Full Moon and New Moon Lunar Phases in Astrology
The moon is very important in astrology. It is the closest planetary body to the earth (and the fastest), representing the more physical and temporal nature of earthly existence. It's the lens through which we interpret life experience. The lunar phases - from New Moon to Full Moon and back again - represent the natural ebb and flow of life here on earth. As the silver orb waxes and wanes so do our feelings, the tides and even real events out there in the world. Ideas, relationships and happenings get seeded, brought to light then finally assimilated (whether successfully or not). Much like the seasons (associated with the sun), this is the natural rhythm of things (albeit a monthly one associated with the moon) and respond we do. Even mussels and clams have been shown to respond to the phases of the moon!
Each lunar cycle lasts 28 days, softly building on the last. These create subtle layers of experience that we often barely notice, bar perhaps when the moon is full - or when an eclipse occurs, at which point we surely sit up and pay attention! Eclipses aside, astrologers put great store by the lunar phases. Why? Because astrology, above all, is the art of conscious living. Being aware of when the moon is new and when it’s full, when it’s waxing and when it's waning, allows you to seed projects at the right time, then tells you when to start reaping and when it’s time to finally let go. So let’s have a look at the lunar events - full moons and new moons - that form the basic building blocks of astrology.
We get a new moon each month when the sun and moon meet, i.e. form a conjunction. This happens in a different star sign each month, covering all twelve signs in a year. (You might get a second new moon (or full moon i.e. 'blue moon') in the same zodiac sign on occasion but the moon never skips a sign! Everyone gets their 15 minutes.) The new moon is a bit like a blank canvas (and may sometimes even feel like it). It's a time to plant fresh seeds. Astrologers always talk of a “fresh start” during a new moon but that’s not to say that you go back to square one and start your life again every month! Imagine how exhausting and pointless that would be. It simply means that this is a fertile moment to plant an idea in someone’s mind or initiate a project. Anything you do now will enter a phase of growth. A new moon can also introduce new problems and concerns, whether you’re ready to face them or not. If you haven’t assimilated the events of the last cycle yet, this can be stressful. But if you’re ready and waiting, the best time to nurture something is in the few days following a new moon. We’re on a new moon right now (18 November 2017 in Scorpio!) so make the most of it!
Solar Eclipses are New Moons
Solar eclipses occur twice a year on average and they always happen on a new moon, when the sun and moon occupy the same spot in the sky. We get such an eclipse (always near a lunar node) when the moon obscures the sun. These are extremely powerful new moons, heralding important new beginnings. They create a vacuum which is eventually flooded with totally new life! (This is especially powerful when the eclipse is in your sign. The last solar eclipse was in Leo in August 2017.)
Waxing Moon & First Quarter
It takes the moon 14 days to wax from new to full. In those two weeks things start small then build up. At about 7 days into the new cycle, we have a first quarter moon, i.e. a waxing halfmoon in the skies. This is often a time of crucial decisions. As a result, a mini crisis can ensue! Things have developed long enough to give you some idea of what’s going down during the past 7 days (the ‘crescent’ phase) and this calls for some kind of action on your part. You set things in motion. Once you’re through this waxing halfway point, you’re heading for a full moon during the next 7 days (the ‘gibbous’ phase). This is usually the busiest, most creative and action oriented time of the month!
The full moon is the emotional high point of the month! It’s when the sun and moon occupy exactly opposite sides of the sky so that the sun fully illuminates the moon and the moon becomes ‘full’. Things often reach a peak at this point, information is revealed and the situation becomes clear. Something you’ve been working on can often come into fruition in the three days before or after a full moon. Relationships also come into sharp relief, as others act like a mirror to your own soul. The last full moon was in Taurus on 4 November 2017 and the next full moon is in Gemini on 3 December 2017.
Lunar Eclipses are Full Moons
Just as solar eclipses are new moons, lunar eclipses are full moons. They happen just when the earth blocks the light of the sun from fully reaching the moon. Lunar eclipses signify irrevocable endings and can bring powerful revelations and life-changing events. They’re like many full moons rolled into one - or many waves building into a huge crest that you simply cannot ignore! Stay tuned to Horoscope Friends to find out what the 2018 eclipses have in store for you!
Waning Moon & Last Quarter
The wave peaks at the full moon then breaks as the moon begins to wane to dark, appearing later and later in the night sky. You might spend a couple of days past the full moon in a daze... But soon, armed with concrete results and new information, you put them to good use! This happens in the following week or so (the ‘disseminating’ phase) past the full moon. 7 days after the full moon we get the last quarter - a waning half-moon in the sky. Astrologers call this moment a ‘crisis of consciousness’. This need not be anything earthshattering. It’s simply time to cease frantic activity and try to make sense of the events of the past three weeks. Past this point you enter the most mystical phase of the moon (the ‘balsamic’ phase). This lasts another 7 days from last quarter until new and allows you to assimilate what went down, let go where you need to and happily relax into things where you can. This is when you prepare for a future you cannot yet know but sense is just around the corner. Prophets and pioneers are often born under this lunar phase!