Image by John Zabawa
Not to get super sappy on you or anything, but I have always felt a mysterious connection to the moon. Mushiness and craziness aside, the moon has this mystical power over my being and emotions that has always intrigued me but that I have never been able to explain. If my husband had to describe me in only one word, he would more than likely say I am “lunatic”. The word may have references to madness and hysteria, but his meaning is simply that my emotions are erratic and often change with the moon. So, is he right, are my behavior and emotions ruled by the phases of the moon?
First off, there is no substantial evidence that the moon governs human behavior. Our physiology, however, is subject to seasonal, circadian and even lunar rhythms. There is a bit more data that covers the effects of seasonal and circadian rhythms, but not much is known about lunar rhythms. What has been concluded is that admittance to hospitals and emergency units, traffic accidents, crimes, and even suicides seem to be influenced by the lunar cycle. The lunar cycle seems to also influence the human reproduction (specifically fertility), menstruation and birth rate. I can attest to this notion because my son was born on a full moon. I was feeling rather anxious that night and had inkling that this may be the day, then in the middle of the night – pop – my water broke and there he was (ok maybe it did not go down that fast, but I will spare you the details).
Lunar forces are invisible and therefore also subconscious, so the ability to measure its effect is quite difficult. If we go back in history, Greek Philosopher Aristotle and Roman historian Pliny the Elder suggested that we are susceptible to the influences of the moon because the brain was the “moistest” organ in the body. So just like the tides are impacted by the phases of the moon, so must be our brains. But our body is about 80% water, so can there be some truth there? Science debunks this notion, because the gravitational effects of the moon are too small to generate anything meaningful on brain activity, and normally the water being influenced applies to open bodies of water, not contained water (i.e. our brain).
So, scientifically speaking, there is no clear evidence stating that the moon governs our behavior, but something inside me tells me that it so very much does. I know very well that I am not alone in this. With the increasing popularity of moon circles, people (especially women) gather to meditate, share and set their intentions. Depending on the phase of the moon, those that gather try to harness its energy – with new moons and full moons being the most vibrant and filled with energy. Through the communal energy, the individuals can personally reflect.
Since I feel so connected to the moon, I’ve become interested in harnessing her power. Understanding the phases of the moon can only help us receive its abundance. There are eight distinct phases of the moon cycle that last about a month, with each moon changing every few days. They are co-created by the orbits of the Moon, Earth, and the Sun.
New Moon: occurs when the moon is dark in the sky – the very beginning of the cycle. The power of intention is important in this phase. It is a time to create and reset. You should mentally throw away unwanted thoughts and give time to yourself to reboot.
Crescent Moon (Waxing Crescent): The sun moves closer to the new moon, and it starts to become illuminated again. Your intentions are ready to be planted. After recharging from the new moon, you can start developing those intentions.
First Quarter Moon: The moon reaches one quarter of the way through the moon cycle. You may feel some sort of obstacles or resistance, but now is when you must work the hardest.
Gibbous Moon (Waxing Gibbous): More than half of the moon is lit, and is the phase away from becoming a full moon. You can trust that the perfect intention is coming into form at the perfect time.
Full Moon: The sun and the moon are on opposite sides of the earth. Time of illumination and emotional climax, and manifesting your goals. You can move ahead with the intention or you understand that this may not be the best time.
Disseminating Moon (Waning Gibbous): The moon starts waning toward the last quarter and becomes less illuminated. It is a time of gratitude; your intentions can be coming into form in the right way.
Third Quarter Moon: The reverse of the first quarter moon, as it is preparing back to a new moon. This is a time of release and now that I am receiving my intention, I give back from a place of abundance.
Balsamic Moon (Waning Crescent): The fraction of the moon that is illuminate is decreasing on its way to becoming a new moon. Reflection, resting, and restoring: it is a time to relax and surrender.
*Moon Phases from Lunar Abundance by Ezzie Spencer, PhD
Whether you would like to believe or not that the moon has an effect on our behavior is for you to decide. But I certainly back my husband up that I am lunatic and concur that my emotions and even certain happenings (my son’s birth) have been contributed to by the moon. By following the moon cycles, we do not need to be led by blind faith, but it can be more “through the act of natural timekeeping and conscious awareness,” as Spencer says.