BY DINAH ALOBEID
Life is lived today on social platforms and via quick photographs. So why not slow down and get in touch with something greater? Moonbathing is a beautiful and unique way to commune with nature and the universe.
I was exposed to the ritual elements of moonbathing thanks to the book "Moon Spells: How to Use the Phases of the Moon to Get What You Want" earlier this year. The fact remains that throughout my many, many moons on earth prior to being exposed to any formal idea of moonbathing, I’d often found myself staring up at that hanging orb of wonderment. I’ve noticed that my breathing becomes more even when I glance up at the moon from the car, or during a subway ride. The moon is constantly changing, yet has a consistent quality. Anywhere we might be in the world, we can all look up at the same moon, albeit from a different angle. The moon’s changing phases are as consistent as they are rife with potential healing and soothing powers.
But what of moonbathing, you might ask. How does one go about preparing for a moon bath? What are the benefits?
Moonbathing is as it sounds—simple yet powerful beyond compare. I believe it is a widely unknown, untapped, free and rejuvenating activity done during any phase of the moon. Unlike with sunbathing, moonbathing has absolutely no negative effect on your skin or physicality and can be done anywhere where the moon is visible. In other words, absolutely anywhere in the world. It doesn’t even need to take place outdoors! All you need is a window to allow the moonlight to flood your space.
Cooling: Moonlight is the sun’s light reflected of earth’s lunar goddess. Its hue can be red-tinged, warm with sunset-streaked colors, or mysterious and vibey with violet undertones. No matter the time of year or the phase of the moon, the moon and the surrounding night darkness provides a cooling environment to offset hot summer days or stress-filled daytime interactions.
Energizing: The sun’s rays provide humans with energy and are a natural mood-lifter. I know the positive scientific effects and implications of sunlight. It provides us with much-needed vitamin D to keep our spirits and moods up, and is a key component to nurturing our plants and planet in such a direct, and beautiful way. But the cool night environment that comes with moonbathing offers a different kind of energy. A collective sigh for the soul, if you will, that allows us to slow down, relax, and contemplate in a steady way that is not based on fire-driven energy. I know for myself personally, with prominent pitta dosha makeup to my ayurvedic composition, cooling is a necessity for my fiery temperament and metabolic disposition.
Replenishing: Decreasing stress is a lifelong struggle for me, personally—and likely for you. Stress is an ingenious and wily entity, finding us no matter how hard we may try to hide. You can reflect, meditate, and do some internal nourishing through moonlight. It’s inherently relaxing—you don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time. You don’t have to pay a fee. You can be as disrobed as you want (in warmer months) or bask in the glow from the privacy and security of your home. Just set yourself up near a window where the moon is visible.
Transformative: Eclipses bring about major change in our lives whether we want to respect the solar impact or not. Not to mention the moon’s storied history across the world and the beliefs across many cultures, religions, which is seen to contribute directly to fluctuations in our personal lives, societal upheavals and of course the phases of plant growth.
The sacred feminine: Always aligned with the feminine, some of my friends and I tend to feel connected to the moon in ebbs and flow (pun intended). The power of the moon lies in the heart of the believer; it can be as strong or weak as importance you give to it. For me, a moonchild born under the sign of Cancer (whose ruling planet is the Moon) I feel an inexplicabe vibrational connectivity to all things lunar. For some, there is a draw to the moon that is on a psychic wavelength, a feeling that perhaps la lune is speaking directly to us. I often feel this way, trying to decipher what she’s trying to convey. Moonbathing is a direct path to communicating with the moon in whatever way you feel most comfortable.
Natural: The lunar cycle is directly linked to earth’s ocean tides, and throughout the entire history of humanity and across ancient and modern cultures, the moon has played a vitally important role in harvest, new beginnings, and decisionmaking. The phases of the moon provide a time-marking cycle of 28 days, and the different moons are aligned with seasons in an intriguing way. With full moon names driven from ancient cultures, such as the Harvest Moon and the Wolf Moon, it’s easy to see how the moon plays a major role in our lives. The moon gives us so much, without asking for anything in return. Moonbathing is the natural activity for individuals who want to absorb the moon’s energies and commune with nature in a way that does no harm, and does yourself a whole world of good.
Now I urge you—head outside and bathe in the moon’s light!
Dinah Alobeid is a writer and New York City native. By day, she's the director of communications for a tech company, but during the witching hours she's a writer dabbling in non-fiction, poetry, personal essay, fiction, and more. She blogs, she reads, she dances.
Dinah's work has been published in CureJoy, Blast Magazine, Rivertowns Enterprise News and more. Her poetry has appeared in Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine.