The Cycles of The Moon
New Moon (0-45 degrees, ahead of the Sun) – You are a cosmic new baby; you are a young soul with much to learn in this lifetime. The silver glimmer of the waxing Moon first becomes visible to the naked eye during this phase, at which point the lunar month is announced by haunting calls from the top of towers in Islamic countries.
There is a strong chance that your Moon will still occupy the same Zodiac sign as the Sun, but even if it has moved on into the next sign, the Sun sign will exert an unusually powerful magnetism within you and you will shine with its personality. It is vital that you come to understand it and appreciate its strengths and weaknesses, because therein lies the self awareness your instinctive naivety naturally lacks. You have been born to establish a new expression of that sign. You instinctively feel that there is a job to do, the nature of which again depends on the sign of the preceding new Moon.
Deep impulses that are hard to rationalise impel you to act and you can be incredibly focused and determined. There is often no choice. You may not know why you have to do something but you will find that the positive reactions and results confirm that it is just what the doctor ordered!
Self doubt won’t often trouble you. You are of one heart and mind. Your consciousness and your feelings both work to the same end – though you may not have a clear idea of what that is! Even your parents are likely to have presented an unusually united front to you as a child, making you feel the centre of their world whilst laying down very clear guidelines as to what was expected from you. This will have trained you well for your life work, but you need to redefine yourself in your own terms and by your own values. You are indeed Self-centered – start discovering who that Self is.
Waxing Crescent (45-90 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The Moon’s silver crescent hangs alluringly in the evening sky. A greater distance is opening up between it and the Sun, and so Self awareness is growing. The first understandings of conscious choice surface even though instinctive feelings and the enthusiasms of the moment may still occupy the driving seat!
The new Moon before your birth has quickened a certain consciousness and your challenge lies in becoming independent of past belief systems and attitudes in order to formulate the new theories and concepts that will clarify your deepest instinctual hunches so that they can inform future directions.
You have a stimulating eccentricity and spring-like naivety or openness. Other people may be threatened by your independence and see you as a bit of a rebel but you have the ability see things afresh and then to shape their nebulous possibilities into sensible, workable plans and goals. But like a toddler learning to walk, you are at the stage of realizing that the impulse needs direction, control and support if it is to manifest usefully.
Opportunities will open up that enable you to develop talents in organisation and planning. Your curiosity about people and ideas is strong, you enjoy people watching and its likely you should enjoy an active social life. You benefit through acting with and for clearly defined groups of people and for political organisations. With and through them you will develop confidence in expressing your Self and consequently learn how that nascent sense of Self integrates into a bigger picture.
Don’t be intimidated by folks that get frustrated by your need to question and understand the structure and rationale of any operation you are a part of. It is your cosmic task after all!
First Quarter (90-135 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The waxing half-Moon rises at noon and sets around midnight. This is the time of the fastest increase in its physical size and so its energy is correspondingly active and dynamic. Ancient druids considered that this was the most auspicious time of the month in which to work their magic.
Anything that begins now is latching on to the strongest lunar tides of growth. It usually occupies the next sign of the Zodiac that shares the same quality (Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable) as the new Moon preceding birth and so that quality is sure to be dominant within your personality. Its strengths and its weaknesses are both your greatest strength and your greatest weakness. You may be overly busy, stubborn or flexible – but whatever your soul path, the challenges and opportunities created by this dominance are the key to your personal growth and development.
You may feel your life is characterized by crises that you either find yourself in, or situations that become crises by the way you handle them. Make a conscious effort to reflect and learn. Constant mental and/or physical movement is your natural state as you carry out your cosmic task of actually manifesting the first signs of something new. You are born to take the initiative and to be always on the go. Inner restless and dissatisfaction are as much your motivators as enthusiasm and desire. Learn to work with the tension, and allow it to keep you on a forward path of growth.
You will live with a lot of drama, and a feeling that there’s never any peace. Through trial and error, you gain confidence in your own ability to push through resistance in an effective way so that your talents and abilities make a visible impact. You don’t like to be ignored!
Waxing Gibbous (135-180 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The Moon approaches fullness; natural forces of growth are approaching their culmination. You are becoming fully aware of yourself as a unique, beautiful soul who has a part to play in the greater scheme of things. Your unique gifts are out in the open for all to see and appreciate and your life holds a strong possibility of being very comfortable. But avoid coasting. Pay attention to that disquieting sense of “if not now, when?” that is likely to permeate the deepest depths of your being. Your eyes must be future orientated towards what is still possible if you are to do full justice to those abilities. Take yourself seriously. Resist the temptation to lazily sit on your laurels simply enjoying the benefits and riches of your life.
If you wish to feel that your life has real value, growing your innate abilities to maximize your innate potential should be one priority; another should be ensuring that you have the right conditions around you to feed that creative development. As you question and become more self aware, you will be forced to make influential, life determining choices that might go against the dictates of your past instincts and education but lead eventually to your further growth.
It is possible that you maybe forced to choose between pathways representing, in some respect, the difference you perceived between your father and your mother.
Certainly you will become familiar with an internal tension between your conscious wants and your instinctive needs. Learn to hold the horns of such dilemmas in consciousness so that a third, mediating synthesis can appear – that way lays a growth in consciousness, which is what your life should be all about!
Full Moon (180-225 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The Moon shines bright in fullness; it rises exactly at sunset and shines all night, bathing the endarkened landscape in its silver light so that revelers at Full Moon celebrations can see their way home again. The cycle that began at the new Moon has now reached culmination, the Moon’s tides and powers of growth are at a peak. The dark is illuminated and you are able to bring consciousness to bear on the hidden dimensions of life.
Culmination and extremity describe your nature. You experience powerful emotions and are, in your own unique way, extremely creative.
The Moon and Sun occupy opposite signs of the Zodiac and so unusual stress is placed both on one particular quality (cardinal, fixed or mutable) and on one particular polarity (positive fire and air or negative earth and water) in your character.
They form a strongly magnetic axis, across which you naturally tend to veer from one pole to the other, being pulled between your conscious wants and your instinctive needs and between your outer and inner lives. Your moods and behaviour reflect this.
Full Moon folk frequently first experience this polarity in their experience of their parents, identifying more strongly with their father [Sun] or their mother [Moon].
The two sides must be brought together in harmony; the balance must be found in a worldly expression that synthesises the opposition. Learn to bear opposites in consciousness, uncomfortable though it may be, for that is the seed of creativity and your foundation for success. The Sun and the Moon must marry if the Philosophers’ Stone is to be found.
Self reflection is the key; awareness and consciousness grow from it. You are a wise soul who is able to see the wider perspective from which you develop your own understanding of the meaning of life. Once you gain that understanding, you will acquire the magnetic personality that, like a priest or priestess of old enables you to guide the traveler in the dark!
Waning Gibbous (225-270 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The Moon’s tides of growth have passed their peak and are beginning to weaken. Focus is just beginning to turn from the building tide of the new Moon to the dissemination of its fruition. You have a foot in both camps. You have an innate confidence in who you are and take pride in your skills and abilities. You thrive on appreciation; it’s like fuel to your fire.
You make a lasting impression on those you make contact with and they tend to defer to you. But you must guard against self-centeredness and start to think collective rather than personal. The challenge you face is that of discovering the appropriate way in which you can use your innate strengths to the benefit of others. There is something you possess that must be passed on and communicated. A clue as to the nature of your special gift may lie within your Moon sign or within the sign of the new Moon preceding your birth, but whatever it is, you must begin the process of its dispersal into the wider society.
To that end you may find the role of writer, speaker or teacher rewarding and you could also enjoy working with younger folks but be aware that you have a tendency to identify too greatly with whatever it is that you offer and with whomsoever you offer it to. Once you have given the message, let go and know that you have planted the seed and passed the torch. It is now up to the receiver to take the responsibility for the gift of knowledge that has been imparted to them.
Last Quarter (270-315 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The waning half-Moon is truly the Queen of the Night, rising around midnight to illuminate the darkest of times. This is the time of the fastest decrease in its physical size and so its energy is correspondingly dynamic when it comes to letting go and breaking down rather than the building up of the waxing Moon, but this isn’t to say you can’t create, rather that your creations emerge from the friction of letting go of the old. You show others, and society at large, how to churn and compost what’s dead and make space for the new.
This phase often occupies a sign of the Zodiac that shares the same quality (Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable) as its preceding full and new Moons, so that quality is sure to be dominant within your personality and to create plenty of inner conflict and tension about ways and means of expression. Its strengths and its weaknesses are your greatest strength and your greatest weakness. You may be overly busy, stubborn or flexible – the challenges and opportunities created by this dominance are the key to both your personal growth and to the nature of what must be surrendered and how this could best happen.
Dying to your Ego is the unconscious drive of this phase. You are moving over the threshold into the mysteries of the dark, from conscious choice and control into no control at all! If you are constantly forced to do things you would rather not, then this is that lesson in operation.
You may bemoan your lack of clarity or assertiveness but willingly or not, you are learning about responsiveness and co-operation. Periods of solitude, in meditation or retreat, will bring peace and contentment. Outer demands and inner needs must be carefully balanced so that these different aspects of your life are brought into harmony.
You need more than average amounts of sleep and it will help your development if you actively study a tried and tested curriculum for exploring the Dark. If you were to keep a dream journal or study psychology or astrology, then these pathways can give you a language to understand the unfolding of your story, which can bring what is in the dark of the unconscious to the light of understanding. And that, for you, is what it’s all about!
WANING CRESCENT – BALSAMIC MOON
Waning Crescent (315-360/0 degrees ahead of the Sun) – The waning Moon grows smaller until it’s just a sliver of silver in the predawn sky and then – Darkness. And into that magical, liminal in-between space, you were born, creature of the Dark Moon. This is not a lifetime within which to pursue worldly ambitions; it is one of winding up unfinished business that some might call karmic cleansing. Let no resentments fester; let no grudges linger. Many intense situations will feature in your life that, hard though it may be, force you to speak your inner truth but you will discover that ruthless compassion will transform the most negative of emotions and bring healing.
After all “balsamic” means healing. What others perceive of you is not necessarily what they get; like an iceberg, there is always much more going on underneath than what shows on your surface. You will learn how to give folks what they want in order that they will leave this deeper part of you in peace. You feel different and apart and not really in the swim with all the rest.
It’s all too easy for others to project the shadow onto you so that you find yourself frequently scapegoated and carrying the guilt or blame. But you are not to blame and will not be abandoned by higher forces. Even though you may often feel ignored or victimised, you are not invisible or weak, just very subtle and good at shape shifting!
You are in fact, extremely sensitive and empathetic, easily tuning in to collective moods and the feelings of others so that too much exposure to the electrical excitements of the outer world can actually make you feel ill.
Develop your psychic attunement and meditative skills and you will empower your ability to discern the future – after all, you are the closest to its beginning at the new Moon.
You have a natural feel for what is about to come to pass but may find it difficult to become objective enough to translate subtle feelings and hunches into words.
You are able to extract the key meaning from all situations and distill it into its wisdom essence. You can then transfer this awareness and consciousness in others to live beyond this physical life. Your commitment is to the future. Its vibrations are already coming through you and the transmission of its essential knowledge is your purpose.