Moon Circles: A Spiritual Wellness Expert Details The Benefits Of The Meditative Practice

Having social bonds that afford a sense of acceptance and belonging is beneficial for all women. With sisterhoods, where female participants are joined together by common interests, you can enjoy a solid support system that boosts your overall well-being and helps you cope with day-to-day challenges. With the help of sisters by choice, you can enjoy soul-nourishing activities that help you pull away from negative emotions and grow. That's in theory. Unfortunately, so often women-focused communities have the facade of being harebrained, college-flunking groups of girls that spend all their time partying, brainwashing newcomers, and chasing trust-fund kids.

Truth be told, female social circles can be more diverse and unique than what pop culture gives them credit for. Most girl groups are centered around a shared tradition and a set of rituals and values that set them apart from other groups and glue the members together. Moon circles are a case in point. This community of mainly female members — like clockwork — come together on certain days of the year to channel the energy of the moon through a series of mystical activities. If you think the sound of this community evokes major "Twilight" vibes, we think so too — except its members are not werewolves. To help you better understand the creed and inner workings of moon circles, we spoke to Janae Bell, an Atlanta-based yoga and meditation teacher and founder of Goddess and the Moon.

The celebration of new and full moons

Metaphorically, the moon represents femininity and seasons of womanhood. Although it isn't as intense as the sun, the moon is nonetheless a tremendous source of energy. For instance, full moons and new moons are the times when the moon peaks in its energy, which can be harnessed from down here on God's green earth. A new moon and a full moon happen roughly every month. During a full moon, the most sunlight bounces off the moon and toward the Earth, making the moon shine brightly. During a new moon, the lit side of the moon is hidden from the earth, making it look as dark as the night sky. 

"New and full moons are the most celebrated phases of the moon," Janae Bell tells Glam. Flowing with the moon's rhythm helps us blend with nature, rest, and heal. It also helps us seek directions from the lunar energy and plan our next steps. The new moon is a time of sowing seeds, setting new intentions, and formulating plans. Between the new and full moon is the waxing moon, the time when the light builds slowly and developments gradually unfold. During this phase, we should actively gather motivation and work toward our goals. The full moon is the time of harvest. This is when we rejoice over realized dreams, celebrate success, reflect on our achievements and failures, and release the past, explains Bell. And celebrating these moon phases is what moon circles do.

Benefits of joining moon circles

Moon circles, which take place all across the world, have long served as an in-person forum for sharing knowledge, unlocking spiritual enlightenment, and fueling self-confidence. According to Janae Bell, moon circles allow us to express our innermost selves via movement, meditation, journaling, ritual practice, and the sharing of sacred space. As a group, we can harness the powerful energy of each phase of the moon through the practice of intentional stillness, which helps us release stress, become centered in the present, and grow in connection with the universe. "By integrating the phases into your daily health and wellness routine, you can become more patient, calm, and in tune with your own needs," Bell explains. 

Meditation elevates vibrations. When a person engages in mind-body practices such as meditating or yoga in groups, their sense of awareness, relaxation, and contentment intensifies and spills over to the people around them, which benefits everyone as a whole. Usually, the facilitator will invite heart-to-heart sharing and discussion following a brief period of meditation to boost feelings of interconnectedness. It's comforting to hear other sisters share their personal struggles and goals and to be able to share your own in a non-judgemental space — while inviting the moon's glorious energy into your life. Aside from making new friends, women participating in these moon-embracing rituals can expect to feel a greater sense of awareness, self-love, and clarity after each gathering.