To honour today’s beautiful New Moon in Aquarius, I thought we could consider lunar rhythms and how we can work with them symbolically. All through our reproductive years, the cycles of our bodies are mirrored by the cycles of the moon. Sometimes our cycles even align with the moon cycles. I know that I have taken comfort in this reflection of my own experience bright and unmistakable in the night sky. It has made me feel part of a greater rhythm, a fractal of wholeness.
So do we lose our connection to lunar rhythms at menopause? As our bodies stop their monthly cycling, are we disconnecting from cosmic cycles?
I’ve always loved my womanly connection to the beautiful moon, and I honour the moon cycles in my daily life and activities, so I’ve pondered this one quite a bit.
And what I think is, no, we do not lose our rhythmic connections to the celestial.
On the contrary. I think we are connecting anew at menopause. While we do lose the intimate link between our bodies and the cycling moon, we begin to reach out beyond our immediate orbits, gain a wider perspective, and experience an expansion and exploring of other universal rhythms.
We can see this as a beautiful metaphor for the big emotional and spiritual shifts many of us experience at midlife. Menopause is an initiation that moves us away from from the up-close intimacies of the reproductive years, the intense monthly fluctuations of our dancing hormones. We have internalized those rhythms, even mastered them, and the time has come to explore the even bigger universal rhythms in which those intimate rhythms are embedded. We might start relating more to the solar cycles, as we review the years and connect with the seasons. We might begin to think of our bodies in new ways, exploring disciplines that honour the energetic as well as the physical body, like yoga, meditation, reiki, astrology.
Sure, that sounds kind of woo-woo, and indeed menopause is a time when you might be drawn to explore and expand your spirituality. But this shift can take many other forms: less time spent in daily family care-taking can inspire you to take up a new sport or movement practice – you may find yourself training for a 5K when you never ran before. You may make a big leap in your career, or decide to rest on your laurels and explore new things in retirement. You might leave, or transform, your marriage, making room for more independence. You may find you have a desire to serve your local or global community in new ways.
All of these are beautiful ways that we move beyond familiar orbits at menopause.
So when you look up at the moon, don’t mourn a lost connection. Think instead of a connection you have internalized, mastered, and moved beyond. As a master of lunar rhythms, you are well-equipped to celebrate all the phases of the moon (and life) from new to full to dark. In this second half of life, your task will be to master greater, more subtle rhythms.
One way we can begin to do that is by intentionally connecting with the phases of the moon, celebrating new beginnings on the New Moon, and fulfillment and illumination on the Full Moon.
Each month, nature in her wisdom and beauty offers us an opportunity, a clean slate, a shining outward and visible sign of the grace we are always given to move beyond our own shadow and start again. In the night sky, the dark Moon begins to clear her shadow and reveals a tiny sliver of the freshest silver. The New Moon.
From our earliest beginnings, we have relied on the Moon to guide ritual and romance. We have watched in wonder as she pulls the tides, urges great populations of fish to the ecstasy of spawning, coaxes even the spiniest old cactus to produce a juicy flower at summer solstice. And she’s beautiful! Have you ever looked up just at sunset to behold the New Moon huge on the horizon, pinky-silver and shimmering? If you didn’t already know she was about magic and renewal, you would know in that moment.
Speaking both astrologically and metaphorically, the day of the new Moon is perfect for starting new things in your life; planting seeds, setting intentions, launching new products, starting new habits. You can fine-tune your new beginnings according to what sign the Moon is in and what the other planetary aspects are. So today, allow yourself to dream big, write down your big juicy goals and get started on them! It’s also a great day to begin new rituals around your health.
Making your intentions public is one way to get them out into the world and give them a better chance of manifesting. Please feel free to share your New Moon intentions here, in the comments, and we’ll check in again on the Full Moon and see how those intentions are doing! We will be doing this every month here at Vivid, joining together in a virtual Moon Circle, so we’d be delighted if you’d join us.
If you prefer a private ritual, here’s a simple one for creating your own New Moon magic:
At sunset tonight, adorn your personal altar or any small tabletop, shelf or dresser top with a white or silver cloth, a brand new white candle, and a shallow white or silver bowl of saltwater or seawater (all these things represent cleansing and renewal.) A white flower in a silver vase would be a nice touch too, along with anything that represents your new Moon intentions. If you are in a place where you can find the moon in the sky (she’ll be just on the horizon setting with the setting sun) then step outside and have a look. When you find her, set your intentions inwardly. Then write your intentions on a clean sheet of white paper and place them on your special altar, and light the white candle for the first time. The new Moon energy will be fresh for the next few days, so you can spend some time with your altar each evening, lighting your candle and contemplating your intentions. Remember to follow up every symbolic action with three actions in the world – so use these New Moon days to take direct action towards your goals. After three days, dismantle your New Moon altar until next month.
Most of all, enjoy this beautiful day and this chance to begin anew! You always have the opportunity to set new intentions and habits in your life, mark them with ritual, and follow them up with action in the world. The Moon can be your symbolic ally in this adventure.