While practicing self care is, of course, always beneficial for well-being, tailoring our personal routines to align with the moon's phases can help us access the care we need, when we need it. Ahead, astrologers walk us through each of the moon's main phases, what the energy of each brings, and which self-care rituals to practice during each phase in order to best navigate the different energies.
Self care for new moon phases: intention-setting and vision-boarding
"The new moon starts the lunar cycle as the moon 'touches' the sun and closes off its light," says astrologer and tarot teacher Maisy Bristol. "During new moons, we have an opportunity to connect our introverted self with our extroverted self."
In other words, new moon energy is very much about quiet self-reflection and getting in touch with what you really want, making this phase—which lasts about 24 hours—a prime opportunity to set intentions. "It's the time to plant the seeds for your manifestations and put fire behind your new ventures," says Ellen Bowles, astrologer of The Woke Mystix, a platform dedicated to the discussion of spirituality and astrology, and author of Astrology SOS.
To harness the new moon's energy, Bristol and Bowles recommend using your self-care time to get clear about what you want to call in during this lunar phase and to make a vision board that reflects those intentions. Then, hang the vision board in a place you'll see often. Bowles also suggests writing affirmations and posting them on your bathroom mirror, so you're reminded to repeat them daily and stay focused on your goals.
Self care for waxing moon phases: sweaty workouts and goal check-ins
The waxing moon phase's energy lasts about a full week after the new moon, as the moon fills up its light. "Here is where you put in the hard work to make your goals a reality," Bristol says. "It's a period of perseverance since there are generally obstacles to overcome during this time."
It's essential, though, to balance all that hard work with some self care. Bristol recommends turning to hard-hitting workouts, such as a sweaty run or a HIIT session to empower you. She also suggests reaching for a trusty black tourmaline crystal to help clear self-doubt and obstacles.
Also helpful, Bowles says, is to check in with the progress you've made toward your new moon intentions. You can do this by creating a two-column list. "In one column, list the achievements," Bowles says. "In the second column, list the challenges that have occurred for you since the new moon began. This will help you see where you need to focus more energy to overcome any obstacles you are facing."
Self care for full moon phases: cleansing baths
Two weeks after the new moon, it's time for the full moon to shine—literally. Full moon energy is potent and lasts about 48 hours. "[The full moon's] self-reflective energy tells us what to release in order to move forward," Bowles says. "It's a moment of closure for cycles, relationships, and habits that no longer serve our highest good." Bristol adds that the full moon is also about celebrating and sharing your accomplishments for all you've done since the new moon.
A go-to self-care ritual during this phase might include tapping into the full moon's energy of releasing anything stagnant by taking a cleansing bath. "The night of the full moon, place a jar of water outside to charge under the moonlight," Bowles says. "The next day, use that water in a cleansing bath to help remove stagnation from your energetic body. You can include herbs such as lavender, Epsom salts, and essential oils for a luxurious experience."
Self care for waning moon phases: rest, recharge, and write in a gratitude journal
The waning moon phase, which lasts about six days, is the lunar cycle's final phase before it restarts. "This is the ‘hangover’ period," Bristol says. "After such excitement and fun that the full moon brings, the third-quarter moon is really sobering. This is a time to work on recovery, release, and rediscovering our inspiration."
Any self-care rituals that will help you rest, decompress, and recharge are ideal during this phase. Bristol suggests doing yoga to help soothe your mind, giving yourself a massage, or going for a scenic walk. The waning phase is also a great time to do another check-in with yourself. Bowles recommends writing in a gratitude journal about what you've learned since the lunar cycle began. And most importantly, practice self-love for all you've released and all the progress you've made.
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