The Phases of the Moon used to be used to track the passing of time. They have cultural significance in many Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. The phases of the moon are determined by the shape of the Moon's surface that is lit by the sun and visible from Earth.
The phases of the moon are: new moon, waxing crescent, waxing quarter (also know as first quarter or half moon), waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, waning quarter (also known as last quarter, disseminating moon, or half moon), and waning crescent (also known as the balsamic moon).
Of the listed phases, the principal phases are the new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. Waxing and waning both refer to the changing of the shape of the sunlit portion of the Moon. Waxing indicates that the sunlit portion is getting larger while waning indicates that it is getting smaller. Gibbous means that more than half of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun.
In Astrology, each of the Moon phases can represent changes in how you approach things and your emotional state.
The New Moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon are on the Same side of Earth, so the Moon appears to be dark. The New Moon is said to represent new beginnings and fresh starts. This could be the ideal time to start a new project or hobby.
The Waxing Crescent phase occurs when the Sun begins to move closer to the moon. It causes a sliver of the moon to become sunlit. It represents intention, hopes, and wishes. This could be a good time to work on gathering information to further your goals.
The Waxing Quarter (First Quarter or Half Moon) is when the Sun moves closer to the moon and causes half of the Moon to be sunlit. This is said to be when you will start seeing obstacles to your goals. During this phase you will face challenges and you may need to make decisions on how to overcome them. Then you will have to overcome your challenges through actions.
The Waxing Gibbous phase is when most of the Moon is visible due to the Sun moving closer to the Moon. This phase represents reviewing and making changes. This is a good time to take a look at how you are trying to achieve your goals and making changes to your plan(s), if needed.
The Full Moon is when the side of the Moon that is visible from Earth is fully sunlit. This phase is when emotions run high. It is also when your goals that you have been working towards may come to fruition.
The Waning Gibbous phase occurs when the Sun starts moving away from the Moon which causes a sliver of the Moon to become dark. This phase represents gratitude and generosity. It is a good time to share your success with others.
The Waning Quarter (Last Quarter, Disseminating Moon, or Half Moon) is when the Sun moves even farther away so that only half of the Moon is sunlit. It represents letting go and forgiveness. This is a good time to reflect on your life and relationships. During this phase you should let go of your grudges and forgive those who have wronged you.
The Waning Crescent (Balsamic Moon) phase occurs when the Sun has moved far enough away so that only a sliver of the Moon is visible. This phase represents rest, recuperation, and reflection. This is a good time to reflect on all that has happened over the Moon's cycle and to recuperate from the ups and downs that you have experienced in pursuit of your goals.
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