Take advantage of this New Moon with a “season-sized” goal.
Start something you’re willing to carry through for at least two cycles.
It’s widely acknowledged that it takes 21 days to make a positive personal change. Turns out, this is somewhat fake news. This rumor got started with a popular 1960’s book, Psycho-Cybernetics, written by a plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who noticed that his patients seemed to take about 21 days to get used to their new faces. Maltz also noticed that those who’d lost a limb typically felt their missing arm or leg as a “phantom” for about 21 days before adjusting.
Maltz continued to contemplate his own and others’ adjustment periods. Eventually he concluded that it seemed to take at least 21 days to form any new behaviors or routines. In the decades that followed (and without any new research), this observation morphed into the “fact” that it only takes 21 days to make a significant change. That people so widely accept this, I think, has something to do with the Moon.
The first three weeks of the Moon’s cycle, from New Moon to Last Quarter, is 21 days. If you plant a new behavior at the New Moon and keep nurturing it through the Disseminating phase, you’ll likely reach your goal. During these weeks, there’s more celestial support for doing and achieving. New behaviors anchored during this interval have a greater chance of succeeding.
However, after these three weeks, at the Last Quarter Moon, we enter an “undoing” or unwinding period. During this week, if we’re harmonizing with the time, we want to rest rather than push. This is what nature is doing. So if we’ve been focused on success, now we need to relax and root. We give the layers in our unconscious time to absorb the new picture of ourselves that we’ve been creating. This pause is significant in change-making–which perhaps explains why Maltz’s 21-day “fact” has lately evolved into a 30-day interval (Google “thirty days to make a change”) or one full Moon cycle.
How long does it actually take to rewire a habit wasn’t officially studied until 2009. London researcher Phillippa Lally studied 96 people over 12 weeks. All were trying to make positive changes, typically in their habits of diet or exercise. Lally discovered that on average it took two months or 66 days before a new behavior was anchored. Some made changes in as little as 18 days, others took as long as 254 days. But the most reliable interval seemed to be two months, or two Moon cycles.
Which brings us to cardinal-sign New Moons, like this month’s New Moon in Cancer. These are always the first of the season. Cardinal New Moons are the best for initiating positive changes. Why? Because the first Moon cycle of the season has the most initiating magic. This is when Nature herself chooses to step into new forms–and so can we. The second Moon cycle of the season (nearly always) begins in a fixed sign. Fixed cycles are awesome for sustaining commitments. Coming in the middle of the season, these New Moons are designed to help us continue with our cardinal goals. Try this and see!
If you select your goal(s) well at the Cancer New Moon,
you can count on the Leo New Moon to boost your endurance.
This magical two month interval is a gift of nature!
What about the third month of each season? These begin with mutable New Moons, a wilder, more scattered type of energy, which is perfectly suited for shifting ourselves into shifting times ahead. At mutable New Moons (this season, that’s in Virgo) we’re encouraged to wrap up our seasonal projects and start thinking about the season to come. This is the cycle to refine your efforts and look forward–because another cardinal New Moon is on its way!
Typically Cancer New Moon goals are personal,
as this goddess sign is innately focused on your well-being and peace.
But check your full chart for further clues.
How is heaven supporting you this summer? Steven Forrest’s Skylog report reveals where your personal transits and progressions are currently pointing you. Order here. If your birthday came in the past three months or if it’s coming in the next three, it’s time to treat yourself with Mary Shea’s Solar Return report. Order here.