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When you start to get in tune with the lunar cycles, you start to connect with nature.

The moon is a seemingly luminous floating thing out there in the sky, yet even with the naked eye she looks amazing. Watching the moon from month to month and year to year will put you in touch with her cycles and rhythms – it will help you to remember that we’re all a part of something much bigger. When you start to get in tune with the moon’s cycles, you start to connect with the cosmos and nature. We twenty-first-century humans tend to be quite disconnected from the latter so getting outdoors and engaging with nature by watching the mysterious moon is a real remedy. The most important aspect of connecting with the moon is becoming aware of where in the lunar cycle she is at any time of the month, following her through her eight phases.

The lunar month

Although the moon appears to change shape in the sky as she moves through these phases – from New to Waxing, to Quarter to Full Moon, and back again – in fact, it’s her position in relation to the Sun and the Earth that’s changing. The illustration above shows how the phases change over the course of the Moon’s 29 1⁄2-day cycle. (Note that the angles shown are those created when we trace a line from the Earth to the Sun and from the Earth to the Moon. So 0-degrees is the New Moon and once the Moon has moved 180-degrees around the Earth, that’s the Full Moon).

Learn more about the phases of the lunar month in the words of Yasmin Boland, extracted from her book Moonology.

The new moon phase

- Plant the seeds of your dreams.

- This phase begins 1-3 1/2 days after the Balsamic moon.

- Keywords of this phase: a clean slate, potential, dreams.

The waxing crescent phase

- Explore your dreams.

- This phase begins 3 1/2-7 days after the New Moon.

- Keywords of this phase: courage, moving forwards, faith.

The first quarter phase

- It's time to commit.

- This phase begins 7-10 1/2 days after the New Moon.

- Keywords of this phase: challenge, confidence, commit.

The gibbons phase

- Stay on course.

- This phase begins 10 1/2 - 15 days after the New Moon.

Keywords of this phase: teak, hone, adjust.

The full moon phase

- It's make-or-break time.

- This phase begins 15 - 18 1/2 days after the New Moon.

- Keywords of this phase: results, forgiveness, gratitude.

Extracted from Moonology by Yasmin Boland, published by Hay House UK, £10.99