8 Moon Phases And What They Mean
We've all looked up at the night sky many times and just basked in the glory of the Moon shining down on us. I think that we can all agree that it’s a pretty amazing sight! For thousands of years, the Moon has held a spiritual significance and has always been believed to have a magical connection with our planet. Even now that we do have a better scientific understanding of it, the Moon is and always will be somewhat of a mystery for many of us.
As we’ve all heard before, the Moon has a special connection with the oceans of our world, and it is also connected to other aspects of nature. The gravitational pull of the Moon causes the tides in our oceans. There are also studies that show that animals and other creatures of the Earth are affected by lunar cycles. Also, years and years ago, the Moon was used to predict weather patterns such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
I like to referred to the Moon as the queen of the night. Its light alone holds its own special kind of magic. The Moon is often considered a light source, but in reality, it doesn’t actually give out any light of its own. Moonlight is just a reflection. The sun projects it’s light onto the moon, mirroring its image to us. This light projection makes the Moon a symbol of subtlety, clarity and purity.
The Moon takes 29 days to completely orbit around the Earth in a full lunar cycle. During the lunar cycle, the Moon will go through eight different phases. The four main phases, however, are the New Moon, the First Quarter Moon, the Full Moon and the Last Quarter Moon. The eight phases of a lunar cycle are each different in their own little way. The Moon gives off incredible energy, which varies depending on the particular stage that the Moon is in. These energies can be beneficial to you if you know how to use them to your advantage. That's where I come in! I'm going to teach you the eight moon phases of a lunar cycle exactly how you should use them to your advantage!
Phase number one of a lunar cycle is the new Moon which appears at the beginning of the lunar cycle, where the Moon is directly between the Earth and the Sun. Due to the side of the Moon facing us not being illuminated by the Sun, the Moon is completely invisible to us during this phase. But, don't worry, just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean it's not there projecting its energy down upon us.
The New Moon is like a fresh start and marks a time of new beginnings and unlimited possibilities for you. The New Moon phase is the perfect time to set new intentions and goals and to begin coming up with ideas and plans for your future. Remember that anything can be accomplished with the power of the New Moon.
Waxing Crescent Moon
The Waxing Crescent Moon is the second phase in a lunar cycle and appears when the moon moves east away from the Sun. This is considered an intermediate phase as it represents the time between two major phases. At this stage only a small part of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun, but during the three waxing phases, the moon will grow larger each night, as its name suggests.
The Waxing Crescent Moon is a time of breakthrough and initiative. You must plant the seeds that you created during the last phase. Any ideas, any plans and any goals set during the New Moon should be put into an actual plan of action during the Waxing Crescent Moon. Gather your resources and start building your ideas as the Waxing Crescent Moon will help you accomplish your goals.
First Quarter Moon
The First Quarter Moon is the third phase in the lunar cycle and appears when the moon is in the middle of the waxing phase and a quarter of the way through its lunar cycle. At this time, half of the moon is illuminated and almost looks as if it's been cut in half.
The First Quarter Moon is a time of growth and taking action. During the First Quarter Moon, you must move forward with your plans and put all of your effort into yourself and you're goals. You’re now halfway between new and full so now is no time to rest.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
The Waxing Gibbous Moon is the fourth phase in the lunar cycle and is the second intermediate phase. This is the last phase before the Full Moon and is when the moon is three quarters of the way illuminated by the Sun.
The Waxing Gibbous Moon is a time of observation and perfection. During the Waxing Gibbous Moon, momentum is building for the energy of the next lunar phase so you must tie up any loose ends in your plans and make sure that everything is in place ready for the Full Moon.
The Full Moon is the fifth phase of the lunar cycle and appears when the moon has completed one half of the lunar month and has reached its full potential and sits gloriously high in the sky. It is now fully illuminated by the Sun.
The Full Moon is a time for clarity, blessings and celebrations. During the Full Moon, your energies are fully charged and your intuition is heightened, so now is the time for your major workings to take place.
Waning Gibbous Moon
The Waning Gibbous Moon (also known as the Disseminating Moon) is the sixth phase of the lunar cycle and marks the start of the second half of the lunar cycle where the Moon appears to grow thinner each night before reaching the New Moon stage again.
The Waning Gibbous is a time for introspect, correction and gratitude. During the Waning Gibbous, you must review the work you have done, correct any mistakes that you have made and give thanks for your achievements.
Last Quarter Moon
The Last Quarter Moon is the seventh phase of the lunar cycle and marks the three-quarter point in the lunar month and is half way to the beginning of the next cycle. The Moon is now half illuminated and appears as if it's cut in half, much like the First Quarter Moon phase.
The Last Quarter Moon is a time of sacrifice and release. During the Last Quarter Moon, you have the ability to fully transition but in order to do this you must sacrifice the things you no longer need. Release those that no longer serve you ready for the new beginnings of the New Moon.
Waning Crescent Moon
The Waning Crescent Moon is the eighth and last phase in the lunar cycle and is only slightly visible, illuminated only a quarter of the way by the Sun. Over the last few nights of the lunar cycle, the Waning Crescent Moon will grow smaller each night until it almost disappears, signalling the beginning of the next lunar cycle.
The Waning Crescent Moon is a time of surrender and reflection as it’s nearing the end of the lunar month and ready to start again. During a Waxing Crescent Moon, you must rest in order to restore your energy ready to begin the new phase. Take this time to reflect on the past month and the things you have achieved.
My favourite resource for moon phases and how you can use them to your advantage is Moon Spells by Diane Ahlquist. It's such a useful and insightful book and is very easy to follow, I highly recommend it. Get it here!