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Understanding the Moon's Phases

03:23 Feb 22 2009
Times Read: 724


The phases of the Moon are one of the most important aspects in astrology for timing actions. You can definitely try this at home!

Article found on MSN.com


You probably remember some superstitions about the Moon.


Farmers planted crops during a New Moon. People became cautious during the Full Moon, a time when scary creatures and crazy people were said to wander about. The word "lunatic" comes from the word "Luna," meaning Moon.


Since ancient times, astrologers have believed that the Moon exerts a powerful influence on both the Earth and her inhabitants. We now know that the Moon's gravitational pull creates the tides. Since three-fourths of the human body is composed of water, it stands to reason that we, like the oceans, should respond to the magnetism of the Moon.


The Moon passes through four significant phases over the course of a given month, and each phase creates certain spiritual and emotional effects. The Moon's phases represent the growth stages of every living thing. Early farmers learned to plant and harvest their crops according to the Moon's schedule, adjusting their work to these natural cycles to ensure healthy crops. But there is a spiritual significance, too, to these periods.


The New Moon begins when the Sun and the Moon are merged together, or "conjunct," in the sky. This phase represents beginnings of all kinds. Physically, it's a good time to plant actual seeds. Spiritually, it's the perfect time to initiate projects or give energy to new relationships. It's an exciting time to embrace fresh philosophies and to expand your horizons, both personally and professionally.


If you look back on the events of your life, you'll probably find that some of the most successful jobs or relationships that you had began during the period of a New Moon. If you keep a dream journal, you'll see that many of your dreams during a New Moon contain the seeds of new beginnings. You might dream about a romance or creative goal that would be healthy to pursue. Pay attention to the visions that come to you during a New Moon, because they could contain guidance about your future!


The first quarter Moon comes next. This phase occurs when the Moon forms a 90-degree angle, or "square," to the Sun. At this point, the Moon is gradually increasing in light as it becomes more visible in the sky. This is also called a waxing Moon.


During the first quarter Moon, you might have to work a little harder to attain the goals you set forth at the time of the New Moon. The square between the Sun and the Moon stirs up some energies of resistance. In a practical sense, during a first quarter Moon you might find that you need to tear down some structures to make way for the new. You might have to re-organize or work on perfecting your strategy.


The Full Moon is the next major phase. This is when the Sun and the Moon are physically opposite each other in the sky, or 180 degrees apart, and when the Moon is reflecting all of the Sun's light. During this time, the issues you have been working on since the New Moon will usually come to a climax. This can be stressful or positive, depending on how well you have been resolving those issues.


Emotions are usually intensified during the Full Moon, and it can be helpful to purge yourself of any pent-up anger or sorrow. By paying attention to what your emotions are telling you in this heightened state, the things that you need to fix become clearer to you. Be careful not to act hastily upon these emotions, though! Many people quit their jobs or leave relationships when the Full Moon is in effect, running away from patterns that could have been healed with some extra effort.


It can take courage to face the demons or fears that are stirred up during the Full Moon. But spiritually speaking, when the volume gets turned up in your life, it motivates you to look more deeply at the path you are on. The Full Moon can be a time of powerful revelations, psychic impulses, and intuitive dreams.


The last quarter phase follows the Full Moon. By now, the Moon is becoming darker and less visible in the sky. We also call this the waning Moon. During the last quarter, the Moon is again at a 90 degree angle, or square, to the Sun. This phase is different from the first quarter, though. At the first quarter, you were just beginning to apply insights that you gained during the New Moon. You found that a little extra effort was required to set these goals into motion. Hopefully, that effort paid off at the time of the Full Moon, when events culminated and "karma" was harvested.


With the last quarter Moon, you should be heading into a more peaceful period. Revelations that shone through during the Full Moon settle comfortably into your consciousness. You have integrated some fresh ways of looking at things after experiencing the intense emotions of the Full Moon. Your energy has shifted in direction, and your mind is more able to handle a new path. The last quarter Moon is a time for acceptance. Spiritually, it's a good time for forgiveness, for making peace, and for abandoning old battles.


As the New Moon approaches again, pay attention to old ideas, pursuits, or relationships that might no longer be a healthy part of your life. This process of shedding is due to the cycle of spirit. In order to grow, it's necessary to let go of some things. As trapped energy is released, light can penetrate. And life can look very different from this new vantage point!


Try looking at each month as an opportunity for growth and renewal, and you'll soon feel more in step with the energies of the four Moon phases.


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