The moon is one of our most prominent and ancient symbols. It has shaped how we understand and track time, its movement controls the tides, and its rise into the sky signals the coming of night. It has a marked association with femininity and fertility - for female menstrual cycles are roughly the same amount of time as a lunar phase. All of these roles have cemented its relationship to us, and we see this in the way that the moon has made its way into our myths and culture.
The lunar cycle is made up of several distinct phases, all of which have associations with different states of being. These states mirror a kind of spiritual path or quest - which like our search for ourselves, never ends. When we observe the moon, we see reflections of the grand pattern of life that is birth, death and rebirth.
If you're curious about using moon magic in your practice, we also have an app that integrates them alongside tarot. You can download the app here.
How to Work With Moon Phases
Even if you’re a perpetual skeptic like me, there is a sort of gushy, warm, wonderful feeling that is evoked when you act in congruence with the cycles of something much grander and greater than yourself - it’s sort of akin to tapping your fingers to the beat of the music. It makes you feel part of something whole, something inconceivable, infinite and mysterious, which is an amazing feeling, and hard to find these days. I think, like with most rituals, following the rhythm of the moon amplifies the little trick that we play on ourselves (Jodorowsky thought that spells, rituals and magic were more about their affects on the caster).
Moon Phases and their Meanings
When the moon is invisible, it signals that all has been cleared, and it’s time to have a new beginning. It’s thought of as a good time to gather ideas, thoughts and plan ahead for the coming month or so.
Waxing Crescent Moon
Think about this time as planting a seed. The new moon gave you a chance to think about what it is that you want to accomplish, but the waxing crescent asks us to make it known, and develop our willpower to push it into fruition.
First Quarter Moon
When the moon looks as if its cut in half, it signals that action is ready to be taken. If we discover any obstacles that block our path, we must be steadfast and overcome them.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
The waxing gibbous moon is there when we are close to our goals, but we need to assess their viability. Perhaps your original desire is not possible at this time, but a different version of it is.
The full moon is also known as the harvest moon, and as the name suggests, it is a time to receive the gifts of your past intentions, and even of your current one - if you’re lucky. From this period, the moon will go from waxing to waning, signaling our journey to look inward instead of out. If you're looking for a tarot spread, we have a small sneak peek of one that is available on one of our apps.
Waning Gibbous Moon
While your actions and their reactions are still clear in your memory, it’s a good time to reflect. This stage, like its waxing mirror, is also one for refining, but this time, instead of looking at events, and what you can do, think about how you feel. Again, the waning period is all about looking internally.
Third Quarter Moon
After thinking carefully about your internal compass in the last phase, now it is time to release and let go of those habits and thought processes that hold you back. Forgive yourself and cleanse in preparation fro the next phase.
Waning Crescent Moon
This is a time for recuperation. To be fully open to the next cycle, one must completely be relieved from this one.
Learn How to Tarot Use Tarot with your Moon Phase Rituals
If you're looking to explore more with lunar phases, and explore adding tarot into your rituals, we've created both a tarot deck and an app to help you combine both.To get the deck, head here.
Learn more about the companion app here.