The Moon Goddess

In the Roman tradition, Luna is the divine embodiment of the Moon. Selene is her Greek name, also associated with the triple-bodied lunar goddess Hecate. She is often presented as the female complement of the Sun, conceived of as a god. Luna is not a distinct goddess, but rather the manifestation of the goddess: for instance both Diana and Juno were also identified as moon goddesses. She is unique as a visible god(dess) in the sky, driving her moon chariot across the sky, rather than invisible, unseen, like most gods. In the Celtic tradition, each of the 12 or 13 moons of a year have their own name and identity. For instance the first moon was the Wolf / Storm Moon and the last moon was the Long Night Moon.


Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of immortality, lives on the Moon. On the Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on the full Moon night of the eighth lunar month, an open-air altar is set up facing the Moon for the worship of Chang'e. For Polynesians, the Moon is the home of the goddess Hina, the creator of art and culture, who chose it for the peace and quiet.


Sarah Faith Gottesdiener in her “Moon Book” notes, “Moontime is feminist praxis. It is something we work with, not something we have power over… moontime allows us to step into wholeness. Time of aching, of grief, of sorrow, of frustration prepare us for flow, for joy.”


Knowing the phase of the moon is helpful in understanding your own energy, as well as the energy of your crystals. Like the ocean, we are all in energetic flux from the pull of the moon. Consider the lunar phase you are currently experiencing. Are you waxing gibbous, drawing near to the completion of goals in your life? Or more of a new moon, just beginning a new phase or relationship in your life? And the menstrual cycle averages the same length as the lunar cycle. Many cultural calendars are also lunar, such as the Chinese, Hindu and Jewish calendars. The classic Farmers Almanac was written based on the phases of the moon, so farmers and gardeners could work in the night with the light of the moon, planting, nurturing and harvesting in moonlight rather than sunlight.


One way of clearing and recharging crystals is to use the phases of the moon. The light from the full moon is perfect for charging and cleansing your crystals . By leaving the crystals under a full moon , they'll release any lingering energy so that the next time you use them, they'll be all clear. In mild weather, crystals can be put outside under the full moon moonlight, or set on a window sill or under a skylight in inclement weather, to release foreign energy and strengthen their own innate energy. You can also take a moonbath with your crystals, lightly dressed or naked under the moon or in your bathtub or on your bed during the full moon phase.


Crystals to Work with Moon Energy

There are several crystals associated with the Moon, also known by her classic name, Luna. They are known for both containing the power of the Moon through sympathetic vibrations, or as being particularly affected by the Moon’s influence.


Crystals are a great tool for living into the energy of the Moon. Journaling what you experience is helpful for seeing the deeper truths, patterns and messages. It’s a great way to track your energy and relationship to the Moon and crystals, and synchronicities. You might also have poems and songs to journal as part of the experience. Sarah Faith Gottesdiener suggests considering crystals for loving the Moon.

Moonstone: Moonstone holds the energy of destiny and divinity because of the blues and lunar energy within the stone. It connects to the aspect of guidance that the moon offers, reminding you to trust your path and allow life to unfold. When you connect with this crystal, you will find yourself exactly where you need to be energetically and spiritually for life to manifest in the best way for you.

Selenite: This stone’s name is also connected to the moon by way of the Greek Goddess, Selene, the goddess of the moon. She drives her moon chariot across the heavens. Selenite captures that powerful beam of light that the full moon provides, and allows you to tap into its high vibrational frequency to raise your own energetic vibration to manifest from a higher state of being.

Clear Quartz: When it comes to the full moon, there is both an energy of reflection and manifestation. Clear Quartz helps you gain clarity so you can see what intentions need a boost of energy and channel that clarity toward manifesting those intentions.

Tourmalated Quartz: This is a particularly useful crystal during the Waxing and Waning of the Moon. It combines Black Tourmaline, a dark, grounding stone, with Clear Quartz, a light crystal. Not only does the visual appearance of this stone completely align and capture the energy of these moons, but it also holds a similar energy by helping you bring awareness to both the lighter and darker aspects of your life. Working with this crystal allows you to check-in and reflect on the phases of the cycle you’ve gone through so far, so you can highlight some of the positive aspects, as well as learn from some of the not-so positive aspects.

Labradorite: Labradorite clears, balances and protects the aura. This is a crystal of transformation, enhanced patience and inner knowing. It’s energy itself is in flux under the phase and influence of the Moon. It helps provide clarity and insight into your destiny, as well as attract success. It assists with changes, attracting strength & perseverance.


Opal:This is a wonderful crystal for healing the emotions. It clears and calms the heart and brings a sense of peace and tranquility to one’s aura. It is an excellent stone for those who may suffer under the Moon’s influence at night, including those who have difficulty sleeping or tend to have nightmares.


Crystals by Moon Phases



New Moon

The cycle of the Moon begins with the New Moon, which includes the day of and the three days that follow each new moon. In the Celtic tradition this marks the beginning cycle and name of each Moon. This is a period filled with possibility and optimism. Anything and everything is now possible. It is also a chance to put aside what didn’t work and try again, in a new, creative direction. In Ancient Greece, offerings for protection given to Hecate were left at her altars during the New Moon.


Crystals well suited to this period include those that clarify and remove distractions:

All Moonstones - the crystal of new beginnings

Carnelian - action, raised vitality, and forward movement

Pyrite - a talisman for growth and prosperity

Smokey Quartz - providing a protective aura, clearing distractions

Turquoise - express things that will be brought to the surface


Other grounding, balancing crystals to start a new cycle of the Moon:

Lodestone, Hematite, Clear Quartz, Fluorite, Moss Agate, Chrysocolla, Kunzite, Celestite, Obsidian, Aragonite, Cinnabar, Rhodochrosite


For financial goals:

Lodestone - bringing confidence, success and balance

Citrine – increasing energy and creativity

Pyrite – stimulating financial and business success


For action and strength:

Tigereye – a crystal of courage, success, and action

Smokey Quartz – a grounding and stabilizing crystal


First Quarter/Waxing Moon Phase

The Waxing Moon presides over a period of growth and expansion. This is also a period suited to taking action, exploring new ideas and techniques. It suits external plans and accomplishments, growth and expansion. This is the time to do “the work”.


The Waxing Gibbous Phase is the intermediate phase of the moon from the first quarter up until the Full Moon. Waxing means that it is getting bigger. Gibbous refers to the shape, which is less than the full circle of a Full Moon, but larger than the semicircle shape of the Moon at Third Quarter. With some exceptions, the Waxing Gibbous Moon actually rises during the day, after noon, bright enough to be seen clearly in the afternoon sky. It remains visible in the evening and sets after midnight.


Crystals well suited to this period include those that energize and bring in bounty:

Ruby - for integrity, devotion and happiness, prosperity

Garnet - stimulates willpower, intuition, safety and trust

Tiger Iron - helps with creative endeavors, brings strength and clarity

Ammonite - increasing stamina, vitality, change, and evolution

Pyrite – stimulating business and financial success

Citrine - increasing energy and creativity

Tigereye – for courage, success, and action

Blue Tigereye – to gain perspective and face situations fully, seeing the overview clearly and then helping with decision making

Green Opal - strengthening all types of relationships


Crystals with strong life force and creative energy:

Carnelian - for restoring vitality and motivation, and for stimulating creativity

Pink Moonstone - good fortune and abundance, and sustaining energy

Honey Calcite – to gently amplify energy

Lemon Quartz – to amplify thoughts, energy and memory

Malachite - for money, love centering, and balancing

Jaspers- for healing and energy


Full Moon

The time of the Full Moon includes the day of and the three days that follow. We stop to bathe in the radiant splendor of the Full Moon. She is grace and love, and powerful yearning. This is a period of ripeness and fullness. The Full Moon is when the Moon is at its brightest and most powerful, which makes this the perfect time to address any intentions that could use a boost of energy. And by harnessing the frequency of light from the Moon, you can bring light to whatever it is you want to manifest. This is a great time to check in with any intentions you’ve been working on and decide which ones could use the high vibrational energy of the Moon to bring them to full fruition.


Crystals well suited to this period include those for intuition and creativity:

All Moonstones - the crystal of the Moon’s own light and intuition

Angelite - guidance from higher source, remaining calm and serene

Zebra Jasper - to heed what the Full Moon reveals and address what needs balanced

Citrine - to focus energy on goals and a lift in confidence

Malachite - cleanse of regrets and move forward in control of the journey


If you need strong, clear energy for seeing things through to completion:

Selenite – for clearing and activating

Lapis lazuli – for a clear perspective and personal growth

Herkimer Diamond - to increase power & purify energy

Clear Quartz - achieving virtually any goal in life and amplifying energy

Celestine – for raised consciousness and block distractions

All Jaspers for energy and healing

A powerful and effective way to harness the full moon energy for your intentions is by setting Full Moon intentions, particularly by writing them down. By writing your intentions you can also reprogram your direction, energize your entire being, and help you work through the Waning Moon Phase.


Last Quarter/Waning Moon Phase

The Waning Moon is a time of reflection. It is a time best for reviewing and updating, refining the process as things work towards completion. It suits internal reflection and self-care, nourishing and consolidating. It is also a time for working behind the scenes, checking in on others, sharing love in a more subtle way.


This phase actually has two periods as the moon gradually shrinks into a Waning Gibbous Moon through to her Third Quarter, then fading into a Waning Crescent Moon. Each night she rises later and later. The Waning Gibbous is the time of the second harvest, the time of greatest clarity or insight if we are open and receptive. The Waning Crescent is the time of rest and reflection.


Crystals well suited to this period include those that protect and clarify:

Clear Quartz - assist in achieving virtually any goal in life, balancing

Celestite - emotional protection and to end worry, fear, and anxiety.

Icelandic Spar - brings clarity, insight, manifestation, enhancement, and power

Selenite - clearing and releasing that which is not serving.

Kunzite - crystal for clearing, self-love, promoting humility and self-tolerance


If you feel you need mental and spiritual protection:

Jet - for protection, good fortune, divination, and health

Rose Quartz - for emotional healing and balance

Black Tourmaline – for protection, grounding, and balancing

Obsidian - grounds and protects, vitalizes purpose, and eliminates blockages


If you need an uncrossing:

Himalayan Salt – clears foreign energy and improves environment

Selenite – clears and shields from outside influences

Icelandic Spar - brings clarity, insight, manifestation, and rooting out problems


Dark Moon Phase

The Dark Moon is the three-day period before the New Moon. The Moon disappears completely from view, soon to re-enter the New Moon phase, then reemerge and repeat this cycle over and over. This can be a period filled with rebellious innovation. It can also be a period of insight and new vision, including challenges to the status quo. But this can also be a difficult period, with heightened rage or exhaustion. Traditionally this is a time for banishing and release work, to offer up what you want transformed and reborn with the New Moon. And it is a time for forgiveness.


Crystals well suited to this period include those that calm and banish confusion and doubt:

Sodalite - clear negative feelings

Labradorite - dispel fear, anxiety and negativity

Garnet - stimulate willpower, intuition, and trust

Tourmaline - break free of situations in which you feel entrapped or unresolved

Onyx - assist with emotional balance, self control and relieving stress.

Jet – to dispel, protect and draw off negative energy.

Shungite – to detoxify

Hematite – to reflect off negative and foreign energy

Lepidolite- decrease stress and anxiety, heal and transform

Rhodonite - inner growth, healing, calming, and balance

Black Moonstone - increase mental power

Dumortierite – to take control and gain patience



Updated: Jan 23

What are Essential Oils and how are they used?


What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are oils from the plants and minerals found in nature. These oils, created by Mother Nature, are collected in traditional methods. They offer an alternative to synthetic products which have become the predominant, man-made oils used in modern, commercial products. Essential oils are more than just natural products. Each essential oil has a unique chemical makeup. And these oils have dozens of benefits for the body and mind whose benefits are determined by the chemistry of the plants that created the oil. When these natural chemicals are properly extracted, they can be used to help you physically, mentally, and emotionally, for health and balance.


Essential oils were used traditionally throughout the world in various cultural practices and traditions. However, we now also have the scientific research showing that essential oils can be effectively and safely used and for natural health benefits. Essential oils are used by people for cooking, household cleaning, personal hygiene, sleep, boosting immunity, emotional health, body management, and spiritual practices.

Traditional uses included:

  • Aromatherapy

  • Personal care

  • Healthcare practices

  • Religious ceremonies

  • Beauty treatments

  • Food preparation

  • Ayurvedic diet

Today, we might add to this list uses including:

  • Oral hygiene

  • Skin care

  • Healthy digestion

  • Cleanse and purify the air

  • Healthy respiratory system

The versatility of essential oils is also part of what has made them so useful.. You can use essential oils for a variety of tasks, without having to buy multiple products. Essential oils are obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. The finished product is the highly concentrated essential oil, which has the same properties and scent characteristics as the original plant. That does include the smell, but it also includes other elements such as the plant’s healing and other abilities.


The way the oils are made is important, as essential oils obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils. Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they may be combined with a carrier oil to create an oil ready and safe for use.


What constitutes an essential oil?

Essential oils are derived from the plants of nature. These oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and chemistry of their source.The oils may be taken from the flowers, stocks, sap or roots. Each oil is unique as the source for each oil is unique. The oil is not chemically made or artificially scented. It therefore carries the DNA and life force of its plant source. The quality of an oil depends on the purity, quality and reputation.

  • Purity: Find an oil that contains only aromatic plant compounds, without additives or synthetic oils.

  • Quality: True essential oils are the ones that have been changed the least by the extraction process. Choose a chemical-free essential oil that has been extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing.

  • Reputation: Purchase a brand with a reputation for producing high-quality products.


There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with its own unique smell and potential health benefits.

The 10 most popular essential oils and the benefits associated with them are:

  • Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion

  • Lavender: used to relieve stress

  • Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus

  • Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema

  • Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety

  • Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation

  • Ylang-Ylang: used to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions

  • Tea Tree: used to fight infections and boost immunity

  • Jasmine: used to help with depression, childbirth, and libido

  • Lemon: used to aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more

For the best essential oil use and experience, it is important to use oils that are pure, potent, and safe.


How are Essential Oils used?

There are three main ways to use essential oils; aromatically, topically, or internally.


1. Through smell. We call this “aromatic” use of essential oils. This includes any application method that puts the aroma of the oil into the air. You can use essential oils aromatically by diffusing in an essential oil diffuser, applying a drop to your hands and inhaling, or wearing the oil as a personal fragrance.


2. On your skin. “Topical” application of essential oils allows the oil to absorb into the skin.This could be through massage, directy rubbing onto the skin, or through lotions or moisturizers containing the oils.


3. Ingesting, or “internal” use of essential oils allows the oil to be transported throughout your body, such as when oils are used to balance the body through Ayurvedic diet. It is critical to be sure the essential oil being consumed is safe for internal use first. Internal oils may be taken added to a glass of water, in a veggie capsule, or a drop under the tongue.


Some of the most popular essential oils are those with multiple benefits and application methods. These oils tend to become household favorites. Each oil is unique, making it easy to find a natural solution for your specific health concerns.


Two recent studies found that dabbing a peppermint oil and ethanol mixture on participants' foreheads and temples relieve headache pain. The traditional Persian headache remedy for migraines is applying a mixture of chamomile and sesame oil to the temples. Of the many studies on sleep, the majority of studies showed that smelling the oils, particularly lavender oil, had positive effects on sleep habits.


Studies have investigated essential oils, such as peppermint and tea tree oil, extensively for their antimicrobial effects. Other studies have found that ingesting a combination of thyme and oregano essential oils helped induce the remission of colitis. And studies on caraway and rosemary oils found they were effective for treating inflammation.


What’s the Difference between Essential and Aroma Oils?

A good quality, natural aroma oil is simply an essential oil blended with other natural ingredients such as carrier oils and other essential oils to create a balanced, scented oil that can be used in a diffuser. Blending essential oils with carrier and other aroma oils can result in a much more pleasant, subtle scent particularly suited for oil diffusers.



How does one safely test Essential Oils?

The Patch Test is one of the safest ways to initially try an essential oil. It allows you to insure you do not have an allergic reaction or rash from the oil. It is important when first using an essential oil to see how your skin reacts to a particular oil before you perform a full application.


Here are the steps for conducting a patch test:

  1. Wash your forearm with unscented soap.

  2. Pat dry.

  3. Rub a few drops of diluted essential oil into a small patch of your forearm.

  4. Wait 24 hours.

  5. Remove the gauze.


If the skin patch is red, itchy, blistering, or swollen, then you have an adverse reaction to the oil and should discontinue use. If you experience discomfort before the 24-hour period ends, immediately wash the area with soap and warm water.


Updated: Feb 2

(paraphrased and based on Yogananda’s (bless his soul) “Autobiography of a Yogi”.



Paramhansa Yogananda is one of the best known yogis in the west, the first yoga master to bring the tradition in person to the West. He was born January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India, the fourth of eight children. His mother passed away when he was about 11 years old, and soon after he had a vision of the Divine Mother, who said, “It is I who have watched over thee, life after life, in the tenderness of many mothers!” The Divine Mother became the center of Yogananda’s devotion for the remainder of his life.


After finishing high school, Yogananda formally left home and joined a Mahamandal Hermitage in Varanasi; however, he soon became dissatisfied with its insistence on organizational work instead of meditation and God-perception. He began praying for guidance; in 1910, his seeking after various teachers mostly ended when, at the age of 17, he met his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. In his autobiography, he describes his first meeting with Sri Yukteswar as a rekindling of a relationship that had lasted for many lifetimes. He would go on to train under Sri Yukteswar as his disciple for the next ten years (1910–1920), at his hermitages in Serampore and Puri. Later on Sri Yukteswar informed Yogananda that he had been sent to him by the great guru of their lineage, Mahavatar Babaji, for a special world purpose of yoga dissemination.


During his study with Sir Yukteswar he attended and graduated from Calcutta University. July 1914, several weeks after graduating from college, he took formal vows into the monastic Swami order; Sri Yukteswar allowed him to choose his own name: Swami Yogananda Giri. He learned the physical and spiritual practice of yoga, teaching and then establishing a high school with yoga training at Dihika, West Bengal, that combined modern educational techniques with yoga training and spiritual ideals. A year later, the school relocated to Ranchi. One of the school's first batch of pupils was his youngest brother, Bishnu Charan Ghosh, who learnt yoga asanas there and in turn taught asanas to the future yogi Bikram Choudhury. This school would later become the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (the Indian branch of Yogananda's American organization, Self-Realization Fellowship).



In 1920 he came to the United States as the Indian delegate for the International Congress of Religious Liberals. He stayed and traveled extensively on the East and West coasts lecturing on yoga. He spoke at the International Congress in early October, and was well received. IN 1920 he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India's ancient practices and philosophy of Yoga and its tradition of meditation. Yogananda spent the next four years in Boston; in the interim, he lectured and taught on the East Coast and in 1924 embarked on a cross-continental speaking tour. Thousands came to his lectures. During this time he attracted a number of celebrity followers, including soprano Amelita Galli-Curci, tenor Vladimir Rosing and Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, the daughter of Mark Twain. He settled in California, founding the Yoga Institute at Encinitas, California. He introduced millions to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India. He lived his last 32 years in America. His last four years of this life were spent primarily in seclusion at his desert retreat in Twentynine Palms, California. He continued to write, to finish revising books, articles and lessons on yoga. During this period he gave few interviews or lectures. He told his close disciples, "I can do much more now to reach others with my pen."


On March 7, 1952, Yogananda attended a dinner for the visiting Indian Ambassador to the US, Binay Ranjan Sen, and his wife at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. At the conclusion of the banquet, Yogananda spoke of India and America, their contributions to world peace and human progress, expressing his hope for a "United World" that would combine the best qualities of "efficient America" and "spiritual India." According to an eyewitness – Daya Mata, a direct disciple of Yogananda, who was head of the Self-Realization Fellowship – as Yogananda ended his speech, he read from his poem “My India”, concluding with the words "Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves, and men dream God—I am hallowed; my body touched that sod." As he uttered these words, he lifted his eyes to the Kutastha center (the Ajna Chakra or "spiritual eye"), and his body slumped to the floor." Followers and others say that he entered mahasamadhi: the medical cause of death was heart failure. His funeral service, with hundreds attending, was held at the SRF headquarters atop Mt. Washington in Los Angeles.


In 1946, Yogananda published his life story, “Autobiography of a Yogi”, the first hand account of the life experiences of Paramhansa Yogananda. It describes Yogananda's spiritual search for enlightenment, in addition to encounters with notable spiritual figures such as Therese Neumann, Anandamayi Ma, Vishuddhananda Paramahansa, Mohandas Gandhi. The book has since been translated into 45 languages. In 1999, it was designated one of the "100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century" by a panel of spiritual authors convened by Philip Zaleski and HarperCollins publishers. “Autobiography of a Yogi” is the most popular among Yogananda's books, read by millions of people all over the world, classic reading for teachers and practitioners of yoga, and recognized universally by varying religious traditions as a beautiful depiction of his spiritual path.


Yogananda wrote the “Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You and God Talks With Arjuna – The Bhagavad Gita” to show the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna. In the book he also presents that the principles of truth are the common, scientific foundation of all true religions.


In his work, “The Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons”, Yogananda gives his in-depth instruction in the practice of the highest yoga science of God-realization. That ancient science is embodied in the specific principles and meditation techniques known as Kriya Yoga. Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that quickly accelerates one’s spiritual growth — though ancient, it was first made widely known by Yogananda in his autobiography.

Kriya,” Yogananda wrote, “is the easiest, most effective, and most scientific avenue of approach to the Infinite. In contrast to the slow, uncertain ‘bullock cart’ theological path to God, Kriya may justly be called the ‘airplane’ route.

Kriya Yoga is more than a simple technique; it is an entire way of life. With Kriya Yoga, Paramhansa Yogananda taught three other techniques of yoga and meditation: Energization Exercises, Hong-Sau, and Aum Technique.



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