Lunar Rituals: 4 Practices for the New Moon
This weekend, the Northern Hemisphere will experience the "new moon" lunar phase—the time each month when the moon is invisible to us here on Earth. For this reason, the new moon phase is also known as "the dark moon"—though I like to think of it as “the resting moon," for symbolically it is taking a rest for a few days every month from its duties in the night sky.
We can come into greater harmony with nature's rhythms by mirroring this phase of the moon in our own life with simple spiritual practices. Many say that when the moon is in its “new” phase, it is a good time for letting go, turning inward, and planting the seed for new beginnings. Just as the moon goes "inward" for a few nights a month and then is "reborn" again to grow in the sky, we can also take this opportunity to rest and reflect, then to enter the next week feeling renewed.
Here are a few new moon renewal practices and meditations to tap into nature's cycles during this lunar phase:
Since the new moon is a symbolic time of new beginnings, a good place to start is by first making space in your life by letting go of that which no longer serves you. Find a cozy spot to sit with a journal, or a pen and paper. Make a list of the things you're ready to let go of—guilt, fear, toxic relationships, negative self-talk. Make a small ceremony out of the letting go process by burning or tearing up the list when you're through with it, either alone or in the company of someone close to you.
Now that you've symbolically created space in your life, take a few moments to recharge any goals you are working on—or to set new ones. Go back to your journal and spend some time focusing on any goals you would like to work on—whether it be by renewing your energy to reach an existing goal, or allowing ideas for a new goal to come to you. Be gentle with yourself and think about where you can find inspiration for these goals. Once you feel ready, write them down with a focus on renewal and inspiration for the next month.
Make Space for Deep Rest
Carve out some time to be alone, and ask yourself: How can I deeply rest and recharge during this lunar phase? Follow that inner voice; allow yourself to sleep in, eat comforting and easily digestible foods, read an inspirational book, practice restorative yoga or yoga nidra.
Meditation: Go Inward
This meditation is perfect anytime you are feeling the need for renewal—but especially during the new moon. For this meditation all you need to do is to take a few moments out of your busy day for rest. Find a comfortable spot, and close your eyes. Allow your thoughts to drift into and out of your mind. Be gentle with yourself and allow your body to rest in quiet awake-fullness. When you have finished, bow to yourself—and