Just like how the moon has different phases within a month, it's believed that we, too, experience different energetic shifts that, when used aligned with the moon's phases, can help our lives run more smoothly and more productively. This idea is known as moon mapping.
"Moon mapping offers a lunar energetic blueprint that provides insight into scheduling and planning out what our weeks and months look like," Britt Deanda and Tara Schulenberg, co-founders of Elevate The Globe, a worldwide community of spiritual seekers who are dedicated to raising consciousness on the planet, tell HelloGiggles. "It is a cosmic and spiritual way to live more in tune with ourselves."
So, why the moon though? It's mostly based on the fact that up to 60% of the human adult body is made up of water.
"Just as the moon has a significant effect on tides and the oceans, it also has a significant influence on the flow of our lives," says Rebekah Shaman, an urban plant medicine shaman who writes monthly lunascopes that help readers navigate the different moon phases. "The more we study the lunar cycles, the more we can see how they affect our daily life, our emotions, and our fortune. When we follow them, life becomes easier, as we become more aware of our part in the great web of life."
It's also a method that's been historically linked to mapping out agriculture each year that is still used by many farmers and gardeners today. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, "the age-old practice of performing farm chores by the moon stems from the simple belief that the moon governs moisture."
If you're interested in learning more about how to align your energy and productivity to the moon, read on for more insight from our experts.
What is moon mapping best use for?
According to Shaman, it's best used for pretty much everything. "You can map the moon throughout its cycle to help support you in all activities," she says. "From cutting your hair to starting new ideas on the new moon to completing a project to celebrating a win on the full moon, the moon's energy influences every part of our lives. I even use the full and new moon to wash my sheets and towels, so they are fresh for every moon cycle."
What does moon mapping have to do with productivity and goal-setting?
"Nature doesn't start flowering in December; it waits until the right season to produce fruit," says Shaman. "Likewise, when we start following the moon and the seasons, we stop blindly walking through life making decisions and choices that don't work, and begin to use the natural flow around us to harmonize us to nature. We let go of the ego and let nature lead us."
As a result, Shaman says we save time, energy, and create a flourishing environment for our projects and relationships. "We also become more aware of the synchronicities and magic that happen when we let go of trying to control everything and leave things to happen naturally."
How do the different phases of the moon work with our energy?
The new moon
"This is the beginning of the lunar cycle and a time to become clear about what you want to achieve during this 28-day moon phase," says Shaman. "It is an ideal time for planting ideas or releasing ideas out into the world so that they grow as the moon waxes to full."
This is also the moon phase to start in a new direction or contemplate on your current direction. It is time to set your intention and clearly define your desires, wishes, and hopes.
The waxing crescent moon
This is when the moon becomes a sliver of a crescent after the new moon. "Waxing means that the moon is growing and symbolizes a time of manifesting ideas into reality," say Deanda and Schulenberg. "This is a time to call in new relationships or make a new decision in your life. It's also time to plant your intentions after reconnecting and recharging to yourself under the new moon."
This is also the time to set your new meditation practice in place and begin working with the new energy to call in your manifestations as the waxing crescent "tells us to be positive, inspired, and committed to ourselves and our practice."
The first quarter or half moon
The moon reaches the first quarter or half moon about a week after the new moon with half of the moon (the right side) being illuminated by the sun.
"This is a time for putting our intentions and dreams into action," say Deanda and Schulenberg. "It's knowing that around this time, there may be some resistance felt in the form of obstacles and fears. This is a time to reconnect to our intentions and be confident in our decisions. The half moon asks us to get focused and clear on what we're asking and to fully commit to our actions."
Basically, this is a time to tell any fears or obstacles goodbye!
The waxing gibbous moon
Two weeks after the new moon, we meet a waxing gibbous moon where the moon is one phase away from being full and is easily visible in the sky.
"Energy and momentum are strongly felt around this time and offers the space to re-evaluate how our intentions are going," say Deanda and Schulenberg. "All our ideas and plans have the potential to be cultivated and refined before entering the full moon. This is when we decide what is working and what is not."
It's a perfect time to recognize what needs to change and what is not aligning with where you're at during this time in your life.
The full moon
This is when the energy of the moon is at its most potent. "It is a time of completion, bringing to fruition projects, cycles, and the fruits of our labors," says Shaman. "It's an opportunity to celebrate the abundance in our lives. It can also lead to breakdowns and [feelings of] depression if we are falling short of our potential. [This is when you would] bring to the surface whatever is being suppressed in the unconscious."
The waning gibbous
After a full moon, the moon begins to wane or get smaller, as the visibility of the moon decreases. Also known as the Dissemination Moon, the waning gibbous moon "brings forth energy for stronger communication and revelations," say Deanda and Schulenberg. "This energy is transformative and encourages a shift in perspective, as we shift into stronger alignment with the self and the universe. This is a time of feeling abundant and loved, and a time for gratitude and discovering your own personal glow."
The third quarter moon
During this time, only the left half of the moon is illuminated as it turns toward a new moon. "This is a time of cleansing and release," say Deanda and Schulenberg. "This phase asks for a lot of awareness and introspection as you come to terms with ideas, relationships or things that may not be aligning with your life and letting them go in order to make space for new, more aligned and elevated ones."
The third or last quarter moon gives us the space to let go, mirroring the moon as she moves back to a new moon and creates a fresh beginning. As a result, it's a great time to physically cleanse yourself and your environment.
The waning crescent
A small sliver of the moon is illuminated, getting smaller and smaller until the new moon occurs. "The waning crescent or Balsamic Moon symbolizes a time of reflection and meditation," say Deanda and Schulenberg. "It's a time for rest and surrender. Your internal energy is preparing itself for a new cycle, like the moon herself. This is a time to completely give yourself to the universe and treat yourself gently and wait for the new moon to begin anything new."
What are the benefits of working with the moon?
One word: flow. Mapping your life according to the moon will help you adapt to a more natural way of life with less force and more ease. "When we start mapping the moon, we begin to flow with the rhythm of nature, rather than manmade calendars," says Shaman. "We are an intrinsic part of and not apart from nature. We begin to see that time is not linear, with a chronological past, present and future. From nature's perspective, time is cyclical, in tune with the natural harmony around us. The more we attune ourselves with nature and its cycles, the happier and more balanced our lives become."