The Phases of the Moon


Below you will find information about the Phases of the Moon. These phases are defined as New, Crescent, First Quarter, Gibbous, Full, Disseminating, Last Quarter, or Balsamic. These eight phases symbolically correspond with the stages in the planting cycle, beginning with the potential represented by the seed in the ground, and also to important seasonal events of the yearly cycle, starting with the Winter Solstice.

Phase Name Seasonal Festival Keyword
[New Moon] New Moon Winter Solstice Beginnings
[Crescent Moon] Crescent Moon Imbolc, Candlemas Initiative
[1/4 Moon] First Quarter Moon Spring Equinox Growth
[Gibbous Moon] Gibbous Moon Beltane, May Day Perfection
[Full Moon] Full Moon Summer Solstice Clarity
[Disseminating Moon] Disseminating Moon Lammas, Harvest Festival Sharing
[3/4 Moon] Last Quarter Moon Fall Equinox Decline
[Balsamic Moon] Balsamic Moon Samhain, Holloween Preparation
[V/C] Void of Course Confusion

  [New Moon] New Moon

In this phase, the Moon and Sun are conjunct and in the same sign. This phase represents the very beginning of the planting cycle, when the seed sends forth it's tender shoot while still underground. This is a tentative moment, with the outcome still very much in doubt. This phase also corresponds to the Winter Solstice in the cycle of the seasons.

During this phase, the world is yours to make your mark on. You tend to be subjective, even self-centered, in your approach. You feel that the rules other people make are not for you, you make your own rules appropriate to the present moment. For example, you may question why it needs to be done a certain way, and won't be satisfied with the answer that it's how we've always done it.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent New Moon


  [Crescent Moon] Crescent Moon

In this phase, the Moon is waxing and halfway between New and First Quarter Moon. In the planting cycle, this is when the young organism has to contend with the surrounding environment, which may seem difficult and hostile. This phase corresponds to the seasonal holiday of Candlemas, around February 1st, midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

During this phase, you tend to charge forward with new ideas and impulses, even in the face of resistance. Your primary mission in life lies in actualizing new forms into an objective and concrete existence, as separate from the old way of being. You are fully invested in this sense of purpose, and yet you may also be very aware of the challenge represented by the status quo, since the older forms never will yield without a struggle.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent Crescent Moon


  [First Quarter Moon] First Quarter Moon

In this phase, the Moon is waxing and square the Sun. This represents the time in the planting cycle when the organism puts out its leaves and branches, a time of great growth. In the cycle of the seasons, this phase corresponds to the Vernal Equinox.

During this phase, you are a willful builder of new structures for yourself and society, and characteristically exert the utmost effort in order to achieve your goals of bringing new forms into reality, even in the face of resistance. This move forward must inevitably be accompanied with struggle, for the old will rarely yield gracefully.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent First Quarter Moon


  [Gibbous Moon] Gibbous Moon

In this phase, the Moon is waxing and halfway between First Quarter and Full Moon. This represents the moment in the planting cycle when the bud begins to form, carrying within it the promise of the flower. In the seasonal cycle this phase is symbolically linked with the cross-quarter holiday of Beltane, which was celebrated around May 1st (or May Day), half way between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

During this phase, you are powerfully drawn to the accomplishment of your goals, with an analytical and detailed mind. You are likely to have quite a passion for the building and perfecting of new forms and structures. You will not be contented with the status quo of outmoded conceptions, nor with any hesitation in going forward with the new element, which you feel must be perfected in order to achieve its true potential.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent Gibbous Moon


  [Full Moon] Full Moon

In this phase, the Moon and Sun are in opposition to each other on opposite sides of the Earth. This corresponds to the time in the planting cycle for the flower to emerge. This phase symbolically relates to the Summer Solstice, the time of maximum light in the cycle of the seasons.

During this phase, you are very aware of the effect of your work on others. You are operating out of a mode of visible clarity rather than blind faith, and your watchword is objectivity. You are open to the influence of those around you, and are aware of the influence that you can have on them as well. In this sense, your work has meaning for you only in combination with other people.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent Full Moon


  [Disseminating Moon] Disseminating Moon

In this phase, the Moon is waning and halfway between Full and Last Quarter Moon. In the planting cycle this corresponds to the first appearance of the plant's fruit. In the seasonal cycle, there is a symbolic correspondence to the cross-quarter holiday called Lamas, celebrated about August 1st, mid-way between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox.

During this phase, your basic mission in life is to shed light. You are filled with the knowledge of what has been accomplished in a particular field of endeavor, and your purpose is to share it with others. As the symbolic fruition of the life of the garden, you represent the culmination of the entire planting cycle.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent Disseminating Moon


  [Last Quarter Moon] Last Quarter Moon

In this phase, the Moon is waning and square the Sun. In the planting cycle, your phase represents the beginning of the end of the cycle, when the plant is harvested and the parts remaining start to wither and die back into the ground, while what is left of the fruit also begins to prepare its seeds for planting. In the seasonal rotation this phase corresponds to the Fall Equinox.

During this phase, you are an exemplar of the tearing down of the old structure to prepare the way for the new ones. Your type is characterized by a "Crisis in Consciousness" where-by you cannot get with the current scheme of things, and desire to change it. You possess a core level discontent with the existing social structures you find in your environment.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent Last Quarter Moon


  [Balsamic Moon] Balsamic Moon

In this phase, the Moon is waning and halfway between Last Quarter and New Moon. In the planting cycle, this is the time of the maturation of the seed, while the rest of the plant dies away. All the energy of the plant becomes concentrated in the seed being prepared for the next cycle. In the seasonal progression this phase corresponds to Halloween, midway between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice, when the veil between worlds is thin, and the ghosts of the dead walk the earth.

During this phase, you are very focused on a barely perceived distant reality, and may feel somewhat alienated from the existing structure of society. Like the dying plant, you are sharing the knowledge distilled from the experience of the past in an effort to bring that encapsulated essence forward into the emerging new form. You feel a sense of mission in helping to prepare the way for something novel to emerge, even though what that new social structure will look like when it arrives may never be clearly discernable to you. You need to be able to strike out on your own, to shake off the remnants of the dead past and to trumpet out your message as a chanticleer for the coming new dawn.

Related: The Astrology of the Recent Balsamic Moon


  [V/C] Void of Course

The void of course Moon represents a period of time, usually lasting less than a day, when the course of events seems to be more difficult and arrangements may be subject to unexpected changes. People seem less likely to make a solid decision during a void of course Moon. Some Astrologers refuse to make important business plans during this type of period, or even on a day when the Moon is void of course during part of the day. The actual definition for the void of course Moon is that period of time when the Moon "wanders" after her last major aspect to another planet, and until she enters her next sign.

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sun astrology The Sun

The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.

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The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.

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Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.

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saturn astrology Saturn

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uranus astrology Uranus

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Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.

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pluto astrology Pluto

Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.

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The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.

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vesta astrology Vesta

In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.

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While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.

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south node astrology The South Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.

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aries astrology Aries

Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.

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taurus astrology Taurus

Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.

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gemini astrology Gemini

Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.

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cancer astrology Cancer

Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.

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Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.

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Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.

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Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.

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Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.

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Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.

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capricorn astrology Capricorn

Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.

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aquarius astrology Aquarius

Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.

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pisces astrology Pisces

Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.

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