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If you’re a beginner astrology girly like me, then you’ve probably seen (and coveted) those beautiful moon calendars that lay out the phases of the moon for the year. While I’ve always thought these charts were beautiful and definitely worth splurging on, I haven’t taken the time to learn about the moon phases and their astrological meanings until now. If you feel the same way, keep reading to learn how the phases of the moon can help you with self-reflection throughout the lunar cycle.

New Moon

This is the first phase of the moon, and though it is called the New Moon, this is actually the point when the moon isn’t visible in the night sky. The New Moon represents new beginnings, as you might have guessed, and it is a time best used to develop goals and manifest your wishes. Essentially, you’re getting a clean astrological slate. However, it’s important to also remember that the beginning of a new cycle also means the ending of the one you were in. Just as the New Moon signifies new beginnings, it also brings endings and reminds us of the constant ebb and flow of life.

Waxing Crescent Moon

A “waxing” moon means the moon is becoming more visible, moving towards a Full Moon, while “waning” moons mean it is in the second half of the cycle, moving from a Full Moon towards a New Moon. The Waxing Crescent Moon means it’s time to set intentions and plan out how you will reach the goals you set during the New Moon. As the sun starts to illuminate the moon for the first time in the cycle, the Waxing Crescent represents a major opportunity for change and new possibilities. Take this as a call to work towards your goals by refining them and releasing your intentions into the world.

First Quarter Moon

If the Waxing Crescent Moon is when you start to refine the steps towards your goals, then the First Quarter Moon (a half-moon) is when you hone in, finding focus and determination to put your steps into action. The moon is halfway to being full, and as this energy builds you may find yourself gaining strength, taking concrete steps towards what you want. The First Quarter Moon is a good time to push forward despite obstacles, remembering that your end goal is still ahead.

Waxing Gibbous Moon

The moon is nearly full, and it’s time to assess your progress and refine your ideas and action plan. You can shift your focus or change your actions as needed, but keep stepping forward. Listen to the universe during the Waxing Gibbous Moon, and be sure that your intentions and actions are guided by the signs you are receiving. Have patience, and trust that your momentum is increasing and things are coming together at the right time.

Full Moon

The Full Moon represents illumination, as it is the point when the moon is most illuminated by the sun. From this illumination, you will get a clearer picture of the situations and relationships you are in. This is a time for fulfillment and celebration. Reap the rewards of the wishes and intentions you have set. The Full Moon is the most powerful phase of the moon. Your intuition is especially strong during this time.

Waning Gibbous Moon

After the Full Moon, we are in the second half of the lunar cycle, and the energy of the cycle is beginning to ebb. The Waning Gibbous Moon is a time to turn inward once again, reflecting on the achievements and blessings brought by the Full Moon. This is an introspective moon phase, and it is an ideal time for gratitude and nurturing.

Last Quarter Moon (Third Quarter Moon)

At this phase, you are beginning to accept the changes that you went through in order to evolve and reach the goals you set for yourself. The Last Quarter Moon is a time to find balance. Here you can undo bindings, releasing what you need to in order to clear space and cleanse your life. If something no longer serves you, now is the time to let go of it.

Waning Crescent Moon

The Waning Crescent is the last phase before the New Moon comes again. It is a time for surrender and reflection. Here, it is okay to take time to rest, knowing that you have experienced a full cycle of emotions, challenges, and decision-making. Recuperate before the New Moon begins the cycle anew. Care for yourself, and remember that it is alright to feel empty sometimes.

Now that you know more about the phases of the moon and their meanings in the field of astrology, you are better prepared to use them as guidance for setting, achieving, and reflecting on your wishes and goals.

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Morgan is a senior at Boston University studying public relations with minors in art history and political science. She loves fall, cafés, and exploring Boston. She is a frequent art museum goer and an ardent Bruins fan. Besides writing, Morgan's hobbies include curating Spotify playlists, cheering on the BU Terriers at hockey games, and exploring independent bookstores.
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