Everything in nature is cyclical and the moon is no exception. She goes through many phases, changing from day to day, week to week, and month to month. The moon is in constant flux and each of her phases carries a different energy, intention, and purpose. With each different phase comes the possibility to do something different, as well. When we learn what each phase means and how to harness the energy of each phase, the entirety of the moon cycle becomes wisdom for our journeys. Here’s how you can create magic with each of the moon’s phases.
In a typical moon cycle, there are a total of eight phases: four primary and four intermediate. The four primary phases are the ones we know most commonly, which are the New Moon phase, first quarter phase, Full Moon phase, and third quarter phase. The four not so commonly known phases are the waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, waning gibbous, and the waning crescent. All the phases are important and offer a lot of teachings.
1st Phase: New Moon
The New Moon is the first phase of the moon cycle. Often, this phase represents new beginnings, as indicated by its name. It’s a great time to set intentions, goals, and to think about what you want to manifest. Imagine this as a fruitful time to plant seeds for the moon cycle ahead. What do you want to accomplish during this phase? How can you harness the supportive energy of the new moon to keep you on track?
2nd Phase: Waxing Crescent Moon
During this phase of the moon cycle, only a tiny crescent is visible to us in the night sky. Most of the moon is still hidden, just like the fruit of our seeds. We might see bits and pieces growing, from the seeds we planted during the new moon phase. This phase is an encouraging phase and a great time to ask the universe for an extra boost in making your intentions, goals and desire come true. If you’ve been doubting movement on the seeds you planted during the New Moon phase, trust that the universe is working on them.
3rd Phase: First Quarter Moon
In this phase of the moon cycle, we can see only half of the moon in the night sky. Half of the moon is still hidden in the darkness, while the other shines bright. We’re halfway between the new moon and the full moon during this time period. We can learn a great deal about perseverance, strength, and the ways in which resistance shows up in our life during this phase. It’s a beautiful reminder that just like the moon during the first quarter phase, we are made up of both dark and light, yin and yang. Balance is the name of the game during this phase and the first quarter moon encourages us to look for and cultivate balance in our lives.
4th Phase: Waxing Gibbous Moon
We’re officially half way through the entire moon cycle in this phase. The word gibbous means “more than a semicircle and less than a circle”, which is exactly what the moon looks like during this phase. The brightness of the moon is more than a semicircle, but not quite yet a full circle. This phase arrives exactly two weeks after the New Moon and comes right before the Full Moon, which means we’re close to seeing our intentions come into fruition. You might ask yourself the following questions during this time: “how can I step further into my power now? What parts of me are still hidden that I can give myself permission to show?” and “is there anywhere I can let go and embrace change?”
5th phase: Full Moon
At the Full Moon, the moon is a bright, circle and is most potent. The moon is right in between the sun and the earth during this phase. During this time, everything is heightened: the success of the seeds that we planted during the new moon, our intuition, our understanding of self, and our connection to nature. Here, it’s encouraged to reflect, take stock, and celebrate your growth. The Full Moon is an excellent time to do rituals of release, charge your crystals, take a crystal therapy bath, and journal.
6th phase: Waning Gibbous Moon
In the waning gibbous phase, the moon begins to dim its light and retreat. It goes slowly, dimming just a fraction of its light. At this time, you might start to retreat to yourself and turn your attention inwards. Perhaps you keep more of your energy for yourself and marinate in your feelings. Think bout the hermit card within a traditional tarot deck– that’s kind of the waning gibbous vibe.
7th phase: Last Quarter Moon
This phase is the second last phase of the moon cycle. Here is when we start to prepare for a clearing of sorts. With the New Moon phase approaching again, it’s a chance for us to take stock of things that no longer serve us, prepare for transition, and see what our relationship is like with attachment. Maybe you make a list of all the things you feel like you can’t live without. Keep this list for the next phase so that you might try and detach from all these things.
8th Phase: Waning Crescent Moon or Balsamic Moon
It’s officially the end of the moon cycle! The moon goes back to being a tiny crescent in the night sky, but this time it’s visible on the other side. During this time, we are resting– and resting HARD! It’s the perfect time for to relax, be still, and ground yourself. It’s a chance to prepare yourself for the next cycle at hand, and perhaps give one last push in your pursuit to create space for new.
As your journey through the eight different moon phases, perhaps you keep record of how you were able to create magic during the cycle. The beauty of the moon cycle is that it repeats again and again. What you weren’t able to do during a particular moon phase during the previous cycle can always be rectified moving forward. In any case, magic of the moon cycle is available to you all the time, any time.