Everything You Need To Know About New Moon Circles
Light your candles and incense! On February 15th, a new moon will arrive and give you the opportunity to finally try a new moon circle. These lunar gatherings are gaining popularity with yogis, meditation studios and those cool Instagram influencers. Considering joining or hosting your own new moon circle? Learn more about this powerful cosmic moment.
By Stephanie Mace
The quickly approaching new moon marks a time for reflection and intention setting. On February 15th, the moon is aligned with the sun, launching a new Lunar Cycle. To welcome this new astrological phase, many women gather for new moon circles at yoga studios or their homes to meditate, journal and share goals.
“A new moon circle is an amazing way to connect and support friends and share in the excitement of looking towards our collective and individual futures,” says LA-based yoga teacher and writer Leah Schlackman, who hosts her own informal new moon circles.
"Women especially feel the potency of the shift of the moon’s phases so it’s a really incredible time to gather your closest friends and sisters to enhance the power you already possess.”
Andréa Bendewald, who leads circles at the DEN Meditation, agrees that the group dynamic is especially powerful.
“In a circle, you get to receive insights and reflections from other people," she says.
Bendewald has been participating in circles for twenty years and leading them for ten, as she aims to bring this ancient ritual into the modern day world. During her circles, Bendewald relies on a talking piece and encourages participants to completely unplug from the outside world.
“It’s a transformational, spiritual practice that everyone can do.”
New Moon gatherings have become especially popular in New York and Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, women can join circles at the DEN Meditation, Love Yoga and WMN Space, which opened last year as a place for women to come gather and find community. New Yorkers can find moon circles at Align Brooklyn and Maha Rose.
A new moon occurs roughly every 29 days, and is followed by three other phases: a waxing moon, a full moon, and a waning moon. Bendewald and Schlackman both consider the new moon a time for renewal and rejuvenation. As Bendewald compares the new moon to a “clean slate,” Schlackman suggests that the phase represents “a time to restart or to reset.”
For women looking to host their own new moon circles, Schlackman recommends reading “Sacred Moontime Rituals,” a zine by Sophie Rose. However, she emphasizes that there is not a “right way” to have a circle.
“Anything that allows you time and space to reflect, to gain insight, and to establish a clear vision forward are amazing practices,” she says. “Having it be your moon ritual and not a copy of someone else's is a nice practice to cultivate. Knowing what feels right for you is an act of self-trust and self-empowerment.”