Mental Health, Creativity, and the Lunar Cycle
Whether you can associate your own physical or emotional responses to the lunar cycles, there’s no denying that the moon is responsible for the natural rhythms that we are surrounded by, connected to and a part of. As the tidal waves change, the seasons shift, and the kingdoms of nature ebb and flow, we too are physically & mentally motioned into rhythms by the lunar cycles. As a woman, I know how the moon relates to my own personal cycles; as a gardener, I know how it relates to plant life; and as a human, I understand how it relates to my creativity.
Plants, People, and the Lunar Cycles
We follow what’s called a biodynamic gardening calendar to harmonize our relationship with the garden, and hopefully achieve the quality of produce that we’re after by timing our activities with the rhythms of the moon. By following the lunar cycles, we can choose optimal dates for sowing root, leaf, flower & fruit crops through the year, with each requiring varying lunar circumstances. So what does biodynamic gardening have to do with creativity? We tend to the garden based on the lunar cycle, but we also ARE the garden. Let me break it down:
The new moon is an ideal time for seeding, as the rooting force is greatest. This time of darkness is when we are asked to go inward, to find calm, tap into our creativity, and to set goals. This is the time to get your mental soil ready and plant your intentions.
At the waxing crescent, energies gain momentum and plants want to reach up, making it a great time to work with above ground crops. This energy is asking us to put our new moon intentions into motion. This is a time to take creative endeavors from the planning phase to the sketching, brainstorming, and outlines; honing in on your vision and moving your concept from an idea to something tangible (to concentrate on what you want the ‘fruit’ of your project to look like).
The full moon, with its greatest luminosity and fullest power, has energy levels soaring. During this time, the garden makes leaps and bounds in growth, and it’s a great time for transplanting, as it encourages flowering. While this time can result in heightened emotions, fatigue, or disrupted sleep cycles for humans, this intense energy should be the culmination of new moon goals & fruited ideas.
The waning crescent is a great growth period for root vegetables. This time of transitioning back to the new moon is considered a time of release, closure, and ending to our new moon intentions. Here we are asked to focus less on the creative output and more on the creative process as a whole. If we think of a writer publishing a book during the full moon, the waning crescent moon would be reflecting on how the project moved from A to B and what that piece of writing means in the larger picture of life.
Cycles of Creativity
To summarize how humans engage with creativity during the lunar cycle, it moves from an inward idea into an outward projection, and then into reflection.
The new moon asks us to clear our minds so we can listen to the quiet energy coming from the root of us – and to then put those ideas or projects out into the world as the energy builds through the full moon.
Then we are given space to reflect on our creation, to look at the bigger picture and what the pieces of this creative experience will be useful for informing the next cycle of creativity.
We move through the moon phases 12 times over the course of the year, which are then associated with the 4 tides as follows:
Spring equinox to summer solstice: the growing tide
Summer solstice to autumn equinox: the reaping tide
Autumn equinox to winter solstice: the resting tide
Winter solstice to spring equinox: the cleansing tide
These tides reflect the cycle of nature, but also echo the movement of self through growth- be it internal, in our relationships, or through creative endeavors. As we move with these tides, we are being supported and guided through our growth.
Using a Lunar Technique for Creativity
While the world has its seasons, your life does too. The law of rhythm states that the nature of life is cyclical, and all of the natural world moves through seasons of change. The key to forging your connection to the energy flow of the lunar cycles is to understand your phases and embrace the tide.
Sometimes you will need to be bold & bright, bringing others into the light of your creative project; other times, you need stillness and quiet, where you can hear the internal bubblings that propel you through change or creativity. These two ways of being are not in opposition to each other, but a completion of oneness, as together they make up full arc of the creative process.
During the resting and cleansing tides, we may feel like we haven’t done enough or made enough progress, but that’s because the progress will be internal & subtle. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t on course to your ‘Moon Shot’.
Sometimes I remind myself that I share fingerprints with no one else… the stars guide whales on massive journeys… the sun ripens harvests… and the moon, as far away as it is, controls the tides both in the ocean – and within us! Considering all of that, then maybe recognizing the lunar cycles isn’t some far reaching idea, but something we are all creatively capable of, if we humble ourselves to be guided by nature.