Moon gazing is a radically underestimated way to spend an evening. If you’ve ever looked up into the the night sky and gazed at the Moon, you’ll know if can be a peaceful and calming experience. But did you know the practice of Moon gazing, has been around for centuries, and provides a whole host of unlikely benefits to health and wellness?
Moon gazing as a form of meditation is also something that’s gaining popularity today, as more and more modern spiritual seekers come to recognize its power to offer a deeper connection to the great mysteries of life…
The Benefits of Moon Gazing
At its simplest, Moon gazing involves looking at the Moon (no kidding!) either during the full Moon, new Moon, or any other phase of the lunar cycle, and allowing yourself to connect with its energy. Whether this is done through a formal meditation practice, or simply as a way to pass the time, there are some tangible benefits that people notice unfolding over time.
Here are some of the benefits of moon gazing:
- Improved sleep: Steady gazing at the moon can help calm your mind and relax your body, leading to better sleep quality.
- Deep relaxation: Moon gazing will often induce a state of deep relaxation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety, improving mood overall. This is especially true when practicing a Moon gazing meditation.
- Increased intuition: Many people Moon gazing, and meditation with the Moon helps them tap into intuitive information. Learning to trust that gut feeling can lead to deeper insights into themselves and their lives.
- Better mental health: Moon gazing can be a helpful tool for managing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. And it can reduce stress, meaning mental challenges are easier to face.
- Grounding: Those who Moon gaze often report feeling more grounded, as well as being more connected to the world around them. It can often promote feelings of stability and embodiment.
- Connection to nature: Moon gazing is a great way to connect with the natural world and appreciate the beauty and vastness of the night sky.
- Connection to star family (family of light): People connected to their own cosmic origins often find Moon gazing and Moon meditation is a powerful way to strengthen that bond.
- Connection to the energy of the divine: For the Ancient Greeks, the Moon was the personification of the Goddess Selene. Today, many spiritual seekers believe you can connect to this powerful lunar deity by gazing at the Moon.
- Feminine energy: In many cultures, our beloved Moon is associated with feminine energy and the goddess. She is believed to have a particular influence on women’s health and well-being. In many cases, spending time Moon gazing can help balance hormones and regulate menstrual cycles.
- Mindfulness meditation: Moon gazing can be a form of mindfulness meditation, helping you stay present in the moment and cultivate a deeper sense of awareness. Using a specific Moon gazing meditation with intention can really help anchor this in.
- Experience of the lunar cycles: By observing the moon’s phases, and actually interacting with them in this way, you can gain a deeper understanding of the lunar cycles and how they relate to your own life.
There are very few reasons not to practice Moon gazing! It’s such a simple yet powerful practice that not only helps us to connect with the Moon’s power, but gain more profound insights into your own inner landscape.
So whether you practice meditation or simply want to go out into nature and spend an evening gazing up at the night sky, Moon gazing is a beautiful and rewarding experience that is worth exploring.
The Science Behind Moon Gazing
It’s true, there is limited scientific evidence on the benefits of moon gazing. It’s not the kind of thing that’s easy to study in a controlled manner! But it’s believed that the act of gazing at the Moon can activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that’s responsible for calming the body and reducing stress levels. This activation serves to soothe, and over time it can re-imprint the nervous system, leading to a decrease in anxiety and an increase in feelings of relaxation and calmness. It can also improve our ability to deal with challenging circumstances, enabling you to stay in control of your emotional body and trauma responses.
Moon gazing is also similar to the yogic technique of trataka, which involves steady gazing at a candle flame. By focusing your gaze on the Moon, you may be able improve your concentration and focus, which can lead to an overall improvement in mental clarity.
In addition to promoting relaxation and mental clarity, Those who Moon gaze often find it easier to connect to their intuition and gut feelings. There are no scientific tests for this!
The system of Ayurveda recommends that moon gazing be done by women, especially those who are looking to increase their fertility. Again, the Moon cycles are believed to be intimately connected to the menstrual cycles of women. Though, of course, very few rigorous scientific studies have been done on this.
While the science doesn’t show us much around the benefits of Moon gazing, it’s vital to realise that the energy of the Moon operates on subtle levels, so you need to trust your intuition when it comes to Moon work. Don’t discount something based on a lack of research – do your own!
How to Moon Gaze
Although Moon gazing can be as simple as heading out on a Moonlit night to stare up at the sky, you will benefit from ritualising the practice and infusing it with intention of some kind.
Doing this will help harness the incredibly power that is available when you gaze at the Moon! By consciously turning your attention away from the mundane, you will enter the realm of possibility…
Here’s how you can start Moon gazing tonight:
1. Begin by finding a quiet space outside where you can see the Moon clearly. Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed before you begin.
2. Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down in. You can sit cross-legged on the ground or on a chair, or lie down on a blanket.
3. Focus your gaze on the Moon.
4. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment. Allow your thoughts to settle. Notice the beauty of the moon and the world around you. Take in the energy of the Moon and the universe beyond.
5. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to the light of the Moon. You can also try visualizing the moon in your mind’s eye to help you focus.
6. When you feel complete, gently close your eyes and offer up a prayer of thanks to Old Grandmother Moon for her watchful gaze back at you.
Can you look directly at the Moon?
Unlike our other celestial body of light, the Sun, YES you can look directly at the Moon.
Depending on the lunar phase, she will appear in the morning, daytime, evening or night. And at the dark Moon phase, she is invisible.
How long should you Moon gaze for?
Practice moon gazing for at least 10-15 minutes each time. If you practice meditation already then you could easily Moon gaze for longer – 30 minutes.
You may want to try a weekly practice, gazing at each quarter Moon. Or perhaps you feel like going in strong and devoting an entire lunar cycle to the practice, moon gazing daily for 29 days straight?! Or maybe practicing a full moon meditation feels like enough?
The key is to use your intuition – astrologically, this is what the Moon rules, so it’s how she will speak to you!
Do choose what feels managable, and try to create a rhythm that fits into your other spiritual work. Each time you Moon gaze, ensure you do it for at least 10 minutes, to receive the benefits. And remember to track what you feel and experience in a journal.
You can do this during any phase of the moon, but it is especially powerful during the full moon and new moon phases.
When to Moon gaze (What’s the best lunar phase for Moon gazing?)
The best time for moon gazing is typically during a full moon when the moon is at its brightest and most visible.
But it’s possible (and beneficial) to Moon gaze at other phases of the lunar cycle too.
This is because the Moon offers different kinds of energy at different phases. Gazing into these, will help you to harness that energy, so that you can infuse it into your life and work (yes, we are getting a little metaphysical here, but stay with me!)
Moon gazing at the New Moon phase
At the new Moon phase, la Luna beings the energy of new beginnings. Gazing at the moon whilst setting intentions for growth and creation can help anchor those into being.
Moon gazing at the waxing phase
When the Moon is waxing, her energy is gaining momentum, and building in power. Moon gazing at this phase can help you to harness this flow, so you can channel it into your life.
Moon gazing at the full Moon phase
This is when most people do their Moon gazing. Here, the Moon is powerful and bright, having reached the culmination of the cycle. It’s as though all of the natural world is rising up to meet her – from the sap in the trees, to the petals of roses, there’s a bugeoning, glowing, ripening feeling in the air.
Meditation at the Full Moon can also be incredibly powerful. The Moon’s most magnetic, feminine qualities are often easier to access, as the moonlight is more penetrating.
Moon gazing at the waning phase
Under the waning Moon phases, when the light of the Moon is diminishing, there is a sense of retreat and letting go. Gazing into the waning Moon offers support to also do this work of retreating into the inner darkness. Receiving her ebbing light through the eyes can help you to let go of what no longer serves you, and reflect more deeply on what’s left.
It’s also worth noting that the Moon’s appearance and visibility can be affected by a variety of factors. These include the time of year, the weather, and the location from which you’re viewing it. For example the harvest moon is often one of the largest and most potent, though it maybe covered by cloud.
Use your discernment, and gaze according to what feels necessary for you. Especially during a lunar eclipse (blood moon).
Moon gazing meditation practice
If you want to take your moon gazing practice to the next level, you could try a moon gazing meditation. This is a really popular form of meditation because it can very quickly elevate those who practice to a higher state of consciousness. Try a simple moon gazing meditation for yourself –
1. Start by finding a quiet space outside where you can clearly see the Moon. Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed before you begin, either sitting or lying down on a blanket.
2. Closing your eyes and breathe deeply in and out, a couple of times.
3. Then open your eyes and focus your gaze on the Moon.
4. Continue to breathe with intention, and as you inhale, imagine you are breathing the moonlight into your body. See and sense it filling you up, from the top of your head, right down to your toes. As you exhale, imagine the moonlight settling, resting within.
5. Take note of any thoughts, feelings or sensations that arise in you and if there’s any discomfort, welcome it, and “breathe” the moonlight into that part of you.
6. Allow yourself to be fully present, immersed in this embrace of the Moon’s light and love.
7. Continue while you feel the work is being done – you may sit for 3 minutes, or 30.
8. When you feel complete, gently close your eyes and offer up a prayer of thanks to Old Grandmother Moon for her watchful gaze back at you.
9. Note down anything your experienced during your moon gazing meditation, in your journal. Also take note of the lunar phase, astrological sign and any conditions you think are relevant.
So, next time you’re outside on a clear night, take a few minutes to gaze at the moon and see what wonders you can discover.