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Dialogue - Issue #7

Wax and Wane

Words by Emma Johnson
Illustration by Amelia Rouse

Tuning into the cycles of the moon can help connect us to nature and give our lives direction.

Centuries ago, we lived and worked by the moon. We marked time by it, and we also lived with its seasonality, changing as it changed, letting in the darkness, turning in, closing down, accepting the moments of stillness and solitude. And we also recognised its periods of lightness, its possibility, its energy, as we embraced this time of productivity and planning.

We all know how important it is to live with the seasons - not only does it connect us with nature, but it’s better for the planet. But our experience from one month to the next is mostly marked by counting off days and weeks, the same seven-day cycle, with no acknowledgement of the shifting energies around us. “We live life in a linear way,” says Kirsty Gallagher, the author of Lunar Living. “Moving through every day as though it should be the same. It has no meaning, rhythm or flow, instead every day blends into the next.”

Living with this monotony leads to the kind of apathy that has caused the environmental destruction we are now seeing. If we do not care about our flat, mundane lives, how are we going to care about where they take place?

On the other hand, seeing the ebb and flow of a month of time and how the moon connects us to the wider world, reminds us of the constant shifting energies around us. Tuning into the cycles of the moon creates a powerful metaphor for setting our daily compass to something rooted in nature and it also creates a real cycle of possibility that runs throughout our lives.

Why is it that some days of the month we are productive, rising early, firing with positivity and creativity? While on others we feel sluggish and low, wanting to curl up, to be silent? This is the moon in its eternal cycle of renewal and rebirth, which, if we harness it, can allow us to move through life connected to both ourselves, and the world around us.

The new moon, for instance, is the dark, silent phase, focused on introspection and solitude. Here we are instinctive and intuitive, listening to our bodies, gathering our strength.

The next phase of the waxing moon is about transition - from dark to light, internal to external. Our minds flood with creative energy, clearing, solving problems and giving us a renewed desire to start projects.

When we reach the full moon, we discover our most joyful, expressive, radiant selves. Energy flows, vitality is high, we are confident, communicative and responsive, throwing our passion into work, family, friends and new experiences.

Finally, we reach the waning moon phase, which is a time of slowing and cleansing, embracing, acknowledging and then shedding emotional baggage, finding internal clarity. In this way we heal and move forward, knowing that soon a new phase will begin, and this too, shall pass.

Just as our ancestors had calendars based around the sun, the seasons and moon, we too can use this ancient sequence of life to ensure that we are always taking conscious control over the direction of our lives, measured not by minutes and days, but by cycles of renewal and discovery.

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