The moon changes shape in the sky as it orbits Earth. The varying fractions of its lighted face are called moon phases.
There are four primary lunar phases: New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter. There are also four secondary phases: Waxing Crescent, Waxing Gibbous, Waning Crescent, and Waning Gibbous.
New moon is a time for planting the seeds of intention, conceiving new ideas and starting new projects. It’s a cosmic reset that helps you set the tone for your next cycle, according to astrology expert Narayana Montufar.
The new moon phase is also a time for lunar eclipses, which happen when the moon blocks the Sun’s rays from hitting Earth. This happens most often during solar eclipses, but it can also occur during a lunar eclipse, when the Earth, Moon and Sun are at right angles to each other.
The Moon orbits around Earth and varies the fraction of its illuminated side we see from the sky. This cyclic effect is called a moon phase and changes every month.
This quarter-phase of the lunar cycle is a time for the Moon to pause and consider its next step. It’s also a time to take stock of where you are and re-evaluate your plans for the future.
The full moon, the brightest of all lunar phases, occurs when the entire illuminated face of the Moon is visible to Earth. During this phase, the glare from the illuminated Moon makes it difficult to see stars and planets in the night sky.
This month’s full Moon is nicknamed the Strawberry Moon, in honor of all the ripening berries that make summer desserts so delicious. This moon also is known as the Mead Moon and Honey Moon.
The Moon orbits the Earth and completes one cycle of phases (a 29.5-day period called a synodic month) within the orbit. Each phase is named for its position around the Sun in relation to Earth.
The Last Quarter phase happens when the Moon has reached the third and final quarter of its orbit around the Earth. It’s commonly referred to as the ‘half-moon’ and is seen approximately 1 week after the Full Moon.
The Last Quarter is traditionally associated with ‘letting go’ which can be ideal if you want to release someone from your life or make a change. This could include releasing an unhelpful relationship and cutting ties with toxic people.
The waxing crescent phase is the Moon’s second most visible phase after new moon. It occurs one phase before full moon and is easily seen in the sky during the day because a large portion of it is illuminated.
This is a good time to reevaluate your goals, redirect your efforts and be flexible in order to reach success. It’s also a good time to celebrate and enjoy the positive things that happen in life.
Often considered an astrological time of completion, the waxing gibbous phase has the potential to bring about a new chapter in your life. This is an ideal time to take a fresh look at your goals, and make decisions that will propel you forward.
The Moon has been important to human culture since the dawn of civilization. Its monthly cycle has given life a sense of rhythm and has been revered as a feminine deity, and counterpoint to the masculine Sun god.
The waxing crescent phase is a time of expansion and growth. It is an opportunity to take stock of what you’ve accomplished during the last moon cycle and set new intentions for what will come next.
The waning crescent phase is an intermediate lunar phase in the last lunar month, coming before the New Moon and right after the third Quarter. It starts with the illuminated portion of the Moon’s disk shrinking from left to right and becomes a thin crescent on the left side.
It can be seen rising after sunset and is visible to the southwest, high in the sky after midnight.