The Moon is that bright, luminous orb we see in the night sky, counterpart to the fiery Sun in daytime. In astrology, the lunar light rules the unconscious realms of our minds, the stuff dreams are made of. Our instinctual reactions can be affected by the Moon’s phases over the course of a month, or to be more specific, 29.5 Earth days, as the Moon grows from a small crescent to a large glowing globe and then decreases in size back to nothing.
The Moon, of course, doesn’t really shrink or grow, but our view of the Moon from our vantage point here on earth changes due to the relative positions of the Sun, Earth and Moon. This is why we see lunar phases. There are eight noticeable phases of the Moon: The New Moon, the Crescent Moon, the First Quarter Moon, the Gibbous Moon, the Full Moon, the Disseminating Moon, the Third Quarter Moon and the Balsamic Moon.
Astrologers over time have correlated these eight phases of the Moon with certain activities that seem to be in harmony with that particular phase. For instance, it seems natural to begin something new when the Moon is first visible as a small crescent seen just after the setting sun. As the Moon grows over the next two weeks, so grows your new project. Culmination occurs when the Moon is full, in all her round glory. As she shrinks again it is a time for pulling in, for introspection, for releasing and letting go, in preparation for the next cycle. Let’s take a look at the each phase of the Moon…
The New Moon
The New Moon presents an opportune time for new starts and beginnings. Practically imperceptible to the human eye, the New Moon seems almost nonexistent from our vantage point. However, like our subconscious minds, we know it’s there, progressing slowly toward illumination.
There may be a feeling or a desire brewing within for some sort of change. This is a time for planting seeds, for birthing new ideas and starting afresh. Creatively speaking, inspiration can be residing somewhere just beneath the surface, barely breaking into conscious thought. You may want to carve out some quiet time to nurture any cerebral stirrings. Nourish your mind with books. Listen to dreams that inspire ideas. You may want to take a project that you’ve been working on in a different direction, forging a new path.
Give yourself ample space to listen to the little voice inside you. Evaluate the various areas in your life that you would like to make changes in or put energy into. Want to quit smoking or stop biting your nails? Maybe it’s about time to take that business idea with your best friend selling vintage vinyl more seriously. Or, perhaps it’s time to bust that bulge around your waist. Any successful endeavor requires an initial burst of inspiration. Ideas can generate movement, so resolve to embark on something new and different. Open yourself up to possibilities. Put that first seedling into the ground and see what arises.
The Crescent Moon
The Crescent Moon is a progression of the New Moon after just a few days, and can be seen as a right-sided wide sliver in the night sky. Expanding slowly toward its full illumination, this crescent slice is beneficial for the actual legwork of manifesting ideas into more concrete reality.
After you’ve resolutely decided on a new course, articulate your thoughts to others. Meet people, do some research. Stretch out your hand and see what lands there. Check out the feasibility of what you have in mind. Look through some resources for the necessary procedures or tools that it will take to make an idea into a real outcome. You can see how a new project is starting to shape up, a form is developing. You may want to consult someone with more experience. Ask them for advice about the course you are taking. See if you’re beginning with proper materials on hand. It’s better to start off right than to begin on shaky ground.
At this stage, it’s important to have the proper nourishment for sprouting ideas. Just as an infant needs the right combination of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy, you too need to have the right items, the right talent or the right orientation in order to ensure success. Lay out some definite strategies. You can’t have a successful business without a smart business plan, or a great band without a list of skilled musicians to tap. A little foresight can reap rich rewards.
The First Quarter Moon label may lead you to think that you should only see 25% of the nighttime luminary, but in actuality, the name is only a reference to the phase it is in. It’s one-quarter of the way through its cycle. It does not refer to the percentage of Moon visible in the sky. In fact, what you will see is the right-side half of the Moon as viewed from Earth. The energy is still in the expansive waxing phase.
This is a time for the evaluations, for taking stock on how things are progressing. Questions may arise as to the course you're taking. You may have received some initial results and must determine whether they are the kind of results that you want. Perhaps some unforeseen obstacles or difficulties have presented themselves. Maybe things weren’t quite what you expected, so now there are decisions to be made. Should you continue forward or scrap the project altogether?
You can overcome obstacles with enough help or perhaps a new strategy. Adjustments may need to be made for you to get things back on course. Focus your energy on what you can change. Get help with what you can’t. Maybe aid comes in the form of professional advice or perhaps it comes from your own research. If things are progressing as expected, then you may see the first signs of growth. Proceed with confidence, knowing that the path that you have laid out will lead you to the desired outcome.
The Gibbous Moon
The Gibbous Moon refers to the waxing nighttime luminary plumping up, filling out, yet not quite full. Almost two weeks have elapsed since the New Moon. Momentum is building. Wherever you are in your endeavors, you may have to do another evaluation of how things are progressing.
Expansion is still a big part of the process, so if all the variables are where you want them to be and the results are just what you want, then you can safely branch out, going further in your intentions. What this means is that you can invest more of your resources on the path that you have started. In practical terms, it can mean more money, it can mean more of your time, it can mean hiring on others; in short, you can expand knowing that the lunar energy is there to help you pursue your goal.
It would be best to stay the course, even if more challenges arise. Make a commitment to do what it takes to eliminate those barriers. This is no time to quit. Since the rewards are almost within reach, it would be a waste not to fully go for it. Let no one stand in your way, including yourself. If you have any doubts, fears or just plain anxiety, don’t let them get the better of you. You've done way too much work to throw your hands up at the critical moment, when success is just around the corner.
The Full Moon
The Full Moon is hard to miss in the sky. The big round luminary shines bright, adding a blue-tinged light upon the Earth's nighttime landscape. You may feel a slightly unusual vibe in the air, maybe even excitement. Myths abound about the effects of the full Moon. Think werewolves. Folks have been known to behave strangely during the Moon’s full display. The ocean tides rise higher during a full Moon due to the gravitational pull, which may explain why some folks behave oddly since our bodies are also comprised of 83% water.
The bright light can cause restless slumbers, keeping you tossing and turning through the night. Don’t be surprised if you find your dreams are more vivid and action-filled. The Moon can trigger your intuition as well; realizations may hit you during quiet moments. The full Moon is especially romantic for couples who want to bask in her glorious light during a nighttime stroll.
It can also represent a time when you begin to see the potential benefits of work that was initiated during the New Moon. It can be a glorious period, full of self-awareness and fulfillment. Impasses can be broken. The Moon’s powerful beams shine a light on those darker spaces that are difficult to see. From this point on for the next two weeks, the Moon wanes, which is an effective time for release and letting go. So if you’re interested in reducing weight, you may want to embark on a diet at this time.
The Disseminating Moon looks a great deal like the Gibbous Moon, except that the fuller side of the Moon has switched from right to left. During this time, you begin to see the fruits of your hard work and effort. If your project has been going well, then expect to reap the rewards. If you've had obstacles and difficulties for most of the way, then you may suffer the consequences.
Take what you’ve learned in the process and spread it around. This is a good time to reach out to others, spreading your knowledge. Give back to society by teaching friends and acquaintances how to avoid the mistakes that you've made. If you have been successful, show others how to follow your path. In general, this is an auspicious time for general dissemination of information. Wise counsel can be given and received. If you have tangible products to show, you may want to distribute them as examples. Hand out rewards to those who have been instrumental in helping you along the way.
The Moon's light is noticeably diminishing. Consider the areas in your life that need trimming or slowing down. If a relationship is moving too fast, you might want to pull the reins on it while you get your bearings. Or you may want to continue curbing your eating habits as you notice your waistline beginning to shrink. This waning Moon also inspires a desire for simplification or reduction.
The Third Quarter Moon
The Third Quarter Moon reveals the left half of the Moon in the nighttime sky as the Moon continues its waning cycle. Psychologically speaking, you may feel a strong desire to clear out extraneous matter from your life. The cluttered areas in your closets, in your home, at your office or in your garage may suddenly feel like annoying obstructions to your precious space.
It would behoove you mentally to start cleaning and clearing out stuff you no longer want or need. Have a big garbage can nearby. Start tossing stuff out from your drawers. Donate a box or two of old clothes to charity. Don't hold on to possessions from the past that no longer represent the person you are today.
This is a great time for letting go, not only of material goods, but also in other ways. Consider a dietary program where you can rid your body of toxins and possible heavy metals. Drink lots of fluids to eliminate waste from your bloodstream. Eat fibrous foods to ensure good digestion. See a psychotherapist to talk through the excess baggage that you've been carrying around all this time. Break out of a relationship that is keeping you from fulfilling your potential. This process of clearing out will help free you up emotionally and mentally, so you can see your life more clearly. The physical space you inhabit is a reflection of your soul, so if you’ve got old clutter to contend with, it doesn’t leave much room for new things.
The Balsamic Moon
The Balsamic Moon shows a thin sliver of light in the eastern sky before sunrise as it continues waning to eventual darkness in the next few days. This Moon instills a quiet reflective mood that is conducive for meditation and self-reflection. The process of letting go continues until you've reached a point where you can feel the results more overtly.
The initial clearing-out process may have led you to simplify your life even further than you originally intended. Items that you considered keeping a few days ago may now land in the donation box. The process of purification is more extreme. Therapy may have helped access memories, feelings and thoughts that were deeply hidden beneath the surface. This is the time for introversion. The energy you have been expending for almost a month needs replenishing on a psychic and physical level.
Schedule some quality time alone at home for yourself. Write in a journal, reflect on things that happened this month. Evaluate the things that you have learned. Consider what you would do differently in the future. Quiet time is imperative for the maturation process. Wisdom cannot be gained if you are otherwise distracted by chatter and television sets. It needs to be nurtured carefully. You need to recuperate fully before you can be of any great use for future endeavors. There are those who take charge of their lives and those who accidentally experience life. Decide which one you would rather be.