Danielle Copperman, author of ‘Well Being: Recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind’, shares some insights into the effects of the new moon and practices to help you harness its energy.
In my last post for Eco-Age, I shared some insights into how the full moon affects us, along with practices to assist in aligning with it and adopting and utilising its power. Each lunar cycle gives us the opportunity to delve quite deeply into ourselves, and to use the energy of the universe to attract our true, authentic desires.
For ease, I’ll recap briefly here. The moon holds a different energy at different times of the month. The moon’s cycle is around 28 days, and during this timeframe, it goes from new moon to waxing moon to full moon and then waning moon. When the moon is waxing, it is essentially growing, and as it grows, it brings an energy of abundance, meaning this time of the month is an ideal time for you to manifest what you want. When the moon is waning, it is essentially shrinking, and that is why this time of the month is an ideal time for letting go and cleansing; be this physically (like tidying and decluttering) or emotionally (like letting go of negative thought patterns or challenges in career or relationships, etc etc). And that’s why the full moon and the new moon are seen as such transformational times. They are the pivotal moments in the moon’s cycle and are therefore seen to be, in some ways, the most powerful. My previous article was dedicated to the full moon, so its time to take a look, now, at the new moon.
Where the full moon is a powerful and energetic time and one often associated with transition and change, the new moon is a more settled time, and one of reflection and turning inwards. This phase is much calmer and brings with it a sense of stillness; its energy being much subtler and gentler than that of the full moon.
What is a new moon?
The new moon is when the moon is practically invisible to the naked eye. Having been on a cycle of shrinking to a thin sliver since the full moon – also known as waning – the new moon essentially disappears from view completely. The new moon is when the moon is directly between the earth and the sun, and the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth leaves the side of the Moon that faces Earth in complete darkness. This is why, to us on Earth, it appears the moon has more or less disappeared.
The new moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. The energy usually associated with this phase is hope, clarity and anticipation, but not all new moons were created equal. Sometimes around the time of the new moon, you may feel this hope, clarity and anticipation, along with confidence, acceptance and a wave of inspiration for new beginnings. But other times, you might feel more sensitive and experience uncertainty and lack of direction, which is also fine too. Each new moon is a supportive time and allows space for you to understand how you’re feeling and whatever you may be going through.
Since the new moon is a time at which the moon is not illuminated at all (unlike the full moon when it is fully illuminated), the darkness we experience on the planet is thought to present itself in our personal situations and physical and mental circumstances, too. For this reason, the new moon is thought to be a time of journeying inwards; a very personal time of really getting to know your goals, sowing seeds and setting intentions, to set the tone for, without wanting to sound too intimidating, the rest of your life. The lack of light brings with it a sense of mystery and uncertainty, and can mean we sometimes feel less clear about things; almost, i guess, as if we were feeling in the dark. We may feel we don’t know what we are doing, where we are going or what we even want. And similarly, the motives behind the activities of others may also be unclear or lack in sense. But don’t panic or get too frustrated or overwhelmed during this darkness, or when things seem unclear, and the future unimaginable. Be mindful that everyone is to some extent in the dark with you, just in they’re own unique ways. The good thing is, this darkness is temporary, and you should recognise this as a metaphor for your own personal troubles and challenges.
How does the new moon affect us?
The new moon marks the first phase of the entire moon cycle, starting from seemingly nothing, growing into the full moon and then shrinking again at the end of the cycle before starting again. In this respect, the new moon is a fantastic and powerful chance for new beginnings. Physically and mentally, it is a time of cleansing and detoxing, and is the chance for us to let go of anything holding us back, and say goodbye to things that no longer serve us. It is a calm time of the month, making it perfect to set out plans, get clear of your goals and spend some time setting intentions, without haste and without any expectation of results or clear destinations in mind. It is a time to sow your seeds and set them free, and then sit back and do all you can to attract them into being by stepping into your power and becoming as magnetic as you can (that means acting, thinking and existing in line with you soul and your authentic goals and desires. Put simply, like attracts like, so act in ways you wish to be rewarded).
In a time of darkness, there are less distractions, and this energy offers us the chance to take stock and focus on what we’ve got and what we want. Whilst it is a nourishing time and one to move through carefully, it doesn’t mean we have to stop or slow down completely. Sure, we should move cautiously, but we should also enjoy the opportunity to be busy, by setting intentions and doing some behind-the-scenes groundwork in preparation for the next phase of the month, and, more specifically, the next full moon (when these kinds of intentions often come into cultivation). Around the new moon is a good time to actively consider what you want to manifest for the rest of the month (and ultimately the rest of the year and the rest of your life, without getting too ahead of yourself), so set your intentions and vow to be focussed and put in the consistent effort.
The New Moon can sometimes bring a new wave of inspiration, motivating us to be more original, inventive and creative in our thoughts and activities. This period brings with it refreshing, new ideas and solutions to challenges or road blocks that perhaps have been persistent or stagnant for some time. On top of that, instinct is thought to take centre stage during the new moon, meaning, when we’re in our power, we can be (almost) effortlessly on track. The importance of tuning it and becoming aligned, present and fully grounded must be reiterated here, as only when you are in your power can your intuition and instinct be heard enough to guide you. The new moon is a very magnetic time, full of new ideas and opportunities and has the chance to present many spontaneous and unplanned – even unimaginable – experiences, but if you’re not tuned in, you’ll miss them, and this entire phase of the month will either pass you by entirely, or effect you in more negative ways, leaving you feeling stuck.
How to adopt the energy of the new moon and how to handle whatever comes up:
The new moon is an opportune time to initiate new projects and set intentions and goals in the direction of your dreams. Whilst it is a calm time, it should ideally be a period of hard work, too, unlike the Full Moon, which is more a period of fruition and reward. It is a crucial time to get clear about what you want, and so setting intentions is a non-negotiable. Below are a few other tips on working with the energy of the new moon to really get the most out of it, and yourself:
1. Rest and recharge.
The new moon is a time to rest and recuperate and with the darkness bringing an element of silence and stillness, you too should adopt the same qualities. Meditate, go on long walks, be in nature, or just surrender to doing nothing. Have baths, do face masks, get a massage, go to a gong bath or sound healing workshop. Whatever you do, do it with ease, and make sure its nourishing you and giving your the chance to charge your batteries; god knows you’re going to need all the energy you can get to fuel all these intentions and new beginnings. *Some people find it particularly hard to sleep at the time of the full and new moons (this is known as being lunar sensitive). If you experience this, melatonin drops or supplements, as well as magnesium should help. You could also try calming essential oils on your pillow.
2. Turn inwards and ask questions.
Take the time to get to know yourself on a deeper level. I find the best way to do this is to write things down and / or brainstorm. Ask yourself some serious questions, and get to the roots of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, what you want, and why you want it. This internal dialogue is crucial in making sure you know what you want and can clearly set intentions, without distractions. You should also take this time to ask yourself what is no longer serving you and / or what is in your way. The new moon is a time of letting go and cleansing, so take this opportunity whilst setting intentions for things you want, to let go of the things you don’t.
3. Follow your instincts.
Again, by turning inwards, you’ll find yourself more grounded and centred, and more aligned with your truth. By resting and recharging, you’ll be in the best frame of mind and will adopt an optimal frequency, to be able to notice, understand and trust your natural instincts. this will help you in making big decisions, starting new projects and ensuring you are on track with what you really want to be doing and where you really want to be going.
4. Think positively.
Not only important around the new moon, thinking positively is so underrated. Its easier for us to think negatively, and we need to be more conscious when thinking positively which is why we often lose touch. However, the frequency of your thoughts ultimately attracts experiences of the same frequency, so thinking positively is crucial if you want positive things to happen. Whilst setting intentions, keep a positive mindset, and try to hold at least one positive thought in your mind each day. Not only will it change your mood, it will change the kind of energy (around you and of others) that you attract, and ultimately, your experiences. Setting intentions is like planting a seed. You must consciously nurture it with everything it needs (positivity, hope and trust) and keep the weeds (negative thoughts, people or situations) out of the way.
5. Eat well.
Similarly to the full moon, I’d advise to eat nourishing and fresh foods as much as possible. Not only do highly processed foods interfere with your body and mind’s natural states, the way your digestion and water levels react to the new moon may be more sensitive than usual. Generally, the new moon, whilst the moon is shrinking, means our bodies are in a mild deep-cleaning mode. Some people believe that they feel thinner and feel, whilst satisfied, less full and sluggish around the new moon. It is also thought that the new moon is a suitable time to lose weight without a lot of effort, since sometimes appetites are reduced. Be sure to stay hydrated too, and eat seasonally to really get in sync with nature.
So, a lot of information to digest, I know, but in a nutshell – if things are unclear as the new moon approached, it’s time to let go and trust. Tune in, get to know yourself and listen to your intuition. Set your intentions inline with your truth, and sow your seeds, then do all you can behind the seeds to support them. If nothing else, the new moon should act as a reminder for you to turn inwards, set your sights straight and try to turn any negative thoughts into positive ones. Let go of things that are standing in your way or putting a strain on you, and try to use this time to get excited about the possibility of new beginnings. Know that you can find your power quite easily (once you’ve filtered the distractions and let go of any expectations others might have you confined to), and once you do, you will realise that deep down you have the power and ability to achieve whatever you dream of.
Want to know more about the moon? Read Danielle’s wellbeing rituals for the full moon.
And treat yourself to Danielle’s step-by-step guide on how to massage your face, feet and shoulder yourself.