MOON TALK
The moon does not merely measure time, it governs the rhythms of the tidal waves, the waters, and rain, the fertility of women, of animals, and of vegetation.  For this reason, a close affinity exists between its periodic rhythms between all life. Both Vedic and Islamic cultures have adopted a lunar calendar based on the moon's rhythms. The month is divided into two parts, the dark fortnight and the light fortnight.  Certain days like the full moon, the moonless night, and the eleventh day of the light fortnight, are regarded as auspicious and are celebrated with great fervor. 

While the moon charts the monthly rhythms, the sun provides the natural unit for the annual cycle. For the purpose of ordering the agricultural cycle both the solar and lunar calendar were necessary. Therefore to keep the lunar months approximately seasonal to the solar cycle, the lunar month of approximately 29 1/2 days was made to synchronize with the Solar month of 30 days by the practice of intercalation. This method transformed the lunar calendar into a luni-solar calendar.

The luni-solar calendar was adopted by the Hebrews, Greeks and Romans and remains in use today by way of the Jewish, Hindu, and Chinese calendars.  The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon (lunar) after the winter solstice (solar). The winter solstice occurs when the apparent path of the sun reaches its lowest point on the horizon. For example, if you check your calendar, you'll find that all major Jewish Holidays fall on one of these three phases of the moon. Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

In Kundalini Yoga, there is a special meditation, The Healing Ring of Tantra which is done ONLY on the days of the Full Moon, New Moon, and eleventh day of the New Moon. Its practiced with a minimum of eleven people and the ring must never be broken for any reason. This meditation can be used to generate and direct tremendous healing energy towards any person, a member of the circle, a person in the center of the circle, or someone at a great distance away. For more information, please contact raghubir@kundalink.com.

These three days, the Full Moon, New Moon, and eleventh day of the New Moon are very auspicious days for fasting, meditation, ritual and celebration in many cultures. Vaikunta Ekadasi, a sacred Indian holiday, falls on the 11th day of the Sukla Paksha (the waxing phase of the moon) in the ninth month of the Hindu Lunar Calendar. Hindus consider it a very auspicious day and observe it as a day of prayer and fasting. This is also the SAME day of Yom Kippur, the highest holy day of the Jewish people which also involves prayer and fasting. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a popular harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese people dating back over 3,000 years to moon worship in the Shang Dynasty. It is also referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival and is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Calendar which is usually falls in mid-late September. It is a date that parallels the autumn equinox of the solar calendar when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the few most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice. 

The full moon is when your subconscious mind is closest to the surface..therefore it's a really effective time for healing and meditation; a really perfect time for your energy to go into digesting what is laying around your subconscious mind instead of digesting what you eat. This is also true for the new moon...a time to focus your energy on NEW BEGINNINGS. If fasting is not an option for you, or not what you prefer, try to eat sattvic* foods and adhere to a spiritual template for your day.  

*A sattvic diet is vegetarian, non stimulating diet which is perfect for those days in which you would like to maintain a meditative and contemplative state of mind. It consists of most fruits and vegetables, especially the sun and ground foods. Sun foods grow more than three feet above the ground (fruits, nuts, avocados, dates, coconuts) and are etheric that elevate the consciousness.They get their energy from the sun.  Ground foods grow within three feet above the ground (beans, rice, breads, and green vegetables) and get most of their energy from the earth and some from the sun.  They are high in nutrients and are great cleansers.

If you'd like to check out the moon phases specific to your location and get specific times, visit www.almanac.com/moon/calendar