The Lunar cycle as a tool has been used to map the movement of the Moon and harness her energies to reflect and grow for centuries. One complete orbit of the Moon circling the Sun takes twenty nine days (one month), which is what the phrase Lunar cycle refers to. Out of these twenty nine days, each Lunar cycle is broken down into eight different Moon phases which all hold significant meaning and influence our behaviour. During these eight Moon phases, the Moon’s nature changes (approximately every 2.5 days) as she waxes (grows into a Full Moon) and wanes (diminishes into a New Moon). It isn’t the Moon herself which changes, but our perceptions of her that does due to shadows and reflections of Sunlight.
As humans, we’re naturally connected with the energies of our Moon. Throughout history, the Lunar calendar has been utilised to map out the twelve months of the year in order to get the most productivity out of every month and season. The Moon is a great symbol of importance across all areas of religion, spirituality and Astrology. However, you don’t need to have extensive knowledge on such subjects in order to learn how to utilise this tool.
N E W M O O N
The New Moon marks the beginning of a new Lunar cycle. During this time, the Moon is positioned directly between the Earth and the Sun. Her visible side is facing away from Earth, therefore we cannot see her. The New moon is a widely recognised symbol of new beginnings. This is the ideal time to set intentions for the upcoming month, reboot, regain strength and plan any future endeavours. What would you like to achieve this month? What aspects of yourself are you hoping to develop?
W A X I N G C R E S C E N T
As the Moon shifts into visibility again, she enters the Waxing Crescent phase. The new growth and visibility of the Moon is meant to energise us and remind us to stick with the plans that we are beginning to set in motion. During the Waxing Crescent Moon phase, we should be planting the seeds from our New Moon intentions and setting up the stage for action. This is not yet the time for impulsivity and action, but rather planning and preparation.
F I R S T Q U A R T E R
The First Quarter Moon signifies the Moon reaching a quarter of the way through her cycle. During the first quarter, half of the Moon is illuminated while the other half remains in the shadows. The first quarter Moon symbolises obstacles, resistance, and upcoming challenges. It’s important during these two days that your remain resilient and flexible as you may be expected to work harder and push yourself.
W A X I N G G I B B O U S
During the Waxing Gibbous Moon phase, the Moon is in her final stage before becoming full. This Lunar phase should be used to focus on, edit and refine your goals, tasks and projects. After the challenges that may have arose during the first quarter, the Waxing Gibbous Moon offers the chance to re-evaluate the direction in which things are going for you. Is it time for you to give up? Change direction? How can you edit or change your plans to strengthen them?
F U L L M O O N
The Full Moon is the most recognisable Moon Phase, and occurs when the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth. Emotions tend to run high during a full Moon, meaning it’s important to not make any drastic decisions as they may not be as well thought out as you’d think. Historically, full Moon’s have been a symbol of celebration and a time for reaping the rewards of your hard work.
W A N I N G G I B B O U S
After a Full Moon, the Moon’s illumination begins to diminish as it transitions into phase six: Waning Gibbous. The themes surrounding a Waning Gibbous Moon are love, gratitude and sharing. We’re encouraged during this time to treat ourselves and the people we care about with gifts and attention. This is also a time to reflect on our projects and any setbacks we may have faced.
L A S T Q U A R T E R
The Last Quarter or Third Quarter Moon phase symbolises the Moon being 3/4 of the way through her cycle. This Lunar phase is all about self-reflection and honesty. What’s holding you back? What bad habits are you struggling to let go of? Are you struggling with forgiveness? What courses of action will make you feel better? The Moon is slowly transitioning back into her New Moon phase symbolising new beginnings. However, we cannot start fresh if we are still holding onto negativity from the past.
W A N I N G C R E S C E N T
The Waning Crescent is the final Lunar phase and symbolises a time for rest and restoration of our energies. Do you need to catch up on sleep? Are there any loose strings you need to tie up? Have you set aside time to have fun? How can you recover from this Lunar cycle in order to move onto the next?
Artwork: Camille Chew’s ‘Lunar Phases’