What the Waning Moon can Teach Us about Connection and Support
About a 4 minute read
28th Feb, 2022
I'm writing this post as the current lunar cycle ebbs towards its ending. In a few days time the moon will disappear from sight as this cycle ends, and then reappear in another new beginning.
The waning moon and the still, empty, "mid-winter" moment at the dark of the moon have much to teach us if we're paying attention.
Nested in Nature’s cycles
The lunar cycle is just one of Nature's cycles that we're held by, nested within, whether we're aware of them or not.
Paraphrasing what I wrote in "The Cycle of Life," we can find the same cycle (zoomed in or zoomed out) in the rhythm of the in-breath and the out-breath, the shifting energies of a 24-hour day1, in the lunar cycle, the menstrual cycle, the solar seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall), and the long seasons of our lifetimes.
Paying attention to these cycles and aligning our activities and efforts with them gives us a wonderful tool for learning and growth, and for connecting/reconnecting with Nature's wisdom and with our own intuition and discernment.
Aligning with the waning moon
So what’s to align with in the last phase of the Lunar Cycle, as the moon ebbs its way toward inky darkness?
Think of the last phase of the Lunar Cycle as being equivalent to the out-breath, and the Dark Moon as being equivalent to the brief pause before the next in-breath.
Or, to use a seasonal analogy that we’re all familiar with: we’ve just moved through the “fall” and the early part of “winter,” and we’re approaching winter’s mid-point. That's the moment of stillness and darkness that comes at the end of each round of the cycle, just before the light begins to grow again.
The harvest and the letting go
In autumn, first there’s a harvest: we see, metaphorically, what is in our basket, the fruit of our labors in the preceding seasons. It’s an opportunity to look back and see which of our choices and actions (or in-actions) bore fruits we like, and which did not.
Then the leaves fall, and things die back. There's a letting go of what’s no longer needed. This is the right time to examine what you need to let go of or discontinue, so that your next “harvest basket” might hold more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.
The still point, mid-winter
And then comes winter. Deepening, slowing, growing stiller, and yet more still. Until we reach the pause-point that’s looming right now in the current Lunar Cycle. It’s a moment to let the last of the out-breath go, to pause, to rest deeply before the next in-breath begins with the first new light as the thin sliver of moon reappears in the sky.
Its ok to have unproductive times
The waning moon (or the waning phase of any cycle) is a good time for tidying up, finishing things off, and for reflection and contemplation.
That’s what I’ve found myself most drawn to in the last week or so – sorting through old stuff that needs a tidy-up.
There was a time when I would have berated myself for procrastinating, doing "busy work," avoiding the "real work." But no matter how hard I crack the whip and try to hold my nose to the grindstone, it's always a struggle to be "productive" or "progressive" when a cycle is ending.
Now I'm coming to understand that I’m really not able to be creative during these times -- and that that is as it should be.
In the late autumn and early winter I’m able to sort, to tidy, to bring order to the chaos I might have created during the spring and summer seasons, but trying to start anything new or to do solid creative work, building work, is a recipe for feeling blocked, frustrated, directionless, or overwhelmed.
Then winter comes, as it always does. And I find that the more I align with the energy of winter by resting deeply, by allowing everything to just stop, to just let go and be still, the more refreshed I'm likely to feel as spring comes around again. Allowing for some tidying and sorting in the waning of the cycle and for deep rest at the still point in the cycle results in feeling truly renewed, rather than exhausted, when the cycle begins again.
Held by the great Mother
For me, aligning with the energies of natural cycles like this gives me a feeling that I can lean into a vast embrace. When I feel most aligned, most connected, I have moments of feeling held by the great Mother, Mother Earth, Mother Nature. Moments of hearing an invitation to come home, to step in time and to feel the life-force flow through me freely. As opposed to jangling along exhausted and depleted, out of sync and out of harmony.
It's a feeling that the great Mother has my back. That I am not alone. That there is a season for everything, and that so long as I do things in their proper season there is plenty of time for everything I need and want to do.
May you feel that feeling today, or at least see that paying attention to the lunar cycle and other natural cycles is a way to build this feeling into your life over time.
Please leave a comment below the Endnotes - thank you!
Do you keep an awareness of the moon's phases? Of any other natural cycles? Have you ever kept a consistent journal to see if there are patterns to how you feel at different times in a given cycle?
What might those recurring feelings be indicating, if you were to stop and pay attention to them?
- The end/beginning point of the circadian rhythm or diurnal cycle is midnight