Each month the moon will go through different phases. This depends on the amount of surface that is exposed to the sunlight. You can admire a full moon when it is completely illuminated by the sun. During a waxing moon, only the right side of the moon is illuminated.
In ancient times, the moon was a mystical energy that people knew very little about. Hence, you can still read a lot about myths and legends about this bright nocturnal orb. An example of this was the idea that a full moon made people a little confused. It was said that when there was a full moon, all the insane people would come out, and that's where the term 'lunatic', or "crazy" in English comes from.
Why are the phases of the moon tracked in some religions?
The lunar cycle is an important part of the practice of doctrine for many pagan religions, such as Wicca. The moon is seen as the goddess, with the sun being the god. Each of the three main phases of the moon is attributed to a particular phase in the goddess's life. This is called the 'Triple Goddess' and represents the following;
- full moon, also known as the girl
- waning moon, or the mother
- crescent moon, also called the old woman
These three stages represent birth, life and death. This meaning reminds us that everything in our world has a beginning, middle and an end.
Why should the moon affect us?
We already know that the moon is an essential part of our solar system and keeps the balance of the earth in check. The moon's gravity affects ebb and flow and so we can assume it has some sort of effect on our physical selves. Can we also be influenced by the moon?
In a more spiritual sense, the lunar cycle is the relationship between the sun and the moon, the goddess and the god. For example, a full moon is seen as more powerful because the god's full light illuminates the goddess and shines on us. It is a combination of two of the strongest forces in the world. As the light fades, so does its intense gravitational pull, until the new moon rolls around and we rest, recharge, and start over.
What do the different moon phases mean?
When we talk about the lunar cycle, there are eight main phases, these are:
- the new moon
- The Crescent Crescent Moon
- The first quarter
- The waxing moon
- The full moon
- The Waning Moon
- The last quarter
- The Waning Crescent Moon
The cycle begins with the dark, new moon, moving slowly into the waxing moon, reaching its full strength during the full moon, and slowly fading through the waning moon and back into a new moon. These phases have different meanings and energies that we can use and we are going to look at how we can use them all below.
the new moon
The new moon cannot be seen, as the sun is behind the moon and therefore illuminates the side away from Earth. This is also the beginning of a new lunar cycle and occurs once a month.
The new moon is the best for new beginnings and resolutions for the month ahead. It's the start of a brand new lunar cycle, so it's the perfect time to make plans and decide what you want to accomplish in the next 29 days.
Keywords: intention, new beginning, new start
The Crescent Crescent Moon
The crescent moon is seen as a crescent in the sky, lit on the right as the sun slowly begins to move from its place behind the moon. This moon phase is the first sign that energy is building and in a few days the moon will be at full power.
As the moon's power slowly increases during this phase, it's always a good time to work on things like your confidence, compassion, and self-assurance. Build yourself up and make real plans to achieve your goals.
Keywords: self-confidence, self-confidence, planning
The first quarter
Finally, the entire right side of the moon is lit up and we can see a bright crescent in the sky. The sun is now side by side with the moon and is at half power.
Now is a good time to reflect and take a break, enjoy what you've been working on so far, and celebrate your achievements. This is also a good time to think about how you want to celebrate the full moon and prepare yourself for some serious action.
Keywords: reflection, pause, self-esteem
The waxing moon
The moon in this phase leaves only a slippery dark moon invisible. It is a small step away from full moon.
We are only one phase away from the full moon and it is time to sharpen our intentions, goals and actions. Make sure you observe all the details and pay attention to what is happening both externally and internally.
Keywords: sharpening, mindfulness, action
The full moon
The moon is at its full power and we can tap into its energy to help us manifest or gain insight into our problems.
This phase is great for manifesting and adding extra power to your intentions. This time is perfect for doing rituals and spells as it is the most powerful time of the month. It's also a great time for meditate and charging crystals and cleaning tarot cards.
Keywords: manifestation, inner work, divination
The Waning Moon
The waning moon marks the waning of strength. The sun moves away and takes its light with it, creating a shadow on the right side.
This is a time to really turn inward and evaluate what has happened over the past few days. think about your full moon ritual or meditation and adjust your intentions and goals for the rest of the month.
Keywords: assess, evaluate
The last quarter
The moon in the last quarter illuminates on the left, indicating that the moon is now back at half power and fading.
The moon in the last quarter is the perfect time to really let go of anything that is holding you back or causing negativity in your life. These could be things like self-limiting beliefs, fear, or even just an idea stuck in your head but unable to manifest. Whatever no longer serves you, let it go.
Keywords: release, release, cleanse
The Waning Crescent Moon
This moon's power is nearly over, with only a small left crescent visible in the night sky. It is almost time for a new moon and new beginnings.
Take a deep breath and surrender to whatever happened and everything you have no control over. If you haven't reached the goal you set at the beginning of the cycle, that's fine! Take a deep breath and surrender to the will of the universe. Soon you'll have a chance to dust yourself off and pick it up to try again.
Keywords: surrender, self-kindness, compassion