Moon phases and astrology: here's what the lunar cycle means for you

Considering moon phases provide insight into our emotions, you're going to want to get in tune with each lunation

Low Angle View Of Lunar Eclipse, Moon Phases
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The sun might be the center of our universe, but moon phases should not be overlooked. In terms of astrology, each lunation is quite telling and even complex, if you ask cosmic pros. 

The moon indicates the type of energy that we'll experience throughout the day. Additionally, it provides insight into the TLC we need in order to thrive. As it turns out, the brightest object in the night sky is quite illuminating. (See what we did there?)

If you're curious about how it can bring you closer towards your goals and make you feel whole, we'll guide you through these significant lunar occurrences. Find some candles, grab a notebook (both of which make great gifts astrology fans love) and ready a self-care plan. It's time to become one with the moon!

"It provides clues and indicators to our emotional world and what we need to feel safe and secure during this lifetime," says Stephanie Campos-Powell of Leona Moon Astrology. "And what could be more powerful than having insight on how to nurture ourselves?"

What are the moon phases?

There are eight various moon phases, all of which have something different to offer. They are as follows: 

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent 
  • First quarter
  • Waxing gibbous
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous/disseminating moon
  • Last quarter
  • Waning crescent/dark moon

However, you'll notice that some astrologers pay closer attention to particular phases rather than others. But don't fret—there's a method behind it all. 

"Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all of the consistent changes of the lunar phases, so I think capitalizing on the bigger transits of the moon can be more purposeful," says astrologer Liz Simmons

You'll particularly want to take note of new moons, first quarter moons, full moons and last quarter moons. 

Portrait Of Woman Standing At Night, Moon Sign

(Image credit: Getty)

1. New moon

"If you're new to following and working with the moon, I think the best way to start working with this heavenly planet is to begin with the new moon and full moon," Campos-Powell suggests. 

New moons are the time to put thoughts into action. Think of this phase as a period in which to line up your goals and get organized.

"New moons are perfect for setting intentions, breathing in what we want to manifest and call into this world," she adds. 

(Psst: Have you asked "When is the next new moon?" We've got you covered!)

2. First quarter moon

If you have grand ideas but haven't exactly gone out of your way to pursue them, first quarter moons are the time to do so. 

"This is when we begin taking action on our plans, as it's when the luminaries are clashing in the sky and creating tension that can be channeled into our new endeavor," says Narayana Montufar, astrologer and author of the forthcoming Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power.

3. Full moon

Think of the full moon as a climax, a time to "release and cease," according to Simmons.

"It's usually a time to tell the world what we have been working on," Montufar adds. 

(When's the next full moon? We've got your 2021 calendar covered.)

4. Last quarter moon

Thinking about cleaning out your closet, literally and figuratively? A last quarter moon presents the ideal opportunity to do so. 

"As the moon loses light, so do we and we must clean up the energy by getting rid of what no longer serves us," Montufar recommends.

How to determine your moon sign

Like a rising sign, a moon sign requires that you have all the details of your birth, as it indicates where the moon was located at the exact moment you came into the world. A moon sign calculator can point you in the proper direction. 

Though it seems trivial, you won't want to pass up these details, as your moon signs provide quite a bit of intel.

"Get familiar with your moon sign to understand what you crave for emotional comfort and security," Campos-Powell recommends. "Recognize your conscious and subconscious patterning around your care. This, I think, is one of the moon's greatest gifts."

Montufar adds: "Our moon sign is just as important as our sun sign when it comes to reading birth charts. Her placement by sign, house and astrological aspect tells the story about our mother, our family, and our deepest needs and non-negotiables."

A friendly reminder about moon phases:

Not all new moons and full moons are created equal," Campos-Powell says. "Please check with your friendly neighborhood astrologer before manifesting or releasing."

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Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.