The last quarter Moon phase has a curious reputation.

Occurring when la Luna sits exactly halfway between the full Moon of one cycle, and the new Moon of the next, it represents a moment of balance in a time of release, letting go, and reflection. Yet last quarter Moons also bring tension.

Last quarter Moons are powerful astrological and spiritual moments, offering the opportunity to shed old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us, to make space for new beginnings. But to harness the potential they bring, quarter Moon phases require a bit of effort on our part!

That shedding and release doesn’t happen automatically. At this waning lunar phase, we’re being called to dive deep, and take an honest look at ourselves, before making a conscious change.

Performing last-quarter moon rituals can be a powerful way to connect with this particular energy within the Moon cycle.

In this article, we’ll have a look in more detail at what this energy is, how it feels and what it means spiritually. We’ll also explore a variety of simple and effective rituals you can try today…

last quarter Moon

What is a last quarter Moon?

The last quarter is the phase of the Moon that occurs when the Moon is three-quarters of the way through its cycle. Seen from Earth, half of the Moon’s face is illuminated and the other half is in darkness. Because the Moon is waning, the illuminated portion is decreasing, so darkness appears to be overtaking the light. Before long, the waning crescent Moon phase will occur.

Astrologically, this waning Moon phase is known as a “square”, as the Moon is 270º from the Sun, all the way around on the opposite side of Earth.

Also known as the “third quarter Moon” during this phase, the Moon rises around midnight and is visible in the morning hours when the Sun is rising.

Also read: Moon meaning in Astrology – Signs, Phases and Aspects Explained!

What does the last quarter moon mean spiritually?

Spiritually, the last quarter Moon is one of the most potent times in the whole lunar cycle for internal reflection and self-inquiry. We are being invited inwards, to contemplate our feelings, patterns, beliefs and behaviours over the lunar cycle.

As the Sun and Moon are forming an astrological square, dark and light are equally cast over the surface of the Moon. This balance of opposites often plays out spiritually too, with the dark eventually “overtaking” the light as the waning Moon decreases in size, getting darker overall.

On a spiritual level, our own light also diminishes, meaning we’re less willing to be sociable, creative, and outwardly focused. Instead, the inner landscapes of the unconscious are beckoning.

This means any spiritual work you can do, to bring clarity and understanding to your shadow self, will be supported by the last quarter Moon phase. It’s important to stay vigilant and notice when you are acting through your unconscious patterns.

Remember that tension I mentioned? Under the third quarter, this often manifests as triggering or activating situations

  • People and events that irritate
  • Old blocks that keep reemerging
  • Repetitive annoyances
  • Flares of anger

This Moon phase’s invitation is to observe and think deeply about how you’re responding to life’s challenges. To dig deep into why. And then to see if you can shift your response.

It can be hard going! So it’s important to also use the last quarter Moon as a time to focus on self-care and self-love. Take time to pamper yourself and do things that make you feel good.

What to do during the last quarter Moon

Because our energy is inwardly focused during the last quarter Moon phase, it’s advisable not to do anything too strenuous. Instead, try to spend time in contemplation and relaxation. If you are called to do inner work, then be sure to balance this with plenty of self-care.

Here are some examples of the kinds of things to do during this waning Moon phase:

Release and let go: The last quarter Moon is a time for releasing things from your life that no longer serve you – emotions, thoughts, habits, relationships, etc. Spend time journaling about what you want to release.

Clean and declutter your space: Physically removing clutter represents releasing clutter from your mind. Go through your home, office, car, and dispose of items you no longer need.

Finish projects: Use the waning energy of the last quarter Moon to complete tasks and projects that are in the later stages. Tie up loose ends and cross items off your to-do list.

Relax and unwind: With releasing and cleaning done, take time to relax your body and mind. Enjoy soothing activities like taking a bath, reading, yoga, or meditation.

Reduce spending and bills: Be more frugal as the Moon wanes, paying off debts and avoiding unnecessary purchases. Audit monthly expenses.

Get a haircut: If you want to slow down hair growth, get a trim during the waning Moon phases.

Perform banishing or binding magic: Magical workings at this phase can remove negative patterns or entities.

5 Last Quarter Moon Rituals

Next, I’m sharing 5 of my favourite last quarter moon rituals, to harness the particular quality of this lunar phase.

Rituals can be especially powerful to practice under the third quarter phase, because they access the deeper layers of the unconscious mind, which is also being activated.

Last quarter Moon rituals can help us to more deeply reflect, more effectively let go, and more intentionally invite in something new.

Want to manifest instead? Read this: Moon Manifestation for Beginners: Exactly How to Manifest with the Lunar Phases

Here are five last-quarter moon rituals that you can try:

1. Somatic shaking ritual

The last quarter moon is a time of transition, and this powerful somatic ritual can help you navigate that change.

Start by lighting a candle to create the ritual space.

Stand up, and take a few deep breaths to ground and centre yourself.

Bring to mind a situation, feeling or state that you want to transition out of.

Next, bring into being the feeling of this situation, and allow it to move through your body. It may manifest as discomfort, tension, aching, or tightness. Whatever the feeling is, allow it to expand and try to hold it in your body.

Keep breathing.

Now bend your knees slightly and begin to shake your body. Shake your hips, your torso, your arms and legs. And as you do, imagine you ae shaking off this situation, ridding yourself of the energy it holds.

Keep shaking like this for 10 minutes, until coming to a gradual, gentle stop. Sit down if you need to, and consciously feel yourself embodying an entirely new state. Know that this is the bridge, the transition into something new.

Give thanks, and blow out the candle.

2. Releasing attachments ritual

This last quarter Moon ritual is super-simple, and perfect for letting go of anything that is holding you back.

Start by taking a ritual bath with Epsom salt and essential oils to cleanse your body and mind.

Next, write down anything that you want to release on a piece of paper. This could be a bad habit, a toxic relationship, or anything else that no longer serves you.

Once you’ve written it down, light a candle and burn the paper, placing the ashes in a fireproof bowl.

As the paper burns, visualize any attachment releasing, and feel the weight lifted from your shoulders.

herbal smudge stick for cleansing ritual on the last quarter Moon phase

3. House cleansing ritual

This ritual is a great way to cleanse your home and release any negative energy.

Starting furthest from the front door, use local herbs for smudging or saining each room of your house, paying particular attention to corners and hidden places.

Open all the windows and doors to let in fresh air and light, and visualize dense or negative energy being released,.

Finally, make an offering. All homes have Spirits, so give thanks to yours for their protection and holding.

4. Forgiveness Ritual

The last quarter Moon phase is the perfect time to release past grievances and outdated attachments or cords connecting you to other people. Forgiveness is an essential step in moving forward and releasing negative energy from your life.

Here’s a simple forgiveness ritual you can do during the last quarter Moon phase:

Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Light a candle and some incense to create a peaceful atmosphere.

Sit comfortably and take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Close your eyes and visualize the person or situation you need to forgive. Feel any emotions that come up without judgment.

Take a piece of paper and write down the name of the person or situation you need to forgive. Write down how they hurt you and how it made you feel. Be honest with yourself and don’t hold back.

Once you have written everything down, read it out loud to yourself. As you read it, try to feel the emotions and let them go. Imagine the negative energy leaving your body and being replaced with positive energy.

When you feel ready, say out loud, “I forgive you, and I release this negative energy from my life.” Burn the piece of paper and watch it turn to ash. As it burns, visualize the negative energy leaving your life for good.

Take a few deep breaths and sit in silence for a few moments. When you feel ready, blow out the candle and give thanks, knowing the work is done.

Journal open on a bed with sunight

5. Journaling ritual

Journaling is a powerful tool for reflection and introspection, especially during the waning Moon phases.

Start by lighting a candle and sitting in a quiet space.

Take a few deep breaths and think about anything that’s been weighing on your mind. Write down your thoughts and feelings in your journal, without judgment or criticism. Once you’ve written everything down, read it over and reflect on what you’ve learned.

Say a prayer or affirmation of your choice to seal the intention.

Finally, blow out the candle and feel a sense of release and clarity. 

These last quarter moon rituals are just a few examples of the many ways you can honour this powerful (and often overlooked) phase of the Moon.

Whether you choose to reflect, release, or forgive, the last quarter moon is a time for deep and honest introspection that will result in true transformation if you embrace it!

All of the phases of the Moon…

If you’re curious to read about the rest of the lunar cycle, check out these posts on each Moon phase:

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