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Traveling by Moonlight

mandala art with Virgo and Mercury glyphs, and crystals

Working with the energies of the full moon and new moon is a powerful practice for navigating life’s ups and downs with awareness, intention, and grace. In this blog series, I’ll share how I travel by moonlight. I’ll drop my anchor here around the full and new moons each month.

Who am I? I’m Kathryn Costa an instigator of soulful and creative living. I started blogging back in 2008 and since then had the pleasure of opening the door to creative joy for thousands of kindred spirits from over 175 countries. I’ve forged meaningful connections with others through my blog posts, Youtube videos, online and in person workshops. I’ve been traveling by moonlight for over 5 years when my smart and insightful friend Swati introduced me to astrology. I’m energized by observing patterns in the sky, tuning into the energies of each zodiac archetype, and reflecting on all of this while creating mandala art as a meditative practice where I weave positive intentions with symbols, colors, and patterns. I’m the author of the Mandala Guidebook, How to Draw, Paint, and Color Expressive Mandala Art and I designed stencils for StencilGirl Products to make it easy to draw the outline of your mandala art so you can focus on creating as a meditative practice. My training includes a certification in astrology, shamanic studies, soul coaching, and creativity coaching. I integrate all of these learnings into how I show up here on my blog and in my workshops. Thank you for joining me. I look forward to showing you the way of Traveling by Moonlight.

Let’s get this journey started.

What does it mean to Travel by Moonlight? The first step is to understand what happens energetically at the full moon and new moon, to observe how this shows up for each of us, and with this awareness step into the next moment a little wiser. Then I’ll share how I create mandala art as a meditative practice and how I make connections between astrology and the chakras.

Virgo Full Moon Mandala
StencilGirl Stencils: Four Gates Mandala, Heart Chakra, Glyphs from Zodiac Stencils

The Full Moon

Let’s start by looking at what happens at the full moon. The zodiac sign of the full moon is opposite the sign that the sun is in. This opposition creates a tension that we can feel as heavy emotions. In popular culture we hear about how the crazies come out at the full moon, and we see it portrayed in novels and movies about werewolves. Looking at the word lunacy, we can see within it the derivative of luna which means moon. I remember early in my career, working third shift as an emergency room secretary, how the staff would remark on the nutty people who would come in at the full moon. You too may have observed how volatile your relationships can get at these times.

“As above, so below.” This phrase applies as the tension of the full moon is very real.

Awareness is the gift of astrology and when traveling by moonlight, we observe the patterns in our lives.

Strong emotions are an indicator of something that needs your attention. It could be something you’ve been ignoring. Maybe you’ve been the peacekeeper and accommodating the needs and wants of others at the expense of yourself. Think of the full moon as a spotlight that shines on the shadow areas of your life. In the shadows we can find long held limiting beliefs that no longer serve and hold you back, unhealthy habits, relationships that need attention, or patterns of behavior that have been repeating and repeating, over and over.

Let That Shit Go’ magnet.

The essential question at the full moon is, “What are you ready to let go?”

The full moon is a time when we can shift the heavy energy through heart centered activities like loving-kindness, forgiveness, surrender, compassion, and understanding.

Astrology shows us the way to balance our lives through the dance of contrasting zodiac signs. With each full moon blog post, we’ll explore the relationships, lessons, and wisdom of each of these pairs:

Aries – Libra
Taurus – Scorpio
Gemini – Sagittarius
Cancer – Capricorn
Leo – Aquarius
Virgo – Pisces

As you do your full moon shadow work, you’ll arrive at some full moons ready to celebrate what has come full circle noting how you’ve grown, evolved, and what you’ve achieved.

The work of releasing and celebrating at the full moon clears and makes way for how we show up at the new moon.

New Moon in Aries Mandala
StencilGirl Stencils: Four Gates Mandala, Solar Plexus Chakra, Glyphs from Zodiac Stencils

The New Moon

At the time of the new moon, both the moon and sun are in the same zodiac sign. When we look up at the sky, it is very dark and there is no moon in sight. This darkness is like a fertile rich soil to plant seeds that hold your positive intentions. Our creative meditative practice at the new moon is when we make a sacred space to listen to our hearts about what we most desire. We give ourselves a gift at each lunation when we take a break from the busyness of life to be present for ourselves. In the blog posts around the new moon, I’ll share insights about the powerful connection found in heart/brain coherence that I’m learning about in my current studies at the HeartMath Institute. Stay tuned!

Creating Art as a Meditation

Creating art can be a sacred practice when we observe our internal landscape of thoughts, feelings, desires, and physical sensations.

Four Gates Mandala Stencil


The outline for my Traveling by Moonlight mandalas starts by using the Four Gates Mandala stencil. Each gate represents an element and an aspect of the self. The four gates give us a place as we work to observe the thoughts, emotions, and even physical pain that can show up during our practice.

Air is the gate of the mind. As we work, we may have critical thoughts narrating our process with comments like, “I don’t think I’m doing this right.” “I don’t like how this is looking.” Or our thoughts may circle around what has been happening in our daily lives.

Water is the gate of our emotions. Whether it is our thoughts or a random memory that triggers it, emotions may surface during our creative practice.

Earth is the gate of our body. Where we are holding tension, illness, or pain in our body may offer a nagging distraction as we work.

Fire is the gate of our desire. At this aspect, unfulfilled desires may be the source of angst or restlessness.

When we take a meditative approach to our art making, we become sacred observers of these elements within us. Our practice centers on the heart as a means to bring loving-kindness and non-attachment to what shows up. I often work in silence or with gentle instrumental music that makes it easier to listen and observe.


The next step is to select a chakra mandala stencil that corresponds to the theme of the new or full moon. Each blog post, I’ll make suggestions on which chakra to work with or you can choose one that resonates for you and the moment you are living.

Each of the chakra stencils has at the center the sacred geometric pattern and ring of lotus petals of the traditional design. I designed the stencils to include a second row of lotus petals to expand the design.


After tracing the stencil, there are gaps called bridges that need to be connected. I call this step, “Crossing the bridges.’ There is a rhythmic flow when following the outline moving from one lotus petal to another. I find it soothing to focus on the gentle in flow and out flow of my breath as I follow the contours of the mandala pattern. To magnify this experience, I’ll reflect on what I’m grateful for or what brings me joy.

Libra Full Moon Mandala
StencilGirl Stencils: Four Gates Mandala, Throat Chakra, Glyphs from Zodiac Stencils


At each gate, I typically trace the glyph (symbol) of the zodiac sign and at each corner the glyph of the corresponding ruling planet. I’ll reflect on how the featured zodiac archetype can help me pass through each gate and the challenging thoughts, emotions, body, and/or desires of the moment. I think of these zodiac signs as gatekeepers and allies who offer wisdom and guidance.


In some blog posts, I’ll share how I work with crystals, oracles, Tarot and other tools to enhance the insightful process of Traveling by Moonlight.

You are invited to
Travel by Moonlight

Inspired by this idea of Traveling by Moonlight and creating mandala art? Swing by StencilGirl Products to pick up a set of stencils and gather up your favorite art supplies. You can use anything from markers, colored pencils, to paint. Drop me a note in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts and post a link to your Traveling by Moonlight mandala art.

I look forward to sharing this soulful and creative journey with you!

(((soul hugs)))
Kathryn Costa

Capricorn New MoonJanuary 11, 2024Leo Full MoonJanuary 25, 2024
Aquarius New MoonFebruary 9, 2024Virgo Full MoonFebruary 24, 2024
Pisces New MoonMarch 10, 2024Libra Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
March 25, 2024
Aries New Moon
Solar Eclipse
April 8, 2024Scorpio Full MoonApril 23, 2024
Taurus New MoonMay 7, 2024Sagittarius Full MoonMay 23, 2024
Gemini New MoonJune 6, 2024Capricorn Full MoonJune 21, 2024
Cancer New MoonJuly 5, 2024Capricorn Full Moon
Blue Moon!
July 21, 2024
Leo New MoonAugust 4, 2024Aquarius Full MoonAugust 19, 2024
Virgo New MoonSeptember 2, 2024Pisces Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
September 17, 2024
Libra New Moon
Solar Eclipse
October 2, 2024Aries Full MoonOctober 17, 2024
Scorpio New MoonNovember 1, 2024Taurus Full MoonNovember 15, 2024
Sagittarius New MoonDecember 1, 2024Gemini Full MoonDecember 15, 2024
Capricorn New MoonDecember 30, 2024
See you at the next lunation!
Read: Full Moon in Libra

48 thoughts on “Traveling by Moonlight”

  1. I’ve never thought much about the moon. At the last session with my shamanic practitioner, she said my guides are saying “pay attention to the moon.” So I just got a lunar clock and now your blog turning up in my email. How perfect. I’m definitely subscribing (assuming I can figure out how to do it!)

    PS. You might enjoy looking at my new book illustrated with mandalas. It’s a memoir called “All God, If God There Be: A journey through incest into incarnate light.”

  2. Kathryn, I’m just so glad you’re back! I thought of you recently, and I looked back on old classes of yours I took. Even perused my my copy of your mandala book. And, now, here you are! Welcome back.

  3. Dear Kathryn, my heart gives a jump of joy when I see your name pop into my emails! I will be following your blogs with delight and interest as always, You are often in my prayers especially when I see the moon or watch the sunrise. Blessings in abundance on this next step that you are taking, Big Love

    1. Ahhhhh Veronica. I’ve appreciated your support over the years and love how my work inspires your ministry. Thanks for the prayerful wishes and thinking of me when you enjoy the moon. (((soul hugs))) Kathryn

  4. So happy you are back! I always enjoy reading you and am looking forward to you sharing your wisdom about the new and full moons to come.

    I also love the mandalas you share here. I use your stencils all the time, not for meditative purposes nor in link with the new and full moons, however anytime I do art it is always a form of meditation for me.
    À bientôt

    1. I have seen how you’ve been playing with the stencils. It delights me to see how the stencils have been a helpful tool and how you express your creativity so uniquely! You are a one of a kind Catherine and I look forward to more creative adventures in the weeks, months, and years to come.

  5. Kathryn, I was so happy to see an email pop up from you this evening! I am glad you are back. Can’t wait to travel by Moonlight with you.

  6. I am so overjoyed that you are reconnecting and offering your gifts to the world. I have missed you and think of you often. Because of you, I have a regular art practice! The moon has been trying to get my attention for a long time and more than ever in the last couple of months. So serendipity! You inspire so many people with your unique creative gifts!

    1. Saira!!! I too am overjoyed to reconnect with you. It warms my heart to hear how I’ve inspired you to have a regular art practice. You are highly intuitive and I’m not surprised to hear that the moon is vying for your attention. Some powerful lunations are upon us. Glad we can journey through them together. (((soul hugs))) Kathryn

  7. Kathyrn, this is beautifully written. So very clear. It’s the best description of the energy of the full and new moon that I’ve come across. I’ve been working with the moon diary and so your blog is a beautiful guide to connecting creatively with the moon, also. Excited to hear more about Heartmath on your journey as the heart voice speaks to me. So glad you are so graciously sharing your gifts, once again. I will look forward to your blog, and hearing from you. With love… Dana.

    1. My dear soul sister, How lovely to see your name pop up here. Integrating art with the moon cycles takes it to a whole new level. Aren’t we lucky that we love to play? I’m sure you’ll find your own unique ways of creating under the moon. Let’s chat soon. Miss you! Kathryn

  8. So happy to see an email and link to your new blog posts in my Inbox. Looking forward to reading your blog. I still love my Goddess SoulCollage cards. Sending love.

  9. This is wonderful! So glad you’re sharing again. I’ve been feeling the need to live more in sync with the dance of the earth and moon, sun and stars, as well. Been struggling emotionally, and spring is an excellent time to restart, renew, and reconnect. Thank you for this post. 🙂

    1. Hi Charity, So happy to reconnect with you! Spring always lifts my spirit with more sunlight, warmer temps, and beautiful flowers. I hope you spring back and feel mighty spry soon! Perhaps Traveling by Moonlight and having a guided project will rekindle your creative passions. I was feeling very dormant myself until my friend invited me to teach a mandala workshop last month. It was just the ticket to get my creative juices flowing. With the response to my first two blog posts, I’m feeling so energized to create and connect. I look forward to sharing this journey with you. (((soul hugs)))

  10. I’m so glad you’re back Kathryn! Ohh how I’ve missed you!! I was just reminiscing about your workshops and classes. Welcome home!

  11. Kathryn, I am so glad you are back and reconnecting. It felt good to see many of the names when we used to take your courses and create art. I still take time to create a few days a week and it has allowed me to get through some difficult times. I look forward to traveling by moonlight with you. Take care, Sue

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