Moon Phases and Their Meanings

Just as the 29-day moon cycle can influence the tides, so too can it create a subtle pull on our emotions. Understanding the moon phases and their meanings can help you plan your activities in alignment with this lunar power.

The Phases of the Moon

The moon goes through eight phases. In order, these are:

New moon: The moon is between the earth and the sun, so the illuminated side faces away from the earth, and the moon appears completely dark.

Waxing crescent moon: The moon is crescent-shaped and growing every day.

First quarter moon: Half of the moon is visible.

Waxing gibbous moon: The moon is more than halfway visible and growing every day.

Full moon: The moon’s face is entirely illuminated by the sun.

Waning gibbous moon: The moon is more than halfway visible and shrinking daily.

Third quarter moon: Exactly half of the moon is illuminated.

Waning moon: The moon is crescent-shaped and getting smaller each day.

What Do Moon Phases Mean?

Understanding the moon phase meanings will help you see how the cycle of the moon can influence your life. When you plan your activities around the moon and its phases, you can use its subtle power to boost your chances of success. So, next time you feel like you need a bit of guidance, just look up to the night sky.

Here are the meanings for the eight phases of the moon:

New moon: New beginnings.

Waxing crescent moon: Intention setting, planning, and confidence.

First quarter moon: Reflection and decision-making.

Waxing gibbous moon: Refinement and mindfulness.

Full moon: Divination, manifestation, and release.

Waning gibbous moon: Gratitude and self-evaluation.

Third quarter moon: Forgiveness, cleansing, and release.

Waning crescent moon: Surrender, compassion, and self-kindness.

When you’re mindful of the moon phases and their meanings, you can coordinate your big projects and plans with the movement of the moon to give yourself a little boost of lunar power. Settle in for self-reflection and meditation during the next new moon, and decide what you want to manifest through the moon cycle.