Well, it only took two cycles of working with the moon to realize that we really needed to revisit how we work with the moon and what is and isn't working for us. We've been choosing an intention and selecting a tarot card that represents it, and then accompanying them with randomly picked oracle cards. Our original intent was to focus our intentions to something achievable within the cycle and to be really explicit about what we'd do .
That seemed to work the first cycle, where Sue worked with the fire energy of Strength, and Daniel started some projects with the newness of The Fool. This month, Sue intended to build foundations in a few areas with the Three of Pentacles, and Daniel decided to learn about the root chakra with the Magician.
What we found was that we felt we were somehow missing the target; both that what we were doing wasn't helping us to work with the cycle of the moon, and that we weren't harnessing the cycle of the moon to improve what we were doing. Sue felt somehow surprised that the "working" part of the cycle is really only about a week and a half, and then felt like such a small time frame really takes a different focus (can you guess she didn't manage to cement any of her foundations?) Daniel, however, DID do what he said he was going to do but then realized this left him nothing to work with the rest of the cycle.
So here's what we kind of figured out we need to do in order to better work with the moon. First, we need to select something that can be worked on and learned from in a short period of time. It can be something you want to keep working at over many moon cycles, but it needs to have a manageable focus within one cycle. Also, just like with a garden, it needs to have a period of effort and then harvest. Too often we go, go, go, and don't take the time to reflect and review or just rest. Much of the point of working with the moon cycle is to help us do that--to help remind us that the creative cycle and any kind of growth must be measured by both action and rest, yang and yin. In our culture it's too easy to forget that and either get burned out or just not get anywhere.
What we think will work is this: select an intention that can be associated with sustained action over a short period of time. It's kind of like making the bed--if it takes a half hour, you don't want to do it. But if it just takes five minutes, there's no good excuse. The point of these actions is not a check list, because that can be reviewed only as "done," or "not done." It might be better to view them as a mind map, or as flower petals coming off the center of the intention. These actions are more akin to "stuff to try," or throwing stuff at a wall, to see what sticks and what doesn't.
As an example, say one has the intention to develop a meditation practice. Maybe you *think* you know what that "should" look like, so you say you'll do it that certain way a few times. To round out the time till the full moon, you throw in a few wild cards like meditating in the bathroom, or trying it before you go to sleep at night even though everyone says not to do it when you're tired. But maybe you're just too lazy to find the eye mask and like to do it when it's dark.
Then, when it comes time for the full moon, you can look at your expectations and at reality and see what worked for you, and what you just need to let go of. Or, you can take a look at what came up during those sessions. The key is that the work is actionable, but open-ended.