What does it mean to set your intentions?

Posted by Laurel Hazelgrove on

It’s almost impossible to come across mention of the New Moon without someone telling you to set your intentions for the next moon cycle, but rarely does anyone state what that actually means or how you’re supposed to go about it, not to mention why it’s a good practice for the New Moon.

What are intentions?

Quite simply, your intentions are your goals, hopes, dreams and aspirations which define what you want to accomplish and hope to achieve. Intentions can be affirmations, petitions or prayers, made into sigils, spoken in spellcasting or written down on paper to be later burned or buried. Your intention is your point of focus - the motivating factor behind your actions. Without an intention, clear goal, or direction, you may be manifesting things you don’t want in your life and/or your lack of vision or sense of control over your own destiny may lead to others taking advantage of you, using your resources to get what they want for themselves. Suffice it to say that intentions are statements or beliefs about what you want to accomplish and why and reflect your goals in life.

What does it mean to set an intention?

Setting your intention is getting clear on what you want to achieve and taking steps to get that message “out there” into the Universe, Source, Gaia, or whatever Power you believe in to supply your heart’s desire. You can set an intention by writing it down, creating an affirmation, meditating on your goal, coming up with a chant, mantra or spell, or creating a sigil to symbolize your goal. Setting your intention also involves being very clear on what it is, exactly, you hope to achieve, be it prosperity, love, peace, power, whatever it is that you want to create. You want to be determined about achieving your aim and have the willpower necessary to take steps towards its accomplishment and the belief that your success is inevitable. Action happens when your focus is clear and your intentions are defined. Clarity, however, is key.

For example, while you could set the intention to have more wealth, prosperity and abundance in your life, but you might be better off focusing on a goal in which you get a job that you love to do which pays you well enough support and maintain the lifestyle you want. Or, you could set the intention to have more love in your life (or even a specific person that you’ve had your eyes on), but it may be better to intend that you should draw to yourself a loving, supportive partner and a healthy, mature relationship based on truth, honesty and mutual respect. In this case, being clear on what you want may not mean asking for a particular person, but rather asking for a specific kind of relationship with the love of your dreams, who may very well be someone you have never met.

Another example might be that you want more peace and harmony in your life, but maybe what you need to ask for (or intend) is to have the strength and wisdom to stand up for yourself and speak your mind when necessary and gain the respect you deserve for standing in your own power. Setting an intention, then, is getting as clear as possible about your goal while still allowing room for the Universe/Source/Gaia to provide you with something better than what you’re asking for and trusting that the Universe knows what’s best for you.

Steps for successful intention setting

When setting your intention, it’s important to focus on and visualize how you would feel when your hope is realized. Feeling the emotions associated with your desire is key. Meditation techniques are an excellent way to focus your mind and get into your heart space where you can feel the joy of having your intention fulfilled. This will help raise your vibration and put you into harmony with the frequency of that which you desire. Even if you can dedicate just 15 minutes a day to this exercise the payoff will be worthwhile. The more you can feel it, the more you’ll raise your vibration and match your desire.

Acting “as if” will also be beneficial. Do your best to act as though your intentions have already been fulfilled in as many real-life situations as possible. Believe in yourself, too. Know that you are worthy of obtaining your heart’s desires and are capable of performing any task associated with its achievement. Your intentions are your statements of belief about what you are worthy of and capable of and your actions are your demonstrations about your conviction that you will manifest what you have intended. Also be prepared to take any action you feel drawn to do, especially if these nudges come intuitively, to obtain your goal.

Why is the New Moon associated with setting intentions?

The New Moon phase is always the perfect time to set new intentions as the New Moon energies are all about new beginnings. Use these energies to make your wishes known to the Universe/Source/Gaia and use the waxing moon phase to increase your conviction in a positive outcome. As far as the moon cycle itself goes, you can use the 2-week period between the New Moon and the next Full Moon or you can use a 5-6 month period between the astrological sign that the current New Moon occurs in with the corresponding Full Moon that occurs in the same sign (there’s a chart below to explain this). This way, you can set either short-term or long-term goals, depending on your situation and preferences, in either 2-week or 5 to 6 month time periods.

Every moon phase occurs in one astrological sign or another, unless the moon is void of course, but we won’t need to discuss that here. When a New Moon is in one sign, it will return to that sign as a Full Moon in about 5-6 months’ time. An added bonus to setting intentions on the New Moon is to incorporate the correspondences for the astrological sign the moon is in with your particular intention. For example, if the New Moon is in Cancer you may want to focus on intentions surrounding your home, family or emotional state; if it’s in Libra you may want to focus on bringing more balance and harmony into your life.

Setting your intentions is not complicated or difficult, but it can be a little vague or ambiguous if you’re not clear on what you hope to achieve and what steps you can take to get your message “out there”. If you can focus on how you would feel when your goal is achieved and combine that with concrete actions towards their accomplishment along with a positive attitude and belief in yourself, then you’re well on your way to raising your vibration to match your desires and creating the life of your dreams. Don’t forget to use the moon’s energy, she’s here to help!