The waning gibbous Moon is one of the most forgotten about phases in the whole lunar cycle. Yet this Moon holds many gifts that can be harnessed and used to improve your life.
This phase is associated with release, letting go, and surrender. Just as la Luna appears to be shrinking in size, it’s a time for us to begin to retreat from the outer world, to reflect and start to to release any old, tired, outgrown or negative energy or patterns that are holding you back.
It can be a powerful time for spiritual growth and transformation, as you let go of old habits and beliefs and make space for new possibilities.
What is the Waning Gibbous Moon?
The waning gibbous moon is a powerful, yet gentle lunar phase that occurs after the full moon and before the third quarter moon.
During this phase, the illuminated portion of the Moon (as visible from Earth) decreases from 99% to just over 50%. It lasts around a week, and encompasses the first half of the Moon’s ebbing part of the cycle. La Luna appears to be shrinking in size, as her light lessens a little more each day.
When does the waning gibbous Moon rise?
The time of the waning gibbous moonrise varies according to timezone and how far along the cycle it is.
The Moon rises around 45 minutes later each day/evening.
At the start of her gibbous phase, the Moon rises in the east, about 45 minutes after sunset. As the days wear on, she rises later into the night, and into the early hours of the morning. You can see her at night and as a morning Moon.
The eight Moon phases
There are 8 (well actually 9!) phases that make up the lunar cycle. Here's a breakdown -
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 gibbous Moon phase?
The Waning Gibbous phase is a time of spiritual significance that many overlook. Hot on the heels of the Full Moon, she is decreasing in size and moving towards the last quarter moon.
It’s a gently disseminating time, where the bold, bright, outward-facing energy of the Full Moon is fading, yet she is still full of light!
So are we.
Yet after the long and possibly arduous journey from new to full Moon, and the peak of fruition and manifestation, a soft retreat has begin. Almost imperceptible, this isn’t normally felt as a need to step away from company and actually be alone.
It’s more likely that you notice your inner focus shift, from the big wild world out there, to the outer edges of your inner world.
This Moon is a time of appreciation and gratitude – with the most creative, expansive lunar phases complete, realizations have been made, and you get your first chance to step back and survey the scene.
The waning gibbous Moon calls on us to pause and reflect, to allow your successes to rise to the surface of your awareness, and sit in that wonderful feeling of having made it this far!
The waning gibbous Moon is also a receptive time.
This particular phase of the Moon enhances our ability to soak up and draw into ourselves what we need. So others are likely to listen to what you have to say, and YOU too will learn from the process of re-iterating and re-invigorating your own medicine.
journal prompts for the waning gibbous Moon
- What did you manifest with the Full Moon (whether related to new Moon intentions, or not)?
- What did you desire for this lunar cycle, that hadn’t materialised yet?
- List any blocks, challenges or difficulties you faced over the waxing phases of the past 2 weeks. Did they become opportunities for you? Or are they still in your life?
- What lessons can you receive from this time of reflection?
- Who are you now, compared to who you were two weeks ago?
What to do under the waning gibbous Moon
At the waning gibbous Moon, we’re being invited to consolidate what we’ve learned and achieved over the 2 weeks waxing Moon phase, integrate this fully into our bodies, and plan our retreat.
Often associated with reflection, self-reflection, and releasing negative energy, I’d recommend you hold off any ritual release work until a little further into the waning phases.
Plan, ponder and scrutinize the details.
When the Moon reaches this phase, it’s worth taking advantage of the clear thinking, analytical energy that She supports. The waning gibbous Moon offers a clarity of vision that can’t be matched! So drill down into the details of what’s working for you, and what isn’t, before the waning crescent Moon arrives, and that delicious, dreamy darkness takes over.
Here’s a list of things to do during the waning gibbous Moon phase:
Journal on what worked/manifested/challenged you during the cycle so far (see journal prompts above).
Reflect on any past mistakes and learn from them. Use this phase to identify any negative patterns and behaviors that are holding you back.
Start planning any release ritual work
Tackle any editing or proofreading tasks.
Do your bookkeeping or accounts
Track your period. Do you know where you are in your cycle? (Do you bleed on a red moon cycle or a white moon cycle?) This is a great time to get organized! Track back, or consider creating a chart, or using an app. F
Give gratitude! The cycle has peaked, the work is done – give gratitude for all that’s passed.
Rest. It’s okay to begin to recharge and renew your energy for the next phase, and even the next new Moon.
Feel proud. Something we don’t do enough of! As the climax of the full Moon releases her grip, cultivate some self love – maybe it was an easy ride, or maybe it was only sheer willpower that got you through this time around? Either way, you did it!
Overall (like all phases!) the waning Moon comes as a reminder that everything in life has a cycle, and it’s important to embrace the natural ebb and flow of energy. Be patient and trust in the process of life.
What does it mean to be born under a waning gibbous Moon?
Individuals born on a waning gibbous moon phase likely to be introspective and reflective.
You have a natural inclination to look inward and examine your thoughts and feelings. This makes you a great problem solver and a good listener since you’re often able to offer practical solutions to the people around you.
Your waxing gibbous birthday also means that you are highly intuitive and empathetic. This sensitivity enables you to pick up easily on the emotions of others meaning you have a deep understanding of the human psyche.
Work wise, this could make you an excellent counsellor or therapist. Your fine attention to detail also means bookkeeping, editing, and the industry of law are all great options, making the most of your skills.
Watch out for perfectionist tendencies though. With such high standards for yourself and those around you, you’re likely a little too critical of yourself when you fall short of these expectations. However, this also means that you’re highly motivated and driven to succeed in all areas of your life.
Another indicator of being born on a waning gibbous moon phase is your deep connection to the spiritual world. You likely have a natural understanding (and desire to understand) the mysteries of the universe. And are always seeking to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world around you.
For a complete picture, make sure you check out your Moon sign too –