The term Lunar cycle refers to the twenty nine days that it takes for the Moon to orbit the Earth. Every Lunar cycle can be broken down into eight different moon phases, which each hold meaning and significance regarding our behaviour, and our ability to problem solve and get things done. These eight Moon phases refer to the changing nature of the Moon, which is created from the alignment of the Moon in relation to the Earth and the Sun; the Moon itself doesn’t change, but our perception of it does due to the parts reflected by sunlight.
As humans, we are naturally connected with the Moon who energises us and helps clear our lives of negativity; many of us utilise the transitions of the Moons phases as a ‘planner’, in which we can map out the upcoming month in order to get the most out of time and use each week productively. Whilst the Moon is a great symbol of importance in Astrology and Spirituality, you don’t need any substantial knowledge of either subjects to learn how to utilise this tool.
Today I’m going to be sharing with you the basics regarding the Moon’s transitions, and how you can base your planning and organisation on the Moon’s eight phases, to maximise your productiveness.
A New Moon is the first phase of the Moon’s lifecycle. During a A New Moon, the Moon is positioned directly in between the Earth and the Sun, making it’s visible side face away from Earth; whilst the Moon is still there (of course) we cannot see it. A New Moon symbolises new beginnings and a clean slate; this the perfect time to set your intentions for the upcoming month. What would you like to achieve? What aspects of yourself are you hoping to develop? This is the optimal time to start planning projects and ideas, and create a plan for the upcoming month- think of this time as a reboot, or regaining of strength.
As the Moon starts to become visible again, it enters it’s Waxing Crescent phase. The new growth and visibility of the Moon is energising and encouraging- reminding us to stick with our plans and start setting things in motion. This phase of the Moon cycle can be described as planting the seed to the intentions that you set during the New Moon; think setting up the stage for a grand performance. Don’t confuse this with impulsivity and carrying out your intentions thoroughly, that takes place in the next phase…
FIRST QUARTER MOON
The First Quarter is pretty self explanatory, as it represents the Moon being a quarter of the way through it’s cycle. When a Moon is in it’s first quarter, half of it is illuminated whilst half is shadowed; during this time, we are likely to experience some obstacles or resistance. The first quarter Moon symbolises upcoming challenges, and decisions that you need to make in order to overcome them; resilience and flexibility is of upmost importance, and you’re likely to work harder and push yourself more during this period.
During the Waxing Gibbous Moon phase, the Moon is in it’s final stage before becoming full (the word waxing refers to the Moons increasing nature). We must use this time to focus on editing and refining our goals, tasks and projects. After experiencing challenges during the First Quarter Moon, the Waxing Gibbous Moon encourages us to re-evaluate the direction in which things are going for us, and assess if we should give up, change direction, or edit our plans. Change isn’t something to shy away from, but to embrace during this phase; consider the sacrifices you’re willing to make in order to achieve your goals (they don’t have to be big and drastic).
The Full Moon is the most recognisable Moon Phase, and occurs when the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth. It’s hard to ignore the large, illuminating light in the sky- however, all isn’t so calm and beautiful as this is the time in which tensions are sure to arise. Emotions tend to run high during a full moon, meaning it’s important to not make any drastic decisions as they are likely to haunt us with regret in the future. Despite this, the Full Moon is also a time for celebration, as you’re likely to reap the rewards and benefits of your hard work.
After a Full Moon, the Moon’s illumination begins to diminish as it transitions into phase six: the Waning Gibbous (the word waning refers to its decreasing nature). The themes surrounding a Waning Gibbous Moon are love, gratitude and sharing; we are encouraged to treat those around us with gifts and attention during this time. We must also reflect on our projects, plans, achievements and setbacks; if you overcame any obstacles in the previous weeks, be sure to treat yourself during this time.
The Last Quarter or Third Quarter Moon phase symbolises the Lunar cycle being 3/4 of the way completed. This is a tough phase, as it requires self reflection and honesty about ourselves. We must analyse our behaviours that may be holding us back, and try our best to let go and readjust to a life without these bad habits. Perhaps forgiving others who have angered or disappointed you in these last few weeks, is what’ll refresh your mind and make you feel better. The point of this is because the moon is slowly transitioning back into a New Moon, in which we ought to be ready to set new goals and intentions- however, this cannot be done effectively if we’re still holding on to negativity from past months.
The Waning Crescent is the final phase before the Moon becomes new again. At this point we have made it through an entire Lunar cycle and must utilise this time to rest and restore our energies. This is not the time for action or planning, but rest and recuperation; catch up on sleep, relax and take part in fun activities that you may not have so much time for during the busier times of the month. In order to move on to the next Lunar cycle, we must be fully recovered from the one at present.
Artwork: Camille Chew’s ‘Lunar Phases’
By following the rhythm of the Moon, we can amplify our chances of productivity and planning success by taking our time to ensure we get the most out of each phase. Once you develop an understanding of the Moon and it’s transitions through all of its phases, it’ll become almost second nature for you to plan and organise your short term goals in the most successful ways.