What is a New Moon and How Does it Affect Us?

New Moon passes through blue sky with dramatic pink cloud at sunset

You may have heard of a new moon, but do you know exactly what it is?

Simply put, a new moon is when the Moon has moved through its darkest phase, so it is only visible as a dark disk in the sky, and is about to emerge as a thin crescent Moon. During the new Moon phase, the Moon is perfectly aligned between the Earth and the Sun, so that the side of the Moon facing us is in darkness.

The new moon is an important astronomical event and holds significance in many cultures and spiritual practices. In astrology, the new Moon represents new beginnings and is a time to set intentions and start fresh. Many people believe that working with the energy of the new Moon can help manifest their desires and goals.

While the new moon may seem insignificant compared to the bright and visible full moon, it’s an essential and meaningful part of the moon’s cycle as a whole.

Eight Moon phases in the sky for manifesting

How the new Moon phase fits into the lunar cycle

The lunar cycle is the sequence of changes that occur as the Moon orbits Earth. It takes about a month (29.5 days) for the Moon to complete one orbit around Earth. During this time, la Luna goes through eight distinct phases (well, 9 to be exact) including the new Moon phase.

Phases of the Moon you need to know about…

Moon cycles are often separated up into eight distinct phases, which are:

New moon: This one… read on!

Waxing crescent: The waxing crescent Moon has a very thin crescent shape, rising during the daytime and setting in the western evening sky.

First quarter: 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.

Waxing gibbous: When the waxing gibbous Moon occurs, she is closer to the full Moon phase than to the new. This waxing Moon appears as a blossoming disc of light, illuminated from the right in the northern hemisphere, and the left in the south.

Full moon: At the Full Moon phase, the Moon and Sun sit on opposite sides of Earth. Halfway through the Moon’s orbit, she’s fully illuminated and present in the sky all night long.

Waning gibbous: 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.

Last quarter: 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.

Waning crescent: The waning crescent Moon (or balsamic 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 western sky.

Dark Moon: 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.

hands reaching up into blue sky to reach a new moon

What is happening during a new Moon?

During a new Moon, the Moon is located between the Earth and the Sun, with its illuminated side facing away from the Earth. As a result, the lunar surface appears dark, and isn’t visible to the naked eye.

In astrology, this phase marks the beginning of the Moon cycle and is characterized by the alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Astrologically, this Sun and Moon conjunction represents a merging of the conscious (Sun) and unconscious (Moon) aspects of the self, and this can lead to a sense of balance and clarity.

What does the New Moon mean spiritually?

Spiritually, new Moons represent new beginnings, renewal, and growth. This phase is also associated with self-reflection and introspection making it a powerful time to go within and meditate, ponder and dream.

After the waning Moon phases, the re-emergence of the new Moon and crescent Moons promises light and hope. It’s akin to the winter solstice – the darkest sabbat and season of the year – when light is finally returning.

Even though we know the lunar calendar is ongoing, with no real beginning or end, it’s generally recognized that the new Moon marks a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Spiritually, this phase aligns with rebirth, and the opportunity to take a new step in a new direction.

With their darkness and introspective energy, New Moons also offer heightened intuition, and for some, a strong sense of purpose. Individuals may feel a sense of alignment with their emotions and inner desires, as well as a heightened awareness of their power and potential.

How does the new Moon affect us?

The new moon can affect us emotionally by bringing a sense of introspection and reflection.

Many people may feel an instinctive desire to start something afresh, setting a new intention or goal to work on during the following lunar phases. If the new Moon occurs in an astrological hot spot in your chart, then it may actually herald a significant change in your life. Be sure to check out the zodiac sign it falls in, and how this compares with your personal birth chart.

For some, new Moons can be a time for letting go of old emotional patterns and making space for new experiences. Physically, some people report feeling a decrease in energy levels during the new moon, while others may feel a surge of energy and motivation to start new physical activities or health routines.

Spiritually, the new moon is often associated with heightened intuition and a deeper connection to one’s spiritual path or purpose. It can be a time for meditation, self-discovery, and exploring your inner wisdom.

As the Moon also represents the feminine principle, new Moons can be a great time to connect to the Goddess, and your own feminine energy.

What should you do on a new Moon?

There are SO many different practices, rituals and activities that you can do on a new Moon, to connect with the energy of new beginnings, and set intentions for the upcoming Moon phases. Here’s a list of things I recommend… but don’t try to do them all! Choose one or two, and see how you get on with those first.

When is the next new Moon?

13 new Moons rise during one calendar year, and this means that one calendar month will have two new Moons.

Here are the dates for all the new Moons in 2024, plus the zodiac signs they occur within:

January 11, 2024, at 03:57 am PT/12:57 pm UK in Capricorn

February 9, 2024, at 2:59 pm PT/11:59 pm UK in Aquarius

March 10, 2024, at 2:00 am PT/ 10:00 am UK in Pisces

April 8, 2024, at 11:21 am PT/7:21 pm UK in Aries

May 7, 2024, at 8:22 pm PT/ 04:22 am UK in Taurus

June 6, 2024, at 5:38 am PT/1:38 pm UK in Gemini

July 5, 2024, at 3:57 pm PT/11:57 pm UK in Cancer

August 4, 2024, at 4:13 am PT/12:14 pm UK in Leo

September 2, 2024, at 6:56 pm PT/ 02:56 am in Virgo

October 2, 2024, at 11:49 am PT/ 7:49 pm UK in Libra

November 1, 2024, at 5:47 am PT/ 1:47pm UK in Scorpio

December 1, 2024, at 10:21 pm PT/ 06:21 am UK in Sagittarius

December 30, 2024, at 2:27 pm PT/ 10:27 pm UK in Capricorn (a black Moon)

List of new Moons in 2024

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