In the opening pages of her iconic work The Spiral Dance, writer Starhawk describes attuning oneself to the natural cycles as such a dance, writing, “The spiral dance was also seen in the sky: in the moon, who monthly dies and is reborn; in the sun, whose waxing light brings summer’s warmth and whose waning brings the chill of winter.” [1]

The phases of the moon remind us of the eternal cycle of life/death/rebirth, and that similarly, we are always in cycles of expansion and contraction in our lives. With this in mind, I have found new moon and full moon meditations to be a deeply centering practice, and the source of powerful energy for intention-setting.

Though I’m sure I’m not breaking any new ground here, I wanted to share my approach to generally guide me in meditation and tarot divination, and what I understand to be the most broadly accepted approach to working with the energies of the moon.

New Moon – the night of and the day immediately following the New Moon are especially good times set intentions.
Waxing Moon – as the moon grows, reflect on what you too are growing in your psychic “garden”—what needs tending as you move towards the Full Moon?
Full Moon – a period of energetic fruition, this is a good time for divination and any projects that need strong and focused energy.
Waning Moon – moving towards the dark of the New Moon, this is an especially good time to cleanse and release.

Ultimately though I believe what’s most important in any practice is finding what works best for you as an individual!

Interested in exploring your own mindfulness practice along with the moon cycles? Try the Bell, Bath, & Candle Moon Bath Meditation Kit!

– Starhawk. The Spiral Dance. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979.