Cover image: Chelsy Burton | @tedlydesigns
I’ve always been a sucker for astrology. To this day, my mum sends me our daily horoscope and tells me that Astro Barry warns it’s not a good time to confront your partner about financial issues. It never dawns on her that I do not have a partner, and my issues regarding finances centre on the fact that I have none. However, I’ve always enjoyed the benefits of blaming Mercury Retrograde for appliance breakdowns, and using my star sign to justify the less attractive aspects of my personality. I’m contractually obliged to be this brutally honest and tell you that your Birks make my eyes water, it’s my nature as a Sagittarius—don’t hold me back from my zodiac truth.
I’ve never actually spent the time to question why it is that I can never sleep on a full moon, or why you should avoid exes during Venus Retrograde (I can confirm from experience this is indeed true and am still facing repercussions to prove it). Recently, in what I’m sure was my third emotional breakdown of the week (read: day), I got lost in a rabbit hole of astrological Instagram pages, and in my naivety discovered that astrology extended far beyond my star sign faux pas.
In the astrology world, it is believed that we all share an intrinsic connection to the moon, and consequently our mental, emotional, and physical states are easily affected by her movements. Yes, to some of you this may sound absolutely ridiculous. At this point, I was in my fourth consecutive hour of Netflix binging The Good Wife, so my judgement was somewhat affected. Yet, as it was recently pointed out to me, if the moon controls the ocean’s tides and we are ourselves are made up of 60% water, it’s not all that illogical a suggestion.
For those of you not yet living your best lunar lives, the moon flows through a 28 day cycle, with every stage characterised by a certain energy or spiritual metaphor. The New Moon represents intention, setting goals like mini New Year’s Resolutions, without the abandonment three days in. Then comes First Quarter, inviting us to manifest these intentions and recommit to our progress. The Full Moon follows to mark a time of release, before cycling into the third quarter with a time of —noting where you progressed and where you may need to keep focusing your energy to make improvements. It reads much like a Michelle Bridges 30 day fitness challenge, minus the pain and immediate regret.
I’ll be the first to admit I might have dived into the lunar pool a little too deep too early. I quickly learnt that not everyone appreciates being told that they really should consider exploring their Cancerian energy with some afternoon journaling and meditation. Whether you’re an Astro Barry or a Suspicious Susan, I’ve put together a few lessons the moon taught me during my lunar obsession that I think we could all benefit from, and why they might be just what you need to live your best cosmic life.
You don’t have to wait a whole year for a new beginning
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions. You can’t help but get swept up in the hopeful glow of new beginnings, before suddenly conjuring up a 365 day death sentence of unrealistic expectations. This will be the year you start that nine-step fitness routine, that you write that memoir, that you drink eight, no to hell with it, nine glasses of water. Then somewhere between New Year and Valentine’s day, you find yourself in your pyjamas on the lounge eating Uber Eats waffles, trying to remember the last time you had fluids (according to a friend). But the moon is forgiving. She knows not all goals are supposed to last the year. With each cycle, she only asks that you commit for 28 days, checking in at every stage to reflect on your progress. So you didn’t stick to that digital detox this month? Don’t stress, sweet pea, there’s a new cycle just around the corner, waiting for you to start afresh.
It’s ok not to be ok today
The other day, I felt that kind of sad Holly Golightly calls ‘the Reds’ in Breakfast in Tiffany’s. You know, when “suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of”. Usually, I solve the problem by wallowing in self-pity until someone tells me to snap out it, which I admit is not the best mental health strategy plan. The next day, while brunching with a friend, I asked her how she was when to my surprise she answered, “honestly, not great. I don’t know why but I’ve been so off the last couple of days”. “ME TOO!” I said, with perhaps too much glee. “Damn that Virgo Full Moon”, she said, shaking her fist to the sky (that bit didn’t happen, although I really wish it did).
I know we can’t always blame our mood on rocks in the sky, and that sometimes we need to take responsibility for our energies. But I think there is something in giving ourselves permission to have an off day without feeling like there’s something wrong with us. In an Instagram era where we’re all trying desperately to show only the best parts of ourselves, the not so good days in comparison just feel like a reminder that we’re failing to meet the mark. If I need a Waning Gibbious to remind me that life feels a little like the reds for all of us sometimes, but we’re still doing ok, then so be it.
Connect with your lunar babes
While a moon cycle can be a deeply emotional, insightful, and contemplative time, the cosmos is by no means an anti-social space. Astrology teaches that everything is connected—we are the universe and the universe is us. Feel into this bond by getting together your favourite lunar babes for some Full Moon fun, embracing your inner Stevie Nicks goddess. I always aim for the same level of enthusiasm as that scene in Friends, where all the girls dance carefree by a DIY rubbish bin bonfire in their apartment while burning the possessions of their exes, although I always try to exclude the bottle of Paolo’s Grappa and enforce slightly stronger safety procedure. Whatever way you choose to celebrate the release of old energies with your babes, enjoy each other’s company, listen to your fellow sisters’ stories, and take comfort in the fact that we’re all in this crazy journey together.