If you check your horoscope every day, there's a good chance you've heard about the mysterious power of a new moon. Celebrities, astrologers, and almost everyone on Pinterest believes that when a new lunar phase happens, it can influence our attitudes, relationships, and energy levels.
It might sound a little contrived, but the belief in the power of a new moon is so strong, it has people coming together for "moon gatherings," where candles are lit, intentions are set, and a fresh start is summoned.
If you've always been a little curious about starting your own new moon ritual, or are just wondering how all of this celestial stuff works, we've got you covered.
Let's get started: What is a new moon?
Scientifically speaking, it's when the moon is positioned closely to the sun. Due to its placement in shadow, we can't see a new moon at all from Earth.
It's considered "new" because it marks the first phase of the moon orbiting the Earth. As it continues its journey (around 27 days), we can see more and more of the moon from where we stand, until it rotates closer towards the sun and becomes a new moon again.
And why is a new moon so special?
A new moon represents a new beginning for a lot of people. Because it's the start of a new lunar cycle, some feel it's the perfect time to set new goals for themselves. "People often feel it's a time of solitude and meditation, where they can go deep within themselves, in this sort of darkness, to discover their core self and what they want to look forward to or accomplish in the next month," Diana Brownstone, a nationally-certified consulting astrologer, tells GoodHousekeeping.com.
Fun fact: A solar eclipse can only take place when the moon is in its new phase.
So, when is the next new moon?
A new moon happens once a month, except for July. Unlike most of the year, we're seeing our second new moon this month. There's one on July 2 and another on July 31. NASA says you should mark the following dates on your calendar for the ones happening in 2019:
- August 30
- September 28
- October 27
- November 26
- December 26
When are the new moons in 2020?
You shouldn't expect to see a month with two new moon phases next year, so plan your rituals accordingly! Here are the 2020 new moon dates:
- January 24
- February 23
- March 24
- April 22
- May 22
- June 21
- July 20
- August 18
- September 17
- October 16
- November 15
- December 14
Got it. And how can I start a new moon ritual?
The primary thing is to focus your attention on what you want to see happen during the upcoming month. "Since the new moon is the first phase of the cycle, it is a brilliant time to set the intentions that you want to work with for the month," Luciana Naclerio, a facilitator of Moon Ceremonies at Space by Mama Medicine, tells GoodHousekeeping.com.
That could just mean sitting down in a quiet space and writing out your goals for the next 30 days. Or you can go a step further to create a more relaxing environment to help you stay focused before you set your intentions.
You can cleanse your home with sage, play meditational music, and/or light a new candle — the latter of which is a favorite for Naclerio. "I love having a new candle for the new moon and light my intention into it," she explains. "Each night after the new moon, light the candle to remind you of your intention."
You can even do this with friends by sitting in circle, writing down your intentions, and having each person read theirs out loud.
Hmmm, is it actually worth doing these new moon ceremonies?
We can't say for certain that these astrological methods will radically improve your life. That being said, we do encourage any opportunity to set goals, be with our dearest friends, and practice some self-care.
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