Meditation, Moon Cycles & Sound Baths: What Could Woo-Woo Do For You?

By Lucy Slight
In a fast-moving and disconnected world, people are turning to ancient practices. Collage / Julia Gessler

The idea of spirituality and universal alignment may seem a little woo-woo, but as many of us search for deeper meaning and connection post-Covid, exploring ancient practices is becoming even more accessible.

We’ve all heard stories of people changing the direction of their lives after two years of lockdowns and

With slowing down comes introspection and a natural questioning of our life’s purpose. “Covid was terrible on so many levels, but it was amazing on others. It has really pushed everyone’s boundaries so far that they realised they needed to take control of their own health again,” says Wilhemeena Isabella Monroe, founder of Soul Centre in Auckland.

She has seen an increase in people seeking more traditional modes of healing and wellness practices — some more mainstream such as yoga and Pilates, as well as more spiritual offerings, including cacao ceremonies, Qigong and other somatic and kinesthetic practices, all of which she offers at Soul Centre.

Essentially, she says, as a society we are slowly re-learning about our connection to all of life, to nature and its cycles, our own energetic cycles, and coming back to the rhythm of how we were designed. “All of us were designed to live in connection with this energetic planet,” says Wilhemeena.

If this is a foreign concept to you, it’s understandable that this may all come across as a little bit ‘woo-woo’, however, there are many different ways to harness your energy, prioritise your mental health and live more aligned with nature, and they don’t involve sacrificing all your material possessions and living in a cave, we promise.

Consider these entry-level modes of attaining a higher level of spiritual or energetic awareness — or if that’s still too far-fetched, simply a few ways to encourage you to stop resisting and go with the flow.

Meditation for mental clarity

Georgia Vavasour doesn’t call meditation a spiritual practice, but an effortless mental technique. Georgia is a teacher of Vedic meditation, a completely self-sufficient practice derived from an ancient body of knowledge known as “the Veda”, which involves closing down the eyes for 20 minutes, twice a day, and repeating a mantra to yourself. Your mantra (a simple, meaningless sound) is given to you by a trained initiator of Vedic meditation and the personalised selection and instruction of the mantra are important aspects of the practice.

“Vedic meditation is a style that absolutely anyone can learn, and it has to do with the mechanics of the practice, which uses a specific type of mantra that has the capacity to draw the mind inward,” explains Georgia.

“It’s not a skill-based proposition, nor are you just sitting there with your thoughts. It has the capacity to draw even the busiest mind inward, which can really get you into experiencing the benefits of meditation very quickly and make the practice a lot easier.”

Georgia’s students come from all walks of life, some are spirituality inclined, while others embrace the technique simply for its ability to encourage increased energy through the deep state of rest that Vedic meditation fosters, which is two to five times deeper than sleep.

“I teach a lot of busy mums, from stay-at-home mums to working mums, CEOs and retirees, through to a lot of millennials and those in their early 20s who are anxious about finding their career or financial pressures. They’re wanting to offset that and are much more open-minded than perhaps the generation before them.”

The benefits of Vedic meditation include reduced stress, improved focus, increased creativity, and enhanced overall wellbeing. Regular practitioners may also experience a greater sense of inner peace, clarity and resilience in dealing with life’s challenges. Once you have received instruction via a qualified teacher, they can provide a lifetime of guidance on how to integrate the practice into daily life, offer wisdom from a Vedic perspective and support you in refining your technique as you progress in your practice.

Collage / Julia Gessler
Collage / Julia Gessler

The moon and your energetic cycle

Some days you may wake up full of energy, brimming with ideas, and other days you’ll find yourself feeling naturally inclined to favour rest. It may not have occurred to you before, but it could all be to do with the phases of the moon.

Maramataka is the Māori lunar calendar, meaning the turning of the moon. Each year has 12 months based on the cycles of the moon and these lunar months begin and end when the moon is full, and last for around 30 days. During a typical lunar month, some days are noted as being favourable for resource harvesting, whereas others are less so.

“When we all lived and worked together in small communities, Māori would rest and recuperate during whiro — the new moon phase,” says Michele Wilson, founder of period-proof underwear company Awwa, which aims to tackle the stigma around ikura (periods) by reigniting the stories and celebration of periods as first told by Māori tīpuna (ancestors).

“As a result of being together during this time, women’s ikura would sync and so it became a time that periods aligned with the whiro cycle of the moon. Because whiro is considered as a lower production time, men and women would be together, not out hunting or harvesting. This meant that while the wāhine bled, the men would take over some of the more traditional female roles of cooking, cleaning and caring for the children.”

It doesn’t collectively work like this anymore because we don’t live and work according to Maramataka and we’re no longer all together in these smaller communities. So, while you may not menstruate during the new moon phase of the lunar calendar, you can still use the moon to track your cycle and energy levels.

“I plan my days, weeks and months around Maramataka, where I sync my period, energy and emotions with the lunar cycle,” says Michele. “For example, if it’s whiro, a new moon, I won’t work; I will spend the day at home meditating or going into the bush. Tangaroa is a high productivity phase for me so I’m usually working long hours and ensuring I get some time in the ocean.”

As a result of her own research and journey, Michele will soon be launching an app called Ehoa, to help others track their energy cycles in conjunction with their periods.

“It was life-changing for me to understand this and plan my life around it,” says Michele. “It made me realise that I can do anything, I just can’t do everything, especially when I am in low energy phases of my cycle.”

Numerology: Living life by numbers

“Everything in the world has a vibration or vibrational quality. All numbers and letters have different characteristics and those vibrations have characteristics,” explains Chaz Reid, numerologist and founder of Soul Print.

Numerology is a belief system that assigns symbolic meanings to numbers and their combinations. Each number from 1 to 9 is believed to have specific characteristics and energies; these numbers are often associated with particular traits, behaviours and life experiences. Additionally, in numerology, certain combinations of numbers or patterns, such as repeating numbers (for example, 11:11) or numbers derived from a person’s birth date or name, are considered significant and hold special meanings.

“Your name is made up of a bunch of numbers, which all have characteristics that make up your personality, your challenges, what your purpose is, what you’re here to do, what personal year you’re in. It’s kind of like a code and can help you really understand who you are and use your gifts to the best of your ability,” says Chaz.

To get a true understanding of numerology as it pertains to you, a reading with a numerologist like Chaz is the best place to start. All you need to know is your full name (as it was given to you at birth) and your date of birth. From there, you are given a set of numbers along with a description of what these mean for you and your purpose in life.

“Every year, the universe goes through a different number, which will bring challenges and opportunities for us,” explains Chaz. “The same thing will be happening on an individual level. I’m in a personal year number one, so I’ll be starting new projects and driving forward and thinking earnestly, and I’ll have a renewed sense of energy.”

Chaz says she has clients who will book in for a reading before they purchase property, decide on the name of a business, or whether they should accept the offer of a first date, simply to see if the numbers align in their favour.

“It’s really not hard,” she says. “You can flow with your personal months and your personal days, and then the universal year, the universal days and the universal months, and let go and let flow from there. In other words, you’re not pushing up a hill; if you flow with the vibration, everything flows easier with you. Then you don’t get so frustrated as to why things aren’t working.”

Collage / Julia Gessler
Collage / Julia Gessler

The healing energy of sound

Another practice that works with the vibrational frequency of the universe is sound healing, also known as sound baths. This therapeutic practice uses sound and vibrations to promote relaxation, stress reduction, and overall wellbeing, and is often used as a form of alternative or complementary medicine to support physical, emotional and mental health.

During a sound bath session, participants typically lie down in a comfortable position while a practitioner plays various instruments that produce soothing sounds and vibrations. These instruments can include Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, metal gongs, drums and percussion instruments, chimes, bells and tuning forks, as well as the voice.

The sounds and vibrations produced by these instruments are believed to have therapeutic effects on the body and mind. They can induce a state of deep relaxation, similar to meditation, and help release tension and stress. Some practitioners also suggest that sound healing can balance the body’s energy, clear energetic blockages, and promote healing at a cellular level.

Sound healer and master reiki practitioner Sophie Correia explains that sound has historically been used as a form of medicine, with indigenous cultures utilising the vibration of sound for their practices in a much deeper way than how we experience mainstream music in the Western world today.

“The way I like to work with it is also aligned with the chakra system,” she says. “In the ancient Indian philosophy we have these seven main energy centres in the body, and they can kind of be in balance or out of balance, and that can impact our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. So, from a spiritual perspective, it’s quite a beautiful way to balance the chakra system and the frequencies created to help provide that kind of energetic attunement.”

Sound baths are often held in group settings, where participants share in the collective healing experience. The sounds envelop the participants, creating an immersive and therapeutic environment that allows them to let go of mental chatter and enter a state of calm and introspection.

“Everyone will experience a sound bath differently depending on the way they enter the room, the frequency that they’re vibrating at, so to speak, and their physical composition,” explains Sophie. “Some people might see light, other people might have physical sensations in their body, some people might have quite visual filmstrips play out in their mind. Each experience is unique and will kind of meet you where you are on your journey, but also has the ability to elevate your spiritual journey too.”

Enhance your energetic tool kit

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