a great ball of blue shadow,
yet somehow it shines, keeps up
an appearance. For hours tonight,
I walked beneath it, learning.
I want to be better at carrying sorrow.
If my face is a mask, formed over
the shadows that fill me,
may I smile on the world like the moon.
When most people think of the moon, they tend to automatically visualize a big ol’ bright gibbous – an orb that stereotypically looks like, well, the moon. I just said the other day to my boyfriend, I’ve noticed recently that a lot of movies and TV shows portray the moon in a full state (and yes, I’ve become slightly obsessed with finding this common thread when watching something, primarily because it humors me). The full moon is, by far, the most popularized and hyped up of all the phases.
To be perfectly honest, this job has made me much more aware of the moon than before I started making lunar jewelry. I’ve always been a fan of the moon, of course, admiring its incandescent steadfastness; but nowadays, I can look up into the sky and accurately guess (to an eerie degree at times) how full it is – just call it my celestial superpower. I mean, I literally look at it every day when fulfilling orders.
But beyond that, teaching other people about the moon and its phases excites me. One of the first things I had to do for myself was to create a little trick that helps me remember waning versus waxing phases, which goes like this: N comes before X (for those of us who read/learn left to right), so when the moon is illuminated on the left side, it’s waning; and when it’s bright on the right, it’s waxing. I’m sure there are people who are reading this thinking “duh, I learned that in primary school”, but perhaps it will also help someone else out there.
Since there’s a new moon tonight, I decided to write a brief piece about it because, although it’s a very powerful and important phase, it’s the least glamorous of all the phases since the moon is not visible to us. This is disappointing to some folks because they tend to want their custom moon date jewelry that they ordered to be made with that big ol’ gibbous that screams "moon". We actually redesigned the image we use for the new moon phase in our jewelry because we want people to be psyched about it, not disenchanted by the lack of luster. Now, instead of just a black stone, we darken the full moon to lend to the fact that it is in shadow and not black at all.
Scientifically, the new moon is the first lunar phase when the moon is between the Earth and the sun, so its illuminated side is facing away from us. Aptly named, this is the phase when the moon is being reborn for a new lunar cycle. As the moon grows in its waxing form, it becomes a giant, ripe yellow peach in its fullest phase; and then is slowly (and deliciously) nibbled away again in its waning phases until it becomes new again.
A few years ago, I took part in a new moon ceremony and learned that many people use the new moon phase to set their intentions for the coming cycle. Spiritually, it symbolizes new beginnings; allowing a person to reflect on dreams and desires, and purposefully put complementary vibes out into the universe in order to bring these intentions to fruition. At the gathering, we wrote down what we wanted to focus on over the next month or so, and then ceremoniously burned the pieces of paper as we ruminated on a personal mantra. I, personally, found the act to be cathartic; and it is now something I practice when a new moon is upon us.
Whether you or your kiddo (or sister, boss, friend) were born during a new moon, married under one or anything else significant happened as the new moon hung inconspicuously in the night sky, embrace it and understand that it’s a very influential phase. There’s something extra cool and mysterious about the new moon – knowing that although you can’t see it, it’s still there. Discreetly watching over you. Encouraging you to let go of (and let die) that which isn’t serving you anymore, so you can make room for change and growth. So you can be reawakened, replenished, reborn. So you can be brave.