The Moon: Its Phases & Their Meanings
The Moon both mystifies and fascinates us. Sometimes it’s super bright, at other times we can’t even see it, and then at other times it’s orange, pink, or “blue.”
Then, there are the things we associate with the Moon — emotions and mood swings, ocean tides, menstrual cycles, lunacy and lunatics, werewolves, and other animals that howl at the Moon.
We often think of the Sun, the other luminary, and the Moon together, and that’s because they are connected. It goes deeper than the notion that the Sun governs the day and the Moon governs the night.
The Moon, and in particular the lunation phases, display the changing relationship between the Sun and the Moon during the Moon’s monthly orbit around the earth.
The Moon reflects the light of the Sun. The phases of the Moon are a result of the different positions of the Moon during its 28-day cycle around the Sun.
These lunation phases — there are eight altogether — signify much more than just the Moon’s position. There are spiritual, mental, and physical attributes to each lunation phase attribute that affect us all, whether we know it or not. The moon phases, especially the phase under which you were born, can tell you a lot about your personality and your purpose in life.
Waxing & Waning
Waxing is when the Moon is growing.
It’s the time when the Moon’s light (aka its reflection of the Sun’s light) increases. This happens between the New Moon phase and the Full Moon phase.
Using the analogy of a seed growing into a plant, it’s the time between the seed being planted and the plant growing and bearing fruit.
In terms of manifesting, this is where you set an intention, watch it develop, and then see that intention come to fruition.
Much like its name suggests, waning is when the Moon is shrinking.
It’s the time when the Moon’s light decreases. This happens between the Full Moon phase and the New Moon phase.
During this time, the fruits of your labor are enjoyed, those fruits are harvested, and the plant begins to wither and eventually dies.
So too do our manifestations. Nothing lasts forever, and once we manifest something, there comes a time when that manifestation breaks down and eventually dies — then it’s time for a new intention, and the process starts over again.
The Eight Lunation Phases
During the New Moon phase, the Moon’s position is such that it doesn’t reflect the Sun’s light at all; therefore, we can’t see it. It is said that the Moon can be seen during the day but not at night.
The Moon is conjunct the Sun. It is during this phase of the Moon that solar eclipses occur.
The New Moon signifies the beginning; the keyword for this phase is: emerge. Things start brewing, ideas form, intentions get set, and plans are made.
People born under a New Moon have a youthful, innocent, and sometimes naive quality. They are often eager to embrace new experiences and jump into those experiences head first, leaping without looking. It can be said that New Moon people have strong personalities and operate about the world in a very instinctive manner.
During the Waxing Crescent phase, the Moon grows; it becomes visible right after sunset, low in the sky. Unsurprisingly, it’s got a crescent shape, and the side facing the direction of the sunset will be lit.
The waxing crescent Moon signifies effort being made; the keyword for this phase is: struggle.
During this phase, the first action steps are taken to bring your intention to manifestation.
People born under the Waxing Crescent phase tend to relate to the concept of struggle on a personal level; they tend to view their lives as a struggle against the forces of nature.
In their quest to move forward, many born under this phase may encounter resistance from friends, family, or those close to them who don’t understand or support their efforts. It’s as if their past keeps pulling them back.
Approximately seven days after the New Moon, the Moon is in its First Quarter. Only about half of it is visible for the first half of the evening, and then it sets.
The First Quarter Moon is during the waxing phase, and it signifies “doing”; the keyword for this phase is: act.
Roots develop, structures begin to form, and problems about those structures are dealt with and solved.
People born during the First Quarter phase are typically doers and builders and embody the hero complex. These people find that they must root themselves in the world and build structures to realize their intentions.
During this phase, the Moon grows and appears to have a gibbous shape (convex at both edges). Most of the Moon is visible, except for a dark sliver, which shrinks over the next seven nights. During this time, the Moon is usually visible during the afternoon.
The Waxing Gibbous Moon signifies cultivation; the keyword for this phase is: perfect.
Tangible results start to appear. Hope is restored. You are motivated to continue the journey.
People born during the Waxing Gibbous phase tend to have an innate understanding and awareness of their life's purpose. It is said that they often carry a sense of anxious expectation, a feeling like they are on the brink of something great.
We all recognize the Full Moon. At this time, the Sun lights up the entire surface of the Moon that faces the Earth. The Moon rises when the Sun sets and sets when the Sun rises.
It is during this phase that lunar eclipses happen; the Moon is in opposition to the Sun. The Earth sits right between the Sun and Moon, which blocks the Moon’s light.
The Full Moon symbolizes intentions realized; the keyword for this phase is: illumine.
Your intention manifests in reality; you finally see the culmination of your vision. The Full Moon shines light upon everything, and things can become apparent. You not only see the results of your intention, but you also see the purpose and meaning behind it.
People born during the Full Moon phase are typically relationship-minded people. They seek meaningful relationships with others who reflect the full illumination of their vision. Said another way, Full Moon people gravitate toward people that embody their visions, ideals, and intentions.
The Waning Gibbous lunation phase is when the light of the Moon starts to wane or shrink. The side of the Moon that remains lit is the side facing the Sun. The best time to see this Moon is late at night and early morning.
The Waning Gibbous Moon symbolizes fulfillment and fruition; the keyword for this phrase is: distribute.
During this time, you actually get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. It’s when the vision is acted upon and lived out through the lives of humanity, thereby fulfilling its purpose.
People born under the Waning Gibbous phase are natural teachers; they are here to share their truths with the world and fully immerse themselves within society. In doing so, they also learn by taking in the feedback and wisdom of others.
The Last Quarter lunation phase is when we see precisely half the sunlit surface of the Moon. During this phase, the Moon is seen in the early morning and daytime sky.
The Last Quarter phase Moon symbolizes revision and re-evaluation; the keyword for this phase is: reorient.
The Last Quarter is all about the breakdown of your manifestation. Nothing lasts forever, and at some point, things start to decompose; it’s the cycle of life.
People born under the Last Quarter phase tend to be creative and innovative thinkers. They must let go of outmoded and obsolete things that have fulfilled their purpose and focus their thoughts and energy on new ideas and creative possibilities.
These people are inventors. Last Quarter people are here to challenge and tear down antiquated societal structures that have outlived their usefulness.
Also known as the Balsamic phase of the Moon, the Waning Crescent phase is the last phase of the Moon before the whole cycle starts over again at the New Moon.
Again, as the name suggests, the Moon is in a steadily-shrinking crescent shape. We can see this Moon in the early morning, then it disappears.
The Waning Crescent phase symbolizes the distillation of your manifestation into its very essence; the keyword for this phase is release.
It is at this phase that rebirth is imminent. A great transformation occurs at this time. It’s a time of closure and completion.
People born during the Balsamic phase of the Moon are typically old souls and are often ahead of their time. They tend to have many relationships which are solid and intense.
Their job is to come to terms with and release old issues, and as a result, it is said that they have particularly karmic lives. They are legacy-minded, as their purpose is to release and pass on the seeds of wisdom to be planted with new generations. They play a pivotal role in shaping the future.