The Astrological Moon Phases

10 Minute Read

The Moon is one of the most beautiful planetary bodies we can explore in our astrological chart. This luminary functions on a physical, psychic, and internal level when seen through the eyes of astrology. The Moon waxes and wanes in light throughout the 29 ½ day Lunation cycle caused by the reflection of the light from the Sun. In this article we are going to talk about the Moon in astrology, the phases, and implications of the Moon in your own chart!


The Moon in Astrology

Associated with emotions, internal responses, and instincts; the Lunar vibration is another aspect of our psyche that we can explore through astrology. Like most people who get into astrology, you may have had a great moment of realization when you found out that you are so much more than just your Sun sign!

Discovering that there are other planetary energies at play opens up another dimension to your astrological chart. If you have always felt that you did not “fit” with your Sun sign then knowing your Moon sign can shed light on the complexity of why!


Keywords for the Moon

  • Illuminating
  • Sensing
  • Feeling
  • Emotions
  • Instincts
  • Memories
  • Family
  • Ancestry
  • Psyche-Identity
  • Parental Relationships
  • Psychic
  • Spiritual/Mystical
  • Empathy
  • Nurturing


As Above So Below

Have you ever heard the saying, “As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without’? This paradigm is often used in astrology to describe the relationship we have with planets and the night sky. The location of the Moon, Sun, and other planets in your natal chart are symbolic of the energy present on the day we were born. As we come into life we breath in the energy that existed in that moment and in that same breath we are also able to own our own destiny and potential as individuals.

Reading the Moon in your chart will provide insight into what the day was like on your birthday. It illuminates for you how the energy above is represented within. Tracking the shifting phases of the Moon is an important aspect of getting in touch with the cyclic nature of astrology. In your chart the exact Moon phase can be calculated to help expand on the details of your innermost being.

The zodiac sign the Moon was in at the time of birth will emphasize in many respects how the Moon is expressed on an individual level; however, knowledge of the Moon phase also adds another dimension to the interpretation in your chart. Each phase of the Moon contains a particular energy within the cycle. Knowing your Moon phase at the time of birth will allow for an exploration into your Lunar life “theme.” Below are descriptions of each phase in relationship to your natal chart reading.


Calculating Your Moon Phase: Cycles of Waxing and Waning

As the the Moon reflects the light of the Sun it goes through cycles of Waxing or Waning. Waxing is when the Moon is increasing in light; New Moon through the Full Moon phase. Waning is when the Moon is decreasing in light following the Full Moon and ending at the Balsamic phase.

The dance between the Sun and Moon is so astronomically precise and aligned it demonstrates that on a symbolic level how important it is that we have both of these energies operating within us. During the monthly Lunar cycle the Moon moves completely through the 360 degrees of the zodiac. In order to calculate your Moon phase you will want to count the degrees that are between the Sun and Moon at birth.

In the chart the Moon will be in front of or behind the Sun depending on what phase we are in. When the Moon is increasing in light we are in the New, Crescent, or First Quarter phase and the Moon is ahead of the Sun. At the Full Moon phase, the Sun and Moon are exactly opposite in the circle at 180 degrees from each other. The Moon then moves behind the Sun as it decreased in light during the Disseminating, Last Quarter, and Balsamic Moon phases.


New Moon: 0-45 Degrees Ahead of the Sun

If you were born during the New Moon phase, then this means the Sun and Moon were in or had us been in the exact same astrological sign at the time of birth. You cannot see the Moon during this phase as the light of the Sun is completely in shadow at this time. This first phase, in a natal chart context, is symbolic of planting a seed or ideas.

The New Moon represents fresh energy, the beginning of cycle, and very strong intuition. Without the bright light of the Sun shining on the Moon you have to rely more on your psychic senses, feelings, and emotions as you move through life. The relationship with your personal Lunar energy will be subtle with an emphasis on developing your unique connection to spiritual and emotional experiences.

This Moon phase energy can play out through the reinvention and constant involvement in new projects to gain a deeper perspective. You might find yourself exploring the beginning stages of new relationships or friendships on a regular basis or completely shifting gears career wise to embrace a more comprehensive understanding of the New Moon phase.


Waxing Crescent: 45-90 Degrees Ahead of the Sun

If you were born with the Moon between 45 and 90 degrees ahead of the Sun then you process emotions of the psyche through the Crescent Moon energy. This phase is symbolic of the developing of ideas. The seeds have already been planted and now you are witnessing the first signs of growth.

On a spiritual level this is symbolic of exploration of your inner self by connecting to ideas of wisdom and personal development. You want to ask questions and investigate the meaning behind your personal experiences. Emotionally, you may keep information close to your heart, only opening up to people you have developed a strong bond with.

With the light of the Moon increasing, this is demonstrative of the instinctual response to learn and know. You want to know yourself and others more deeply in life, with an emphasis on moving forward, gaining insight, and seeing yourself from an evolving perspective.


Waxing Half Moon or First Quarter: 90-135 Degrees Ahead of the Sun

At the Waxing Half Moon, also called the First Quarter Moon, we start to encounter the first signs of internal provocation. If you were born during this phase then your instinctual and emotional responses will be colored by strength, a desire to protect, and a need for validation. This is an action oriented Moon phase, one in which you will feel driven to do and be.

An aspect of creating lessons or challenges for oneself is evident in this Waxing Half Moon phase. You want to draw out the issues and explore them more deeply through an understanding of yourself psychologically. On a soul level, this Moon phase is bringing into your awareness a better understanding of the past, family dynamics, and structures.

A sense of desire to “break free” accompanies the First Quarter Moon. The Sun is illuminating half of the Moon during this time leaving one side completely in shadow. Symbolically this represents a need to depolarize or remove yourself from duality thinking. This concept will help you work with your Lunar energy more deeply, giving you a creative look into how you structure your world view.


Waxing Gibbous: 135-180 Degrees Ahead of the Sun

Almost near the Full Moon, the Waxing Gibbous Moon phase is a time of an increase in energy. Emotions become heightened and more of the Moon is visible than is in shadow. At this stage you are starting to explore the ideas of consciousness and existence. Feelings and beliefs are starting to take root more deeply.

If this is the Moon phase you were born during then you will embody a desire for perfection and self-analysis. Assessing life in the context of the emotional structures that you have set up for yourself start to come into your conscious view. Flashes of intuition and a very close connection with your “gut instincts” is typical of this Moon phase.

The Waxing Gibbous Moon is symbolic of a high motivation to be involved in the external world. To have a self-identity that is carved out and expressed. A deep desire to express internal create drives with the outside world is one way we see this Moon phase play out.


Full: Exactly Opposite 180 Degrees – 135 Degrees Behind the Sun

When we reach the Full Moon phase, the Sun and Moon are exactly opposite each other in their sky dance. The Full Moon and oppositions are centered around themes of awareness. They symbolize information coming into our consciousness with absolute insight. During this phase the Moon is completely lit up, revealed, and exposed. The energy is neither waxing or waning but at a pinnacle.

If you were born during a Full Moon then life is more likely to be punctuated by peak moments of heightened emotional content. This aspect between the Sun and Moon creates a symbolic back and forth energy between your internal and external self. At times you may desire a look inward, deep into your psyche while at other times the inner emotional content of your being cannot help but be out in the open for the world to see.

This Moon phase is symbolic of culmination and arrival. Since the Moon is dealing with instinctual, emotional, and ancestral energy there is a sense that we are bringing to light aspects of our inner world and past. The dynamics that are created with this Moon phase often pull relationships into awareness that need to be addressed, realized, or validated for an individual.


Waning Gibbous or Disseminating: 135-90 Degrees Behind the Sun

A few days following the Full Moon we enter into the Waning Gibbous also called the Disseminating Moon phase. During this time the Moon has now started to wane in light and the energy starts to turn inward. The Moon is technically “behind” the Sun at this point. Symbolically the Disseminating Moon is speaking to the need to live out your truth.

The knowledge that was planted at the New Moon and brought into awareness at the Full Moon is now ready to be expressed and matured. This Moon phase is centered around the idea of sharing and living out your inner most desires, impulses, and emotions. The internal relationship to the psyche is one of depth and growing wisdom, spiritual experiences are heightened and deeply meaningful.

As the light of the Moon is decreasing there is a sense of timing that becomes essential to the individual. You want to reach your potential for existence in the present time frame. There are extremely valuable intuitive and emotional insights that can be experienced with this Moon phase. A marked desire to express one-self with meaning and significance is present.


Waning Half Moon or Last Quarter: 90-45 Degrees Behind the Sun

As the Moon continues to decrease in light we come to the Last Quarter Moon phase. This is where half the Moon is in light and half in shadow, but this time the sides are switched from the Waxing Half Moon. This phase is symbolic of transformation and reframing old paradigms. After reaching a culmination phase at the Full Moon and living with meaning in the Disseminating phase the Last Quarter wants to “break down” the perfection.

If you were born under this phase then transformational experiences regarding your relationship to spirituality and consciousness will be paramount. You may find that you are drawn to different mystical beliefs or systems of knowledge in order to explore, travel, and rebel against the old you. This Moon phase is searching and here to experience the beauty in the journey as opposed to the destination.

A myriad of life experiences will be felt deep within the soul surrounded by a mist of profound meaning and wisdom. Your relationship to your emotional self is important to develop to set up a container for your inner psyche and vision for your life. This Moon phase creates excellent energy for asking questions and breaking barriers.


Balsamic: 45-0 Degrees Behind the Sun

When the Moon has almost completed in Lunation cycle, just before the next New Moon, we come to the Balsamic Moon. This phase is characterized by deep psychic energy and insight. If you were born during this period in the Lunar cycle then there is a sense of tying everything together. The transformative vibration of the Waning Half Moon is “ensouled” so to speak within your being.

This phase is symbolic of a life that has brought everything full circle and you are completely realizing the potential, wisdom, and spirituality of your internal being. There is opportunity here to see the bigger picture and also have a powerful connection to your emotional and psychic self.

The Balsamic Moon represents an intense relationship with the spiritual aspects of life from a broad perspective. It creates moments of profound insight and understanding into the transformative cycles of life’s most intense moments.


In Closing

The Moon in the natal chart is a profound symbol of our identity on an internal and emotional level. Often we reveal our emotions and inner selves in certain contexts; in relationships, family dynamics, and memory. Our Moon sign is symbolic of all of these things. Understanding the cyclical Lunar phase you were born under is another layer of self-exploration you can undergo on your astrological journey in knowing thyself.


References – (For the Moon Phase Degrees)
George, Demetra (1995). Finding our way through the dark: The astrology of the dark goddess mysteries. San Diego, CA: ACS Publications.


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