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Like a petulant teenager, the moon goes through phases. It’s a pretty well-known fact that these moon phases affect the tides here on Earth. But did you know that the moon phases can also affect your mood and energy? It’s true! The sun and planets aren’t the only things in the cosmos that can affect our lives. While the moon doesn’t always get as much attention as some of the other celestial bodies, she is a powerful force with major effects on your day-to-day life, so she shouldn’t be overlooked!

Although it’s not talked about as often as your sun sign or even your moon sign, moon phases and astrology are closely intertwined. After all, astrology is the idea that what happens in the cosmos has an effect on our lives here on Earth. Since the moon is an extremely powerful entity up in space, it makes sense that the moon phases would have an effect on our everyday lives! So without any further ado, let’s dive in and explore the moon phases in astrology and their meaning!

In astrology, the moon is closely tied to your emotions. For example, your moon sign is all about your inner self and your emotions. But the influence of the moon goes beyond your moon sign alone. Each month, as the moon waxes and wanes, the dominant energy shifts and your mood and emotions are affected. According to NASA, there are eight moon phases in a single cycle, and the cycle repeats itself each month. In astrology, each of these eight moon phases is associated with distinct characteristics and energies. To get an idea of the kind of energy associated with each, think of a plant. While this sounds sort of counterintuitive because plants are associated with Earth and the moon is up in space, it’s actually a very useful analogy. The moon phases roughly follow the growth cycle of a plant: first a seed is planted, then it grows to its full size, and eventually it dies. By understanding the moon cycle more fully, you can be open to the distinct energy of each phase and use it to manifest your best life!

Connecting Moon Phases and Astrology

Read on to learn about what each moon phase means in astrology, including the ruling energy of the phase. Visual learner? No problem! Check out the image below to get an idea of what each moon phase looks like in the night sky. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Moon phases
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New Moon

Appearance: A new moon is invisible to the naked eye

Ruling Energy: Beginnings and growth

Influence: A new moon is a time of reflection and assessment as well as new beginnings. Consider your plans carefully and be open to the start of something new during this time.

Waxing Crescent Moon

Ruling Energy: Intention

Appearance: A waxing crescent moon is visible as a thin crescent that opens to the left

Influence: This is the time of the month when you should be focused on your goals. Set your intentions for the month ahead, plant your metaphorical seeds, and resolve to put in the time and effort so that they’ll grow.

First Quarter Moon

Ruling Energy: Action and decisions

Appearance: What we call the first quarter moon actually appears to our eye as a half moon

Influence: This is a time of action and decision making. Be brave and steadfast as you take measurable steps towards the goals you’ve set forth for yourself for the month.

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Ruling Energy: Refinement and organization

Appearance: The term waxing gibbous means that it is getting larger – this is the phase between a half moon and a full moon

Influence: This is the time to organize and integrate. Take stock of where you’re at with your goals and identify what you’ll need to do to continue moving forward. Do you need to adjust your strategy? Now is the time for refining.

Full Moon

Ruling Energy: Completion and Illumination

Appearance: A full moon is bright and fully illuminated

Influence: Many people and cultures consider a full moon to be significant. So, what does a full moon mean in astrology? Well, it is an incredibly energetic time. Your confidence will be at an all-time high, so capitalize on that to bring all of your plans to their full fruition. This is the time to harvest all of your efforts from earlier in the month. This is also a time when you can expect to receive the clarity you’ve been searching for. Keep an open heart and consider any new perspectives that may come to you when the moon is full.

Waning Gibbous Moon

Ruling Energy: Imparting and gratefulness

Appearance: The term waning gibbous means it is getting smaller – the moon will appear to start shrinking in the sky each night

Influence: This is a time for sharing information and appreciation. Express your gratitude to those who have helped you. It’s also a good time to continue fine tuning and reflecting internally with yourself.

Third Quarter Moon

Ruling Energy: Forgiveness and elimination

Appearance: What we call a third quarter moon actually appears to us as another half moon, but with the opposite half lit up from what was illuminated during the first quarter moon

Influence: Sometimes called the last quarter moon, this is a time to let go of what isn’t serving you. It’s also a wonderful time to seek or grant forgiveness. Don’t forget to include yourself in the forgiveness, too – it is important to take the time to forgive yourself internally for past mistakes or shortcomings, so that you can move forward freely.

Waning Crescent Moon

Ruling Energy: Surrender

Appearance: A waning crescent moon is visible as a thin crescent that opens to the right

Influence: This is the perfect time for a rest. Indulge in some serious self-care, such as a warm bath, some yoga, or a mug of soothing herbal tea. It’s a time to surrender and recharge so that when the time comes, you’ll be ready to forge ahead and fight hard for your next goal!