How to Use the Moon Phases for Self Development

You may have been seeing a lot around right now about witchy & woo woo women setting intentions & goals with the lunar cycles.  This has become a really popular topic right now, I feel like, in a lot of circles.  I'm not as consistent with this practice as I used to be but I still think it is important to focus on especially when it comes to self development.

At the beginning of this year I asked the question 'what does my be self look like?'  We can't come to be our best selves unless we understand our best selves.  And there are a bunch of different layers that come into play here.  If you're not into woo woo stuff, then this may not be your cup of tea...but hey, it might just be a fun way to get to know yourself.  
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First off I think it is important to know two things about ourselves to set these intentions: we need to know our sun, moon, & rising signs and we need to have our basic natal chart.  If you're not sure what these are and you'd like to learn more about your natal chart, I have a complete newbies guide to reading a natal chart right here.  There is even a free download to fill in your chart to use later in this post so be sure head over & sign up for the newsletter.

If you know you're sun, moon, & rising signs, you'll know some core things about yourself.  Your sun sign represents how you see yourself, your moon sign represents your passions & your emotional state, and your rising sign represents how the world sees you.  Once you have your natal chart done, you'll begin to see which signs you have in which houses.  These houses correspond to different aspects of your life - the first house is self, the fourth house is home, the seventh house is relationships, and so on.

Once you have these figured out (again, see this post) you can begin to set intentions with the moon cycles. 

Moon Phases

If you peruse pinterest & woo woo blogs long enough you'll find that there are two takes on the lunar phases - one says the new moon is great for manifesting while the other says the full moon is the energy you should use to manifest.  I subscribe to the following belief - as the moon grows, so too should our work on our goals.  So I don't think that on the new moon we should set our intentions...I think on the new moon we should start to set our intentions.  We're working with the growth of the moon.  So between the new moon and the waxing crescent we should focus our energy on what we'd like to manifest.  The moon is starting to grow, and thus the energy for manifesting is beginning to grow.  I focus my energy on the time between phases, if that makes sense.  The growing energy between the phases is where the manifesting power lies.

So, between the New Moon and the Waxing Crescent we are setting intentions.  We're holding our new moon rituals and focusing our energy on our intentions.  Between the Waxing Crescent and the First Quarter we're planning & outlining the action we're going to take.  We can do some journaling & some brainstorming on what routine we'll develop, etc.

Then, between the First Quarter and the Waxing Gibbous we'll start to take action.  We'll begin to implement the plan daily, sticking with the plan if it's working and even if it isn't working.  Then between the Waxing Gibbous and the Full Moon we'll refine and edit our actions.  What can we add that will better serve us?  What can we eliminate?  Where do we need to change?

Between the Full Moon & the Waning Gibbous we should be at our realization.  We'll do our full moon rituals, begin our gratitude, and celebrate what we've realized between the New Moon and now.  Now we move on to the waning phase where the energy is dissipating and we're moving more into reflection.  Between the Waning Gibbous and the Last Quarter we need to get devoted.  Keep up those actions & that routine through this time to cement in these beliefs we've realized.  Between the Last Quarter & the Waning Crescent we should release.  Get rid of anything that isn't serving you & continue the steps of gratitude.

Finally, between the Waning Crescent and the next New Moon we should be focusing on self care.  We did a lot of development so it is time to focus back on us, take care of ourselves, and work with what we've learned.  Then the cycle starts again.

You can see that I'm working with the spaces between phases rather than the actual phase itself....I hope that makes a little sense.  I like doing this because as the energy rises so too should our actions towards manifesting our intentions and as the energy wanes we should slow down and reflect to prepare for the next wave.  It's a lot to go through in a month!  But it is worth it.

New Moon - set intention
Waxing Crescent - plan & outline
First Quarter - take action
Waxing Gibbous - refine & edit
Full Moon - realization
Waning Gibbous - devotion
Last Quarter - release
Waning Crescent - self care

Astrological Signs in the Houses

Once you've done your natal chart you should see that there are certain signs assigned to each house.  Everyone, for the most part, will have different signs in different houses. The Wheel of houses in your birth chart is based on the earths rotation on it's axis in a 24 hour period. Your personal Wheel of Houses is determined by your birth time and location. It is a map of the sky at the time and area of your birth and the energies of these signs can play a roll in your relationship with the themes of each of these houses.  In the natal chart post I have a very broad list of the houses.  It is this list we are going to use to set our intentions.  

For example, Aquarius is in my Fifth House of Creativity.  So when the new moon rises in Aquarius I should use Aquarius energy to focus on that house.  Aquarius energy is innovative and community driven, philanthropic and imaginative.  Aquarius energy isn't limited to the conventional, it is objective & innovative.  So during the new moon in this sign I should focus on using my creativity for something greater than myself.  Creativity can be relative - maybe it is an actual, physical thing you make or maybe it is simply creative problem solving.  All of these intentions are going to be specific & personal.  Here's a breakdown of the energies of each sign:
Aries - The starter.  This energy helps us begin, pushes us into our own power, and helps us fiercely put ourselves out there.

Taurus - Persistent, secure, stable. Taurus energy is supportive & organized, it helps us to develop, to sit, and to grow.

Gemini - Open, talkative, vibrant.  Gemini energy is outgoing, adventurous, and unique.  It helps us to realize our uniqueness, to communicate, and to express ourselves authentically.

Cancer - The nurturer.  Cancer energy allows us to get in touch with our feelings, helps us identify our core desires, and is compassionate.  Cancer energy can romanticize situations and become nostalgic, seeking security & comfort from family and home.

Leo - Pride. Leo energy helps us express ourselves openly.  It is protective and prideful.  This energy can help boost our confidence and often will allow us to seek leadership.

Virgo - Helpful & dedicated.  Virgo energy is a nurturer, soft, resourceful, and serving.  This energy helps us to take a step back, focus on ourselves & loved ones, and remember efficiency in our actions.

Libra - Seeker of balance & harmony.  Libra energy is harmonizing, thoughtful, and organized.  This airy energy helps us to prioritize.

Scorpio - Focused & driven.  The intense energy of Scorpio inspires us to hunker down & get straight with our deep emotions, with complex situations, and to reinvent ourselves.  This energy asks us if we're really in alignment with who we think we are.  We dive deep inside with Scorpio energy.

Sagittarius - The adventurer.  Sagittarius energy is creative, exploratory, and optimistic.  This energy is encouraging & enthusiastic.  It asks us to push our boundaries and see just what happens if we move just a little bit farther.

Capricorn - The disciplinarian.  Capricorn energy asks us to get right & get structured, to incorporate discipline and to get rid of the rest.  The honest teacher of Capricorn asks us to be persistent, dedicated, and resilient.

Aquarius - The innovative humanitarian.  Literally the water bearer, Aquarius energy focuses on the collective and our place in it.  This energy is creative and philanthropic.  This sign rules groups and teams making collaboration an important part of this energy.

Pisces - The Dreamer.  Pisces energy is dreamy, flowy, emotional.  It can help us work through hidden emotions, explore compassion, and dive deep into our inner waters.

How to set intetions

After all of this info, we're going to pair the two subjects above - the moon phases + the signs in our houses - to create our intentions for the lunar cycle.

Firstly, determine what sign the next new moon will rise in.  For this you can use an app (there are a ton out there) or a planner/datebook that has the signs listed.  The Witches Datebook is a good resource for this.  Once you determine the sign the new moon will be in, cross this info with where that specific sign is in your chart.  

So if the next new moon is in Cancer and Cancer falls in your tenth house of Career then it is time to focus on your feelings and desires when it comes to your career.  How can you align your core desired feelings with your career?
At the New Moon start to think of an action, routine, or step you'd like to take in this direction.  Then begin to outline & plan what you'll do as we move from the Waxing Crescent to the First Quarter.  At the First Quarter, start to implement this plan.  As we move from the Waxing Gibbous to the Full Moon, start to refine the actions.  At the Full Moon celebrate what you've come to realize, then as the energy wanes begin to reflect.  Once you've completed the cycle, it is time to start again.

Your intention can be as simple as incorporating a certain thought or mantra into your life or implementing a new routine in your day.  Once you have that outlined, follow the phases of the moon and the actions associated with each phase.  You can journal about your experiences if you'd like but mainly just make the conscious effort & take note of how you're growing over the cycle.  At the end of the cycle you should find that you've improved & grown - even if you've learned that something doesn't really serve you!

Living by the moon and setting goals/intentions in this manner is a way to live more intuitively.  Becoming more mindful of nature & mother earth.  You don't necessarily have to assign any spiritual significance to this - it can just be a fun thing for personal development!  Isn't it always fun to try something new?
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I use the moon as a guide to align my personal development goals as often as I can.  Because life can often get in the way I'm a fan of incorporating things you find important to you any way that you can.  Sometimes it can be a simple minute to acknowledge a certain mantra each day or change something small in your life.  When we make these small changes a whole new world can open up to us!

If you want to keep up with the lunar cycles join the Five Sixteenths | Live Creative group on Facebook.  We talk about productivity, creative planning, and intuitive goal setting over there so I'd love to have you join!

Have you used the moon for your personal growth?

xoxo, Moe

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