If you sit back for just a moment and look at the natural world you will see a perpetuation of cycles. The universe has formed itself in ways that naturally move through different phases. Witches saw these cycles and asked how they could live within them. Learning from each phase as they move seamlessly through life.
So how can we do the same? Well, we'll have to actually see the cycles and their natural meaning if we wish to derive meaning from them. Witches get in touch with this natural process. We meditate on them, see them through different perspectives, and talk about their meaning with other witches (online or in person). A community can help you find how to help yourself grow through the use of cycles. Because living in synch with these cycles is actually personal growth.
Growth? How can seeing cycles lead to growth? This isn't church, where you just show up and get credit. Witchcraft is all about practice. And part of that practice is translating the message of cycles into your own life. Let's look at the phases of the moon as an example, because while I'm writing this we are in a full moon tonight! Let's keep it simple and just look at 4 of the 8 phases: new, waxing, full, waning.
The moon is the goddess. The sun is the god. The new moon is completely shadowed from the sun, so it appears completely dark in the sky. Very enticing! The goddess is doing her own work, and it isn't necessary to be seen by the god. She works in her own darkness, starting her path. The new moon energy is great to work with when planning a new venture. Place your manifestations and hopes and dreams in the new moon. This is the planning phase, where we see where we want to be then commit to getting there. This step is very important. See how, in the context of the goddess moon, we are working on ourselves?
The moon then travels into a waxing phase, where it slowly and deliberately opens itself to the power of the sun energy. So after you make a plan, then you need to go out and start DOING. Nothing in the universe comes for free. We are co-creating with the universe, not just receiving gifts. So put in the work. We can open ourselves up to the god in ourselves to take action. Take fiery, potent action. This compels the universe to see you are serious about what you wanted and will continue to bring to you what you need.
The full moon. She steps into her fullest shape. Illuminated by the sun god energy. They are most united at this point. This phase is seen as the realization of your dreams, even if they aren't fully realized yet. This is a time to celebrate the progress you have made, however small or large. The moon is celebrating, so we should, too! Take in your full power in the full moon. Stand tall and strong like she does. Since the moon is in her full power, this time is really good for any type of energy work including manifesting, spellwork, divination, or shadow work. But especially, celebration!
The moon then starts it's path back to new, dark, mysterious in the waning phase. Return to yourself in this phase. Go over what happened through this 28-day cycle, and reflect. Surrender to the power of the universe. Have compassion for yourself and your dreams. Maybe you got exactly what you wanted from the new moon manifestation, or maybe you are just one step closer. Either way, give gratitude for this progress. Give gratitude for the lessons you've learned, and ask yourself what the next phase calls from you. Prepare new hope, dreams, and manifestations for the new moon. Take naps, get in the bath, and recharge.
Through each of these phases, we learned about the moon's journey, and then how to translate that into our personal growth. This can be done for all sorts of other cycles in the world. Plants live in cycles: plant the seed, grow, harvest fruit, save the seeds. Women's bodies live in cycles: period, follicular, ovulation, luteal. The forest has cycles. The ocean has cycles. Keep asking yourself what these cycles are trying to teach you about your own life, like witches do.
INSPIRED ACTION: Grab your journal and let's talk seasons. The planet itself goes through major cycles every 365 days. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Write about what each season is trying to teach us, and how you can use the seasons for your own personal growth lessons. Share below how you plan to use the current season to grow.