Within astrology, the moon has an important place. Consider the moon’s role in a person's natal chart: It governs emotions and our inner landscape. Then, each full moon and new moon also exerts an influence of its own, collectively.
While all the planets exert influence (like Venus’ role in our approaches to love), the moon’s force may feel particularly immediate. Why? Consider how the moon influences the tides. Being that we are 60% of water, the moon may also have a pull on us, too.
The practice of moon mapping is the art of aligning your life and efforts with the phases of the moon. Moon mapping requires a heightened awareness of the moon's phases, knowing whether we're in a new moon phase, waxing quarter moon, waning gibbous moon and so on, and then planning your actions accordingly.
After downloading a moon phase calendar or purchasing moon journal, here’s what to know about the phases in the 29.5-day moon cycle ahead and how to harness their energies.
What is moon mapping?
Why go to so much effort to coordinate your life to the phases of the moon, you ask?
Well, according to astrology, each lunar phase offers a different energy or opportunity: The new moon gives a push toward goals. The full moon, two weeks later, is a time for rest and release. Essentially, each of the eight major phases are their own opportunities.
As a result, working with the moon is a way to turbocharge your manifestation rituals. Manifestation involves visualizing what you want and internalizing the belief that it’s possible — and moon-mapping puts that on a schedule.
New Moon or Dark Moon
What is it? The new or dark moon occurs when moon is between the Sun and Earth, rendering it invisible in the night sky.
Here’s how to use the new moon's energy: This lunar phase marks the beginning of the lunar cycle. It’s a time when we can set any intention or goal that we want to achieve and attain for the month ahead. Each new moon is a reminder that you have an opportunity to start over — and it's never too late to begin.
Waxing Crescent Moon
What is it? This lunar phase occurs right after the new or dark moon. Only a crescent is visible in the sky at this time.
Here’s how to use the waxing crescent moon's energy: Now that we know what we are yearning to bring to life, we can start planning out how to move towards our visions. It’s an occasion to make a vision board or start a manifestation journal. Become comfortable with voicing what you want.
First Quarter Moon
What is it? The first quarter moon lights up half of the moon in the sky. Usually in the Northern Hemisphere, the right half is lit up and the left half remains unseen or dark; the opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere.
Here’s how to use the first quarter moon’s energy: This lunar phase is when the action (and maybe the magic) starts to happen. Activate the decisive attitude needed to move forward. The momentum is also there to make tweaks, decisions, or anything else that’s needed.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
What is it? The moon is almost full and this means that matters are beginning to come to light.
Here’s how to use the waxing gibbous moon’s energy: If there is a concern or issue, we may begin to see the situation start to escalate. Don’t run away from problems at this time — try to work them out. If a project started under the new moon is going well, then this lunar phase applauds our hard work with rewards. And, if we are having problems, the moon is asking us to take a step back, reassess, meditate, or reach out for assistance.
What is it? During this time, The earth is between the sun and the moon, which results in the moon appearing brighter than ever.
Here’s how to use the full moon's energy: This lunar phase is a time of truth. When fully lit up, the moon reveals things that we were blind to before. We are gaining a clearer understanding of matters and relationships now. This allows us to make decisions based on our intuition, feelings, and what we are seeing IRL. Full moons are moments of release and letting go. Being that this is the culmination of everything that we’ve started since the new moon, it’s advisable to take the day to rest. Take a relaxing bath, charge and cleanse crystals under the moon’s potency, connect with friends and family.
Waning Gibbous Moon
What is it? The full moon’s light begins to dim at this time.
Here’s how to use it in moon mapping: The moon is dimmer, but our hearts are still burning with passion. Write a letter to yourself or the universe stating all the changes that have been made since the new moon. This will guide you towards knowing your efforts are worth the work that you’ve put into them over the past month. Voicing progress allows gives us a dose of pride — plus, seeing progress helps us keep going.
Last Quarter Moon
What is it? One half of the moon lights up during this lunar phase — the opposite half of the First Quarter Moon.
Here’s how to use the last quarter moon's energy: Everything is coming full circle now and making sense. This lunar phase marks a time in which justice is served, the vision has been created, and we can get a glimpse at what is coming next. It’s also an opportunity to disconnect from bad habits or people through cord cutting and move forward with your life. Energetic and home cleansing are ideal, as we are detoxing and letting go of bad vibes. Our bodies, minds, and spirits are evolving and transforming while releasing the past.
Waning Crescent Moon or the Balsamic Moon
What is it? The moon is back to being just a sliver.
Here’s how to use the waning crescent moon's energy: Being that this is the culmination of events from the past month and end of the lunar cycle, this is a time of reflection and introspection. What have we learned, gained, and seen since the new moon? How can we use these insights and perspectives to make our lives better? Meditate under the waning crescent or balsamic moon to find the answers within. This may be the end of the current journey — but another one is coming soon under the upcoming new moon which will spark different visions and dreams.
Disclaimer: Astrology is not based in science. These posts are not intended to act as a directive.