Western Astrology

Moon: Phases

Moon: Phases

New Moon (0 - 45 degrees in front of the Sun)
The energy of the new Moon is birth and its metaphor is spring. It's a good time to start new projects, begin relationships and plant gardens. You might find yourself feeling impulsive, and you have access to a dynamic burst of start-up juice.

Crescent Moon (45 - 90 degrees ahead of Sun)
Consciousness comes into the picture now with a little bit more light. In our own life cycle, the crescent Moon symbolizes the period when you become aware that you're not part of your mother, that you are your own entity. A dawning realization shows you that you have a choice, that you can struggle against the established pattern.

Psychologically, it's the beginning of individuation, the setting apart of the self. You may find it very important during this time to broach your own ideas. Some religions have important celebrations honoring the crescent Moon.

First Quarter Moon (90 - 135 degrees ahead of Sun)
This is a time when things come to a head -- some might call it crisis time. You feel the friction in the air, but that's not necessarily bad -- friction starts a movement toward solution. Think of starting a fire. You need friction to create the first spark. Rub two sticks together or strike a match; the fire will warm you and cook your food.

You may sense a problem but not know what it is. Awareness is still moving toward understanding. It's the time to implement ideas and look at possible solutions if you've identified the knot in a situation.

Gibbous Moon (135 - 180 degrees ahead of Sun)
Now we move to analysis and evaluation, understanding why we've taken action. We appraise our personal progress. This is more intellectual than the first quarter, which was dynamic and intuitive.

Full Moon (180 -225 degrees ahead of Sun)
The full Moon is the pinnacle, the climactic point. Now we get answers. You'll see a lot of extremes now. The way you interpret those has a lot to do with your inner landscape -- you reflect what's going on around you. With such a polarity, projection runs rampant. If you go outside and see people acting like lunatics, that's your projection. If everyone looks beautiful, that's also your interpretation. What you perceive depends on how you're feeling.

The gravitational pull of both Sun and Moon, with the Earth in middle, sets up these extremes. The trick here is to find balance. If we're out of balance, we'll go one way or the other; we'll either be blinded by the light, or we won't even see it. The Moon's magnetic pull makes this a very powerful time. Whatever Sun sign the full Moon is in has a strong effect on our energies. That effect will play out according to each person's individual chart.

A lot tends to happen around the full Moon: more people end up in emergency rooms, the police scanners go wild. But it's also a time for romance. The play of light over the water, the Moon hanging in the branches of trees, the huge orb rising over a cityscape -- all these put us more in touch with our creature sense. Time to howl at the Moon. The full Moon is also associated with fertilization and ovulation.

Disseminating Moon (135 - 90 degrees behind the Sun)
By now, we've learned our lesson, received the information. The question is, what to do with it? A strong desire to demonstrate to others what you've learned makes this a time to share you knowledge. Your intellect is in charge: You see, you acknowledge, you tell somebody.

Last Quarter Moon (90 - 45 degrees behind the Sun)
Like the first quarter, this phase is about movement. This time you can engage in conscious action. The choice is in your hands and you know it. It's up to you to create the outcome. This is dynamic, conscious movement. You decide whether to take action -- or not.

Balsamic Moon (45 - 1 degree behind Sun)
We have another word for this Moon phase -- karma. This is the closing, the conclusion of the cycle during which you reap what you've sown. If you haven't learned the lessons, taken the action called for in the first seven phases, you can't move on. People born during this phase often have a mission, something bigger than themselves that they must carry out. This energy is greater than yourself. This time, the outcome of whatever's going on is not yours to decide. You have already taken the steps that set up this outcome. It's a time to release the past.