Spiritual Meaning of the Waning Crescent Moon in 2023

Waning Crescent Moon with beam of light down through dark sky
Gaze up at the night sky and you may notice the waning crescent moon slowly disappearing from view… The waning crescent is the final phase of the lunar cycle before the dark Moon. And it’s known as a time of quiet reflection and introspection, before a brand new cycle begins.

Spiritually, the waning crescent meaning revolves around release and letting go, making it an ideal time to shed old habits and patterns, and banish negative energy from your life.

What is the Waning Crescent Moon?

The waning crescent moon is generally recognized as the final phase of the lunar cycle, occurring just before the new moon. (In truth, the dark Moon sits between these two phases, though this mystical, dark phase of the cycle of the Moon is only just coming back into our collective consciousness)

During the waning crescent phase, the Moon appears as a thin crescent shape, with only a small sliver of light visible on the left side of the moon in the northern hemisphere, and the right side in the southern hemisphere.

At this time, she rises a few hours before the Sun begins his ascent. If you look up into the sky during the daytime, you should see her, just ahead of her solar twin on her trajectory.

This phase lasts for about three days, and it marks the end of the waning parts of the lunar phases. This is important. Because the waxing and waning phases of the Moon have distinctly different flavours –

The eight Moon phases

There are 8 (well actually 9!) phases that make up the lunar cycle. Here's a breakdown -

New Moon

This Moon begins the cycles. The new lunar phase arrives when old Grandmother Moon has just become visible. She is a sliver of light, an emerging crescent Moon in the daytime sky.

Explore: What's the Spiritual Meaning of the New Moon phase?

Waxing Crescent Moon

Rising during the daytime and setting in the western evening sky, the Moon in this phase has a more obvious waxing crescent shape.

Discover: Spiritual Meaning of the Waxing Crescent Moon

First-quarter Moon

Forming an astrological square with the Sun, this phase is revealed as a clear “half Moon” shape. Light will expand, overtaking the dark quarter.

Check out: Spiritual Meaning of the First Quarter Moon

Waxing gibbous Moon

Here, the Moon is closer to her Full Moon phase, than the New. In this waxing gibbous phase, she’s a more bulbous, blossoming disc of light.

For more: Spiritual Meaning of the Waxing Gibbous Moon

Full moon

Everybody looks up into the sky and knows this phase! She’s fully illuminated. At the Full Moon phase, la Luna rises with the Sunset, and sets herself, when the Sun rises.

Read More: What's the Spiritual Meaning of the Full Moon?

Waning gibbous Moon

Past the cycle’s climax, the Moon here, is almost a mirror image of her waxing gibbous phase – still a swollen round disc but ebbing away (retreating) from one edge.

Check out: Spiritual Meaning of the Waning Gibbous Moon

Last-quarter Moon

Forming another astrological square with our solar king, this phase - also known as the third quarter - is also a clear “half Moon” shape. This time, though, dark will overtake the light.

Discover more: Spiritual Meaning of the Last Quarter Moon

Waning crescent Moon (or balsamic Moon)

Closer now to the next New Moon, than to this cycle’s full Moon phase, this Moon appears more fragile-looking and weak. She appears again, as a daytime companion.

Discover more:

Dark Moon

Between one and three days (and nights) where the Moon is invisible. She is actually rising with the Sun. So she is there in the sky with us during the day, awake when we are… But bleached out by sunlight, not visible. And absent completely from the night sky.

Read more: What's the Meaning of the Dark Moon Phase?

What’s the spiritual significance of the waning crescent Moon?

The waning crescent moon is one of our most powerful symbols.

Appearing in the night sky close to the end of the cycle, it has come to represent the end of one lunar cycle, before the beginning of a new one. Therefore, this phase of the Moon is associated with release, retreat, inner reflection, intuition, spiritual growth, and the shadow.

The waning crescent Moon brings less and less light each day. This dissemination represents the brightness of our own, personal lights also dimming. That’s not to say we’re becoming weaker! It’s more like a mirror of our own inner darkness becoming more visible.

Here in the West, the dark has been demonised and many people resist dropping into their inner worlds. But the waning Moon not only reveals the gifts of the darkness, but She offers a pathway through to the other side.

The crescent Moon meaning and meeting your shadow

Spiritually, when the waning Moon reaches her crescent phase, the shadow rises.

You likely already know it’s a time to let go of old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve you – The internet tells us this on repeat!

But how do you know what to release? How do you recognize those old patterns and beliefs, when most of them exist in the depths of the unconscious!? The answer is, of course, by getting to know your shadow. And this means shadow work.

The shadow is the dark and unseen part of the psyche. It contains all the aspects of ourselves that we’ve rejected, banished into the unconscious. YET these unloved, unwanted parts often form the basis of our thought patterns, impulses, and most unhealthy habits. They’re the root of our judgements of others, and sabotage of ourselves.

We can’t really grow, evolve, develop and live as our highest, most expansive selves if we don’t dive into the shadow, connect with the inner self, and look at what’s there, holding us back. And the waning crescent Moon is the very moment to do just that.

If you want to find out more about shadow work, head here and read about the Honeyed Shadow 13 day guided journey


What’s the meaning of the crescent Moon symbol?

The crescent moon has been a symbol of spirituality and the feminine for centuries. In many spiritual traditions, the crescent Moon represents the divine feminine, and it is regarded as a powerful symbol of inner knowledge and intuition.

Unlike the symbol of the full Moon – a simple circle, that could be confused with the Sun – the crescent is an iconic symbol of the moon. The crescent Moon shape reminds us of the cyclical nature of life and the importance of embracing change.

In the context of the triple Goddess, the waning crescent Moon represents the crone aspect. Together, they look like this:

In Greek mythology, the crescent moon was associated with the goddess Artemis, who was known as the goddess of the moon and the hunt.

 The waning crescent moon was sometimes associated with Hecate, a powerful crone godess of magic, witchcraft, and the dark.

In Ancient Egypt, the waning crescent was associated with the goddess Isis, known as the mother of all gods and goddesses. She represented feminine power and the cycles of life and death.

To the ancients, the Moon’s surface was often seen as a reflection of the goddess’s divine power. It was believed that the mystical powers of the Moon could be harnessed to bring about healing and spiritual growth.

ALSO READ: A Complete List of Moon Goddesses from Around the World

The crescent moon was also believed to have mystical powers, and it was often used in ancient rituals and ceremonies.


10 Things to do under the waning crescent Moon phase

As a darkening time when lunar energy is ebbing away, the waning Moon is not the time for any vigorous or dynamic activity!

This is a time to let go of anything that no longer serves you and to prepare for the new beginnings that come with the new moon. During this phase, you may feel a sense of completion or closure, as you reflect on the lessons you have learned during the previous lunar cycle.

This Moon represents a time of slowing down, resting, reflection and release. So any activities you plan for this phase should center around this.

Here’s a list of 10 things to try –

Do your shadow work

As described above, the waning Moon represents a time of going inwards, to seek the roots of of your blocks, challenges and unconscious snags to living your best life. Shadow work is the way in.

Declutter your living space

The ebbing crescent Moon offers the opportunity to clear and cleanse your outer world too. This is a great time to get rid of anything in your spaces that no longer serves you. Whether it’s your living space, work space, or even your computer desktop! Be rutheless!

Meditate and reflect on your goals and intentions

Use this quiet and energetically low time to focus on what you want to achieve in the coming weeks or months, in preparation for the new moon phase. It’s not time to act (save that for the waxing crescent moon!) Simply dream, ponder, and plan.

Take a Moon bath

Harness the deeply feminine energy of this phase and use the element of water to help you release. This can not only help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, but serve as a beautiful and powerful drop into the coming dark Moon phase.

Want to learn more about Moon bathing?!

Check out this post too – Sacred Art of the Ritual Moon Bath


When the Moon waxes close to full, the sky is filled with light. But the waning crescent brings so little light to the night sky, you can see the stars! Starlight has a very different quality to anything else. Gaze up and take it in, while you can.

Practice yoga or other forms of gentle exercise. This can help you release any tension or stress you may be feeling.

Spend time in nature at night

Again, at this point in the Moon’s cycle, make the most of the deliciousness of the dark! Go out for night time walks, and see how your perception shifts. If it’s warm enough you could even sleep outside. My kids and I often sleep out on their trampoline in the balmy summer months.


The waning Moon phase is the perfect time for self reflection. Use journal prompts as a doorway into the more hidden corners of your own life. The right ones will bring you to a much deeper understanding of your inner world, serving as a springboard for your personal growth.

New to journaling?

Check out this post too – Sacred Art of the Ritual Moon Bath

Perform a releasing ritual

While the waxing Moon represents growth, the waning Moon is your time to let go. Adding a little ritual into the mix is a great way to amplify your intention when it comes to releasing something that no longer serves.

Practice being intuitive

The waning crescent was made for psychic development! Whether you use tools such as cards, runes, tarot, crystals, candle gazing or simply connecting to your heart, take this time to tap into that inner voice. And then trust it.


Highly underrated as a resource, we should probably all be resting a LOT more than we do.

Of all the waning crescent Moon spiritual gifts, rest could be the most important. Use this time to catch up on sleep and recharge your batteries.

The waning crescent moon phase is a powerful time to reflect on our lives and let go of what no longer serves us. This has profound spiritual meaning for all of us! But particularly for those who want to anchor in the energy of the divine feminine, as la Luna holds these energy codes most strongly.

So before you even think about embracing those new beginnings promised in the light of the waxing crescent Moon, pause here. Take a moment, and see what Moon magic you can discover…

Now have a look at some of these…

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