Did you know that the first calendars found were lunar? The moon plays a big role in our lives, both literally and symbolically. It’s the brightest thing in the night sky(most days), and its cycle is the same length as the average human’s hormonal cycle! No wonder we started using the phases of the moon to tell time! We’re gonna talk about how you can use the moon to increase your productivity, but first let’s take a look at why the moon is so important to begin with.
How does the moon affect life on Earth?
First, the moon indirectly affects us by controlling the tides of the oceans! I don’t think I need to say just how important healthy oceans are to human life, and tides are integral to oceanic health. Healthy oceans are huge suppliers of both food and the oxygen we need to survive.
Days and Nights
Nights would obviously be much much darker without the moon, but did you know that days would also be drastically different? Not only is the gravitational pull of the moon strong enough to control the ocean’s tides, it’s also strong enough to slow down the Earth’s natural rotation! Without the moon, our days would go by 50-75% faster than usual. Yikes! It already feels like there’s not enough time in a day, thank goodness we have the moon helping us squeeze a few extra hours in!
But the moon doesn’t just slow down the rotation of Earth, it also keeps the Earth tilted at the right angle! Do you remember learning in school about how Earth rotates on an axis, and the tilt of that axis is what causes weather patterns? As it turns out, we can thank the moon for making sure Earth stays steady on that axis instead of weeble-wobbling. What would happen if the Earth didn’t rotate on a steady axis? Unpredictable weather patterns, or maybe even no weather patterns at all. Think about that the next time you want to complain about the weather!
Anyone who’s ever used a compass knows that the Earth has a magnetic field. That magnetic field plays a big role in protecting us from solar radiation. It’s caused by a moving liquid iron alloy under Earth’s surface. Scientists aren’t 100% sure what makes the liquid alloy move, but the classical theory that says cooling is responsible for these movements has been questioned lately in favor of a new theory involving, you guessed it, the moon. There’s a possibility that the moon is responsible for the Earth’s magnetic field!
Now imagine what effect the moon has on humans.
Is it just a coincidence that the average human hormone cycle lasts for the same amount of time as the lunar cycle? The moon has been associated with emotions in multiple cultures for centuries and it’s easy to see why.
The Moon controls emotions in Astrology.
Associated with water, femininity, and intuition, the moon rules over the Western zodiac sign Cancer, and the 4th House. You don’t need to know about zodiac signs or Houses to start using the moon to take control of your life though! Don’t worry, we’re working on putting together some posts to explain Signs and Houses in Astrology!
For now, all you need to know is that the moon has phases, and each phase has a symbolic association. All life on earth is affected by the lunar cycles, so changing our schedules to line up with lunar cycles is a great way to get in touch with nature and gain some insights into our own emotional health.
Moon Phases and Planning
A lunar month is 29.5 days and consists of :
- 🌑New Moon
- 🌒Waxing Crescent
- 🌓First Quarter
- 🌔Waxing Gibbous
- 🌕Full Moon
- 🌖Waning Gibbous
- 🌗Last Quarter
- 🌘Waning Crescent
Each moon phase symbolically represents a phase of the creative process. By working with these phases, we’re choosing to use one of Nature’s cycles as a model for our own lifestyle. The same cycle can bee seen in all living things. A little seed grows into a beautiful blooming flower, then wilts away to leave behind more seeds. That’s life.
In the beginning there was nothing, and then there was something. This is the time of beginnings. Don’t start projects in a hurry, take a day or 2 to really visualize your goals. Make a mood board on Pinterest, daydream about what you really want to work towards for the next month. Decide what you really want to achieve during the month.
Now that you have a vision, you need to figure out how you’re gonna make it happen. During the waxing crescent is a good time to put some thought into what you need to do to achieve your monthly goals and write it down. Make a monthly to do list, then break it down into weeks, then days, until you have a step by step plan to achieve your goal.
Your deadline is the Full Moon, by the way!
By the time First Quarter rolls around you should be able to start taking your first steps towards reaching your goals. This is the time to really grind, work hard, and get things up and running.
Imagine each month is a hill, and you’re on a bike. The New Moon is like sitting in front of this huge hill and gathering the courage to do it. Waxing Crescent is gaining momentum before the hill starts to rise. And First quarter is when you’re pedaling hard against gravity!
Then the hill starts to level off a little before you reach the top, you’re not there yet but you start to notice how close you are to the top. That’s…
You’re so close you can almost taste it! The Waxing Gibbous is the phase right before the Full Moon. Really buckle down and focus on your goals, refine and fine tune and perfect. The big day is coming up, so get ready!
The full moon is like the moment you reach the top of that big hill and look out at the view, proud of how hard you worked to get there. The moon will be fully illuminated, and we can make the light symbolic of the joy and admiration of our achievements. It’s healthy to feel good about something you worked hard on, and its a good feeling, too! Enjoy it!
Now that you had your moment to shine, take time to look back at the experience from the beginning up to that point. What did you do well, and what could have been done better? What did you learn?
Take note of how the experience affected you and your future goals.
Last Quarter is about a week before the New Moon. To start the next month off right you need to get rid of any negativity that may have developed during the last month. Doubts, regrets, embarrassments, we’ve all had to deal with them at some point or another.
Carrying around mental and/or emotional baggage and stress is unhealthy, tiring, and it slows people down. Take time during the last quarter to forgive yourself. You worked hard, you tried your best, now it’s time to move on.
Moving on takes time. Use this time to take care of yourself. Maybe have a spa day, go fishing, read a book. Do whatever it is you need to do to relax, because the next phase is the New Moon, when you’ll start it all over again.
Maybe the moon doesn’t really control our emotions.
It could just be a result of a natural tendency towards parabolic cycles. What rises must fall. We’re a part of Nature, right? It’s so easy to follow Nature’s lead, people started doing it as soon as they first started noticing changes in the sky. Who knows, maybe by aligning ourselves with Nature we’ll be able to fall into a more harmonious existence with Nature.
At the end of the day, Nature is always in control because we’re all a part of Nature. But you are in control, too. Recognize natural patterns, they’re bound to repeat themselves one way or another.
Do you know what today is? It’s February 4th 2019, which means tonight is a New Moon! Now is the perfect time to test out setting goals according to a lunar schedule! Let me know if you decide to try it in the comments below, and thanks for reading!
CNRS. "The Moon may play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160401075118.htm>.