The New Year has arrived, and with it, the chance to start all over again. Of course, we all want to start the year off on a positive foot, right? Right. Astrology is the perfect tool and companion to help kickstart what might be our very best year yet. Of course, it’s always helpful to be aware of the bigger transit of the planets – such as Jupiter moving signs, or what Saturn is triggering in our birth chart.
Yet, what can be even more potent is using the cycles of the Moon. As the fastest-moving planet (aka, Luminary), La Luna’s phases can help guide and direct us towards manifesting, setting intentions and releasing. This gives us the ability to set the stage for 2024 in the best way that we possibly can. Astrology, and especially the Moon, lets us get into the flow of the planetary energy to align ourselves with our highest and best purpose.
Thus, the first month of the year, the month of January, is the ideal cosmic moment for tuning with the Lunar Phases by way of doing rituals, meditations, and intention setting. Each week has a different Lunar Phase that can be used as a guide so that we can take advantageous actions.
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What are the Lunar Phases?
There are eight Lunar Phases in total:
- New Moon: This is the time of Manifestation, of sting intention, of planting seeds. It’s the start of the waxing cycle of the Moon, otherwise seen as the ‘building’ phase.
- Cresset Moon: This is the Phase of growth, when the seed has sprouted. It’s not yet through the ground, so there’s an energy of struggling and pushing upwards, of moving away from our comfort zones.
- First Quarter Moon: This is the Phase of action, where the seed finally shoots through the ground and comes into the world. Here, we begin to see the results of what we sowed at the New Moon.
- Gibbous Moon: as the Phase right before Full Moon, this is all about the moment right before we see the fruition and climax of the intentions of the New Moon. It’s a Phase of growth and excitement.
- Full Moon Phase: This Phase is all about the results of the New Moon Intentions. Here we are at a peak, and we also start assessing what worked, and what didn’t. We start the waning cycle, which means releasing and renewing.
- Disemboguing Phase: This the phase right after Full Moon, a time of learning and assimilating, of sharing what we’ve learnt with the world.
- Third Quarter Phase: With this phase, we begin to draw deeply inwards, preparing for the end of a cycle. This is about inner action rather than outer efforts.
- Balsamic (Dark Moon) Phase: This Phase is all about letting go, releasing, wrapping up loose ends, making space and becoming completely quiet. It’s the silence before the next new beginning – the Next New Moon.
With this in mind, let’s leap into what we can do each week using each phase in the month to come:
- A Pen & Journal
- A Fireproof dish
- Incense and Candles
- Meditation music
- An A3 poster
- Magazine/Book Cutouts (see below)
- Craft items – glue, glitter, fabric, paint or anything else you like.
January 1st – 7th: 3rd Quarter Phase & Balsamic Moon
The first week of January encapsulates the last two Phases of the Moon. Thus, it’s important to begin the work of releasing and purifying so that we can get ready for the new cycle that’s coming. Because of this phase, a releasing ritual is recommended to help us clear room and make space:
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- Prepare a quiet space with candles, incense and a fireproof dish and lighter. Put on spam music and take a few deep breaths.
- Reflect on the situations, people and other things that you’d like to release so that you can face the New Year with an open heart and energy field.
- Once you’ve had some space to reflect, write this down on a piece of paper, in a list form or perhaps even as affirmations. An example could be: ‘ I release the pattern of people-pleasing’.
- One by one, take each item and burn it, holding the situation in your mind. Imagine this leaving your life.
- After you’ve taken some time, stand up and shake your body out for even more release.
January 8th – 14th: New Moon & Crescent Moon Phase
The second week of January is when we get to set the intentions that we desire to manifest in the year ahead. This New Moon is, suitably, in the sign of Capricorn, the sign of goals, material success, as well as creativity and mysticism. Aligning our intentions with the energy of this sign can help us attune to our soul’s path for 2024. Thus, this New Moon is all about envisioning our future, and to do that, a vision board is the most appropriate (and fun!) activity to do:
- Get your tools ready:
- A3 Poster
- Craft Glue
- Craft Scissors
- Old books, magazines – anything with pictures and words
- Glitter/ribbon/other craft items
- Candles, Incense, Music
Set up a ritual space – in your room, in the garden, or wherever else feels right and good for you. Light the candles and incense, put on some music and get ready to enjoy! Make sure your phone is off so that you enter a meditative space. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and then start by paging through the books and magazines, and deciding which of these you’d like to manifest in the year to come. Perhaps you see, for example, a picture elf a place you’d like to travel to. Or a word like abundance, or joy, or love.
Once you have all your items, arrange them on you board, with the most important picture or word right in the middle. Surround it with glitter, or stickers or anything else to make it stand out. Then, go about arranging the rest of your dreams.
Once you’re done, stand back and admire your work! Find a place to hang it so that you look at it every day so that it sinks into your subconscious mind and takes root.
January 15th – 21st: First Quarter Phase and Gibbous Moon
This is the phase of action and learning. As such, creating a morning ritual that follows on from your vision board is important. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose touch.
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Your ritual (morning or evening) should look like:
- Setting aside 10 minutes with no interruptions in a safe, enclosed space.
- Closing your eyes and taking a long, deep breath in, and a long, deep breath out. Do this at least ten times.
- Then, recall at least one of your goals from the vision board. Imagine it happening as if it was real, now, already. Tap into the feelings that come up when you switch this imagination on. Feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement. Give thanks as if this dream has already happened.
Do this every day for six months and watch the magic that unfolds! Your brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, and remember that energy follows thought – making this a very strong and magical ritual to do.
January 22nd – 3rd February: Full Moon and Disseminating Moon
This week sees the Full Moon, happening on the 25th. Keep in in that this Full Moon is not the culmination of the New Moon two weeks ago. It’s the culmination of the New Moon in Leo back in August 2023. What was planted for you back then? How is that coming full circle now? In Leo, it’s about connecting to your heart’s desires and allowing yourself to express all of who you are. It’s about releasing the drama of 2023 so that you can face 2024 with trust, excitement and passion.
So, with this in mind, we’ll do a heart-based meditation of release:
- Begin by setting up your ritual space. Light some candles and incense and sit on a cushion. Try and face the light if the Full Moon if you can. Take a few deep breaths in and out.
- Place your hands on your heart and imagine breathing in a beautiful golden light. You can also imagine a small golden flame inside of your heart, getting bigger and bigger as you breath in. Your breath is the fuel to this inner fire.
- Imagine that light spreading throughout your entire body from tip to toe. Imagine yourself become warmed in that light.
- Now, hold someone or something in your heart and say the words (in your head or out loud): ‘I’m sorry. I forgive you. I release you. I choose myself.’
- Say this at least three times.
- Practice this meditation for the three days leading up to the Full Moon and the three days after (the 25th).
For the Disseminating Phase, the ritual to do would be one of reflection and learning. Thus, starting a journal practice, if you don’t have one, is ideal. If you already do, then restart it by committing to ten minutes as soon as you wake up. This will allow the stream of consciousness to flow easily, for you to reflect on the intentions that you’ve planted, the goals you’ve set, what you’ve released and what’s to still come.
And there you go! A whole month of manifestation, releasing, affirmation and meditation using the Phases and cycles of the Moon. It doesn’t get much better than this. Get excited for what 2024 has in store for you, using these varied and fun practices.