Moon Phases

lunar phasesWorking with the phases of the Moon is a simple, practical and effective way to apply astrology in your everyday life. Just as the Moon influences the ocean’s tides, the Moon’s waxing and waning also reflects the rhythm of our own lives. Paying attention to where the tides are flowing can help you synchronize with cosmic forces, allowing you to “go with the flow” and create successful outcomes with greater ease.

The Moon completes one lunation cycle – from New Moon to Full and back again – over the course of about one month (29 and a half days to be exact). Each cycle entails the birth, culmination and completion of something in our lives. What exactly this something is can be determined by looking at the sign of the New Moon and seeing where it’s happening in your birth chart.

Generally speaking, when the Moon is waxing – or when its light is increasing – you are opening to new possibilities and initiating new projects. This tends to be an action-oriented time of pursuing goals and making things happen. After the Full Moon, while the light is decreasing, it’s time to complete what you started and reflect upon what you’ve created.

The lunar cycle begins with the New Moon or Dark of the Moon, a deeply mystical time of the month when the external world recedes and your energy is drawn inward. Astrologically, the New Moon signifies the conjunction of the Sun and Moon as they occupy the same sign of the Zodiac. The Moon appears to be invisible because it is eclipsed by the rays of the Sun. This is an excellent time to retreat and reflect upon what you want to create for the coming month. Meditate, get clear about your intentions and for added power, write a list of what you want to manifest.

first quarter moonLaunch new projects and anything you want to increase in your life in the days following the New Moon (starting right on the New Moon is too early). About a week after the New Moon comes the First Quarter or Waxing Half Moon when, astrologically speaking, the Sun and Moon are forming a 90-degree angle or “square.” At this point you’re likely to encounter obstacles or challenges in moving forward with what you started. This is a time to reevaluate your course of action and determine whether to continue on or alter your path.

In the days approaching the Full Moon, you can feel the energy building and there’s an increase in activity. The Full Moon occurs about one week after the First Quarter, but you can feel its influence for two days before and after the exact phase. The high energy stimulates great productivity and there’s a sense of things coming to culmination or fruition. Of course, as documented by police stations and emergency rooms, emotions are also running high – hence the words “lunatic” and “lunacy.”

With the Moon fully reflecting the Sun’s light, you begin to see the results of what you started at the New Moon. Astrologically, the Sun and Moon are now exactly opposite one another in the zodiac. This opposition can bring about new perspectives, breakthroughs and revelations. If you’re trying to remove something (or someone) from your life – old habits, weight, a relationship – it’s best to begin this process a day or two after the Full Moon.

The Last Quarter or Waning Half Moon comes about a week after the Full Moon. Once again, the Sun and Moon are at a 90-degree angle. As the light decreases you feel drawn to focus your energy, concentrating on the task at hand in order to follow through on commitments. At this point you get the fruits of your labor – the end result of what you started about a month ago is now coming to completion.

During the final days of the cycle, as the Moon’s light recedes and loose ends are tied up, it’s time to go inward again and reflect upon your creations. “Being” rather than doing is appropriate during these dark nights, a time to rest and prepare for the next new beginning.

While every lunar cycle is different – depending on the sign of the New and Full Moon and other planetary influences – they all share a common pattern and rhythm. When you pay attention to and cooperate with the Moon’s phases, you’ll notice a big difference in how much more easily you’re able to create what you want. Experiment and discover the results for yourself!

Helpful Lunar Resources:

2014 we moonWe’Moon calendars and date books help you tune into the natural cycles, and plan your life according to lunar rhythms

new moon astrologyJan Spiller’s book New Moon Astrology gives suggestions for how to set your New Moon intentions, according to the sign of each New Moon