The new moon just past marks for me the first month of actually working with our own Moon Journal (available in our Etsy store). We've been so busy the past few months I hadn't even had a chance to use it! I figured I'd take moment to write about my experience with it.
I've tried to "work with the moon" before, and this consisted of two things. First, I made a list of each day in the moon cycle and the things that my various moon books told me I was supposed to be doing on that day. Never looked at it again. That was just way too complicated, and totally disconnected with any sense of reality! There's too many things I'm already trying to add to my daily routine, and trying to add moon stuff in seemed really backwards to me. The point of working with the moon was supposed to be helping me notice my own cycles and improve my functioning by working with them. Taking daily instructions based on someone else's breakdown of the moon cycle just didn't have any meaning to me.
Next, I did what most people usually do -- create an "intention" at the new moon, and then plan to review whether I'd achieved it on the full moon. What happened was that either my intention was too vague, or the whole process seemed like another "to-do" list. Then I'd go about my business for the next two weeks, say "oh, shit!" on the full moon, and realize I'd lost track of everything.
Enter our Moon Journal. I find that I really like starting with the Dark Moon, with sitting down with myself and checking in. What needs to be brought out, and what needs to be put to rest? Then, the whole point of the New Moon is to go from there. Based on what I learned last month, and who I am right now, what do I need to do this coming month? Not what I think I should do, or what I want to do, but what needs to happen next? And that intention has to be made real, FIRST. What will I actually DO? And how will I measure how I'm successful?
Even forcing myself to do just these two things has been huge. And the best part is that none of this journaling has taken a long time. To be totally honest, on the first new moon I forgot about doing this and ended up bringing the book with me into the bathroom just before bed. Not the most glorious and mystical experience. But I did it, and now you know that when we say "practical paganism for modern life," we really mean it.