Astronomical cycles have been linked with personal ritual since the dawn of time and span across many cultures, races, and religions. Connecting with this practice offers the invitation to reconnect to your own lineage by exploring the indigenous practices of your ancestors who practiced land based traditions.
The Moon relates to the element of Water and our emotions. When we align ourselves to the cyclical rhythms of the Moon, we align with nature and make use of the energies already available to us.
Each lunar cycle can represent the whole wheel of the year:
The dark moon represents the element of Earth, the cardinal direction of North, and the season of Winter. The energy here is still, quiet, heavy, and cold, The turning point between the dark Moon and the new symbolizes the moment between death and rebirth, of the stillness from which all life springs.
As the Moon moves through it's orbit, more light is reflected off it's surface. This is called the waxing Moon as energies are building and intensifying as we move towards a full Moon. This stage is related to the element of Air, the cardinal direction of East, and the season of Spring. It is a time of renewal, rebirth, growing, and inspiration.
The full Moon reaches its zenith as the energy peaks to its fullest like a flower bursting open into full bloom, revealing its hidden potential to the world. Its energies are hot and light representing clarity and transformation. The full Moon relates to the element of Fire, the cardinal direction of South, and the season of Summer.
Once the moon has peaked it begins it's return to darkness. This waning or decrease in energy is like harvest season. What grew from the sunlight of summer that is now available for harvest? What can you take stock of and store over winter to sustain you before the next cycle begins? The waning Moon relates to the element of Water, the cardinal direction of West, and the season of Autumn.
One way I've learned to ritualistically align with the cycles of the Moon is to take some time to reflect on what's been coming up for me, explore any themes or limiting beliefs I'm working with that might benefit from having some intentional space? Do I have any intentions around those themes I can write down on a piece of paper and put it on my altar or sacred space? Once you have a theme of your own to work with, you can start at the new moon, sitting at your altar or sacred space with it at least once a week to symbolize each of the 4 lunar stages.