Reconnecting to the Cosmos...and to ourselves.
The Importance of Rituals
There is no question to the importance (and the beauty) of rituals. Many many books and studies will also confirm the positive effects rituals have on children in their upbringings - of course I am only talking about healthy rituals here. So am I saying children should regularly chant spells around a blazing fire every sunday? No, of course not! Although that does sound like fun!
What is a Ritual?
According to Cambridge, a ritual is defined as "a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly, especially as part of a ceremony". This could be anything from the regular sunday brunch together to good-night routines with our children to the entire family decorating their home for Christmas.
Rituals provide structure and repetition and this gives, especially children, a sense of security, stability and a feeling that everything is good. As chaotic as the world may sometimes become, rituals are there to stay. A moment where everyone comes together, or a moment you dedicate for just yourself, a moment where we are reminded of what we really value and what is important to us. A time and space where we strengthen our sense of belonging and identity.
Stability in a Changing World
As a global citizen, I have been "uprooted" from a country I just managed to call "home" several times throughout my life. In the end, it was always my dad, my mom and me. No matter what country, what friendships, what schools and houses changed: my parents were there to stay. And no matter where we were, we would always have dinner together, organize an amazing brunch every Sunday and celebrate Christmas every year in a very traditional manner (with mass and everything, although none of us identified with the church).
This was something my parents took with them from their childhoods, good memories they carry and passed on to me. These were the rituals, traditions and routines that strengthened my bond with my loved ones, that keps me grounded and stable although everything around me was changing so much (not to mention the internal and bodily changes I was going through).
Now, after my mother passed away, it is an honor for me to keep these traditions alive. I added new ones too, like meditation, moon rituals alone or with family and moon circles with my soul sisters and brothers. I cannot express in words how grateful I am that the universe brought this upon me. Rituals have kept me grounded to this earth, when everything else was slipping away - my mothers passing and my soulmate partner leaving me shortly after. And as a former borderline patient with severe abandonment issues, I cannot say for sure that I would still be sitting here, typing these words - very much alive and loving life - if I didn't have these routines to fall back to.
Why the moon?
The moon is an incredibly powerful entity. And I must admit, until I discovered the moon rituals for myself, I would barely glance at her...let alone appreciate her. Yes, sometimes she would appear extremely big and red or glow in her luminous bluish light and I would stare at her. I would feel a pull and admire her beauty. But then, the moment passes and she was nothing but...well, a moon.
A Symbol for Regeneration
The moon reflects the light of the sun. So when the sun "disappears", then the moon is there to glow and bring beauty into the night. The moon symbolizes many things: time, cycles, habits and equilibrium. She is known to correlate with the tides, sleep patterns, women's menstrual cycles and hormonal changes for example, in insects, coral, you name it! She represents regeneration, mystery, moods, fertility, nurturing, home, change and intuition and radiates powerful feminine energy (yin-energy).
In terms of astrology, your Moon Sign will tell you about your inner nature, your relationship with your mother, your home, your emotions and your deep personal needs. In this sense, knowing the Moon's cycle and energies can help us better connect to ourselves.
Manifestations, Gratitude & Forgiveness
Connecting with the Moon is indeed very powerful. Making wishes, releasing and forgiving by working with the Moon is magical and following her rythms can help remember that we are all children of Earth, children of the Universe, children of Life. Like stardust. We are so much more than just biological clocks that go to work day in and day out competing for that paycheck in order to survive. We are all connected to the cosmos and to nature and when we bathe in the moons beautiful light, watching her in awe from a park at night, we are reminded of this connection.
Depending on her cycle, it is best for wish-making or re-evaluating our wishes. As her position in relation to the sun changes, so does the light that is reflected. (The moon revolves around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun). The more we work with the moon's cycle, the easier things will flow:
New Moon (Yin Time): plant the seeds of your future dreams. This is the best time to start manifesting your dreams. This is the moment where you should make time for yourself, connect with your higher self, treat your body (e.g. massage), etc.
First Quarter: commit to your dreams if they are still important to you. Re-wish them, re-imagine them. This is often the moment where doubt sets in, it is okay to let go of the dreams if they no longer are.
Gibbous Moon: review your plans and adjust them if necessary. Stay at it.
Full Moon (Yan Time): the high point of the lunar cycle, during this moment you may feel anxious and impatient. Use this to release stored heavy feelings and hurts. The full moon is the perfect time to release upsets, to forgive and to fill the void with gratitude.
Disseminating Moon: relax, breathe and let flow. Accept where you are and what is happening, trust in that everything is okay.
Third Quarter: To make way for the new it is necessary to let go. If you feel you are at a crossroads, look back and see how far you have come. Ask yourself, which way you want to turn.
Balsamic Moon: go easy on yourself, heal and rest if you need to. Go wild in your visions, dare to dream again and let go of that which doesn't serve you. Make room for the new.
A teacher once told me: "remember that the decreasing moon stands for something that should lessen, while an increasing moon stands for something you want to grow." This has been extremely helpful for me to understand the cycle better. So if you are trying to do a spell to remove your pimples, doing this with a decreasing moon is more effective. I also know of many gardeners or farmers that plan their activities by the lunar cycle, for example planting their seeds during the New Moon.
I am not going to go into much detail in terms of astrology. But do check out how your rising sign or sun sign also "flavor" the meaning of the New Moon to you. In short, the moon travels through each zodiac sign throughout the year. And depending on your personal sun or rising sign, it will be positioned in a certain "house" of your sign. Knowing this you can figure out what each moon cycle can mean specifically for you! Isn't that grand?
So for me, my star sign is Sagittarius. So when the New Moon is also in Sagittarius, it is in my 1st house. When this happens, this means it is the best time for me to completely change my image, for self-improvement and -development, for a new beginning. So exciting!