Why the lunar circle is reborn

June 7, 2023 0 Comments

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Chances are you’ve heard someone talk about a moon circle or seen an Instagram post promoting a moon circle. You might even be responsible for at least one of the 4.6 million views on TikTok videos tagged #mooncircle. Moon circles have a moment.

But the practice of gathering to harness the vibrations of the moon has existed in various cultures for thousands of years. So why exactly are we seeing a resurgence lately?

Young people on the beach at sunset participate in a moon circle
(Photo: Anchiy/Getty)

Why do we see more moon circles?

We do not know exactly what mysticism the first visitors to the moon circles attributed to the moon phases. But we know from rock paintings that our ancestors made up the phases of the moon. And we know that they sat with each other in a circle around the fire, told stories and looked up at the expanse of the night sky. While these ancient gatherings are thought to have helped people connect with the divine, celebrate the feminine, and seek clarity, these effects may have had as much to do with coming together as a community than honoring the moon.

The importance of community is well documented. Moon circles go a step further by providing a space to share desires, successes and challenges in a non-judgmental space. This sense of support and less aloneness in our experience of being human can help us open our minds not only to moonlight, but also to unexpected answers to whatever we seek.

So what does it say about us as a society that moon circles are popular on social media? After we survived the global pandemic, we felt disconnected from ourselves and each other, which prompted a greater need to connect with others and nature. This may partly explain our return to the timeless ritual of gathering with others, grounding in nature, and sharing our intentions.

“Moon circles are a place to give and receive support while taking care of yourself and letting go of what no longer serves you,” says Jana Bell, certified yoga, meditation instructor, and Moon Circle teacher. “Participants discover that they can offer self-care to the tender parts of themselves that want to be seen and heard.” Bell believes that working on it as a community rather than alone makes the process easier.

Friends take part in a moon circle outside at night while sitting by the fire
(Photo: Volodymyr Servan/Getty)

What is a lunar circle?

In ancient times, moon circles were performed for various reasons. For example, in indigenous cultures, women built circles using stones to physically mark the transition to womanhood. The ritual of building a moon circle was their way of commemorating this milestone.

Modern moon circles look a little different. It could be 20 people journaling by candlelight indoors, or four people meditating by a campfire outside. Meetings can be structured or informal, somber or festive. They may even incorporate other practices and rituals, including yoga and tarot card readings, to help visitors gain a sense of self-awareness and unity.

“The four main parts of my moon circles are movement, meditation, journaling, and ritual,” says Bell. “We include a fast-paced yoga flow to ground you and prepare you for a journey of self-discovery through visualization, reflection and journaling.”

Moon circles can provide a grounding force at times when we feel isolated, overwhelmed, even at the mercy of forces greater than ourselves. “When people come together and create intentions, the energy is naturally amplified,” says Lauren DeGolia, a clarity consultant and astrologer. Think of moon circles as hanging out with a group of friends who you feel will lift your spirits and, if necessary, help keep you accountable.

According to DeGolia, a possible benefit of having people around you is that you can feel and express your feelings in a safe place and feel less alone. You can reflect on your emotions in silence, write them down in a journal, and, if you feel comfortable, share them with a larger group. “Connecting between people in the lunar circle is paramount to helping you feel noticed and acknowledged.”

There is no set sequence of actions for the lunar circle. Instead, what unfolds depends on the phase of the moon and the person leading the circle.

When do moon cycles occur?

Just as the Moon’s gravitational pull affects our tides and climate, it also affects our thoughts and feelings. Moon circles traditionally occur when the lunar energy is most intense, namely during new and full moons.

New moons feel like a blank slate. The darkness of the new moon, blending into the night and hidden from view, prompts deep reflection, commitment to change, and setting intentions for what we want. It is often referred to as the time to sow the seeds of what you want to eventually emerge. For millennia, it has been seen as a chance for new beginnings.

Instead, a full moon shines a light—both literally and metaphorically—on what you need to focus on. It illuminates and reveals those things in your life that might otherwise remain unexplored. For example, during a full moon, you might spend time journaling the reasons you’re grateful for.

Moon circles, which draw on the energy of the full moon, help us connect with what we desire for our future, says DeGolia. The full moon highlights areas of progress as well as areas where you may need to be more consistent in order to achieve your goals. For example, simply wishing for more money is useless without taking concrete steps to change your financial situation.

Moon phases can bring strong emotions to the surface and give you a reason to check your emotions. They can allow us to overcome our fears and gain clarity about how we want to see our future. Gathering in the presence of others can help us process these emotions in a place that has long been considered sacred.

A woman keeps a diary by candlelight, participating in the lunar circle
(Photo: Simon Bond/Getty)

What you can expect from a moon circle

KJ Atlas, a Los Angeles-based consulting astrologer, sets aside 90 minutes to conduct the Moon Circles each New Moon. She begins with a lesson on the effect of the new moon on your current zodiac sign and shares tips for setting intentions around the topic.

“In April, for example, the action-oriented new moon in Aries can push you to set goals that require strength and courage,” says Atlas. For example, it could be about an area of ​​your life where you feel stuck. Perhaps you are dissatisfied with your job and are thinking about a career change. But before you quit your job or rush headlong into graduate school, you might want to consider other options, including how you feel in your current situation.

She then moves into a related meditation and offers insight into the participants’ birth charts. To facilitate reflection, she provides journal prompts for setting intentions and then opens up a space for sharing.

“The moon circle is a deliberate gathering,” says Atlas. “When you put your goals out into the world, that’s the beauty,” she says, explaining that the social aspect of moon circles allows us to support others’ goal-setting and feel a sense of responsibility for our own.

Despite what many popular memes suggest, the goals you set for the new moon won’t necessarily manifest in the two weeks leading up to the next full moon. “It’s better to set goals that coincide with the full moon six months later, when it’s in the same sign as the new moon,” she says.

But there are effects immediately after the lunar cycle. “It can be a way to connect with others,” says Atlas. “In addition to making new friends, participants can expect to feel a deeper sense of self-love, clarity and awareness after each event.”

DeGolia encourages bringing a sense of curiosity to the moon circle. This in turn increases your awareness and creates a stronger connection with you, your intuition and your needs, as well as with those around you. There is power in the fact that you feel seen, heard and understood. And your presence inspires others to have similar experiences.

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