Magical Moon Gongs

Of all the planetary gongs played by yogis, sound healers, and therapists, the Moon Gongs may be most divinely human of them all.

Even more the Sun, and especially in non-Western cultures, it is the Moon of all the heavenly bodies that has had the most influence on our imagination, rituals, and day to day realities.

As the closest celestial body to our earthly home, the Moon exerts the strongest astrological and mundane influence of all the planets. It represents our emotions, personality, happiness, popularity, sociability, inner life and home. 

It is the mother, the divine goddess, the caregiver and women in general. The Moon controls the biorhythms and glandular responses in our bodies and is instrumental in our experience of the sensory and feeling nature of our reality. 

In the realm of yoga, the Moon represents the part of the mind known as “manas,” or the emotional sensory mind. This aspect of the mind is responsible for our interactions with the external environment and organizes our emotional responses, and it deeply affects how we experience ourselves in the world. 

The Moon helps us learn to control and purify our mind and emotions. The Moon is associated with the mental peace that we can develop through meditation. The Moon, being associated with all things maternal, helps us resolve issues with the birth mother and the universal mother, as well as understanding the relationship of the self with women and children.  

Ultimately, the Moon is about uplifting others by learning to channel the emotions through Bhakti yoga and by experiencing the pure love and connection to the Higher Self or Infinite. The life lesson of the Moon is to develop peace, faith, receptivity and surrender to the Divine and turn emotional commotion into spiritual devotion.

Consequently, it is the Moon Gongs, those gongs tuned to the orbital frequency of the Moon around the Earth and through the zodiac, that are such valuable and potent tools for those who work with the healing nature of sound.

The Moon Gong is excellent in working with the emotional body and the subtle body. It aids in developing intuition and balancing the feminine energy within each of us. For example, issues around nurturing and self-nurturing, the mother, women in general, areas of the body influenced by the moon (feminine reproductive organs, breasts, stomach, etc.), The Moon Gong has been said to help with dairy sensitivity, edema, excessive phlegm or mucous, and water related illnesses.

In the realm of planetary gongs, there are two distinct and different moon gongs, and that is what we wish to explore in this article: 

Why are there two Moon Gongs?

First, there is a lot of confusion about two gongs, even in the way some people attempt to describe them. You hear people sometimes referring to a “New Moon Gong” and a “Full Moon Gong.”

In actuality, there is only one Gong that is both the Full Moon Gong and the New Moon Gong! It is called the Synodic Moon Gong.

The Synodic Moon Gong is tuned to a frequency determined by the lunation cycle of the Moon (from New Moon to Full Moon to New Moon, etc.). This period of time to move through all the phases of the lunation cycle is 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. It has the energy of both the new moon and full moon cycles.

The frequency determined by this time period by Hans Cousto (The Cosmic Octave: Origin of Harmony) for the synodic moon gong corresponds to the musical note of G#. This frequency also corresponds to the second chakra frequency which is said to be helpful for balancing sexual energies as well as all the areas of the body and mind connected with this energy center.

The other Moon Gong is called the Sidereal Moon Gong and is tuned to a frequency determined by the time needed for the moon to return to its same position against the background of stars, or its orbit around the earth which takes 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.

The frequency determined by this time period by Hans Cousto for the sidereal moon corresponds to the musical note of A#.

To summarize the difference between Synodic and Sidereal: 

Synodic is the time required for a planet (or in this case the moon) to return to its same position in the sky relative to the Sun as seen from the Earth (which creates the new moon to full moon to new moon lunation cycle).

Sidereal is the time required for a planet (or moon) to return through its orbit in the zodiac to its starting position with respect to the fixed stars.

Both the synodic and the sidereal frequencies capture unique aspects of the Moon’s energy, and hence we have two Moon Gongs with two different notes or frequencies.

Which one is more important to a sound healer or gong therapist?

Some people choose the Synodic Moon gong because it is based on that new moon and full moon cycle and is a good choice when playing for the moon phases. Plus, it also corresponds to the frequency of the second chakra.


However, the Sidereal Moon gong also has a unique property that may not be as obvious 

Remember that the Synodic Moon gong is based on the ever-changing nature of the moon as it moves through its phases of light and represents the variable moon energy. This is like the “moody” side of the moon, or its emotional fluctuation. As a result, the Synodic Moon gong is helpful in freeing up emotional states, to get things changing and moving, particularly stagnant or blocked feelings

On the other hand, the Sidereal Moon gong is based on the movement of the moon against the constant fixed background of the stars. It represents the steadiness of predictability of the movement of the moon through space and time. As a result, the Sidereal Moon gong is helpful in anchoring people who may be subject to mood swings and emotional instability, and require more grounding.

While all of this may sound very esoteric, there has recently been some research studies that have corresponded these moon cycles with mood swings and emotional health.

Several psychologists and psychotherapists were surprised to discover that their patient often had predictable cycles of depression and manic activity that followed a cycle corresponding to both the synodic moon and the sidereal moon periods. An article from the BBC “Is the Moon Impacting Your Mood and Well Being?” summarized some of these findings as follows.

Researchers discovered that some people’s moods were severely affected by a 14.8 day cycle of time which is almost half the time of the Synodic Moon period (e.g., new moon to full) while other patients were more strongly affected by a 13.7 day cycle of time which is almost half the time of the Sidereal Moon period.

Some patients were consistently affected by either the 14.8 day cycle (Synodic)  or the 13.7 day cycle (Sidereal), while others went back and forth between the two cycles over their lives. The researcher noted that “it’s just that if that switch from depression to mania occurs, it doesn’t happen at just any old time, it tends to occur during a certain phase of the lunar cycle.”

What does this mean for players of the Moon Gong? Both the Synodic Moon gong and the Sidereal Moon gong will affect different groups of people, and sometimes the same person will be more strongly affected by one of the other gongs at different times.

In my opinion, the Synodic Moon gong is excellent for dealing with depression (blocked emotions) while the Sidereal Moon gong works well to calm maniac feelings and activity. The mania and the depression are the two sides of such things as bipolar episodes and disorders.

Depending on your own emotional cycle, you may be more attracted yourself to either the Synodic Moon gong or the Sidereal Moon gong. That is why, as with all gongs, the best one to use is the one you personally feel most affected by as a player.

Or, in the perfect Gong World, you would own both gongs!