Happy New Moon and solar eclipse! This year in North America, the tropical Taurus lunar cycle spans April 30 – May 30 2022.
If you have been practicing with me for a while, you may notice that since the equinox I have switched from using the sidereal theory of the zodiac to using the tropical theory. In case you’re curious, this blog post will tell you a bit more about that transition process for me.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
why follow the lunar calendar?
At each New Moon, the inspiration from the Moon [beauty, connection, nourishment, sensitivity] and Sun [constancy, order, protection from harm, self-confidence] come together in a unique section of the sky. You can treat this conjunction as a seed moment, wherein you can use the unique inspiration of each lunation’s theme to initiate a potent, rhythmic flow to practicing living life.
If you’re interested, you can click here to for an instant download of the North and South Indian astrology charts of the New Moon moment. (Note: this calculation uses the tropical zodiac with sidereal calculations for the nakṣatras.)
The following steps outline a process that you could follow to engage with the cosmic inspiration over the course of this lunar cycle.
Step 1: new moon – access your free 2022 lunar calendar
step 2: new moon – acquaint yourself with the ruling planet of this cycle
step 3: new moon – determine how the CORE CONCEPTS of the ruling planet ARE characterized
The zodiac sign (rāśi) determines how the Core Concepts are flavoured / characterized.
In particular, note that this is the REFLECTIVE form of Venus, rather than the active form (Libra). Characteristics of Taurus include sensuality, stability, dependability, stillness, pleasure and acquisition. The Archetype of Taurus from the reclaim. Program is The (Practical) Artist.
step 4: new moon – brainstorm
The New Moon and the two days that follow are a great time for brainstorming. Consider journaling, making voice memos and/or creating space for thinking and consideration regarding the below prompts. Know that this New Moon time is NOT about editing what you come up with! It is about getting everything out that comes up.
Note: This New Moon also brings with it a solar eclipse. From our perspective on Earth, the Moon will partially block the light of the Sun. Symbolically, this is like the values of [beauty, connection, nourishment and sensitivity] blocking the clarity that comes from the values of [constancy, order, protection from harm and self-confidence]. This can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. It can also offer an opportunity to reset your relationship with those solar values. Because of the added eclipse energy to this cycle, I invite you to rest during this New Moon period. If it feels good to brainstorm, go for it! And if you notice yourself wanting to step away, gift yourself that space. There is a lot going on! This is an opportunity to practice self-connection and self-care.
Brainstorming: The Core Concepts
- Consider this cycle’s Core Concepts (see Step 2): abundance, comfort, expertise, and self-expression. Do any of these have particular resonance for you at this time? And why?
- These Core Concepts can also be considered ‘values’ or ‘needs.’ Are your Needs for abundance, comfort, expertise, and self-expression met or unmet at this time? As part of your brainstorming, you could describe examples of when each of these were and were not met, noticing the circumstances and who was involved in each scenario.
Brainstorming: The Characteristics
- Consider this cycle’s characteristics (see Step 3): sensuality, stability, dependability, stillness, pleasure and acquisition. Which resonate with you most? And why?
- Do you consider yourself an artist?
- What do you define as ‘art?’
- When was the last time you saw practical beauty at play in everyday life? What did you appreciate about it? Who is the creator?
- Do you consider yourself a creator?
- Are certain situations, circumstances or people entering into your thoughts as you complete this exercise?
- Do you want to take time to reflect on any of these (situations, circumstances or people) over this cycle?
Note that not every Concept or Characteristic may resonate with you, and that’s okay! The invitation is to work with whatever is alive in you now.
step 5: new moon – requests
Formulate requests of yourself based on your reflections (Step 4) that will support you in taking action and building momentum over the waxing half of this cycle.
Try writing your requests using positive action language: that is, expressing what you ARE requesting of yourself (rather than what you ARE NOT requesting). Be as clear and concrete as possible, using specific dates, objects, activities, times, etc.
- IE. Am I willing to do 25 minutes of knitting on my new mitten project each day during the waxing half of this cycle?
Notice if you want to make any requests of others based on your reflections. Again, you can write your requests using positive action language. You may wish to take a few days to consider them, updating them as needed before sharing them with others.
- IE. Would you be willing to give me a 15 minute neck massage once per week for each week this month?
Remember: requests are just that.. requests. Not demands. Requests are received as demands when someone (including yourself) thinks they will be blamed or punished if they do not comply. Can you practice making requests of yourself and others, leaving space to receive a ‘no?’
step 6: first quarter moon – act!
The waxing half of the cycle is about getting stuff done!
Try out your requests: see how things go, modify if something really isn’t working, stick with something if you’re not sure, add something in if you want!
Any practice is an expression of Patañjali’s Yoga when it has these three qualities:
1. It enables you to challenge your past. Think: friction, heat producing, going against your own grain.
2. It enables you to self-regulate going forwards, creating the space for critical thinking.
3. It is done in devotion to all People having the option to choose to practice (1) and (2) also; it is a practice of devotion to Sovereignty (Yoga Sūtra II.1).
The point here is to draw inspiration from the current lunar cycle into your yoga practice (aka your practice of morally constraining your mind (Yoga Sūtra I.2)). Which actions need changing / interrupting / nurturing in your life based on inspiration from the Core Concepts? How can shift from (un)luck in these areas (aka causation) to control in these areas (aka responsibility)?
step 7: full moon – reflect
At this phase, the Sun’s full light is being reflected by the Moon. Symbolically, the beautiful, connected, nourished and sensitive parts of you are basking in the light of your own constancy, order, protection from harm and self-confidence.
This is a time to celebrate! It is a time to reflect. It is a time to appreciate yourself and the choices that you have made over the first half of this lunar cycle.
Only you know the most appropriate way to do this: it might look like connecting with others, it could look like solitude. It might sound loud and boisterous, it could sound like silence. Tune into your body and see what it’s asking for!
Note: This Full Moon also brings with it a lunar eclipse. From our perspective on Earth, the Sun’s light on the Moon will be fully blocked by the Earth’s shadow. Symbolically, this is like the values of [beauty, connection, nourishment and sensitivity] being deprived of the clarity that comes from the values of [constancy, order, protection from harm and self-confidence]. This can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. It can also offer an opportunity to reset those lunar values. Because of the added eclipse energy to this cycle, I invite you to rest during this Full Moon period. If it feels good to celebrate, go for it! And if you notice yourself wanting to relax, gift yourself that space. There is a lot going on! This is an opportunity to practice self-connection and self-care.
step 8: last quarter moon – reflect
This phase is all about taking a compassionate and discerning look at how this cycle went for you. This is your opportunity to release what didn’t work, integrate what did and prepare for rest.
So, what worked? What didn’t? Were your preparation and brainstorming efforts during the New Moon helpful? Did you follow through with your requests or did you end up going in an entirely different direction?
Did you ‘make the most’ of the cycle? Why or why not? Regardless of your answer, remember that this cycle will come around again! You always have the opportunity to improve and practice; no lessons of this section of the sky will ever be ‘lost.’
What are you ready to let go of from this cycle? Is there anything else (related or unrelated) that is taking up space and is ready for release?
What are you wanting to integrate from this cycle? Consider normative lessons that can be applied across different relationships/circumstances. You might write them on a piece of paper to tape to your fridge or mirror, so that every time you see this reminder you can practice integrating them.
How can you prepare for rest? Is there anything that you can put off starting until next cycle? Remember: free time doesn’t have to mean available time. Free time can be in and of itself productive. How can you gift yourself with spaciousness?
I hope that this post offers you some inspiration over the course of this lunar cycle! Know that there is no one ‘right way’ to follow the Moon; my hope is only to spark curiosity and empowerment within you.
If you are looking to practice with others, please consider joining the reclaim. Program, where we dive deeply into each lunar cycle’s inspiration, using the map of the cosmos to practice self-understanding within the backdrop of Patañjali’s Yoga.
Intake for the next lunar cycle in Gemini opens on Lunar Cycle opens on May 23, 2022:
Sign up for the wait list to be notified when registration opens!
I wish you a nourishing and holistically productive lunar cycle! Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions or comments that you might have. And if you found this interesting, please consider sharing it with your network by using the icons below.
Note: the astrological inspiration contained in this blog post was synthesized as a result of my research into Vedic astrology and the tropical zodiac, combined with an active effort to remove gendering from the symbology. This post contains a blend of astrology, nonviolent communication (aka compassionate communication), and Patañjali’s yoga philosophy.