How to Make the Most of New Moons, Full Moons and Every Other Moon Phase

How to Make the Most of New Moons, Full Moons and Every Other Moon Phase
Photo: Grosescu Alberto Mihai/Shutterstock; Lindsey Lanquist.

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Astrology is so delicious. The more you learn about it, the more riveting it becomes. So let’s talk about one of the most integral and magical entities in our solar system: the moon. We know from studying the tides that moon phases have a powerful influence on water, which makes up about 60 percent of the human body. Does it not stand to reason that the moon should have immense effects on us as well?

The great thing is, the moon doesn’t have to rule over you—it can rule with you. As the moon waxes and wanes, it also moves through the zodiac signs, staying in each one for a couple of days, over and over again. Every month, the lunar cycle can take on different energies, depending on which signs are dominant at the time. The more you know you tune into the moon’s cycle, the more you can use lunar phases to empower yourself and live your fullest, most magical life. (And really, who don’t want that?)

First things first, a moon phase overview:

The moon goes through phases. Each phase is defined by the shape of the sunlit portion of the moon, as seen from earth. The first phase is the new moon. This is when the sun and moon are aligned, and the moon cannot be seen from earth. From there, the moon builds up—this is called waxing—to a full moon. After that, it decreases—or wanes—back to a new moon again.

New moons:

Considered the best time to set intentions, the new moon is seen as a growth stage and is an optimal time to think about what you really want in your life. (According to the Farmer’s Almanac, farmers even used the new moon to help guide them to plant seeds since the ground was considered fertile and wet.) Once you’ve planted your own idea, write it down. Keep it on your altar, with your favorite crystals and candles, and watch as your idea is honored, is energized and begins to grow.

Waxing moons:

Waxing moons are the perfect time to get creative. Put your energy into projects that fill you with joy. This is a time for building, so however you spend your time, your project will grow more quickly than it would at other times. And just like the moon is becoming more lit and fuller each night, your intentions and project goals (and how to achieve them) will become more illuminated as well.

Full moons:

A full moon, directly illuminated by the sun, is the best time to express gratitude for all that you have, and take stock of what did—and didn’t—work over this past month. Harness this powerful lunar event and take the opportunity to release those negative attachments as well as cut the cord on what you no longer want or need.

Waning moon:

As the light of the moon begins the diminish, the energy is starting to slow down, too. This is a good time to figure out what really works for your life and what doesn’t. Put a stop to old habits that don’t serve you, implement a budget, or set up new systems to help your life run more smoothly.

Now, an overview of lunar cycles and how they affect the zodiac:

Each moon phase is accompanied by a sign. And each element (air, fire, water, earth) has their own personality to add to the moon’s phase.

When the moon is in a water sign:

Expect to be in your feelings when the moon is in Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio. You may find yourself feeling more reactive than usual during this cycle, but you can use this as an opportunity to connect and seek support from others. Express your emotions, whether through writing or talking it out, and rest assured knowing you’re simply doing you.

When the moon is in an air sign:

Let your curiosity take the lead when the moon is in Aquarius, Gemini and Libra. Sign up for that class, speak to a charismatic stranger, watch a documentary. All of these things will feel fantastic under an air moon. The more you can make your world feel beautiful and interesting, the more nurtured you will feel.

When the moon is in an earth sign:

When the moon is in an earth sign—Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn—you’ll likely find yourself more drawn to practicality and the material world than usual. Make a list, plan your future and start ticking things off your list. Move your body. Break a sweat. Enjoy food. And go buy yourself something nice.

When the moon is in a fire sign:

Spontaneity rules for fire signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, and it will rule for you, as well, when the moon is in a fire sign. Seek out pleasure and adventure—sex toy shopping, anyone? Change something, start a fun new project or surprise your loved ones. When the moon is in a fire sign, you’ll feel more energetic: Put it toward something fabulous.


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