It all started a decade ago when my college roommate and I began reading our monthly horoscopes by Susan Miller of AstrologyZone. On the first of the month, we would pour over what the stars had in store for us, and began planning trips, interviews, and dates based off of it-- and this was just the beginning.

Soon after reading the monthly astrology report, I started noticing how much emphasis was being put on the new moon. Not just by Susan Miller, but astrologers everywhere were talking about it, and how important it was to harness the energy of it. What's the best way to harness that energy? Creating a new moon ritual.

What is a new moon?

phases of the moon

Every 29.5 days, we have a new moon in the sky. The new moon is the first phase of the lunar cycle and is defined as” the moon's phase when it is in conjunction with the sun so that its dark side is toward the earth”. In astrology, the new moon is understood as being one of the best times for setting intentions. It is when energy is lowest. As the days, and moons, continue through the cycle, the seeds we sow during the new moon have the greatest potential for coming to fruition.

What are new moon rituals?

New moon rituals are rituals done during the new moon. Creating rituals, or routines, for self care, checking in, and completing certain tasks can create more balance in our lives. Since the new moon is known as the time to set intentions, this makes it an especially great time to really check in with all the dimensions of your life and put things into motion for the next cycle. They say that it takes about 30 days to start a new habit, so this is naturally a great opportunity to start that new project, break a bad habit, or begin a new one. Here is one way to tackle creating a new moon ritual that you can keep coming back to month after month.

Setting Intentions with the 9 Dimensions of Wellness

woman journaling

Depending on what you are wanting to call in over the next month, your new moon rituals may look a little different. Each month, I begin with doing an overall inventory of everything to help guide my intention setting process. One of the best tools I’ve found has been the 9 Dimensions of Wellness published by Ohio State University. They have broken down nine key components to living a balanced life.

Taking stock of these different elements of our lives on a consistent basis can offer a solid way to slay. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Take Inventory

Each new moon, sit down with your journal, and write down the following nine categories. For each category, rate it on a scale of 1-10-- ten being you feel totally fulfilled in this area of your life, and one being completely dissatisfied, or not present. Don’t spend too much time on each one, just write down the very first number that comes to mind after reading the following statements.

Here are the 9 Dimensions of Wellness according to OSU:

Emotional Wellness: The emotionally well person can identify, express and manage the entire range of feelings and would consider seeking assistance to address areas of concern.

Career Wellness: The professionally well person engages in work to gain personal satisfaction and enrichment, consistent with values, goals and lifestyle.

Social Wellness: The socially well person has a network of support based on interdependence, mutual trust, respect and has developed a sensitivity and awareness towards the feelings of others.

Spiritual Wellness: The spiritually well person seeks harmony and balance by openly exploring the depth of human purpose, meaning and connection through dialogue and self-reflection.

Physical Wellness: The physically well person gets an adequate amount of sleep, eats a balanced and nutritious diet, engages in exercise for 150 minutes per week, attends regular medical check-ups and practices safe and healthy sexual relations.

Financial Wellness: The financially well person is fully aware of financial state and budgets, saves and manages finances in order to achieve realistic goals.

Intellectual Wellness: The intellectually well person values lifelong learning and seeks to foster critical thinking, develop moral reasoning, expand worldviews and engage in education for the pursuit of knowledge.

Creative Wellness: The creatively well person values and actively participates in a diverse range of arts and cultural experiences as a means to understand and appreciate the surrounding world.

Environmental Wellness: The environmentally well person recognizes the responsibility to preserve, protect and improve the environment and appreciates the interconnectedness of nature and the individual.

Step 2: Reflect

woman reflecting near water

After you have rated all of your dimensions, notice which ones are the lowest on the chart, and pick one to be your area of focus for this next cycle. Once you choose, an area to focus on, journal about what’s missing from this area of your life. Here are a few prompts I use:

Step 3: Set Your Intention

After spending some time reflecting, it’s time to set your intention. What seeds do you want to plant today and watch blossom tomorrow? When it comes to setting intentions, here’s a few things to consider:

Start Small

It’s easy to start setting big goals and feel discouraged quickly. Think about your intention in terms of the next month. For example, if you’re working on financial wellness, maybe your ultimate goal is to have $5,000 in a savings account. An intention for this cycle could be to brainstorm ways to minimize your expenses.

Know your Why

When setting your intention, be on your why. If you are going to focus your attention this month on ways to minimize your expenses, think about what the $5,000 in savings is going to bring you. Is it for peace of mind? Freedom? A specific investment you want to make?

Make it a Mantra

Once you know what your intention is, and why you are setting it, write it down on it’s own piece of paper and put it somewhere you can see it regularly. For example, “I am minimizing my expenses so that I can have freedom in my life.”

Step 4: Visualize

woman lighting candles

Find a quiet space in your home and get comfortable. Put on some relaxing tunes, light the candles, and close your eyes. Begin to imagine what it looks and feels like for your intention to be fully manifested. Spend time rejoicing in that feeling. Allow it to really sink in. When you have that $5,000 in your savings account, how will you feel? If you have a hard time with visualizing it, repeat your new mantra out loud a few times, until it feels natural to say.

Step 5: Put it on Display

Take your new mantra and hang it on the mirror, above your desk, on the fridge, or anywhere that you will see it throughout your day. Let this be your reminder as you go through motions so if you fall off track, you can come back to it.

These are some tips to get you started, but of course your new moon ritual may look more elaborate, or more simple than this. The important thing is to set aside some time for yourself and get those intentions rolling. The universe is here to support you-- let it know what you desire!

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