How to Use a Moon Journal for Manifestation, What Is a Moon Journal?

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If you’re looking for a new, witchy way to connect with yourself and your feelings, try Moon journaling—at least for a spell (sry, had to).

Compared to regular journaling, Moon journaling gives you some extra guidance: a schedule to follow and prompts based on the phases of the Moon. It also helps you keep track of when you feel the most powerful or motivated throughout the month. Most importantly, it allows you to work with the universe to thrive.

“We have to go through different cycles, just like the moon goes through different cycles,” says Shakira Maria, spiritual mentor and creator of @Law.Of.Attraction1111 on Instagram, where she has over 700K followers. “And so I think if we look at our emotions and our evolution, the same way we look at the Moon cycle, it’s really going to encourage us during those low moments during those doubtful moments.”

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Wait, what does the Moon have to do with *me*?

If you ever find yourself in your feels, you have the Moon to thank (or blame). In astrology, the Moon symbolizes your emotional side, encompassing everything that’s personal to you: your innermost dreams, values, fears. And of course, “Moods are very involved in the practice of journaling,” says Nina Kahn, astrologer and author of Wander the Stars: A Journal for Finding Insight Through Astrology.

Maria emphasizes that our moods connect to the Moon because both are always changing and evolving. Basically, the Moon is pretty much THE metaphor for understanding the everlasting process that is personal growth.

What do the different Moon phases mean?

You can break down the complete lunar cycle, from New Moon to Full Moon, into nine phases. But for journaling purposes, The Moon Journal author Sandy Sitron recommends sticking to the main four: the New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Third Quarter Moon, and Full Moon. Each occurs about once a month, and lasts roughly two and a half days. To figure out the Moon’s current phase, download an app, use an online moon phase calculator, or just step outside at night and take a look.

New Moon

The New Moon is the darkest time of the lunar cycle, and it occurs when the Moon aligns with the Sun. Keiko Ariizumi, astrologer and author of The Power Wish (approved by the one and only Marie Kondo), says the gravitational pull of the Moon maximizes its energy during this phase, and we can use it to manifest our deepest desires. During the New Moon, imagine yourself accomplishing any sort of goal, long or short term—opening your own business, moving to a new city, improving your mental health—and write it down in your journal.

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon gives off a more upbeat energy than a New Moon. The goals and manifestations you set during the New Moon are beginning to come to life, which means lots of anticipation—the good kind. You’re probably feeling energized, so it’s the perfect opportunity to add more items to your to-do list and get to work.

Full Moon

The Full Moon is a time when you can harvest the seeds you planted during the New Moon. But it’s also an opportunity to thank the universe for listening. “Everything has two sides,” Ariizumi says. “If you write wishes on the New Moon days, you have to write gratitude on the Full Moon days.” Yep, your Moon journal doubles as a gratitude journal.

You can also the Full Moon to get into what’s referred to as “shadow work,” Maria suggests, aka working on personal qualities that need improvement. The Full Moon shines bright, so it’s the perf time to take a good look at yourself.

Third Quarter

Coming after the Full Moon, the Third Quarter Moon starts to lose its light and appears smaller. To match that energy, Sitron says that it’s a good time to go through the process of releasing. Think: Forgiving yourself and others, leaving a toxic relationship (aka…dump them), letting go of negative thoughts, and clearing your mind. Ahh.

How often should I write in my Moon journal?

For those who feel like they lack the time or energy to make a daily entry: no pressure! Sitron recommends putting pen to paper whenever the Moon moves into one of the four major phases—about once a week. And according to Arrizumi, it’s really only necessary to write on the New and Full Moon—twice a month. (Although during the other phases, you can jot down updates on your goals and intentions to your heart’s content.)

What exactly you write in your Moon journal is up to you—to feelings dump, track personal goals, set an intention to manifest, make a to-do list, whatever—but aligning y0ur journaling practice with the Moon can help you reflect on your mood and make the most of those lunar vibes.

Let’s say you want to focus on finances. The New Moon (the phase for setting intentions and making wishes) would be the perf time to write out how you’re going to create a budget or cut out a bad spending habit. And yes, even manifesting a million dollars is possible, Maria says. (Brb, adding that one to the list rn.) But it might take a few years, and lots of hard work—so don’t rely on the Moon to cover your rent.

Okay, but what about the zodiac signs?

Once you’ve got the hang of tracking the Moon’s phases, try weaving in the stars. As an astrology writer, Kahn frequently studies how the Moon’s energy connects to the zodiac signs. For example, she says, if the Moon is in Gemini (a communicative air sign) it’s a good time to write about convos or connections you want to have with others. Or if the Moon is in Pisces, a creative water sign, use that inspiration as an outlet in your journaling.

“The Moon moves fairly quickly through the zodiac, as opposed to the other planets,” Kahn says—the Moon takes about two and a half days to move through each sign, instead of weeks, months, years, or even decades (looking at you, Pluto). Basically, Moon journaling allows you to study how the phases of the Moon and the zodiac signs it’s in affect you on a personal level.

Moon Journaling Prompts

If you’re struggling to get started, no worries! Maria shared some specific journaling prompts to try out. All you have to do is insert your own intention.

For the New Moon, begin your entry with: “I intend to feel… and “I intend to call in…”

For the Full Moon, try: “I intend to release…” and “I intend to receive clarity around…”

There are no rules! If you’re a visual person, Maria suggests writing your intentions on extra-large paper and sticking it to your wall, or sticking a Post-It note to your mirror. If you’re an early riser, try journaling first thing in the morning. If your brain turns on after the Sun goes down, light a candle, curl up and write at night.

“I don’t think of it as a science,” Sitron says. “I think of it more as an art or spiritual practice that helps me look at my life through an objective viewpoint. It’s a great way to explore [emotions] and create clarity.”

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