I’ve always been drawn to setting goals. As someone who naturally values organisation, I have found that having a clear vision of what I aim to get done over a certain period of time really helps me feel productive and fulfilled. Months lend themselves well to the task of providing structure for smaller goals, not least since I’ve grown more interested in planning my life alongside the New and Full Moons.
I’m no expert (yet!) on using the phases of the Moon to promote positive vibes and draw powerful energy to your life, but it is something that really fascinates me. For centuries, we’ve used the lunar cycle to decide how best to do certain things – harvesting crops, for example – and learning more about her power has been insightful and fun. What does all this have to do with goals? Well, the New Moon is a great time to set intentions, to plant the seeds of the ideas which will grow and come to fruition as the month goes on and particularly around the time of the Full Moon.
Intentions are wishes you make, based on things you would like that you believe you can attain. For example, you might want a new job, so your intentions for the month might include working on your self-confidence and overhauling your CV. Some of my past intentions have been to make more time for writing (to eventually fulfill my dream of finishing my novel) and celebrate small mental health wins. In a way, I suppose, I set intentions that take me a step closer to something larger that I hope to achieve.
But how, exactly, does one go about setting their New Moon intentions? Again, I’m no expert, but I thought it’d be fun to share what I do.
I’ve wanted to try meditation for years, but always talked myself out of it for fear of getting it “wrong.” I finally bit the bullet recently and started using Headspace, which is great for bringing regular calm to your daily life, even if it’s just for a short spell of time. Last New Moon, however, I tried doing a longer, unguided meditation, which I’d read about in Moonology, a book which has proven to be a really valuable resource in learning more about the Moon and her phases. The meditation was a little difficult to get into at first but I felt very rested and inspired afterwards, so I’m going to give it another go next New Moon, too!
To get myself into the frame of mind to set my intentions for the month, I got my meditation music playlist ready, lit some candles and created a calming atmosphere in my bedroom. I started off by breathing deeply – in through the nose, out through the mouth – for a while, really focussing on the breaths, before moving onto repeating a mantra. Your mantra can be any saying that resonates with you, and you can say it out loud or in your head. I whispered mine, which helped me to stay focussed and kept my mind from straying.
The idea isn’t that what you want will all of a sudden occur to your as you meditate, but it certainly relaxes you into a state where, with a clearer mind, you may find it easier to articulate your intentions for the month.
| Be grateful
Following the advice in Moonology, I have been doing a spot of gratitude journalling before writing my monthly intentions. I don’t spend too much time on this – I have just been jotting down 3 to 5 people who’ve made me happy recently, with a note on how – but it can be really helpful for putting things in perspective and realising what you have. It’s always nice to say thank you before you ask for something else!
| Write down your intentions
Finally – again, based on guidance from Moonology – I write down up to 10 intentions. This can be hard; 10 wishes feels like rather a lot to me, but once you put your mind to it you’ll probably find that there’s quite a lot that you’d like! I then spend some time plotting how I’m to go about achieving my intentions, writing down some points for each one. For example, one of last month’s intentions was to live more consciously, so I noted down that I’d attempt to use my KeepCup everyday and buy products with less packaging.
| Release your intentions
What you do with your intentions once you’ve written them is up to you, but the main idea is to release them. In the act of writing them down, you’ve carved the desires into your subconscious and have spurred yourself onto attain them, but you need to also accept that you’re entrusting the universe with them too. Some people burn their lists, which doesn’t appeal to me very much but is supposed to be very effective, while others place theirs under a crystal grid or on an altar. I’ve tried placing mine under a wooden board, on top of which I have two crystals and a candle; I think the symbolic act of placing the list there, giving it a special position, is powerful. Last month, I wrote my intentions down in a notebook which lives in my desk drawer, and I honestly don’t think it worked as well.
It’s weird for me, as a staunch atheist, to give my time and interest to something like this, but learning about the Moon has really intrigued me. I have always loved the universe and the appeal for me is that this centres on self belief and motivation, on manifesting rather than expecting. I feel I am playing a big part in what I make of my life and it’s pretty inspiring.
Do you set New Moon intentions? Let me know your thoughts or tips in the comments!