I think today is a great day to begin to talk about the Cycles of the Moon.
Funny that we call it the Lunar Phases, or the Moon Cycles when it is really the relationship between the Sun and the Moon that is being discussed.
The Moon does not go through the visual changes we see on her own. It is  through her  relationship with the energy and the light of the Sun that changes how we see the shape of the Moon throughout the month.
Understanding these Cycles and learning how to use them, provides us with a powerful tool that can be used to assist in the organization of our lives.
As we work with these cycles we come to an important understanding of cycles in general. 
As we follow the path of the Moon we come to see how all pairs of planets, and, indeed, all of life, progress through these same cycles. 
The visual drama of the Moon Phases enables us to see and understand how these cycles work and how they relate to the cycles of all planets and all of life.
The Lunar Cycle begins at the NEW MOON which represents and speaks to us of birth and beginnings. This is a time to begin projects, to plant  seeds, to breath life into something that we hope will expand and grow.
Friday, January 11th was the first New Moon of 2013.
When the Moon is in the New Phase it is aligned with the Sun. Therefore when the Sun is in Capricorn, it stands to reason that the New Moon is also in Capricorn.
Next month when the Sun is in Aquarius the corresponding New Moon will be in Aquarius, and so on through all the signs of the zodiac. This cycle actually begins at the Spring Equinox with the New Moon in Aries.
The Full Moon follows the New Moon each month when the Moon has traveled half way through the zodiac and is opposing the Sun.
It takes approximately 2 weeks for the Moon to move from New to Full, to move half way around the zodiac.
In this way the Full Moon is in the sign opposite where it was at the New Moon. Therefore the next Full Moon falls on January 26th in Cancer (the opposite sign to Capricorn).

In February the New Moon will be in Aquarius and the Full Moon will be in it’s opposite sign of Leo.
As we learn to work with these Cycles it is best to begin with month sized projects so that it will be clear how the cycles works. 
For the time being lets present a simple listing of the Phases of the cycle and an explanation of how to work with each of the eight phases.
The New Moon begins the Cycle. It is the birth, the beginning, the emergence of something new. This is the time to place your intention on a particular action. During this phase a seed is planted, stimulated by vision and inspiration. Time alone in meditation or visualization is of value.
The Crescent Phase (3.5 days after the New Moon) This is a time of expansion, growth, and opportunity. This is the time to investigate, research, and gather information to support the idea that was planted at the New Moon. Write an affirmation, commit to the goal, light a candle.
The First Quarter Phase (a week after the New Moon) This is the time in the cycle to take an important action necessary to proceed toward the goal. This is a time of action, growth, and expression of the direction you are moving.  Contact others for assistance, help, and support. Act now.
The Gibbous Phase (2.5 days after the First Quarter) This is the time in the cycle to keep your eyes wide for adjustments that should be made as we await the full bloom of our goal. At this point it is important to continue preparations and trust the coming bloom! Rest in the wait, analyze, wait without judgement or worry. Continue to analyze and trust.
The Full Moon Phase (2 weeks after the New Moon) is the time when you are given a full view of the results of the seed that was planted at the New Moon. Here we have full illumination, full understanding of the process, and yet still the ability to make adjustments. Open your heart to the understanding of others, and the expression of what you intended at the New Moon. Allow full expression, awareness, and understanding.
The Disseminating Moon Phase (2.5 days after the Full Moon) is the time of the cycle when we see how much we have learned and are ready to share our new understanding with others.  By teaching others we gain much clarity and more expansive awareness. At this time we give back to those who have supported us in the process and distribute our love and knowledge. Share with others.
The Last Quarter Moon (1 week after the Full Moon) At this phase we realign, revision, and begin the process of letting go of this portion of your goal. Here we take action to close, to complete the activities we have been involved with in this process. At this point we are able to see what has and what has not worked in our plan for this goal and this cycle. Take responsibility for what you have created.
The Balsamic Moon Phase – the Dark of the Moon (2 – 5 days after the Last Quarter Moon) Now we are brought to the ending of this cycle. It is time to begin the action of releasing, transforming, and renewing our position. Now we  reflect on the passage of time and the passage of the cycle in order to prepare for the end of this cycle and the beginning of another. At this time we boil down all our understanding into the seed form that will be planted for the next cycle. It is time to let go, to trust, to prepare for the next phase that is coming. Become still.
More on these Cycles in the coming week! Stick with me!