Working with the Moon: What you need to know

I’ve been using the phases of the Moon and the lunar cycles in my life for quite a while now and the results have been dramatic and pretty transformation for me.

I call this type of work ‘Soul Work‘ as it’s the best way to describe what working with the lunar cycles is all about.

Each phase on the cycle encourages us to work with a theme or vibe associated with a different area of our lives. At each new moon we begin a new lunar cycle in new sign of the zodiac. During the course of the year we experience a new moon in all twelve signs of the zodiac. Each zodiac sign provides us with a different theme to explore and new lessons to learn about key areas of our life associated with that sign.

The Moon wants us to explore ourselves, our feelings, our reactions to stress and our motivations behind those actions.

The Moon is a counsellor guiding us through some of the darkest corners of our life experience encouraging us to explore, learn and grow through the process.

Moon work is soul work

When I started working with the Moon I was in desperate need of a structure for my personal and spiritual development. The cycles and phases of the Moon give me that structure and guide me gently through each area of my life so I don’t miss out the bits I don’t like!

Le’ts take a look at working with the phases of the moon in more detail.

Working with the Phases of the Moon

Each lunar month begins with a New Moon and during the course of a lunar cycle which lasts 29.53 days the Moon goes through eight distinct phases each one lasting approximately 3.7 days. 

Each lunar phase has a specific energy or theme associated with it. The themes represent stages of growth and they progress as we move through the cycle. 

Everything we learn and create during the course of a lunar cycle then forms the seed from which the next lunar cycle begins. And so the cycles continue in that way throughout the year ahead. 

As you learn to work with the phases of the Moon and the natural cycles it becomes automatic. By doing so we choose a more relaxed and harmonious life. However, as with any mode of living there is ‘life stuff’ which gets in the way and tries to knock us off course but we can use the phases to work out where we should be and quickly realign ourselves again.

Since working with the lunar cycles I find that I no longer measure the passing of time the way I used to (i.e by calendar month). The first of the month is no longer a significant date as my month begins at the new moon instead. I am also slowly breaking down the 9-5 and 7 days a week system too as I flow between the phases. However we are limited by how far we can take things in the modern world when everyone else functions by the Gregorian calendar, but it’s not impossible to add some lunar flow into your Magickal life. 

The Start of a Cycle 

Each new moon begins a lunar month and it brings with it a unique lunar theme which last for the full cycle and stays with us until the next new moon. The theme is denoted by the sign of the zodiac in which we experience the new moon and the trick is to explore, use and experience that energy or theme to its fullest during that time. 

Personal Astrological Influences 

In addition to the themes and the phases we have our personal astrological influences which impact how we experience the themes and the process of growth in a lunar month. For this reason when working with the phases of the Moon it’s important to note how each phase makes you feel personally

For example, I know that a Full Moon makes my hyperactive and energised and a New Moon makes me want to sleep……a lot! Knowing this means I can prepare myself for the cycle ahead of me and manage my energy accordingly so I don’t burn out of over do things on energy poor days. 

Where do you start? 

Starting with all eight phases can be a little daunting so I recommend beginning with the New Moon.

  • Consider the New Moon energy for a couple of cycles. 
  • Spend time journaling, meditating or using tarot and oracle cards to learn more about yourself and the New Moon energies. 
  • Allow yourself to flow with the phases and the new beginning energy of the New Moon by planning out what you want to achieve for the cycle ahead of you. 

Once you’re happy working with New Moon energy, consider adding in the Full Moon to your practice in the same way. 

The 8 Phases of the Lunar Cycle

As we move through the eight phases we experience the daily energetic influence each one brings forward for us to work with. Each phase lasts for around 3.7 days and as we shift from one phase to the next we feel the change in energy and influence around us. 

The peak energetic influence of each phase is 24 hours before it shifts to the next one. 

Let’s take a look at the 8 phases and how they influence our daily lives.

1. The New Moon 

  • Visibility: 0% – 14.9%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. New Moon to 3.5 days after
  • Keywords: New Beginnings, Planting Seeds, Future Dreams, Cleansing, Renewal

Here we begin the new theme for the cycle ahead and this is determined by the zodiac sign the New Moon occurs under. During the year we experience a new moon in every sign of the zodiac which allows us to come full circle in what we learn during that time. 

Tune into the New Moon theme during this time and be open to the possibilities it presents. 

This is the time for brainstorming your ideas and making plans for the lunar cycle ahead. 

During this time we feel excited as we consider the new opportunities available to us. 

To read about the most recent New Moon check out my latest blog below:

  • New Moon in Aquarius – Do Things Your Way!
    At the time of the New Moon in Aquarius its time to embrace and encourage your unique qualities and share them with the world without fear or judgement. Find out more about working with this New Moon in this article.

2. The Waxing Crescent 

  • Visibility: 15% – 49.9%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 3.5 days to 7 days after New Moon
  • Keywords: Movement, Action, Growth, Breakthrough, Manifestation, Momentum, Courage, Faith

Now is the time to take your ideas and plans which are supported by the current theme and expand on them by creating a set of action steps and ticking the first one off the list. 

The great thing about this part of the cycle is that it requires us to move and show the universe what it is we want to achieve. We are making a commitment to our goals one step at a time. 

Use this time to engage in your projects and allow yourself to be fully creative. 

3. The First Quarter

  • Visibility: 50% – 84.9%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 7 days to 10.5 after New Moon
  • Keywords: Organisation, Problem Solving, Building, Systems and Processes, Commitment

We are really moving now as we enter the action phase of the cycle. This is not a time for second guessing or hesitation as clear forward motion is important. 

Make an effort to follow the steps which you’ve already mapped out for yourself and trust the process. This is a time for real work so put everything you’ve got behind what you want to achieve. 

If you ignore the need for action during this time you will be met with frustration and disappointment. You may find that the mind monkeys start to appear during this part of the cycle so learning how to deal with those will be a major advantage. 

4. The Waxing Gibbous 

  • Visibility: 85 % to 99.9%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 10.5 days – 14 days after New Moon
  • Keywords: Implementation, Detail, Growth, Skills, Balance, Action, Judgement

The energy continues to increase as we edge closer to the Full Moon and during this time you may find that working with others as part of a group, support network or partnership will keep you moving forward. 

Tap into the resources which are all around you and make full use of what is available to you as this will be a very productive use of your time. 

Learn from others and share what you learn is a great system of reciprocity which will bring added value to your life and current projects. 

5. The Full Moon 

  • Visibility: 100% – 85.1%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 14 days – 17.5 days after New Moon
  • Keywords: Completion, Harvest, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Fulfilment Success, Abundance

At this point we are able to look at how the lunar theme has worked out for us so far. As we review progress and accomplishments it’s important to concentrate on the results rather than the failures. However, make sure that the lessons are being learned along the way too!. 

The Full Moon is an emotionally intense and energetically draining time and creating room for reflection and acknowledgement is wise. 

Check in with the goals you set at the start of the cycle and consider if you’re still aligned. 

To read about the most recent Full Moon check out my latest blog below:

  • Full Moon In Cancer – Time to Heal
    The Full Moon in Cancer Lunar Eclipse is an intense and potentially emotional time but with the prospect of healing things can only improve as we begin this new decade.

6. The Waning Gibbous 

  • Visibility: 85% –  50.1%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 3.5 days to 7 days after Full Moon
  • Keywords: Banish, Release, Expression, Understanding, Partnership, Teaching

This is the time you start to see the results of your hard work manifest in the real world. This can show as the physical acquisition of abundance, the learning of a valuable lesson or other demonstration of success. It all depends on what success looks like for you and what goals you’ve been aiming to achieve. 

Don’t be disheartened if you are not seeing the results you wanted as not everything can be accomplished in a single lunar cycle.

Use the energy of this phase to let go of what no longer serves you including limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. 

7. The Last Quarter 

  • Visibility: 50% – 15.1%
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 7 days – 10.5 days after Full Moon
  • Keywords: Clearing, Re-Calibration, Challenge, Purpose, Significance, Belonging, Mindset

As the Moon continues to wane we are encouraged to continue our process of letting go. During this time we are preparing for a new cycle by removing old energy, ways, ideals, beliefs and negativity so as not to take it with us on our journey. Regularly practising this is very powerful. 

8. The Waning Crescent 

  • Visibility: 15% – 0.1% 
  • Energetic Duration: Approx. 10.5 days – 14 days after Full Moon
  • Keywords: Rest, Heal, Soothe, Surrender, Death, Clarity, Introspection

Just before the start of the New Cycle things slow right down as we focus on preparing ourselves to start all over again. This means recharging and surrendering so that we have the energy to begin a new cycle with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. 

Spend some time tying up loose ends and clearing away the work you’ve already completed to make time and space to plug yourself back into the mains and recharge those batteries in whatever way works for you. 

Learning to surrender in this way is one of the hardest and most powerful things you can do. 

Grab Interesting Moon Stuff Below!

The Moon

Working with the Moon in my daily life and as part of my personal journey and spiritual development has been incredible and I share everything with you in a number of ways: 

  • Grab my Free Moon Bundle – This is your essential guide to working with the phases of the Moon with a handy mobile phone download reference image to save and use on the go! 

Moon Bundle – Find Out More!

  • The Magickal Moon School – My monthly subscription online Moon School is the place to be if you want to take your lunar journey further in 2020. For just £9.98 a month I guide you through the phases of the Moon and your New and Full Moon practices each and every month. (Discounts available for longer subscriptions)

Magickal Moon School – Find Out More!

  • Lunar Witchcraft Creative Journaling – This online programme is a 6 month intensive look at working with the Moon, tapping into your inner witch and getting super creative with your journaling all in one! The programme doors open again in March and you can join the waiting list to make sure that you’re the first to know 

Lunar Witchcraft – Find Out More!

  • An Introduction to Working with the Moon – Join me on Saturday 7th March from 1pm for an afternoon of connecting with the power of the Moon. If you live near Darlington in the North East of England then this workshop is a great way to kick start your lunar journey with me.

Lunar Workshop – Find Out More!

Oracle and Tarot 

I’ve created two Oracle and Tarot Spread packs to support your personal and spiritual journey in 2020. 

  • Oracle & Tarot Spread Layout Mega-Bundle – 40 plus pages of guidance and spreads to take you through the year ahead. This pack includes 20 spreads over 6 life themes along with support and guidance on how to read your cards using a spread and ways to journal your readings for a deeper understanding. 

Mega Bundle – Find Out More!

  • 24 Moons Mega Bundle – 30 plus pages of lunar oracle and tarot card spreads, one for every New and Full Moon in 2020. This pack includes and New and Full Moon spread for every month of the year in every sign of the zodiac. That’s actually 25 spreads in 2020 as we have two Full Moons in October. 

24 Moons – Find Out More!

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Hi, I’m Sarah Cornforth and I'm a Creatrix of Magick.  I have never really considered myself creative or artistic as I'm too much of a perfectionist for that and I still find it hard to accept the word ‘artist’ as a title for myself. Initially creating art was a way of coping with the curveballs of life. When I draw, or paint or craft I feel calmer, my mind slows down to a pace I can cope with and life becomes easier. I also love working closely with the phases of the moon and the cycles of nature in everything I do as the benefits are huge. At the end of 2017 a dear friend nudged me in the direction of creating art to sell, and if it had been anyone else who encouraged me I would have thought they were mad. But this particular friend has a special gift. She can see the life purpose of others. So I listened and I took every piece of advice she had to give me.....and here I am, creating art, working with the Moon, teaching people how to heal through Mandala art, feeling happy and sharing what I love with the world. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

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