Have you ever notice how the moon phases affect you? Well, there is “something” there. Your energy, your mood, and behavior are affected more than you think.
Research has shown that the moon phases impacts fertility, menstruation, and birthrate, because melatonin, a hormone, correlates with the menstrual cycle. Besides that, they’ve seen how there is a correlation between moon phases and hospital admittance for acute coronary events, variceal bleeding, diarrhea, or urinary retention. What they’ve also found is how there is a correlation between traffic accidents, crimes, and suicides. Although this seems logical, other studies did not come up with the same conclusions. Psychiatric presentations did not show a correlation when looked at the moon phases, while on the contrary, there is evidence that sleep quality is lower around the full moon phase.
So, is this black and white “science”? Nope, sorry. If it feels logical to you (note the words feels and logical as a contrast in this sentence), then go with it. I did, and I’ve noticed that as an effect, I am more compassionate with myself, which is the eighth wonder of the world. Around the new moon, I seem to struggle more with my emotional and mental balance. I also notice how it affects me when the moon moves through certain astrological signs, but that is a subject for another time.
The moon phases meaning
You have probably noticed that the size of the moon is not always the same. There are eight moon phases in the lunar cycle. We see the new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent. This full lunar cycle takes 29.5 days and repeats over and over. Each phase takes 3.5 days.
New moon effect
When the moon moves between the earth and the sun, we look at the moon from the dark side. This means that we cannot see it. It is a time when we have an inwardly turned energy, which means that we can get lost inside our stories and ideas. Since you are in the beginning stage of a new cycle, you can look at this as the same energy as starting a new year. You not only get it once every year, but you get it once every lunation cycle. It is your chance for a new start, and you are ready to leave behind mistakes and things that did not work. Since clarity is absent, you may mostly focus on what you do not want.
Your goal is to start thinking about your intentions for this lunar phase. How do you want to feel by the end of it, in 29.5 days?
Waxing crescent effect
Slowly the moon moves on and comes out of the shadow of the earth. We see a small sliver of the planet. The more light it catches in the coming days, the more intense it becomes. Your energy is activating and growing. With the returning of that light, your clarity of what you need also returns.
Your goal is to look at your intentions and ask yourself (over the next 24-36 hrs) what you would do if you lived the life of your intentions set at the new moon. What kind of person would you be? Knowing how you would live in that (maybe somewhat imagined) reality brings you closer to those intentions. It motivates and brings focus. Take action on this right away.
We are now seven days into the lunar cycle. In this moon phase, you see half of the moon illuminated, but in reality, you only see half of your side of the moon, so that is why it is the first quarter. In this phase, you may notice your first resistance against changes, which is a very normal process of your brain to keep things as they are. All change is difficult, and your brain wants predictable outcomes. That is why people experience this phase with growing resistance and frustration. It also affects your motivation. Self-doubt increases during these 3.5 days.
Your goal is to understand that all change is difficult and to be compassionate toward yourself. It is also essential to break actions into super-simple mini-actions if you notice that what you desire is too hard or creates too much resistance. Be gentle with yourself.
Waxing gibbous effect
In this phase, the moon catches more light. If you look for it, you can see the moon during the daytime. Only 3.5 days to go, and the moon is full.
Now that you noticed that change doesn’t come easy, you may need to adjust your habits and actions slightly. In this phase, you may need not to hold yourself back when you feel resistance. It means that you need to adjust your expectations and help yourself make it a bit easier to take action. If you expect too much, your frustration will soar, and your motivation will plummet. Your energy is very high, but this can also turn into being more emotional.
Your goal is to make sure that the emotional outburst will not derail you from your path, and keep taking action so that you can live your intentions. If taking action is too hard, visualize it intensely because it is your best step forward if taking action is too difficult. Have compassion for yourself, but also have clarity of your boundaries to keep you on track.
Full moon effect
It is a Full Moon when the sun, the earth, and the moon align in a perfectly straight line. The energy is harmoniously balanced. You can see your future wins, but also notice, at the same time, what is not working. It is your first opportunity to celebrate what is going well, but do not lean back yet; it is too soon to do that. Right now, you get a lot of clarity, but it can also turn into anxiety when you realize how much still needs your attention. The contrast comes from the sun and the moon that lingers in opposite signs of the zodiac. The contrast brings stress because you want to do one thing and feel safer in the opposite. It is for this reason that you may experience trouble sleeping during the full moon phase.
Your goal is to celebrate your wins. If your results are not matching up with your expectations yet, remember that it is only feedback, so again, adjust and keep moving.
Waning gibbous effect
From now on, the lunar light decreases until it is all gone with the new moon. This phase helps to connect with other people on your path and share with them what you have learned or know. Because there is still balanced energy, you have enough energy to do that. Turn inward to find answers. If there is no one to share this with, then do this processing in a journal.
Your goal is to distill what you have learned and share it with others (or in your journal). Start noticing behavior or beliefs that are counterproductive and let go of it.
Last quarter effect
From this phase on, you can start harvesting the fruits of this cycle. You’re now 22.5 days into the lunar cycle, and you have about a week to make your intentions count. During this period, you will notice that you are less energized but more reflective. Your attention turns inward even more. It is time to list your accomplishments but also the things that you did not fulfill. It is the perfect time to check how you feel right now and check it with the intentions you set at the beginning of this cycle. What is needed to feel the same as you intended to feel?
Your goal is to take responsibility for what is still missing and do what you have in your power to fulfill it, but make sure you are not moving into overwhelm. Rest when rest is needed.
Waning Crescent effect
Finally, you are coming to the end of this moon cycle, and you have turned fully inward. You can now see what you did and didn’t do and what it resulted in (or not). You have contemplative energy. Since energy is lower, you can also be pretty emotional. Forgive yourself for what didn’t happen and integrate the things that you need for the next phase.
It is your goal to increase your level of self-care right now. It is such an intense period, and you don’t need a lot of negative self-talk right now.
To find out how you respond to the moon phases, keep a journal and log your energy, your mood, and productivity each day. It gives clarity and is a source of compassion when you notice that it is hard to follow through on an intention. Know that, whatever you experience, this, too, will pass. Your mood will change in the next phase.
To work with the moon phases, you need to know when the moon moves into the next phase. Time & Date is an excellent resource for that.