The Moon waxes, wanes and changes constantly just as we do, or have done, in our monthly cycles. In the Celtic tradition the day began at dusk just as we swam in the dark for nine months in our Mother’s womb before birth, just as the seed sleeps deep in the belly of Mother Earth. The ancient Irish women knew instinctively that night time was feminine as the Moon’s power lies in the stillness of her quiet centre, which mirrors our nurturing and loving ways. In the old Irish tradition, because of her innate wisdom, she is known as Grandmother Moon, ‘Seanmháthair Gealach’ (pronounced ‘Shan-wha-her Gee-al-ack’) in the Gaelic language.
Our Connection to the Moon
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Explore why women are connected to the Moon
Grandmother Moon has the power to turn the tides on our planet and her monthly Lunar cycle echoes ours from puberty to menopause. Her orbital journey around the Earth takes a little less than a full month, the same time as our menstruation which is why we women often refer to our ‘Moon time’ when we have our monthly bleed. Her archetypal energies have much to teach us as we embrace the gifts these cycles have to offer. When we go with this flow – our struggles become less. We enter into a wiser, more grounded, brighter and lighter space, helping us to live the life of our dreams. She mirrors us as women adapting and changing to the world we live in at this tumultuous time. The Moon knows she is the Moon. She knows the wisdom of her being – there is no struggle, simply still and deep knowing.
As you learn how to immerse yourself in ways to honour your Sovereignty, may Grandmother Moon inspire and gently guide you.
Moon Cycles Rhythms
During her full Lunar cycle, Grandmother Moon will go through eight distinct phases: Dark (New) Moon, New Crescent, Half Moon (first quarter), Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Half Moon (last quarter) and Old Crescent. Depending on the exact number of days in each month, the Full Moon occurs a day or two earlier each time. So like us women, she is constantly changing and has a gloriously intricate cycle.
When the Moon is in full luminosity, she reflects a time of ripeness and abundance. Twice a month Grandmother Moon is in her Half phase. This occurs both when she is waxing – growing larger into her Fullness and when she is waning – getting smaller into her Darkness. These are times of balance in our month when we are invited to be poised in harmony between activity and rest. If we don’t gauge this correctly then we may feel out of sorts. When you next see a glorious Half Moon, note how this delicate see-saw time is for you and adjust accordingly.
The Dark phase of the Moon, also referred to as the New Moon, is least talked about yet once we tune in, we can feel this keenly when she is hidden from view for 3 days. We can’t see her but we can sense her energy of deep quiet potency. We may find that this is the stage of the month when we do not want to be visible to the world preferring to stay in the warm cocoon of our home. Flow with this, expressly ask for time out and enjoy your self-nurturing.
When the Moon is New with a sliver of a Crescent, she reflects a time of fresh, new beginnings, full of expectant promise. We may tap into and harness this vital energy to bring forth new projects and conceive exciting ideas for our life if we are wise.
Maiden, Mother, Crone - the three phases of being a woman.
As women we have three distinct parts of our lives all beautifully mirrored in the Moon’s phases: our young Maiden phase echoed by growing through her Darkness to a glorious New Cresent, our nurturing Motherhood reflected as she burgeons from Half Moon to stunning Fullness and finally our Crone Elder time as Seanmháthair Gealach recedes back from Halfness to her pensive Dark time.
The Moon's Influences
As the Moon is close to the Earth her strong gravitational pull affects all water not just the oceans but within plants and our human bodies too. ‘Spring tides’, the strongest, occur when the Sun and Moon pull from opposite sides of the Earth at Full Moon and also at New Moon when they are on the same side. Since our bodies contain approximately 70% water no wonder she affects our moods!
When our Fore-mothers lived close to Nature, women’s cycles were synchronised and it was said they all bled on the New Moon and ovulated on the Full Moon. The ancient Taoists called this a White Moon Cycle conducive for pregnancy. When women bleed on the Full Moon and ovulate on the New, this is a Red Moon Cycle good for birthing a project or an artistic endeavour. For more information www.moderngoddesslifestyle.com
Lunar planting is an ancient agricultural practise based on the gravitational pull of the Moon. In the same way that tides are affected, moisture rises in the ground especially at Full Moon time when it peaks. Ute York has written a wonderful book called ‘Living by the Moon’ and she advocates doing ‘all activities with plants that bear fruit above ground during a waxing Moon when the sap rises.’ Then as the Moon wanes and the sap gravitates towards the roots, focus on pruning, fertilising and harvesting.
As the Moon moves through the 12 astrological zodiac signs, these too influence plants and crops i.e. the water signs of Cancer and Pisces are considered best to plant seeds whereas root vegetables prefer earth signs such as Taurus. Learn more at the excellent www.gardeningbythemoon.com.
The art and science of Astrology explores our personality and daily activity in relation to the position of the Sun and the Moon. The zodiac is a designated area of the sky that extends 8 degrees north or south of the ecliptic path of the Sun over the course of a year. The Moon and planets are also included within the belt of the zodiac which is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30 degrees of celestial longitude. These correspond to the star constellations of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
Your Sun sign which influences your personality is the zodiac constellation at the time of your birth and your moon sign, where the Moon was when you were born, shapes your emotions and affects your personality traits. The Moon moves quickly around the zodiac, taking one month to visit all signs staying in each for approximately two-days charging herself with the power and qualities of that sign. www.cafeastrology.com is a free website to find out your moon sign and the significance in your life.