Is it just me or is the moon like everywhere right now? I mean, it’s in one place—the sky—and it’s been there for a while, since the big bang. But it’s having a wider cultural moment! And I’m not just talking about the anniversary of the (alleged, if you’re my dad) moon landing, which put that big beautiful orb back on the front pages of national newspapers where it belongs; I’m talking about its reemergence in casual conversation. Its phases being referenced and cherished. Its power being discussed and honored by folks who may not be steeped in moon-centered traditions or ethos. Its monthly newness the cause for ritual and celebration (speaking of which, we’ll be celebrating the next new moon at MRHQ on the 28th and you should come).
In order to understand this “moon” and her rise (lol) a bit more, I spoke to Jenn Tardif, founder of 3rd Ritual—a community-focused company that celebrates ritual, objects, and mindful content and the leader of our recent New Moon, New You event (which is happening again on August 28th, tix here). We covered what it’s like to run your own wellness business (including the pressure of staying chill when relaxation is a part of your job) and, of course, dished about the gal everyone wants to know (I’m talking about the moon again).
What does the moon represent and why is it important?
In Chinese cosmology, the moon is linked to Yin energy—that which is passive, receptive and cooling—whereas the sun is linked to Yan energy—that which is expansive, active, and warming. The moon is linked to femininity (think menstrual cycles) and water (think the tides) and I’ve always thought of it as a beautiful reminder that all patterns repeat. When the moon is full, it marks the completion of a cycle, whereas a new moon represents its beginning, making both ideal markers for ritual, setting the stage to let go of beliefs or habits that no longer serve you, or making room for new beginnings and intentions that do.
What led you into the wellness space?
My relationship with ritual started very early. When my mom died when I was five, I started putting myself to bed with a series of small acts that helped me feel safe. Although I didn’t have the language at the time, looking back it’s clear that this was the very seed that eventually bloomed into a lifelong spiritual pursuit.
I first found yoga in high school, but had to find it again after my first panic attack, and again after my first heartbreak, before it would weave its way into every facet of my being. I’ve always been drawn to teachers who truly practice what they preach—to those who marry mysticism with science, and esoteric dialogue with modern metaphor—and have had the great privilege of studying under some of the best in the world. I don’t fall into one specific lineage, but instead, pull from different traditions spanning Traditional Chinese Medicine and aromatherapy, with an emphasis on the tools and techniques that resonate most.
Why did you start 3rd Ritual?
I’ve witnessed time and time again the positive effects that practices like yoga and aromatherapy can have on our emotional and mental wellbeing so I made a lifelong commitment to share them with anyone curious enough to learn more.
After years spent leading what felt like a dual life—working in tech by day and teaching yoga by night—I was excited to marry innovation and reverence by creating tools and experiences that are as beautiful as they are authentic, and as simple as they are sacred.
At the core of everything we do, from the products we create to the rituals we lead, the thesis behind 3rd Ritual is that if you move half as fast, you notice twice as much. I wholeheartedly believe that there is so much magic in this world, we just have to teach ourselves how to see it.
What are the rewards and challenges of running a business like 3rd Ritual?
It’s ironic, but building a mindful business is admittedly one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. Thankfully, the very practices that we promote are also catalysts for cultivating resilience and equanimity no matter what comes your way. The hardest days are usually when I’ve started believing a story that isn’t true or isolating myself by comparing our trajectory with someone else’s. The antidote is the present which I return to by way of simple acts like deepening my breath, smelling MOON (shameless plug of our body lotion, but it’s real), or listing everything I’m grateful for.
We are so lucky to have such an amazing 3rd Ritual community. The feedback we receive on a daily basis about the many ways in which our offering is helping and even, dare I say it, healing, has cemented the idea for me that building something with integrity takes time. That, and I could not/would not do it alone, so to finally answer your question: the greatest reward is collaborating with some of the kindest and most talented people on earth, and the greatest challenge is finding them.
How can people integrate the moon more into their lives? And why should they?
In a culture that’s addicted to doing, I love that the moon is a reminder to be still. When the sun is out there’s this pressure to make the most of the day, to go outside, to be social, whereas the moonlight offers a bit of a reprieve from performing where there is less forcing and more feeling. The moon is a beautiful reminder to slow down, reflect, and act with intention. New moons signify new beginnings, so they pair well with ritual acts like intention-setting or vision mapping, whereas full moons mark the end of a cycle and can, therefore, prompt a personal review i.e. how have things been lately? What’s working and what isn’t?
Oh and in case you didn’t know, there’s a full moon tonight. Take your newly acquired moon knowledge, go forth and feel some lunar vibes.