Old Grandmother Moon, our waxing and waning celestial companion and only satellite has fascinated humans for eons.
Revered by cultures around the world, generations of humans have gazed up at her silvery disc, and wondered about the mysterious divine feminine power she holds.
We have long sought ways to call her down and connect to her energy. It’s as true today, as it has been in the past that the Moon’s phases, transits, and aspects can have a profound impact on our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
In this article, we will explore how to live in alignment with the phases of the Moon in 2024, and how this can help us lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.
What does the Moon symbolize?
The Moon symbolizes a range of meanings across different cultures, including femininity, intuition, emotions, and the cyclical nature of life.
Gods and Goddesses: The Moon has been personified as a lunar deity in almost all cultures around the world. The ancient Greeks believed the Goddess Selene was an embodiment of the Moon. Tlazoltéotl was a dark Aztec Goddess of the Moon, whose name means “dirty lady” or “filth deity”.
Time: Throughout history, the Moon has been an important symbol of time. The lunar phases, cycles, eclipses, and tides have all been used to track the passage of time, the changing of the seasons, and the ebb and flow of natural processes.
Cycles and balance: The Moon is symbolic of cycles and balance because it goes through a complete cycle every 29.5 days, from new to full and back again. This cyclical nature represents the ebb and flow of life, reminding us that everything in life has its own natural rhythm and balance.
Art and inspiration: The Moon has long been a muse for artists, poets, and writers. Its beauty and mystery have inspired countless works of art, and its cyclical nature has been used as a metaphor for the creative process.
The Feminine: The Moon symbolizes the feminine because of its connection to the cycles of life, nature, and, menstruation and motherhood. This connection is reflected in the bodies of women through their menstrual cycles. The waxing and waning lunar phases can be associated with the light and dark aspects of feminine energy, making it a powerful symbol of women’s empowerment and spiritual growth.
Water and emotions: The Moon is symbolic of water and emotions due to its powerful influence on the tides of the ocean, which are driven by the gravitational pull of the Moon. This water connection to water has led the Moon to be associated with emotions, intuition, and the subconscious mind.
Intuition: The Moon is strongly symbolic of intuition because of its connection to the subconscious mind, dreams, and the realm of emotions. For some, its soft, reflective light encourages introspection and self-reflection, making it a powerful tool for accessing intuition and inner wisdom.
Creativity and manifestation: The Moon is symbolic of creativity and manifestation because of her natural ebb and flow. Also, the lunar phases are often used as a metaphor for the creative process, with the new Moon representing the seed of an idea and the full Moon representing its manifestation.
Also read: How the Moon Phases Affect Your Magic
Mysticism: The Moon has long been a symbol of mysticism because of its mysterious and otherworldly qualities. Its connection to the subconscious mind has made it a powerful symbol of the unknown and the occult for spiritual seekers and mystics throughout history.
The dark: The Moon is a powerful symbol of the dark because of its association with the night and the hidden aspects of life. The waning crescent and dark Moon phases are often connected with the shadow self and the mysteries of the unknown. The Moon’s energy can be used to explore our own darkness and uncover hidden truths, making it a powerful tool for spiritual growth and transformation.
The shadow self: The Moon is symbolic of the shadow self because of its association with the hidden and unconscious aspects of the psyche. Certain lunar phases can be used as tools for shadow work and self-discovery. By exploring our own darkness and uncovering hidden truths, we can use the Moon’s energy to transform and heal ourselves.
Rebirth and renewal: The Moon symbolizes rebirth and renewal because of its cyclical nature. The new Moon and the waxing crescent, are often associated with new beginnings and fresh starts. The Moon’s energy can be used to release old patterns and beliefs, allowing us to embrace change and transformation in our lives.
What are the 8 phases of the Moon?
The lunar phases are the different appearances of the Moon seen from the Earth, caused by varying amounts of sunlight reflecting from the Moon’s surface. The eight Moon phases are: new, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent. There’s also one more that is often overlooked: dark Moon.
One Moon cycle (a lunar month) lasts 29.5 days.
Here’s a description of each lunar phase in turn –
The new Moon phase arrives when old Grandmother Moon has just become visible. She is a sliver of light, emerging into the daytime sky.
Waxing Crescent Moon
The waxing crescent Moon has a more obvious crescent shape, rising during the daytime and setting in the western evening sky.
The first quarter Moon forms an astrological square with the Sun, this phase is revealed as a clear “half Moon” shape. Light will expand, overtaking the dark quarter.
Read more: Spiritual Meaning of the First Quarter Moon
Waxing gibbous Moon
The waxing gibbous Moon is closer to the full Moon phase than to the new. This appears as a blossoming disc of light, illuminated from the right in the northern hemisphere, and the left in the south.
Read more: Spiritual Meaning of the Waxing Gibbous Moon
At the Full Moon phase, la Luna rises with the Sunset, and sets when the Sun rises. She’s fully illuminated and present in the sky all night long.
Waning gibbous Moon
Past the cycle’s climax, the waning gibbous Moon phase is almost a mirror image of the waxing gibbous – a swollen round disc ebbing away from one edge.
Read more: Spiritual Meaning of the Waning Gibbous Moon
The last quarter Moon (also known as the third quarter) forms another astrological square with the Sun and appears as a clear “half Moon” shape. This time, though, dark will overtake the light.
Read more: Spiritual Meaning of the Last Quarter Moon
Waning crescent Moon (or balsamic Moon)
The waning crescent Moon is closer to the next new Moon, than to this cycle’s full Moon phase. It appears as an ebbing, almost disappearing arc in the daytime sky.
The dark Moon appears between one and three days before the new Moon, and is invisible. During the dark Moon, la Luna rises with the Sun, but is bleached out by sunlight, and absent completely from the night sky.
Read more: What’s the Meaning of the Dark Moon Phase?
How to live in alignment with the Moon phases
Aligning your life with the lunar phases involves tuning into the natural rhythms of the Moon and using its energy to enhance your spiritual growth and personal development. You can begin by observing the Moon’s cycle and noting how it affects your emotions, energy levels, and creativity.
You can then use this knowledge to set intentions and perform rituals and practices during the different phases of the Moon. You may also want to avoid certain things at other Moon phases!
Now let’s take a closer look at each of the lunar phases in turn, and discover how to harness the unique energy, gifts, and medicine in each…
How it looks: The New Moon is not visible in the sky, as it occurs when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun. A day on, it’s visible as an emerging crescent.
Energy and characteristics: New beginnings, fresh starts, and setting intentions. The New Moon phase is best for dreaming, pondering, journaling, and dropping into your intuition to find the best direction for the future.
Archetype: The New Moon is often associated with the Maiden archetype, representing youth, innocence, and new beginnings.
Menstrual phase: The New Moon usually aligns with the menstrual phase, or bleeding phase of the menstrual cycle as as it represents the beginning of a new cycle.
Season: The New Moon is often associated with the seasons of winter and spring, as it’s a time when growth, renewal, and new life are imminent.
Intention: To connect to your intuition, your deepest desire and the most positive direction for the lunar cyle.
Affirmation: “I am open to new beginnings and opportunities. I trust the universe to guide me towards my highest good.”
Crystal association: Clear quartz, moonstone, black tourmaline.
Ritual: Light a candle, set an intention. You may also create a vision board or perform a visualization or meditation to gain clarity on what you desire.
Journal Prompt: “What new beginnings am I ready to embrace in my life? What intentions do I want to set for this new cycle?”
Waxing crescent Moon
How it looks: The waxing crescent Moon is the first visible phase of the Moon after the new Moon. It appears as a thin crescent shape in the sky.
Energy and characteristics: Gentle growth, expansion, and taking action towards your goals. The waxing crescent Moon phase is a time to build momentum and make progress towards your intentions.
Archetype: Like the New Moon, the waxing crescent is often associated with the Maiden archetype, representing youth, openness and curiosity.
Menstrual phase: The waxing crescent Moon is often associated with the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, a time of growth and preparation for ovulation.
Season: The waxing crescent tends to align with the season of spring, a time of growth, renewal, and new life.
Intention: To take action toward your intentions, explore new possibilities, and build connections with other people.
Affirmation: “I am strong and capable of achieving my goals. I am taking action towards my dreams and creating the life I desire.”
Crystal association: Citrine, carnelian, and tiger’s eye.
Ritual: Write down your intention or desires on a piece of paper, using an affirming phrase (“I am, I do, I have”). Place the paper at the center of two lodestones, and place it on your altar for the next two weeks while the Moon is waxing.
Journal Prompt: “What action steps can I take towards my goals? How can I build momentum and make progress towards my intentions?”
First quarter Moon
How it looks: The first quarter Moon appears as a half-circle shape in the sky, and is visible in the afternoon and early evening.
Energy and characteristics: A time of action, decision-making, and overcoming obstacles. The first quarter Moon is time to take responsibility for your life and make choices that align with your intentions.
Archetype: The first quarter is usually associated with the huntress archetype, representing strength, courage, and determination.
Menstrual phase: The first quarter Moon is often associated with the later follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, a time of rising and dynamic energy.
Season: The first quarter Moon is associated with the seasons of Spring and summer, both seasons of growth, abundance, and vitality.
Intention: To take decisive action towards your goals and take risks that will push you outside of your comfort zone. To live with courage and commitment. The first quarter Moon phase is a time to overcome obstacles and move forward with confidence.
Affirmation: “I am taking action towards my goals and making choices that align with my intentions. I am strong and capable of overcoming any obstacles in my path.”
Crystal association: Garnet, red jasper, and bloodstone.
Ritual: Pull an oracle or tarot card daily, over three consecutive days, to help you get out of that all-too-familiar creative rut and see the path ahead.
Journal Prompt: “What obstacles do I need to overcome to achieve my goals? What choices can I make that align with my intentions?”
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Waxing gibbous Moon
How it looks: The waxing gibbous Moon appears as a nearly full circle in the sky, and is visible in the evening and early night.
Energy and characteristics: A time of refinement, fine-tuning, and making adjustments to your plans. The waxing crescent Moon is time to make any necessary course corrections and to summon the stamina needed to keep going with your intentions until the climax of the full Moon arrives.
Archetype: The waxing gibbous Moon phase is often associated with the archetype of the Alchemist, representing transformation, transmutation, and refinement.
Menstrual phase: The waxing gibbous Moon is often associated with the late follicular and ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle, when the body has almost reached peak fertility.
Season: The waxing gibbous Moon phase is associated with the season of summer, a time of creativity, abundance, and fecundity.
Intention: To refine plans and make any necessary tweaks and adjustments to tasks in hand, while also maintaining the stamina and determination needed to keep moving forward towards your goals. It’s a time of focus, and perseverance.
Affirmation: “I am grateful for the progress I have made towards my goals, and I have the capacity to keep going. I am open to making adjustments and refining my plans to align with my highest good.”
Crystal association: Labradorite, fluorite, and amethyst.
Ritual: Mix a pinch of dried rosemary, dried thyme, ginger powder, and a few drops of sweet orange oil in a pestle and mortar. Burn on a charcoal disc for motivation and a boost of energy, focus, and faith.
Journal Prompt: “What progress have I made towards my goals? What adjustments do I need to make to align with my highest good?”
How it looks: The full Moon appears as a complete circle in the sky, and is visible throughout the night.
Energy and characteristics: A time of completion, manifestation, and illumination. The full Moon invites a celebration of your achievements and gratitude for all your hard work, creativity, and blessings received, during the lunar cycle so far.
Archetype: The full Moon is often associated with the archetype of the mother, representing nurturing, abundance, and fulfillment.
Menstrual phase: The full Moon usually aligns with the ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle. This represents peak fertility and openness.
Season: The full Moon is associated with the season of summer, a time of magnetism, bright light and heat, and celebration.
Intention: To celebrate your achievements give gratitude for blessings received. To recognize and embrace the abundance of the universe. To spend time with friends and loved ones and enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Affirmation: “I am grateful for all that I have achieved, and I release what no longer serves me. I am open to receiving the abundance of the universe and manifesting my desires.”
Crystal association: Moonstone, selenite, and clear quartz.
Ritual: Create a crystal grid using clear quartz points and citrine to manifest a big desire. Embody the feeling of gratitude when you receive it.
Journal Prompt: “What am I grateful for in my life? What do I need to release to make space for what I truly desire?”
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Waning gibbous Moon
How it looks: The waning gibbous Moon appears as a nearly full circle in the sky, retreating from one edge, and is visible in the early morning and daytime.
Energy and characteristics: A time of gentle release, surrender, and gratitude. Attention to details is heightened under a waning gibbous Moon, making this the ideal phase to reflect on what no longer serves you and begin letting it go with thanks for the lessons learned.
Archetype: The waning gibbous Moon is often associated with the archetypes of the wild woman and enchantress. These female energies represent individuation, the untamed woman, and liberation.
Menstrual phase: The waning gibbous Moon usually aligns with the luteal, or premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle. It’s a time of reflection and preparation for the shedding of the old cycle.
Season: The waning gibbous Moon is associated with the season of late summer and the start of autumn. It’s a time of harvest, before release, letting go, and the true preparation for winter comes.
Intention: To retreat from the outer world and spend more time in self reflection. To analyse and learn from the acomplishments of the lunar cycle, and reflect on what could have been done differently. The waning gibbous Moon is a great time to consider what could be released, to make space for new growth and transformation.
Affirmation: “I release what no longer serves me with gratitude and trust in the universe to guide me towards my highest good.”
Crystal association: Black tourmaline, obsidian, and smoky quartz.
Ritual: Light a candle, and ritually engage in self reflection using journal prompts, or a guided meditation. Call in Spirit guides or allies to support your work.
Journal Prompt: “What do I need to release in my life? How can I let go with gratitude and trust in the universe?”
Last quarter Moon
How it looks: The last quarter Moon appears as a half-circle shape in the sky, and is visible in the early morning and afternoon.
Energy and characteristics: A time of reflection, evaluation, and forgiveness (of self and others). Astrological squares often coincide with tension, and this Moon phase invites internal adjustment. It’s a time to release what no longer serves you and prepare for the next cycle.
Archetype: The last quarter Moon is usually associated with the archetype of the wild woman or enchantress.
Menstrual phase: The last quarter Moon is often associated with the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle, also known as the luteal phase. It can be characterised by symptoms of PMS, and calls for reflection and preparation as the cycle is nearing its end.
Season: The last quarter Moon is associated with the season of late autumn and winter, a time of introspection, rest, and reflection.
Intention: To look honestly and deeply within, and reflect on your habits, patterns and behaviours. This phase calls for the conscious release what no longer serves you, in preparation for the next cycle.
Affirmation: “I reflect on my progress with gratitude and release what no longer serves me. I am open to new beginnings and the opportunities of the next cycle.”
Crystal association: Hematite, black onyx, and snowflake obsidian.
Ritual: Light a candle, and ritually write down a list of thoughts, habits or patterns that are no longer serving you. Burn this list in the flame with the intention to let them go, whilst inviting in new qualities you wish to cultivate.
Journal Prompt: “What is hindering me as a walk my path through life? How can I effectively let these things so, in prepatation for the next cycle?”
Waning crescent Moon
How it looks: The waning crescent Moon appears as a thin crescent shape in the sky, and is visible in the early morning just before sunrise.
Energy and characteristics: The waning crescent phase is a time of release, letting go, and complete surrender. It is a potent time to retreat, rest, and engage in deep self-reflection before the start of a brand-new lunar cycle.
Archetype: The waning crescent Moon is usually associated with the archetype of the crone or wise woman. This female energy type represents the wisdom of age and experience, and the transformation this allows.
Menstrual phase: The waning crescent Moon is often associated with the menstrual phase, as it represents the metaphorical death that goes with the shedding of old blood, to make way for the new.
Season: The waning crescent Moon is associated with the season of winter, a latent time of decay, death, and the rest required for regeneration.
Intention: To rest, reflect, and release what no longer serves you. The waning crescent Moon invites deep inner reflection, and trust in your intuition, and focus on spiritual growth, through facing the shadow.
Affirmation: “I release what no longer serves me and prepare for the new cycle with trust and gratitude.”
Crystal association: Amethyst, rose quartz, and aquamarine.
Ritual: Journal on what is no longer needed in your life, and perform a burning ritual to let go of it. Engage in somatic movement to release tension and old, stale energy stuck in your body.
Journal Prompt: “What do I need to release to prepare for the new cycle? What stories, beliefs and conditioning is no longer serving me?”
How it looks: The dark Moon isn’t visible in the sky, as she is rising and setting with the Sun.
Energy and characteristics: A time of deep rest, introspection, and renewal. The dark Moon phase is a gateway into the void – a mysterious time of regeneration and healing that’s connected to the dark feminine mysteries. Here we ar invited to go inward and connect with our inner wisdom.
Archetype: The dark Moon is associated with the crone archetype. there are also many dark feminine archetypes, such as the witch, seductress, and dark mother, that are connected with the energy of this Moon phase.
Menstrual phase: The dark Moon is connected with the menstrual phase, as it shares the same mysterious, betwixt and between energy of renewal and regeneration that the bleeding phase holds.
Season: The dark Moon is associated with the season of late winter or early spring, a time of rest, introspection, and preparation for new growth.
Intention: To rest, reflect, and connect with the wellspring of your own inner wisdom. To connect with the dark Goddess delve into the mysteries of the esoteric wisdom and the occult. Not to sow seeds or set intentions, but to soak in the infinite pool of possibility.
Affirmation: “I trust my inner wisdom and intuition. I am open to a thousand new possibilities, brought about by the shedding of old skins”
Crystal association: Moonstone, labradorite, and black tourmaline.
Ritual: Take a ritual Moon bath, journal and dream intentionally for guidance ans connection with the Goddess. Meditate, journey, and allow the imaginal realms of possibility to come alive.
Journal Prompt: “What does my inner wisdom tell me? What lies within the deepest, darkest crevice of my heart?”
With some effort, aligning your life with the Moon phases can be a really powerful tool for personal growth, self-awareness, and spiritual connection.
By tuning into the energy and characteristics of each phase, you’ll be able to harness the natural rhythms of the universe to support your intentions and goals.
Whether you’re seeking to manifest a more abundant life, release the thoughts, patterns and behaviors that no longer serves you, or connect more prodfoundly with spiritual wisdom and your own intuition, the Moon phases offer a roadmap for your journey.
Trust in the magic of the universe, and allow the moon to guide you towards your highest good.
Remember, you are a part of the cosmic dance, and the universe is conspiring in your favor.