I believe ritual is a necessary part of a vibrant spiritual practice and there is a reason that all the major religions contain them. It is a demarcation, an acknowledgment that brings significance to events whether it be a union, a rite of passage, or in this case – a sacred act that demonstrates ones commitment to living a purposeful and divinely inspired life. This is a time that is set aside for reflection, a time to get in touch with our deepest desires and to move energy in those directions. When we know what we want, we can begin to align our inner and outer worlds, which results in much greater satisfaction and joy in life.
In farming traditions, the new moon is a time when the soil is most fertile and is considered the beginning of a growth phase, an ideal time to plant seeds. This is symbolic as well, allowing us a fresh start in our circumstances with each new cycle. We set intentions, “plant seeds” in the garden of our hearts and minds to bring about positive changes in our lives.
Tuning into the natural cycles of the moon brings us back into connection with our bodies, feelings, and our natural environment. I read some time ago that a woman’s most natural rhythm is to get her period during the New Moon. Not only is this the first phase in the feminine cycle, but it contains the quality of reflection and introspection – a perfect time to look within and get clear on what we want.
Due to hormones in our food, birth control, city lights, and a variety of other factors, many of us have fallen out of phase. This has been validated in my own life. In the several months that I’ve been focused on my health and well-being I have personally experienced a shift, with my period arriving on the New Moon like clock-work after decades of misalignment. If you don’t currently cycle with the moon, there are many ways to move into a more natural rhythm.
One need not be a woman or have a period to benefit from intention setting. The act of “planting seeds” alone consciously directs our energy in the direction we set out. Just like when we want tomatoes, we plant tomato seeds – our minds work the same way.
An easy example to understand how we direct energy is the simple act of waking up in the morning. We wake up and we think, “I need to get up and get ready for work.” The thought alone is sent as an energetic signal through our nervous system, which in turn activates our muscles, bones, and ligaments. Our bodies go to work for us, moving energy in the direction of our thought. Soon, we are physically moving – we getting up and getting ready to go to work. The thought “I need to get up for work” results in the reality that you physically get up for work. Our thoughts create reality and our life’s circumstances are the direct result of a thought we had at some point. They are the seeds and our circumstances are its fruit.
Through setting intentions, we calibrate or tune in – like a radio receiver that switches stations and finds clarity, you too are able to better tune into people or situations that may help you move along your desired pathway. It brings awareness to our lives. For example, if I have “loving, kind, and committed romantic relationship” as an intention, dating becomes “conscious dating”. Knowing what I want here keeps me on the path toward getting it, so I don’t get carried away in a relationship that is not aligned with what I want.
There are so many ways to look at it. It’s also like a non-secular prayer, on a schedule. It’s an act that relies on the divinity within and our connection to the universe to bring forth that which wants to come forth in our lives. We are incredibly powerful creatures and in fact, we are creators – I believe this is what is meant in the Bible when it is said that we were created in God’s likeness. We have so much more potential than we’ve been led to believe. This is a way of tapping into that power.
Setting intentions at the beginning of each moon cycle is one of my favorite ways to connect with my spirit. This is time and space that has been set aside to check in with myself – to take an honest look at my life. Because it honors the rhythm of nature, it also serves a reminder of the connection we have to Mother Earth and To Great Spirit. Recognizing their presence removes any sense of isolation I might feel, and performing this ritual with others brings me into communion with them as well.
Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my personal experiences with this process and on Saturday, I’ll post with my actual process so that you can give it a try if you’re inclined. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
I love you.