July 9 brought forth a new moon in Cancer, but if you’re not intimately familiar with astrology, you might be wondering: What exactly does that mean and why does it matter?
A new moon is the first of eight phases, occurring when the moon settles between the Earth and the sun, so the illuminated side is facing away from our view on Earth. This is why, when there’s a new moon, to us it may look like a ghostly sliver or the poster for The Ring. OK, that’s more of an eclipse view. More often than not a new moon isn’t visible at all to the casual human onlooker at night.
As one might imagine, a new moon phase signifies new beginnings, which means it’s a beautiful space for intention-setting, goal-setting, or shifting your life’s trajectory.
I had never experienced a new moon meditation until it came upon us on July 9. I consider myself a very pragmatic yogini — I use my practice to connect with my breath, self-observation, and self-awareness. Aligning with lunar energy isn’t something I have considered much, but a chance to do so through a free, online meditation? Let’s do it! New moon, new me! I am The Seeker after all.
I logged into the Facebook Live event on the morning of Friday, July 9, with a handful of other practitioners from other areas of the country, a perk of virtual events. Our guide introduced herself and provided a little background on what the new moon represents and why it’s an ideal time for meditation. As a new-moon novice I was grateful for these details.
She explained that a new moon is a time to cleanse, plan, and be optimistic for the future. This means working through or releasing stagnant energy and becoming hyper-aware of our lives’ direction.
She very directly asked us to consider, “Are you doing all things with love? Are you fulfilled or weighed down?” The new moon offers a chance for this self-reflection and the opportunity to untether. The word that arose for me during my meditation was “buoyancy.” I wanted so badly to feel carefree and light. Dearest New Moon Energy, please show me the way!
Our guide led the online group into our 30-minute meditation practice and gently reminded us that, by quieting our mind and pausing bodily movements, we open ourselves up to receive information from our guides, our higher selves, and the universe. We were also reminded that we can interchange any of these phrases with God or whatever other term as we saw fit, acknowledging that using the name of God can freak people out a little bit.
I should note that as I write this, I am reminded of Nerve editor-in-chief Ryan Pitkin’s recent newsletter intro in which he commented on how his CPCC astronomy class gave him a new perspective of the universe and how meaningless what we’re doing down here on Earth is. Small is how I felt during this new moon meditation — insignificant. Or as Sarah Silverman appropriately labels it, “speck of dust”.
As we settled onto our mats, a mantra was introduced, a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation: “My energy is clear, and I am open to receiving guidance.”
It was at that moment I decided to adopt the mantra for the rest of the new moon phase. I am always seeking guidance and direction. Why have I not tried a new moon meditation before?
Other optional tools for a new moon meditation include a selenite crystal wand (yes, I actually own one), a white candle, and energy-clearing herbs like rosemary, sage, and cedar. I personally think cedar smells like pee, so hard pass.
We learned that the New Moon in Cancer will specifically highlight issues around the home, family, and real estate. Cancer rules the fourth house of the zodiac, which deals with home, family (mothers in particular), childhood issues or your ancestral home. We also learned that because Cancers are ruled by the moon they can be hypersensitive, creative, emotional, and reclusive, like a hermit crab recoiling into its shell.
So what does specific new moon energy signify? It’s an ideal time to work on healing old family wounds (trigger alert) but also a great time to manifest anything else your heart may desire. Update your resume and apply for that job, say yes to a first date … you get the gist. Basically, New Moon in Cancer is prompting us to take the reins and drive onward and upward.
As for me, I’m manifesting less obligations and more personal time (carefree and light, remember?) for creative projects. Afterall, New Moon in Cancer is the optimal time for planning, and planning is the key to success. Painting a bedroom focal wall is at the top of my list, currently. Perhaps something in an alluring lunar shade so I feel like I’m slumbering under the infinite feminine grace of the moonlit sky.
The next new moon, New Moon in Leo, will occur on Aug. 8. How will you observe?