We return to the Moon this month. (If you missed the first post in this series about the New Moon you can find it here: www.goldenpoppyherbs.com/herbalism-by-the-moon-the-new-moon )
Can we stop for a moment, and just sit in admiration of Earth’s oldest friend? Sit quietly, breathing deeply, and allowing ourselves to feel in awe of the fantastic power that the Moon holds?
It is quite amazing when we think about the incredible ability of the Moon. Not only is it an entity that illuminates some of the darkest of nights, and can always be counted on to rise in the east and set in the west, even on a cloudy day – but one that even causes the tides. If it were not for the power and pull of the Moon, the largest, and mightiest bodies of water on our planet would never dance and we would never experience the crashing of waves caused by the spells spoken softly by the Moon to our oceans.
Perhaps that is no wonder why the Moon has such an effect on us and our bodies. Afterall, we are water beings ourselves, with this element making up most of who we are physically. If the Moon can cause the waves to sway so energetically, of course it also can create a stir within our bodies, emotions, and spirits.
In our previous post we celebrated the Moon as it chooses to rest, turning its face away, and giving the night a break from its light in the New Moon Phase. We invite you to join us in celebrating the next phase of the Moon, as it slowly builds, entering into the Waxing Moon Phase.
Whether it appears as the energy that empowers the Goddesses of Greek and Roman mythology, or is the answer for why humans transform into wolf-like beasts once a month in ancient folklore, or is passed over by cackling, warted, green-faced women on broomsticks each Halloween night as we hear in childhood campfire stories, the Moon is deeply rooted in our oldest stories.
In Celtic traditions, the phases of the Moon are symbolic of our own life cycles. Some may be familiar with the concept of the Moon being synonymous with “the Triple Goddess,” or the different key transitions of life. These include the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. When the Moon is dark, or a new moon, this is symbolic of rebirth, renewal, or youth. This energy continues into the waxing phase, moving toward a full moon. It is during this phase in which the Moon is an embodiment of the “Maiden.” As the Moon grows large and full, this phase is analogous to the “Mother.” And lastly, of course, as the moon is in the waning stage, nearing the end of its cycle, this phase is connected to the image of the Crone. This energy embodies the wise woman, moving toward rest, before the cycle begins again with rebirth.
The Moon also further accompanies the magical and the mystical in Celtic mythology. For example, it is believed that the Fairies would become much more active within our realm on nights with a full moon. The Fairies on these evenings would emerge from the Otherworld, or the Fairy mounds (places where the Fairies were thought to have “gone into the Earth” after the arrival of humans to Celtic landscapes) to dance and sing upon the earth. However, in true folkloric fashion, it was also a night in which Fairies could engage in their more mischievous deeds. For example, young women were encouraged to stay home to avoid being stolen away to become a bride to the Fairies, or this was also commonly a night in which the Fairies were emboldened to seek vengeance against anyone who had previously wronged them.
While the Moon is very prevalent in many ancient cultures and traditions around the globe, the Moon also shows up more modern tales. We can bet if you have a nurse in your family, you have heard tales of how the hospital he or she works at staffs up on full moon nights due to anticipated increases in unusual cases and patients. It seems that on the nights in which the moon is full, people tend to be more daring, or mischievous, and this may result in accidents or intended injuries. Whether this is true or not, there is no doubt there is a thriving space for healthcare related superstition connected to the Moon!
The Waxing Moon can be thought of as the phase in which the Moon is building momentum, growing ever closer to full illumination. During this phase, we experience the first crescent of the moon, with the edge of the crescent facing the right side of the sky. If the New Moon embodies a new beginning, or is a period in which we set intentions or plant metaphorical seeds, the Waxing Moon is the phase in which we take action. It is during this phase that we nurture and take steps toward fulfilling our goals, and making the decisions, or moving toward creating the reality we want for ourselves.
This is a time in which our mindset has profound power, and where one can really hone in on the energy of manifestation, if this is part of your practice. The Moon reminds us during this period that we have all of the power to grow and expand, and experience abundance in its fullest form, just around the corner, so long as we choose to go for it, for we have all that we need within ourselves. This is a time in which it is strongly encouraged to practice visualization, and see within your mind’s eye the outcome of what goal you hope to achieve.
Identifying abundance in your present moment. While we should always seek to grow and expand, part of growth is also recognizing and honoring what gifts we have been given, and how they contribute to where we are at on our journey. Partaking in a gratitude practice can highly supplement shifting toward an abundance mindset.
Partake in a Challenge. This is a time where we can push ourselves a little. Perhaps this is a physical challenge, where you pursue a fitness goal you’ve always wanted to achieve, or perhaps you finally tackle that thing you have been procrastinating (are you a night owl trying to become a morning person? We know setting that early alarm is hard!). As the Moon expands, it transforms – where might you be able to push beyond self-defined boundaries?
Reach out. This is not only important each lunar cycle, but especially after this year. Are there relationships in your life that can use some maintenance, such as a friend or relative you have not checked in on in a while? Is there a romantic flame that you are nurturing that can take the next step in building a deeper connection? Is there a group hobby you have always wanted to try, but maybe have not stepped in the door yet? Where can you reach out, and where can you connect?
Nourish your Seeds and Intentions. Did you plant seeds, either literally or figuratively during the New Moon? Make sure you are doing things to nourish and support those seeds so that they may grow and flourish
As with the New Moon, there are many plant friends who can accompany us and be our guides to further celebrate and align ourselves with the energy of the Waxing Moon. The waxing moon is a time for building, building energy, building support, creativity, and strengthening. Herbs that build, nourish, and strengthen are particular allies during this time
Raspberry Leaf. As the Moon moves in cycles, we too are cyclical beings. And if you are someone who menstruates, you too go through a period of building, ultimately release, and renewal again each month. Raspberry leaf is an ally that has incredible support for tonifying the uterus and womb space, which can be helpful as we move through our cycle. This can help lay the foundation for supporting future menses. Read more about Raspberry leaf here
Gotu Kola. This is an herb that originates from the Ayurvedic tradition. It is used for strengthening both the mind as well as the connective tissues in the body and is a wonderful ally for anyone looking to strengthen their system. Because of its affinity for the connective tissue it’s especially helpful for supporting your body before, during, and after exercise or injury. It’s use as a brain tonic has also been well documented and can help support quick and supple thinking. Read more about Gotu Kola here
Nettle. As we have continued to emphasize, the Waxing Moon is a period of time in which we are encouraged to invite in abundance and growth into our lives. Along with this, building abundance means fully working to nourish ourselves, mentally and physically. Nettle is an incredibly nourishing herbal ally being rich in minerals, and can significantly support our bodies as we move through the lunar energy of this phase. Read more about Nettle here
Rose Hips. Rich in Vitamin C, rose hips are nourishing to all aspects of your system. Especially supportive for the immune system, which can become run down when we are going full speed ahead, adding in rosehips to a daily infusion (alongside Nettle & Gotu kola) will help support your overall health.
Peppermint. Beloved by many, this herb is full of minerals that support your health; it is also uplifting and stimulating and can be excellent for invigorating your body and mind. It is also soothing to the digestive tract and can help break down foods when drank just after a meal, which can be helpful if you’ve perhaps indulged in a richer, heavier meal. Peppermint Essential Oil can also be found on our website.
A combination of all of these herbs together, made into an herbal infusion, would be a lovely, supportive practice during the waxing phase of the moon. It could be drunk cold during the warmer months of the year, or hot when it’s chilly out.
Thank you for joining us again as we celebrate the phases of the Moon. We invite you to ponder over continual change that happens within you and around you, and ways in which this could be celebrated on your own personal journey. Where might you be able to push forward, and where might you rest? What might you be able to let go of, and where are places in which you can grow and expand?
We owe so much gratitude to the Moon as one of oldest teachers, and we hope you sit in awe of it as much as we do. We look forward to continuing to share in this journey through the phases with you all, and thank you for your continued support as we move and shift in our own transformations at Golden Poppy.