What’s the Meaning of the Third Quarter Moon?

Third Quarter Moons are the threshold of the darkening, inward gaze…

I love the third quarter Moon phase because of Luna’s half-presence in the morning blue of the sky. She’s visible when I’m outside walking, as the day is just beginning.

Watching a Full Moonrise IS breathtaking.

But greeting her in this pale and fragile state feels more intimate to me. She’s older. She has travelled through times of growth and progression to maturity in this cycle, and now her luminosity has faded.

Her medicine is distilling.

Now I am observing the gentle decay of her excess, as the Sun’s glare dissolves my view. It’s with this in sight and mind, that I begin my day, setting the intention to come from a place of quiet wisdom and my slower, less reactive, and more introspective self.


What’s the astrology of this precious moon phase?

Look up into the sky at thie phase of the cycle, and you’ll see that one half of Luna’s face is illuminated, and the other is in shadow. (Here in the northern hemisphere, you can recognize the third quarter Moon when her left side is illuminated. In the Southern hemisphere, it’s the opposite – the cycles are mirrored).

What you’re seeing is an astrological square – the Sun and Moon are at right angles, and in this case, 270º apart. So these two heavenly bodies are vying for their place in the skies, their dominion. And as above, so below – this same interplay of energy and force is playing out in each of us too, which is why this phase can feel edgy and tricky to hold within.

This phase is often felt as tension, friction, or two forces (or ideas, projects, opinions, people…) vye for their dominion in our lives. This will often manifest as some sort of clash, resistance, or disagreement:  A fight for power is occurring in some aspect of our lives.


At the third quarter Moon, you are invited to go within…

Neither force is holding precedence, taking the lead, or giving more guiding potential than the other at the point of a square.

BUT the way the planet split apart from their astrological aspect matters.

Here at the third quarter, the angle becomes more acute. The planets are moving closer together. The cycles of Sun and Moon are moving into unison. So the invitation to us is to do the same, and move in closer to ourselves.

How does the essence of the third quarter show up in your life?

You may think that when something difficult happens, something that seems to go against what you want or need happens in life, that it’s happening to you.

In reality, it’s much more likely that you are unconsciously creating these scenarios in order to play out, understand, and resolve something they contain.

Actually, on much deeper and unconscious levels, we’re all seeking resolution and wholeness in the internal (emotional, intellectual, or spiritual) realms. These are the realms we create from, and much of this creation (manifesting) occurs from the unconscious, and from these patterns we keep playing out.

Unconscious patterns become clearer at this point in the cycle

And that truly is a gift… even if that gift comes in the form of a triggering situation!


Remember those vying forces, that friction, and resistance…? THIS is how to recognize the energy of this lunar phase. Through the resistance you feel to another ‘force’ in your life.

Maybe it’s an emotional reaction you keep having, that seems to perpetually hold you back.

Maybe it’s a connection with a friend that isn’t working

Or perhaps there’s an intellectual block to your progress – a gap, a block, a bridge you can’t seem to find.

Or maybe something less monumental – I can get wonderfully distracted during the waxing Moon, then at around this point, the balance tips, and I realise all those exciting new concerns, ideas and projects are actually taking up far more of my time and space than I ever intended. I need to rein it in, and get back to my essence.

Don’t think you have to do the ‘big work’ each and every lunar cycle – really, sometimes it’s okay just to let go and flow!

So third quarter Moons are opportunities

These are potent lunar portals for unpacking difficult patterns, course correcting, and finally facing that shadow, to see what she has to tell you.

I’ve found, through years of practice that it takes far less effort to make these deep dives, and the  ‘course corrections’ that inevitably follow at this lunar juncture, than at others. It just takes a little practice.

Ready to harness the magic and mystery of every lunar phase? Get the e-book today and let’s begin…!

See you on the inside



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