How Moon Phases Affect the Way We Do Things

Understanding the Moon's phases and their effect on our daily lives can help us work with these energies rather than against them. Let's take a walk through each to see exactly what this means.

• A New Moon begins in darkness and will slowly emerge as a crescent that appears to us like the curve of the letter D. This is the Moon that is full of possibilities, the Moon of beginnings, as well as a period when people have a natural urge to start something.

O The First Quarter, or waxing, Moon, is also known as the Half Moon and appears to us as a filled-in D. This is the Moon that will see projects through, the Moon of action and independence. It also can bring external challenges to light, and in fact, the astrological definition of a First Quarter Moon is "crisis in action." It's typically a period when a lot is happening—and when there's often a crisis or challenge associated with whatever was started at the time of the New Moon.

O The Moon is always exactly opposite the Sun when it is Full, and it's at this point that activities are brought to fruition, like a blossoming flower—whatever was being developed comes to light at this time. Everything's visible during a Full Moon, when it truly has become a "full circle."

O The Third Quarter Moon looks like a filled-in C, and is the midpoint of the Moon's waning phase. It's a time to assess, to look over what's been accomplished, to learn from one's mistakes, and to wind down and prepare for the next cycle.

During the Moon's dark night, which is called a Balsamic Moon, before it once again begins its next cycle, psychic energy is at its peak. It's time to retreat, to reflect, and to get ready to begin again.


Hitler's nonaggression pact with Russia and the Vietnam Peace Accord are two examples of treaties signed during a void-of-course Moon. These Moon periods are associated with nothing coming of events, decisions, or agreements made during them. In the case of Hitler and Russia, we all know how that ended up: war. Hitler never intended to keep the agreement.

The Moon has been a woman for as long as anyone can remember, and, with the recent resurgence of interest in goddesses and goddess cycles, the phases of the Moon have reclaimed their ancient stories as well.

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