According to astrology, the new moon is a moment for blank slates and big dreams.
Astrologers assign each of the moon's eight phases to a different energy. Think of the full moon, new moon and the waxing and waning phases in between as windows of opportunity, with each opening the door to a different action.
This technique, known as "moon mapping," is a way to structure your days, weeks and years in tandem with the moon's energy.
So, what does the new moon offer, exactly? Read on for run-down about the astrological meaning of the new moon and rituals to conduct during this three-day phase.
What is the astrological meaning of the new moon?
The new moon marks the beginning of the lunar cycle. This phase occurs when the moon is between the Earth and the sun in its orbit, which means the side of the moon not facing the earth — the "dark side" — is lit up.
Often called a “dark moon” since it’s invisible in the sky, the first lunar phase of the 29.5-day cycle pushes us to dream big.
This is our astrological moment to invite a new goal, idea, sentiment, or relationship into our lives. Imagine all the possibilities and manifest them into reality by visualizing them.
While the new moon offers a chance to symbolically start over, it also has a resonance in our relationships. If you've been feeling bogged down by tension, use this three-day phase to break the cycle. Start a new routine. Go on a date. Do something different — and see if different feelings spring up.
Here are astrologer-approved new moon rituals
Set an intention
The new moon is a prime time for intention-setting. Think of intentions as seeds you're planting into the ground, and "watering" through genuine belief and action. Over the course of the lunar cycle, you'll watch this grow.
To set an intention, write down a goal or an aspiration that you're wanting to bring to life. Meditate on them to give it energy and wings to take off.
The easiest way to visualize your dreams is to create a vision board.
To do this, channel your inner crafter, and don't be afraid to get glue everywhere. If you're not keen on drawing yourself, start by cutting out pictures from magazines or words that inspire you. Then, paste your findings on a larger piece of paper. Put it together, and the vision board should be a map of what calls to your spirit and beckons you to a new direction — the one your higher self imagines for you.
Whenever you’re looking for inspiration, gaze at the collage. Seeing is believing and this will give you the incentive to make your dreams come true, as you’re constantly being reminded and seeing them. The vision board gives you a clear direction towards the goals you are manifesting, allowing you to constantly be aware of what you’re wanting and trying to bring to fruition.
Write in your journal
Keeping track of the way you feel is important to do during every lunar phase, particularly the new moon.
Journaling is both a way to get in touch with your inner self and a way to measure progress. Eventually, you can look back on the entries written during the new moon to see how your life has changed.
Write down aspirations and hopes in the journal. Be sure to note any idea that comes to mind, as it’ll be important to your personal or professional development later on (if not now).
It might be possible to change how you think about yourself, one sentence at a time. A study in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that stating positive affirmations can "decrease stress, increase well being, improve academic performance and make people more open to behavior change.”
Create a short, memorable positive affirmation to rely on during this time can the month to come. Something like: "I am enough." Or, "I am capable doing hard things." Repeat it again and again — and as you do, believe it. In doing so, you will lay the groundwork to create change. The new moon is a prime time to set affirmations in place for the month ahead.
Clean your home
Embrace your inner Virgo (an Earth sign known for neatness) and get rid of everything that is no longer of use to you. Think of this as your monthly cleanse to create a space that is open — and ready to be filled with positivity.
Another idea? Leave fresh lavender flowers in every room to clear out the negative vibes that may have accumulated in the past weeks. For a bonus, add few sprigs of peppermint and lemon peels to neutralize and brighten your living space.
Plan your calendar for the month ahead. Instead of just winging it, make sure that all your extracurricular activities, classes, and appointments are set up for you and your family.
Doing so will ensure that you’re able to commit to other priorities, be it a last minute happy hour with colleagues, date with your significant other or hang time with your friends. The more organized you are, the more time you’ll have to prioritize yourself. This translates to self-care activities like long, relaxing baths, yoga, massage sessions, or some good, old-fashioned rest and relaxation.