Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Why should you pay attention to the phases of the moon?

Why should you pay attention to the phases of the moon?

Have you ever wondered how the cycle of the moon might be affecting you? Do you ever wonder why some weeks you feel full of energy and others you struggle to get even basic tasks completed? How about your children, do they behave differently at different times throughout a month? Interestingly, some of it could be related to the cycle of the moon.

We have all heard stories about the full moon making people go a little crazy. Indeed the word lunatic is derived from the latin word for moon: luna. Crime statistics and hospital admissions are raised during the time of the full moon. At the time of the full moon, hospital accident and emergency units see about 10% more patients. 80% of casualty nurses and 64% of doctors believe the moon adversely affects patient. According to a US study murders - many apparently motiveless - trebled around the time of the full moon. (Daily Mail Dec 2000) Similarly insurance companies report an increase in accidents over this time of the full moon.
Moon Goddess by Selenebell59
At different times of the month the moon gets larger, this is called waxing; or smaller, this is called waning. All these different stages: full moon, waxing moon (growing), waning moon (diminishing) and new moon (when you can’t see it in the sky) can have an effect on our moods and our wellbeing.

There are a number of reasons experts give as to why the changes in the size of the moon may have an affect on us and all of our planet. The change in the number of positive versus negative ions in the atmosphere may affect us, (higher at the full moon). Similarly the moon’s gravitational pull on our bodies may affect hormone production and fluid flow within our bodies. (Independent June 2013) Experts such as Rudolf Steiner saw how important water increase/decrease was to the growth of plants and started biodynamic and lunar gardening back in 1924. (www.moongrow.com) Ute York, in her book "Living by the Moon" says The old-time gardeners say, "With the waxing of the moon, the earth exhales. " When the sap in the plants rise, the force first goes into the growth above ground. Thus, you should do all activities with plants that bear fruit above ground during a waxing moon. With the waning of the moon, the earth inhales. Then, the sap primarily goes down toward the roots. Thus, the waning moon is a good time for pruning, multiplying, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and controlling parasites and weeds” Gardeners have also combined a knowledge of astrology with lunar cycles to further fine tune what to plant when and how to care for their plants. 
In the same way that plants absorb moisture and retain it at the full moon so do our bodies; this has a particular effect in the brain where the cells are trying to expand in the fixed area of the skull. “It has been shown that at the time of the Full Moon, and especially during a lunar eclipse, the surface tension of all fluids is increased (the molecular cohesive forces of the surface of any fluid). Because our bodies consist largely of water, this increase in molecular tension is bound to produce a biochemical effect upon our bodies. Furthermore, our bodies tend to take on and hold larger quantities of water during the Full Moon phase each month. The skull, being the only area of the body that cannot readily expand with increased fluid pressure, therefore exerts greater pressure upon the brain cells, which ultimately affect our behavior patterns. (Jansky, Carl, Interpreting the Eclipses)

A new study from the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University says it's down to changes in the geomagnetic field. The researchers say geomagnetic activity drops by around 4 per cent for the seven days leading up to a full moon, then increases by a similar amount after.

"We think moonlight increases the sensitivity of animals' magneto reception," they say. "We propose a hypothesis that animals respond to the full moon because of changes in geomagnetic fields." How that affects behaviour is not clear but one suggestion is that changes in the electromagnetic field disrupt the nocturnal production of melatonin in the pineal gland. Melatonin helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm – the "internal 24-hour clock" – and its production is affected by light. (Independent June 2013)

In ancient times before modern medicine, synthetic hormones and electric lighting we were much more governed by nature and would follow nature’s natural rhythms. Women would menstruate at the same time, the time of the dark moon when we see no moon in our sky at all and would often retire to the ‘moon lodge’ or ‘red tent’ to do quiet activities together. Sounds like a good plan doesn’t it?!

We may no longer live in ancient times but that doesn’t mean we cannot follow our body’s and nature’s natural way of being. Life is busy and sometimes it feels like we are constantly running from one day to the next with no differential between the days. Following the moon’s schedule teaches us that it is OK to slow down sometimes and change the pace a little.

The new moon is a great time for starting a new project; for example, I decided to get to work on this article at the time of the new moon! When the moon is waxing we tend to have more energy, it is easier to get tasks done and projects completed. At the full moon we may have an excess of energy and feel somewhat restless, it is a good idea to try and channel that energy into something worthwhile, going down the gym maybe. When the moon is waning we may have a little less energy, it is OK during this time to give ourselves time to relax and re-juvenate, perhaps spend more time in meditation. The time you allow yourself now will be well spent as you will have more energy to spend in the coming weeks of the waxing moon.

Following your body’s natural need to go along with the rhythm of nature and the moon this way and ‘going with the flow’ will make you feel more relaxed and happier overall. You will probably find in the long run that allowing yourself time to slow down in the waning weeks will give you more time in the waxing weeks as you are not constantly pushing yourself.

I have been keeping a note of the moon phases, (there is a constant icon on www.astartemoonblog.com which tells us exactly what stage our moon is at) and trying to keep to the waxing/waning moon cycle and since doing this I feel I have been much more productive overall, less exhausted than I used to be, and happier! I also don’t beat myself up on those days when I haven’t been as productive as perhaps previously I would have done.  Following the phases of the moon teaches us that it is OK to have days of being more ‘up’ than others and that good days will follow the not so good, you just have to trust that they will, that is the cycle.

Believing and using this moon cycle has made a big difference to my life and I hope it will to yours.

The amazing artwork is by Selenebell59 on DeviantArt http://selenebell59.deviantart.com/