This Monday, August 21st will be a new moon (also, a rare total solar eclipse!). It’s the start of a new moon cycle, when the sun and moon are aligned in the same zodiac sign for a few days as the moon orbits around the earth. It is, according to astrology writer Molly Hall, “a time charged with the concentrated energies of that sign.”
This particular new moon is in Leo, keeping the focus on this sign as it’s been most of the summer. While normally, each sign hosts one new moon in a year, this year, Leo is an exception, with new moons in both July and August (it’s an awesome time to be a lioness — get the gist of why here on Refinery29). So, around the 21st, we’ll all be feeling a little closer to our inner Leo.
It’ll drive us to seek excitement and new ways to assert ourselves, be bold and courageous. Although, the new moon isn’t like the full moon in that it prompts us to be inward, rather than take action. It’s a powerful time for getting clear on your desires and considering your direction. What does your inner fire need to keep burning bright? This month’s new moon will get you thinking about this.
Here are the questions we might be prompted to ask ourselves when the new moon passes through the other 11 signs:
Aries: Am I aligned with my sense of integrity?
Taurus: Is my home the place I want / need it to be?
Gemini: Am I on my own side when I need it most?
Cancer: What risks are calling to me now?
Virgo: What have I been putting off and why?
Libra: What key connections are ready to be made now?
Scorpio: What’s my relationship with my shadow / my ‘darkness’?
Sagittarius: What’s my next epic vacation going to be?
Capricorn: Where / when am I leaking energy?
Aquarius: How can I activate my activism?
Pisces: What is blocking me from living in accordance with my intuition?
Where full moons are all about capitalizing on ripe energy ready to take form (i.e.: manifesting), new moons are about setting intentions. It’s a time to consider what serves you, what doesn’t, and what you ultimately want. Are you aligned with your ideal future? Now’s the time to decide. Performing a new moon ritual is one way to firm up those intentions, whatever they may be. A new moon ritual can be totally simple. Here are some examples:
- Write down any limiting beliefs you’re ready to release and burn the piece of paper in a terracotta pot or bowl.
- Carve a word symbolizing your desire into a red candle before lighting.
- Paint a sigil (symbols that represent an intent) under a red manicure.
- Smudge your apartment (the new moon is an ideal time for detoxing your body and space).
- Journal your intentions. When you do, believe that in your writing, you’re engaging in the act of co-creation with the universe.
- Write a love letter to yourself and bury it so the earth can absorb it and recycle it back into life.
- Have a new moon ritual bath with epsom salts, burn a white candle, and visualize your energy being renewed.