With the recent super blue blood moon lunar eclipse on January 31st, I felt inspired to write this post...
I've been fascinated by the moon for as long as I can remember. I spend endless hours starting at its calm white light, comforted by its presence, and centered in the knowing that it's always there when I need. As a child, I often talked to the moon when I felt sad, confused, or alone. And, I continue to seek the moon out daily if only to bow in silent gratitude.
So what is it about the moon that draws me so? We've all heard the moon can affect the ocean's tides, our moods and emotions, and even women's menstrual cycles, but is there more behind the healing effects I feel from its presence? Various studies have been conducted to determine the moon's effect on our sleep cycles and overall mood, all with no conclusive evidence correlating the two. So I dug a little deeper to learn more about the moon's symbolism across various cultures, and here are some interesting things I've found:
- Astrologers believe that the phases of the moon are symbolic. For instance, a new moon is often considered auspicious and represents birth and new beginnings, while a full moon represents clarity, fullness, and manifestation of desires.
- Native American tribes believed in the power of full moons, assigning each month's moon with a different name that often reflected their connection with the seasons, nature, hunting, and farming.
- Many cultures around the world also consider a full moon to be sacred. Some communities in Sri Lanka believe that the life of Buddha occurred exclusively during full moons (birth, enlightenment, death) and that enlightenment can be achieved during this time. Those living in these communities often refrain from serving alcohol, eating meat, and even close their shops on days when the moon is full to best tap into this energy.
- Many Hindus and Buddhists follow a lunar calendar, where each month begins and ends on a new moon day.
- In the Shiva Samhita, a 500-year-old Tantric text, the moon was regarded as the source of immortality, and moon infusions were a common ritual across the globe.
Whether you believe in the mysterious powers of the moon or not, it's hard to deny that it's a beautiful, mesmerizing force of nature. And while I may not be able to find scientific claims to back the sense of calm I feel in its presence, it's fun to imagine the truth behind many of these cultural beliefs. If your curiosity is sparked, here are some fun ways to tap into the moon's energies 🌝
- Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation): Many are familiar with Surya Namaskar, or the sun salutation pose in yoga. But how many of you have practiced it's balancing counterpart, Chandra Namaskar? Unlike the sun salutation which is energizing, the moon salutation is a quieting sequence that allows us to embody the soothing lunar energy of the moon. This pose is great for those experiencing stress, needing to rebalance their energy, or women experiencing menstrual symptoms. Here's an excellent video to walk you through this balancing sequence:
- Full Moon Tea Infusion. To tap into the healing energies of the moon, try this simple full moon tea infusion:
- Fill a large mason jar with water.
- Add your favorite edible flowers or herbs to the jar and give it a good shake. I like to use rose petals or chamomile.
- Place the jar outdoors in the evening, in a space that will receive the glow of the moon. You can also place it on a windowsill that gets adequate moonlight.
- Bring your jar indoors, or away from the windowsill, the next morning before the sun gets too high.
- Enjoy your calming infusion throughout the day.
- Moon Meditations
- Moonlight Meditation: Sit in a comfortable position. Slowly become aware of the space between your eyebrows. Within this space, visualize a full moon in a clear night sky, shining brightly on the waves of the ocean. Picture the full reflection of the moon penetrating the deep waters, and the cool shade of moonlight catching the tops of the waves as they dance. Visualize the image as clearly as you are able, and develop an awareness of the feelings and sensations that are created in your mind and body. Slowly allow the visualization to fade away as you become aware of the whole body, opening your eyes when you are ready.
- Guided Full Moon Meditation:
Love + Light,