Why the Moon Matters: An introduction to following the moon

What is the Moon, and what does it mean for you?

Humans have been fascinated by the Moon, and have followed it for countless ages. Bones from 40,000 BC have been found that were thought to be used to record lunar cycles. The word Moon itself means “month,” and our calendar months are very close to the length of a lunar cycle – Monday also means “Moonday.”

Even the phrase, “As above, so below” dates back to between the 6th and 8th centuries, found in an Arabic text called the Emerald Tablet that went on to become an important alchemical and esoteric work. Ancient astronomers found the repeated cycles of the Moon to provide order and meaning. And of course, there were practicalities in following the Moon throughout history, especially if you were a hunter and your prey mostly came out at night. It would have been your source of light.

But the Moon has long held spiritual implications, too.

In astrology, the Moon is said to represent the soul, while the Sun the ego. The Moon is a nurturing, sensitive energy, connected to our interior world, whereas the Sun is the exterior. The Moon is where we feel. It’s what we receive intuitively. It is connected to our feelings, needs, instincts or intuition, and our responses to those aspects.

In her seminal book Moon Signs, astrologer Donna Cunningham wrote, “If you take a look at the biggest mistakes of your life, many of them happen when you’re not paying attention to your real feelings and needs – or worse, when you override your gut responses and ignore your instincts.”

Since feelings, needs, instincts, and responses are connected to the Moon, it’s an important influence to pay attention to, and it can support you in setting intentions and mapping goals.

Here’s a quick guide to help you begin to live by the Moon.

1. Understand how the Moon influences you

We might look to the Moon as though it’s a planet, but it’s not. The Moon is actually a naturally-formed satellite, and it’s Earth’s only natural satellite, thought to have formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Think of what a human-made satellite does: It communicates, right? It sends out information and images to help us better understand the universe around us. You can think of the Moon as your natural guide, helping you to stay attuned to your inner self.

The Moon takes about 29.5 days to orbit the Earth, and it waxes and wanes during that time. A new Moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle around the Earth. At this time, the Moon might be barely visible in the sky. From there, the Moon enters its waxing phase – meaning that it’s growing towards full.

After a full Moon, lunar energy begins to decrease as the Moon shrinks in size again. This is called waning. Just as the Moon’s energy shrinks and expands, yours might, too. Some people feel depleted or burned out when the Moon is a slim crescent, and others might feel completely energized when the Moon is full, or close to it.

Pay attention to how your energy might correspond to the Moon on a day-to-day basis and see how its phases affect you.

2. Get to know the zodiac

As the Moon orbits around the Earth, waxing and waning, it travels through each of the 12 zodiac signs.

Every sign gets one new and one full Moon a year. When the new Moon is in my sign, I like to think of it as my astrological New Year. When my full Moon comes around, I think of it as my cosmic checkpoint where it’s time to assess my priorities, progress, and growth.

But there are moons in every sign every month, and that energy doesn’t have to specifically correspond to your own astrological details. For example, if you are an earth sign and feel like you are stuck in your career, a fiery Moon in Aries might help.

Fire signs are creative and action-oriented, water signs are great for self-care and relationships, earth signs for stability and concrete goals, and air signs for ideas and communication.

Know the zodiac, and you will know what type of energy the Moon is emanating on any given day.

3. It’s not all about new beginnings

After working with the Moon for over 20 years, both personally and professionally, I’ve noticed that a lot of us tend to get caught up in the idea that waxing moons are better than waning.

The waxing phase – from new to full – is when the Moon’s power is growing, and so it’s able to support new intentions and fresh beginnings. It can breathe life into your goals and plans.

But what about the waning Moon? This is when deeper work can begin. It can be a time to set goals around bringing projects to completion, but it can also be a powerful time to heal, release, and let go.

So you might not want to start a new project with a waning Moon, but you can use it to say goodbye to old hurt, blocks, and anything that is no longer serving you. As the Moon shrinks back into darkness, think of this as a time to send what you don’t want back into the void.

4. Living by the Moon is a practice like any other

If you’re reading this on Little Red Tarot, chances are you are working with tarot or other oracles already. Just as learning tarot is a process, and working with it becomes a personal practice, the Moon is the same.

You don’t have to set an intention with every new or full Moon. Simply taking the time to observe what comes up for you in relation to the sign and phase the Moon is in can become a beautiful part of your daily practice, whatever that may be.

Because when we pay attention to the natural rhythms of life, and how they affect us, we can begin to live intentionally. We can bring in new purpose, new awareness, and new magic into our lives.


If you would like to learn more about how to live by the Moon, registration for my Moon Magick class is now open. This five-week course will give you an in-depth journey into working with the Moon and building ritual around its powerful energies. Class begins under a waxing Moon on Monday, February 27, at 7pm EST. Moon Magick will be broadcast live online, so you can take part from anywhere in the world. Sign up at www.lizworth.com/moon

One comment

  1. Robin. says:

    Hello Beth.Most interesting information about the moon.I am hoping it will bring me closer to The Moon tarot card.Thanks for a nteresting read.

Add your comments...