How Much Moon Phases Are There?
The Moon completes an orbit around Earth every 27 days. As a result, the dates and times of the lunar phases change each month.
Those phases occur one after another, beginning with new Moon and ending with waning crescent. Each phase lasts approximately a quarter of a synodic month or 7.38 days, and reaches its longest duration between full moon to new moon (or vice versa).
The Moon cycles through four major shapes (New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter) within a cycle that lasts about 29.5 days. During this time, the amount of illuminated surface on the Moon changes as it orbits Earth.
During the new phase of the Moon, only half of its surface is illuminated. During the next three phases, the amount of illumination increases.
Aside from the amount of illumination, the lunar surface also changes its shape. The New Moon phase is called the waning crescent, and the Full Moon is called the waxing crescent.
To make the most of the Moon’s natural cycles, consider creating a ritual on each New Moon to focus on your intentions for the coming month. This will allow you to align with the natural cycles of the Moon, and empower you to tap into your cyclical nature without judgment.
The Moon goes through a cycle of 29.5 days, which includes four primary (major) phases: New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter. Astronomers have also broken this cycle down into several secondary phases.
The First Quarter phase occurs when the Moon is just one quarter of the way through its orbit around Earth. It gets its name because from Earth, half of the moon is lit on the left side in the Northern Hemisphere and the right side in the Southern Hemisphere during this phase.
During the Waxing Crescent phase, the Moon’s light begins to increase as it approaches a full moon. Once the Moon reaches a full moon, the light decreases as it enters the Waning Gibbous phase and eventually fades to a complete lack of illumination in this phase called Waning Crescent.
The Moon goes through a cycle of phases each month, which changes the way we see the Moon. The phases of the moon change based on where the Moon is in relation to the Earth and the Sun.
For example, during a full moon the Moon’s near side is fully illuminated by sunlight, while the opposite side faces away from Earth. This is because the Moon is opposite the Sun in its orbit around Earth.
This is important because it means that the Sun, Earth, and Moon are nearly in a straight line. When this happens, the Moon looks very bright to us.
The Moon also goes through other phases of partial illumination. These include the banana-shaped crescent Moon, D-shaped quarter Moon, and almost complete gibbous Moon.
The Last Quarter Moon or Third Quarter Moon is halfway between a New Moon and a Full Moon. Traditionally it is associated with activation, responsibility and intuition.
During this phase we can use the power of meditation to go deep into ourselves and understand what we want to create. It is also a great time to release old patterns and habits that are no longer serving us.
We can also use the energy of this phase to heal our relationships and make sure that we are on the right path. Linn, a woman in her early 30s, used the energy of this phase to let go of her mother’s disapproval and free up her psychic energy for a new relationship.
As the waxing gibbous phase is coming to a close, you may start seeing your situations more clearly than ever before. This is a great time to have an intimate conversation with a loved one or set the record straight with a friend about something you are not happy with in your life.