Tracking Time During the Pandemic with Moon Phases

That marvelous satellite we call the Moon has been observed by everyone, from scientists to spiritualists to farmers deciding when to plant.

My fascination with the Moon is longstanding, but on a superficial level. An occasional look to the evening sky offers an appreciation of its beauty, as it provides some light through the night.

On the topic of the Moon and how it impacts time in our lives, I happened to hear Anne Strangechamps, one of the hosts of To the Best of our Knowledge podcast, interviewing media theorist Douglas Rushkoff.

The Moon and Our Behavior

During the interview, Rushkoff discusses that as the Moon changes from phase to phase, there is a tendency for chemical substances in our brains to have an impact on our behavior and interests.

As I have had time on my hands as a stay-at-home hideaway from COVID-19, I decided to, on a casual basis, track the Moon phases on my own behavior, level, and type of activity.

I have long been aware that I am super-productive some days or weeks and other times just as likely to settle into a comfortable chair with a long book. Can our activity on any given day or week be attributable to Moon phases?

In my unscientific plain language approach, I’ve attempted to more or less track my own activity through a Moon cycle or two to see whether the expected outcomes for those phases fit my activity. I did this through a backward approach looking at my day-to-day calendar, phone logs and my running journal.

Did my journals and log activity reflect the Moon’s cycles? You be the judge.

New Moon

During the Rising Moon phase, Rushkoff says we will likely be thinking creatively and be more open to new thoughts.

Personal Observations

I’m not sure I felt like a creative woman, but my calendar notes show I was more disciplined about meditation and exercise than during other phases of the Lunar month. This was the week I returned to a yoga practice after a long absence.

I generally am not good about keeping up with friends, but my calendar notes show I did significant outreach during the New Moon.

I also found that I returned to some ideas I had, for some reason, put on the shelf.

Activity involved more business decisions than would be expected, but that was more a matter of outside timetables than my choice to make those decisions during this period.

First Quarter

According to Rushkoff, I should have felt an impulse to get work done as the Moon was filling. This is a phase to tackle projects that may have been put off.

Personal Observations

The “get work done” fits well. I wrote and submitted an article the first day of this quarter, then spent a good week to 10 days knocking items off the to-do list.

I mowed through a stack of paperwork that was not date sensitive, but should have been done. It felt good to have that space cleared away. Additionally, I was doing some planting preparation.

My journal reflects more goal-oriented runs than were done in the first quarter.

Full Moon

Rushkoff says we shouldn’t expect to be productive when the Moon is full. Kick back a bit and enjoy some leisure time. Trying to be productive will be, well, unproductive.

Personal Observations

There was excessive but well spent phone time with friends. I did engage in some fun, creative cooking and did some writing. I don’t have much detail on my calendar so that may be a reflection of the expected lack of productivity during this phase.

My running journal shows that I incorporated some trail hiking during this period, always a more relaxed experience than running on the road.

Third Quarter

Expect to be all business, ready to make decisions based in hard facts when the Moon is waning.

Personal Observations

My calendar shows I moved ahead on some long-range planning (or contingency planning, as needed during an epidemic).

I also did some furniture rearranging. I don’t think that qualifies as making a decision based on hard facts, it but did make for more efficient use of space.

My Summary of This Experiment

So, what does my retrospective review over the last month to six weeks tell me – and you? I’ve reached the following conclusions:

Time Organization

Attention to the moon phases may help in structuring personal time, especially during 2020 when time feels very strange already.

Productivity and Leisure

There may be a benefit to reflecting on feeling and temperament of the day as opposed to what the various clocks of the outside world are asking of us. Our lives don’t usually allow us to choose when we will relax and when we will be super productive.

The crux of this is that the limitations and demands on our lives don’t necessarily coincide with the moon phases.


At a time when many things feel unsure in our world, the moon phases may provide a structure. We can all look to our recent previous activity and determine whether it is useful in the longer term.

Have you considered how the phases of the Moon may impact your creativity, efficiency, and organizational powers? Is it possible to coordinate your inner clock, that may be dictated by the Moon phases, with appointments, deadlines, and obligations? What do you think? Please share with our community!