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Using Moon Phases in Your Creative Process
I was thinking earlier this week about when I have multiple projects on the go that each venture may be in a different “phase of progress” than the others.
When I say “project” I mean creative projects mainly artworks, art challenges, writing, cooking, garden design or crochet (I like to crochet) or other things you are working on.
Some projects may just wither on the vine never to see the light of day.
As a keen follower of the natural cycles of the Earth, Sun and the Moon, I believe that you can align your creative process to the phases of the Moon.
The Lunar phases are closely related to the plant life cycle.
The principles of “phase” can be linked to your creative process and art or craft projects as well.
The Moon takes about a month (or four weeks) to orbit the Earth. As it does so we see more, or less, light reflected from the surface of the Moon depending on its relationship with the Earth and the Sun. There are eight lunar phases and each phase lasts about three and a half days.
Dark and Light
At the New Moon the Moon is dark and at Full Moon the Moon’s light is at its brightest. This constant changing from light and dark and back again is symbolic.
Each phase traditionally has keywords associated with it and below is a modern list of traditional keywords for the lunar phases. You can find out more about Moon phases on this LINK.
Lunar Phase Keywords
New Moon Phase
Keywords for the New Moon phase are instinct, emergence and subjective.
Keywords for the Crescent phase are forward, self-belief and eager confidence.
First Quarter Phase
Keywords for the First Quarter phase are constructive growth, forceful and crisis in action.
Keywords for the Gibbous phase are contribution overcome and perfection.
Full Moon Phase
Keywords for the Full Moon phase are clarity, mature and illumination.
Keywords for the Disseminating phase are transmitting information, knowledge dispersal and conveying awareness.
Last Quarter Phase
Keywords for the Last Quarter phase are crisis in consciousness, pioneering and reorientation.
Keywords for the Balsamic phase are release, surrender and closure.
Project Creative Phases
If we align the meaning of the moon phase with how a project develops it may go something like this. It is likely that there will be many more projects in the seed phase, in fact you would probably always be in this phase as ideas appear.
Whereas the later phase would have less projects as some do not take off or you kill them off naturally. Typically, I would think you would have one monster project in the final stages that is moving onto the Balsamic phase.
I also think that if I have multiple projects on the go at once thay will each be in a different phase to each other.
Seed Phase = New Moon Phase
This is where ideas are born. They are the seed moments when ideas drift into your mind. Ideas can come to you at any time if the day and the knack here is to capture fleeting ideas.
A great source of ideas is in your dreams. Make sure to have a dream journal and pen at your bedside to immediately write down your dreams.
Sprout Phase = Crescent Phase
Here you allow your seeds to germinate and sprout into the first leaf. This is a delicate time and things are still touch and go.
Wither on the Vine
You may decide to let some ideas go at this stage. You could nurture one or two projects forward into the next phase of development.
Experimentation Phase = First Quarter Phase
In this phase you try different techniques and methods. Here you have a slightly robust idea or project and now you can stress test it.
There are many ways to check your outlines, designs or artwork now. Changes can still be made.
Prototype Phase = Gibbous Phase
Examples in Hand
Now you have something to chew on. You have many wrinkles ironed out. You can see the glimmer in potential of your project.
You keep your project quiet. You only share your viosion with your nearest and dearest as you don’t want the whole thing to fizzle out from negative thinking.
Crafting Phase = Full Moon Phase
This is the culmination phase and you can clearly see flaws and the strengths about it. You have a fully-fledged project or prototype.
This stage shows potential and you can fully visualize your outcomes now. This is the early fruit.
Marketing Phase = Disseminating Phase
Spread the News
Now you talk to your beta testers, pattern testers or recipe testers. Now you soft launch and gently talk up your upcoming project.
You may seek backers or collaborators who can spread the word on your behalf. Now your audience gets behind your project. This can be a long phase as marketing and social media exposure can go on for a while.
Completion Phase = Last Quarter Phase
This is the moment and you go public and wrap-up your package. At this time your course, artwork, music, book or pattern is ready for sale. The public can now review, buy or consume, what you have created and people may lap up your offering.
There will be feedback from your tribe with both positive and negative comments. Brace yourself.
Passive Phase = Balsamic Phase
This is the period of post project rest, recovery and rejuvenation. Now is the time to hibernate or take a vacation. These are the moments after a project has launched, or the art gallery showing is over, or the book is out there. It is a time to let your project stand up and speak for itself.
Without further tinkering or attention. It is now in the passive income phase. You get to take a break to rest, relax and allow yourself time to refill your creative well. Without this phase you may become burnt out and feel depleted. Take care to avoid going straight into another big project before you have recovered from the current one.
To help me remember all these features of each Moon phase as they related to my project work I have created a colorful page in my journal.
I am likely to see my journal page often as I flip through and review where I am and what I’m planning to do next.
It is a visual way to bring focus to the different phases of each project I’m working on at present. You may like to draw this image in your journal as well.
Pin this image to your Pinterest board.
How Long Does it Take?
How long does a project take from start to finish? It depends on what you are making.
If you are writing a book, or a screenplay it could take you a year. If you are creating a set of 12 calendar images it could be three months. If you are crafting a crochet pattern or recipe it could take one month. There is more about creative projects and their timelines in this link.
Do bear in mind that everything takes longer that you anticipate. This is the nature of life. Give yourself enough time to fully let your project germinate, develop, blossom and fruit.
Type of Projects
Here are some ideas of projects, both art and not, where you can use the Moon phase principles.
- Crochet patterns
- Planning a wedding
- Painting a picture
- Taking an art challenge
- Writing a book
- Making a series of images
- Creating a course
- Testing recipes for a book
- Building a blog
- Building a YouTube channel
Thank you for spending a part of your day with me.
Alison Hazel shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.
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The “Seasons of Art” is a group that meets once each season with a focus on developing creativity and self-care through simple art and journaling.