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Moon Phase Meanings: Rituals and Activities For Each Moon Phase

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The moon is truly pure magic – a gift to humanity that has been guiding us for many ages and will continue to do so for many to come.

Yet, despite its constant presence in our lives, somehow so few of us know how to harness its energy or what each of its phases mean. Within her (the moon’s) rhythms and phases, there is a world of wisdom, which if only we would listen to, could help us flow through life with greater ease.

To me, the key to understanding the energy of the moon is to know what happens when she wanes and waxes and what are the best activities to do at these various times.

For example, as I write this now, I find myself sitting under the luminous beauty of a full moon. As the full moon amplifies energy and is often thought to be a powerful time for manifestation, this is a wonderful time for creativity and bringing things into being (such as an article like this).

In this article, I share with you my own perspective of the moon’s phases and how we can use its energy for our own personal goals and well-being!

But first of all, let’s get a better understanding of the phases of the moon.

The Cycle of the Moon’s Phases

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Cycle of the Moon Infographic

So in this infographic, you will be able to see exactly what the phases of the moon look like and what they are called.

When we speak about the moon’s phases, I generally believe that there is a spectrum of energy. For instance, the new moon has a yin or retractive energy that pulls us inward, whereas the full moon has an expansive and amplifying energy that pulls us outward into the world.

As we approach the full moon, the energy of the moon builds and as we circle round back to the new moon the energy of it begins to retract.

As such, our personal energy tends to match these energetic patterns and I believe it is beneficial for us to keep our activities in alignment with these patterns.

Now let’s get into what each moon phase means exactly!

New Moon Phase ?

Each new lunar cycle begins with a new moon also known as a black moon or sometimes represented as a very slim silver crescent.

The new moon is always associated with new beginnings, setting intentions and the metaphorical sowing of seeds. This is the perfect time to think about what you would like to bring into your life and what direction you should be heading in.

At this time, it might be useful to ask yourself questions such as…

  • What makes me the happiest?
  • What intentions relating to my greatest happiness should I be setting right now?
  • What do I really want to bring into my life?

To me, the darkness of the new moon represents a mother’s womb where within the dark void, life is created. This makes it the perfect time to create change and start a new cycle in your life.

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New Moon Meaning & Ritual Ideas

New Moon Activities and Rituals

As the new moon has a yin energy or as I like to think of it an introverted energy, it is important to take care of our inner world and be gentle with ourselves at this time.

As such, self-care activities and rituals are perfect for the energy of the new moon.

This could mean:

  • Taking a warm salt & crystal bath.
  • Beauty treatments.
  • Eating delicious food.
  • Anointing yourself with essential oils.
  • Lighting Candles.

As this is also the perfect time to set intentions, other activities to do on a new moon might include:

  • Journaling.
  • Creating a dream board.
  • Doing an oracle card reading to get a better sense of direction.

Waxing Crescent Phase

As the moon’s energy begins to build during the waxing crescent phase, we are invited to step out of our ‘new moon cocoon’. As we emerge, we may feel tempted to start bringing some movement to our body and feel the need to be more active.

I find that the waxing crescent phase is the perfect time to do gentle exercise. That little push of energy that the thin crescent moon gives us can really help us to step outdoors!

This is also a great time to build upon the intentions that were set during the new moon and start planning on how those intentions and goals are going to come to fruition.

It may be a good idea at this time to reflect upon:

  • What steps you need to take to make your intentions a reality.
  • How you can build up your inner strength for the journey ahead.

Waxing Crescent Activities and Rituals

As the moon begins to wax again and subtly pull our energy outwards, this is the perfect time to start exploring our physical strength, connect with nature as well as plan and strategise. As the moon’s energy is still very light, we are still being very gentle with ourselves and may still feel the need to be a bit introverted.

This could mean that you feel like…

  • Doing gentle exercise or yoga.
  • Going for walks in nature and connecting with the natural world.
  • Doing a grounding meditation in nature.
  • Paying attention to your well-being and changing your diet.

As I have already mentioned, this is also a wonderful time to plan and strategise how you would like to bring those intentions that were set during the new moon into reality. You could:

  • Write down your goals and work out each step you will need to take to get there.
  • Use a journal to track your progress.

To keep better track of the moon’s phases as well as your intentions and thoughts for both full and new moon phases, check out my Moon Journal & Planner for 2024 below.

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First Quarter Phase

Now that the moon is half illuminated, we can really start to feel it’s energy!

As it’s energy is constantly growing and we are only a week away from the climax of the full moon, now is the time to ride that wave of growth and really get out there into the world!

I find this is the best time for social events, connection with others and taking action in your career.

This is also a great chance for our energy to be fully outwardly focused and shine our light in the world.

During the first quarter phase you might want to consider:

  • How you can better show up in the world and shine your light.
  • What events you want to attend and who you would like to connect with.
  • How you can use your creativity in either your career, hobbies or projects.

First Quarter Activities & Rituals

At this time, you might really feel like being spontaneous and active. It is a great time to take risks and do something you wouldn’t usually do.

During the first quarter moon phase, you may feel like:

  • Going to a party or social event.
  • Doing something risky or spontaneous.
  • Meeting friends or going on a date.
  • Putting yourself more ‘out there’ in business or in your career.
  • Taking big steps to reaching your goals.

However, as the moon is not fully illuminated you may still feel a bit introverted and prefer to carry on with the activities we explored in the Waxing Crescent phase and feel more comfortable doing the above activities during the Waxing Gibbous phase instead.

Waxing Gibbous Phase

When we reach the Waxing Gibbous phase, we find ourselves taking a deep breath before the plunge of the Full Moon. We may even start to find ourselves already feeling that emotional pull that the full moon can create.

As such, at this time it is best to take a pause and take some time to reflect before we have to face whatever emotions and feelings might surface during the full moon!

Calming activities such as meditation and mindfulness might be really beneficial at this time as well as doing anything that connects you to the Divine. This may especially be needed if you were very active during the first quarter phase!

During the Waxing Gibbous phase you may want to reflect upon:

  • What emotions and feelings are surfacing for you.
  • What activities you could do that you find really soothing and nourishing for your soul.

Waxing Gibbous Activities and Rituals

Some activities that you may feel drawn to doing are:

  • Meditation and mindfulness.
  • Watching uplifting and inspiring documentaries and movies.
  • Finding solutions to emotional issues.
  • Colouring in mandalas.
  • Connecting with the Divine.

Full Moon Phase

So we have finally arrived at the climax of the Full Moon. The full moon has an unmistakably expansive and amplify energy that can easily pull deep seated emotional issues to the forefront.

At this time we can feel at our most emotional and fragile but we can also sometimes feel very alive and active.

As such, the way we spend our time during the full moon comes down to personal preference.

Some may feel like doing a quiet ritual or ceremony to process their emotions and others may like to celebrate the moon with a group… and some may just feel like going wild and having fun! (I am sure we have all heard of the so-called ‘Transylvania Effect’ where the full moon can lead to wild and unruly behaviour ?).

I often notice that each full moon affects me in a different way and I often put this down to how close the moon is or the other astrological alignments that are happening at the time.

Many people like to use this time as a an opportunity to release unwanted emotions and let go of patterns. However, I tend to believe that this is a better time for manifesting. As the moon’s energy is at it’s most intense, this can be a great time to harness it’s energy to help bring our goals and desires into being.

During a full moon you might want to think about…

  • What emotions are surfacing for you at this time.
  • How these emotions might signal the need to do some deep inner work.
  • What you want to manifest and what rituals or means you can use to help manifest your desires.
  • What information your intuition is trying to communicate to you.

(The Moon Journal & Planner can help you to keep track of your intuitive downloads during a full moon).

Full Moon Rituals & Activities

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Full Moon Meaning & Ritual Ideas

The full moon is undoubtedly a very magical time as we all know from the stories and tales we heard as children. But what you may not know is that it is also a wonderful time to connect with the Divine and feel into your intuition.

During a full moon, you may have vivid dreams or receive intuitive downloads of guidance and information. Listen to it…

And to connect further with the Divine and your intuition, you may want to…

  • Perform a ritual or ceremony to connect with the Divine and receive guidance on life matters.
  • Do an oracle card reading or other forms of divination.
  • Moon gaze and spend time in nature connecting with the moon.

However, you may be feeling more lively and wish to connect with others at this time. In this case you could…

  • Go to an evening social event or party.
  • Celebrate the full moon with a bonfire and some friends.
  • Connect with your body and do a dance to celebrate the moon.
  • Do a group ceremony to connect with this Sacred energy.

Top Tip:

Use the light of the full moon to cleanse crystals or make moon water. The energy the full moon gives off can help to clear negative energy or recharge. You can also use the full moon to recharge your own energy as well!

Waning Gibbous Phase

After the climax of the full moon, we may feel as if our energy is a little depleted. In this case, during the Waning Gibbous phase, you may want to take time to rest and do calming activities that help to reset your energy.

During the waning gibbous phase you may want to consider:

  • How you are processing the emotions that came up for you during the full moon.
  • If there is something you feel ready to release.

Waning Gibbous Rituals & Activities

As this is a time to reset our energy and the energy of the waning moon is pulling us back into our cocoon once again, this is the perfect time to just be present with yourself and do calming activities.

Some activities you might like to do during a waning gibbous phase are:

  • Reading.
  • Creative hobbies like cooking, painting or crafts.

Or as the moon is still mostly illuminated and still carries strong energy, you may like to continue working on what you would like to manifest which could mean…

  • Journaling
  • Adding to your dream board.

Last Quarter Phase

As we find ourselves in the Last Quarter phase and nearing the end of the lunar cycle, we are asked to let go of anything that no longer serves us.

I believe that the last quarter is the perfect time to do this as the moon’s energy is shrinking and soon she will enter into a new cycle. Therefore, before we enter a new lunar cycle, it is a good idea to clear out all the physical and emotional clutter!

For this phase, energy clearing rituals and cleansing ceremonies make perfect last quarter phase activities!

So as we are releasing emotional patterns and things in our life that no longer serve us it is the perfect time to think about…

  • What we are ready to let go of in our lives.
  • What emotional patterns we want to break out of.
  • If there are relationships (romantic, friendship or business) that need to end.
  • What physical objects (furniture or clutter) we can clear out.

Last Quarter Rituals & Activities

There are many ways you can clear energy and here are a few examples of things you might want to do during a last quarter moon phase…

  • Clean and clear out clutter.
  • Do a smudging ceremony with potent herbs such as white sage, rosemary or lavender.
  • Cord cutting visualisations (energetic cord cutting with people who you need space from).
  • Use a Tibetan bowl to cut through negative energy.
  • Do a fire ceremony where you write down what you want to let go of and then throw it into the fire to clear it (always light fires safely by keeping it in a contained area with water close by to put it out if needed).

Waning Crescent Phase

As we enter the Waning Crescent Phase, the last phase before we enter a new lunar cycle, we are asked to reflect and think about the next steps of our journey.

This is a time where we retreat even further into our inner world and contemplate what we have experienced during this last lunar cycle – the emotions, activities, rituals, ceremonies, intuitive downloads and events. At this time, all these things should come together and form the next steps of our path.

Some questions you might want to ask yourself at this time are:

  • Where should I go next?
  • What do I want to focus on and build during the next lunar cycle?
  • What intentions do I want to set for the upcoming New Moon?

Waning Crescent Rituals & Activities

As this phase is all about reflecting and planning for the next lunar cycle, it is important to have quiet alone time.

At this time you could…

  • Go for a nature walk to help you to reflect and think.
  • Journal and write down the next steps of your journey.
  • Do meditation.
  • Plan for your next new moon ritual.

(In the Moon Journal & Planner, there are pages that help you to plan out your rituals).

The Lunar Cycle Is Completed

Now that we have gone through all the meanings and possible rituals of each lunar phase, it is time to consider how we will use the wisdom of the moon in our own lives.

All the rituals and activities I have mentioned are completely optional and act as a guide for how you might want to celebrate the phases of the moon. You may even have your own ways of celebrating the phases which work for you. Or perhaps on different lunar cycles, you will feel like doing different things.

There is no right or wrong in the way that we harness the energy of the moon. Do what feels right for you!

I would love to hear about your own unique rituals for moon phases in the comments below!

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