Last weekend was a full moon. Its beauty was radiating and full of inspiration.
Back in August, when we were traveling and staying on a rural island in Japan, I started building a more intimate relationship with the ebbs and flow of the moon cycles. In the night sky, unaffected by the city’s light pollution, the moon slowly grew in its luminescence over two weeks while we were there. By the time the moon cycle reached its fullness, we had left the island and were in the midst of Tokyo. Our tiny apartment, six minutes from the famous Shibuya crossing, was sandwiched between tall and narrow buildings and had no allowance to see an open sky. I felt disappointed that I could not fully witness the climax of its moonlight, but I also felt and saw the tangible presence of the full moon through my heart eyes. In the late evening in Tokyo, with the sound of the constant buzzing of cars and trains passing by, I had an inner dialogue with the moon in the tiny apartment after the kids and Frido went to sleep and wrote down in my journal about aspects of my life I wanted to let go as well as other aspects I wanted to bring into.
Setting an intention and saying it aloud to yourself, others around you, or on your journal pages is a powerful act. It brings a moment of conscious reflection and accountability. Throughout September, I kept returning to my journal page, where I wrote down my full-moon intention and used it as a beacon in my everyday decision-making process.
At the beginning of October, after settling back into our canyon rhythm, we invited a few friends to join us on the full-moon canyon hike. The idea was straightforward and spontaneous. “Tomorrow is a full moon. Let’s bring our families together to go on a hike and set aside a few moments of silence to release and cast our intentions”. One of our friends who was an experienced runner on the trail of Santa Monica mountains knew precisely where we should go to reach above the thick marine layer cloud on the night. We hiked briefly as the full moon’s reflection lit our way through the ridge-line trail. The spot we landed was gorgeous. We could see our beloved Topanga Canyon to the right as well as the sprouting Valley night lights on the left. I think we felt pretty giddy about how amazing it felt to be so high up in the mountain and so close to the moon. It felt humbling to receive all of the luminance from the moon and the sun as sunlight reflected upon the side of the moon. After spending some time, we decided to take a moment of silence together, all gazing towards the moon. The silence was short and sweet as our two furry tribe members started making goofy noises, and we all started laughing, breaking the silence. But the ritual was powerful.
After coming home the night, I created a dedicated planner calendar, only following the moon phases and their relationship to my intentions during each cycle. I love the minimalistic design of JIYU monthly, so I hacked into the page and created a spread that indicated the moon phase and day of the week only— excluding the monthly name or dates. On the same page, I also wrote down what I hoped to release and what I desired to cast into to remind myself of the intentions and see how having this spread would affect my inner world. Throughout the moon cycle, I paid attention to small details of my life and jotted down the highlights and insights around the intentions in each box of the moon phase.
I just finished using the first moon cycle spread as we celebrated another full moon, and I love the subtle changes I started to observe. Since I was closely relating myself to the moon phases on my journal page, I physically paid more attention to witnessing the shift of the moon every night. When I walked Mango in the neighborhood at the end of each day, I observed how dark it felt without a flashlight, how much shadow the moon was casting, and how bright my hand was lit by no other light source than the moon. The fall season tends to be busy for us as homeschoolers, and we had a lot of fun events packed into the past month. But by experiencing time through the moon’s relationship with the sun, the passage of time felt different - a little bit slower and gentler. There was a sense of having grass half-full instead of feeling completely exhausted every night. I felt a little more human.
As I start filling the new moon phase pages on my JIYU notebook, I wonder and marvel at many things about the mystery of the moon. The moon is always present despite our visual perception of it appearing and disappearing depending on the moon phase. The full moon is the only moon phase that arises from the horizon at the same time as sunset on the opposite side of the horizon (I just learned that!). Tides and swells in the ocean are pulled higher by the new and full moon, and so are the moisture in the soil as well as the water in our bodies. When the moonlight lights us, we are lit by the sunshine, only much gentler. The moonlight is one way to actually see the sunlight with our bare eyes.
As we enter the season of quietness and darkness, I hope to be in a more intimate relationship with the moon and other greater forces around us.