Potential Triggers for this Post: Brief talk of menstruation
Speaking of the moon phases…
I’m a bit of a planner junkie. I compulsively buy planners I never use for various reasons (ranging from “I will totally get my shit together” to “Oh, pretty shiny!”). Like my stacks of empty notebooks, I’ve come to almost collect them.
Finding the perfect planner for myself has become a spiritual quest, for me. I’ve come close (I currently have what I affectionately call a “franken-planner” that I will probably show in a later post), but one thing has always eluded me:
Moon phases for planning my ritual work.
Yes, I want a witchcraft planner. Christians have “Bible planners” to track their Bible study and prayers, so why shouldn’t I have an at-a-glance place to track my spellwork and rituals?
I used to use the Llewellyn witch’s datebook, but it had serious issues: No monthly view (although apparently they fixed this with the 2018 release), too small to write anything, poor quality paper. It just wasn’t great.
So, when an independent artist and crafter I follow on Instagram called Bombasine announced that she was creating a lunar planner for 2018, I jumped. Then I didn’t, because I’m a skeptic and I also have about 6 undated empty planners I can use for whatever. I didn’t really want to spend another $20 on something I might not need or use, just because it had the moon phases printed on it.
Of course, ultimately, I caved last week and ordered it. Mostly because I’m an addict and I need help, but also because I just love the idea of it.
Because, here’s the thing: The Moonbeam isn’t laid out like a Gregorian planner. It’s sectioned off by moon phases. There is no January, February, March, etc… There’s Wolf Moon, Blue Moon, Worm Moon, etc… This is spectacular for me, because my rituals and craft are so moon-centered. This is a great planner for lunar witches. It even includes info on the Wheel of the Year, with brief, fun descriptions of the Sabbats/Esbats, at the front.
Because it’s sectioned by lunar cycles, it’s not laid out like a normal planner. The first lunar cycle (Wolf Moon) begins on Monday December 18th, 2017 and ends on Monday January 15th, 2018. The weekly layouts reflect this: The weekly layouts in this section “begin” on Monday. In other sections, the week “begins” on, say, Thursday, etc… Unlike traditional Gregorian planners, the Moonbeam Lunar Planner doesn’t “carry over” straggling days. In order to avoid confusing any dates with the previous or next lunar cycle, the days are added onto the ends of other weeks in that cycle. As a result some “weeks” have eight days.
This might annoy someone who doesn’t usually pay much attention to the actual posted dates and instead just looks at “Monday’s column,” or someone who has OCD. I have mild OCD and it doesn’t bother me, but your mileage may vary.
And, just so we’re clear, the planner does use Gregorian calendar dates. Each day is labeled “Jan 1,” “Jan 2,” etc… They’re just laid out a little funny.
You may notice in that last picture, at the bottom of the page there are little boxes at the bottom of each day with little triangles in them. These boxes offer a convenient place to update when the moon changes phases. But, those triangles are for those who menstruate to track their cycle and the added space is for noting symptoms, Basal Body Temp, etc…
The link between menstruation and the lunar cycle has been around forever. There are those who prefer to track how their cycle matches up with that of the moon. This planner also offers some information on the menstruation/lunar connection, for those interested.
The planner isn’t perfect, of course (none ever is). The paper is a little thin, so no markers or other wet inks for it. If you look at the pictures above, you can actually see the other pages through the current one. That’s not great for me, since I’m a “creative planner” and like to stamp and doodle and decorate.
I also think it would be nice if it specified the moon’s phase for each day, instead of just full, new, and half (quarter) moons.
It also lacks a legend for the moon phases, from what I could see. It assumes the user will know that the lunar cycle begins with the new moon (indicated by a completely black circle), so they will be able to discern which phases apply to which marks from that. That wouldn’t be helpful to a novice who is new to lunar tracking.
(Also, there are some of us that just don’t process symbols as well as words. It’s difficult for me to keep images and symbols straight, but reading the words “1st quarter” is pretty definitive for me.)
The phases are also added in Eastern Standard Time, so some days might be slightly off. I’m not a huge stickler for that, usually if I’m within a reasonable day, I’m pretty good. It might bug someone else, though.
I haven’t actually written anything in it yet, because it just arrived a few days ago and I don’t have anything to write in it, yet. But, I’m looking forward to using it. It’s a good size for writing down notes, but still compact and lightweight enough to carry around with me, if I wanted (super convenient for when I go see my spiritual counselor or get the opportunity to attend guided meditation, so I can bring it with me to track those experiences when I’m done).
I love you all.
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