is precisely because there isn’t anything to see. It’s quite telling though, isn’t it, that the full moons all traditionally have special names associated with them while new moons are, well, … just that. There is one exception, which occurs when either a calendar month or a season include an additional new moon, in which the last one is called the “Black Moon”; the new moon equivalent of the full “Blue Moon”. I’m also finding it intriguing that while the full moon tends to get all the glory, many lunar calendars across the ages have been based on cycles beginning with the new moon. Incidentally, the Gregorian calendar which we mostly use today in the western world is a solar calendar, which is why a modern calendar year can have either 12 or 13 full moons. This year the match between the calendar months and the lunar cycles will be particularly wobbly, as we will see 13 full moons, including two each in January and March and none in February! The new moons are better aligned with the calendar months this year, as we’ll see a round 12 of them.
I should state here that I don’t believe that the moon has any direct impact on my thoughts, feelings or behaviours. I don’t feel hot-headed on the full moon, I don’t have any trouble sleeping and any howling has nothing to do with what our satellite happens to be up to. However, the lunar cycles are still very important to me for two reasons. Firstly, I love the skies, especially at night! From a scientific perspective, I adore celestial events in all their glory. Secondly, I find that the cycles of nature, including the season and lunar cycles, are fabulous prompts for reflection and personal growth. They are, in short, a good reminder that everything changes and an invitation for me to be the creator of the changes in my life.
Every new moon I make a little time to think about what I’d like to put my energy into for this lunar cycle – the next 29 days of my life. Perhaps there are new projects that I want to begin, or it’s time to let go of something. At the full moon, around two weeks later, I revisit those plans and, if I haven’t done so already, give them my full energy. Today I thought much about my focus in developing the nature connection work in my life, and made concrete plans to share my ideas more widely.
How about you? Are the lunar cycles important to you in some way? Are you a poet or lover who dances in the light of the full moon?