And how to push your world view a little away from your computer, tablet and smart phone to something a little greater 😉
I’ve been writing about the moon phases in my newsletters as my newsletters are coming out on each of the four main moon phases – new moon, first quarter, full moon and third quarter. Some of you might think that the moon cycle is a little too woo-woo and new-age for you 😃 but it’s still the cycle that the modern numeric calendar is based on however our knowledge about the moon cycle has been lost on the way.
For me, learning about the moon cycle and phases is a way to reconnect with out natural environment and rhythm. It’s a natural timekeeper and something that connect us all under the same sky, watching the same moon – humans, animals, plants, different races and cultures as well as our ancestors. Imagine, looking up on the moon and you know what moon phase we’re in because of the shape and direction of the moon as well as the position of the moon in the sky at that time. I make it a habit to check where the moon is in the sky when I can. It also helps to bring focus away from myself and my problems to the greatness that I’m a part of 🙂 Most of us suffer from a self centred world view but you know what I talk about and how that view changes when looking at the universe being visualised on TV or looking at the stars.
Whether or not you believe in different energies of the moon cycle or think it’s a little too woo-woo, it’s a great way for you to create your own cycle over each month where you make time and space for; DOING certain things (yang energy) like making intentions, creating new projects, being productive, taking action, course-correcting and giving back, and during other times BEING certain things (yin energy) by resting, breathing, restoring, reflecting, trusting and feeling grateful. It’s a complete cycle that allows for death or letting go of what doesn’t serve you any longer and the birth or rebirth of new beginnings. Many of us modern humans steer away from this death-rebirth cycle that exists everywhere from the wilderness, the seasons, the ebb and flow of life and different stages in your relationships.
The YANG ENERGY is masculine, hot, fiery, fast, outgoing, outwards, narrow focus, direct, goal-directed, active, initiates, assertive and competitive.
The YIN ENERGY is feminine, cool, watery, slow, inwards, wide focus, subtle, process-oriented, passive, sustain, reticent and cooperative.
It takes the moon 29.53 days to orbit completely around the Earth in a full lunar cycle. And while the changes may seem slow, on any given day the amount of moon illuminated by the sun can vary by as much as 10-percent. The new moon phase occurs when the moon is completely dark with zero-percent luminosity, while the full moon phase is completely bright with 100-percent luminosity. The first and last quarter phases happen when the moon is exactly half illuminated, with 50-percent luminosity. It’s important to remember that a full moon doesn’t mean the moon is full all day long, only that the full moon phase occurs on this day, as the exact moment of the full moon can be timed to the second.
The four main moon phases in order are the new moon, first quarter moon, full moon and last quarter moon. These phases occur at very specific times and are measured by both the moon’s luminosity and how far along the moon is in its orbit around Earth. These four main moon phases is characterised as yang lunar phases, which is about DOING certain things in contrast to the four interim yin lunar phases (waxing crescent moon, waxing gibbous moon, waning gibbous moon and waning crescent moon) that occurs at halfway points between each main phase and these interim yin lunar phases is about BEING a certain way.
On the day of new moon, the moon rises with the sun and it sets when the sun sets as it crosses the sky with the sun during the day. That’s why we can’t see the new moon in the sky plus its lighted hemisphere is facing away from us.
The new moon is about new beginnings like starting new projects, careers or maybe new love. The new moon is a yang lunar phase as well as the lowest energy of the moon cycle so it’s time to rest, dream and nurture your creativity. It’s also a time for setting thematic and positive feeling-based intentions and goals and maybe making a vision board. This is a potent time to plant the seed of your desired intention.
The new moon is immediately followed by the waxing crescent moon, a period lasting until the moon reaches its first quarter and the energy will gradually rise as the illuminated part of the the moon will go from 1-49%. This period is characterised by the more feminine yin energy and it’s time to relax into your intentions and to breathe.
The waxing crescent moon can be seen in the west after sunset as the moon rises one hour to several hours behind the sun and follows the sun across the sky during the day. When the sun sets, and the sky darkens, the moon can be seen in the western sky.
First Quarter Moon
First quarter moon comes a week after new moon. The first quarter moon rises at noon, is high overhead at sunset and sets around midnight. Even though the half of the moon is illuminated (right side in northern hemisphere and left side in southern hemisphere), it’s just a quarter in the moon cycle. This means that the Sun and the Moon make a 90-degree angle compared to the Earth.
The first quarter moon is a yang lunar phase so it’s about taking selective and insightful action to support your intentions and goals that you set on new moon. Put in place the plans and structures needed to realise your intentions and goals like update services or pricing, schedule meetings, delegate tasks, communicate new ideas and write down thoughts for new projects.
The first quarter moon is followed by the waxing gibbous moon, a period in which the moon’s illuminated portion goes from being 51-99% just before the moon reaches full moon where the energy is at its highest. This period is characterised by the more feminine yin energy and it’s time to trust that the perfect intention is coming into form at the perfect time.
The waxing gibbous moon can be seen in the east at sunset as a waxing gibbous moon rises during the hours between noon and sunset, and sets in the wee hours after midnight. The word gibbous means “hump-backed” and any moon that appears more than half lighted but less than full is called a gibbous moon.
When the sun sets in the west, the full moon rises. When the sun is below our feet at midnight, the full moon is highest in the sky and the full moon is setting when the sun rises. The moon is full when the moon, sun and earth are in a line with the Earth being between the sun and moon. When this occurs the entire surface of the moon looks to be illuminated. Full moon always comes about two weeks after new moon, when the moon is midway around in its orbit of the Earth, as measured from one new moon to the next.
Shine bright like the full moon, enjoy the peak of energy at this point in the moon cycle and its creative, inspired and productive yang energy. Release any attachment to your intention as it may evolve in ways that you couldn’t even imagine at the new moon stage and watch as your intention starts to manifest and take form or accept and course-correct now if your intention wasn’t for the best at this time.
The full moon is followed by the waining gibbous moon, a period in which the moon’s illuminated portion goes from being 99-51% just before the moon reaches third quarter in the moon cycle. The energy will decrease during this yin period. Receive with gratitude as your intention is coming into form at the perfect time.
The waining gibbous moon sails over the eastern horizon in the hours between sunset and midnight. If it rises late at night, you know the waning gibbous moon must set after sunrise in the west in the early morning, floating against the pale blue sky. As I mentioned under the waxing gibbous moon, the word gibbous means “hump-backed” and any moon that appears more than half lighted but less than full is called a gibbous moon.
Third Quarter Moon
The third quarter moon (also called last quarter moon) comes about three weeks after new moon and the moon is now three-quarters of the way around in its orbit of Earth, as measured from one new moon to the next. A third quarter moon rises around midnight, appears at its highest in the sky at dawn and sets around noon. It looks half-illuminated and just after the third quarter moon rises, its lighted portion is always facing downwards, more or less toward the horizon.
The third quarter moon is a yang lunar phase and as you’re receiving your intention, it’s time to give back from a place of abundance. It’s also time to wrap up and complete tasks by taking care of to-do lists, clear your desk and declutter or anything that will keep you from feeling restful and peaceful as the energy decreases with the following waning crescent moon until the lowest point at new moon.
The third quarter moon is immediately followed by the waning crescent moon, a period lasting until the moon reaches new moon and the energy will gradually decrease further as the illuminated part of the the moon will go from 49-1%. This period is characterised by the more feminine yin energy and it’s time to rest, restore and reflect with gratitude and a thank you.
The waning crescent moon (also called old moon or balsamic moon) can be seen in the east before dawn and at sunrise. Fewer people notice the moon during this moon phase because the sun’s glare is drowning this slim moon as the moon is now so near the Earth/sun line. Now the moon has nearly completed it’s orbit around the Earth, as measured from one new moon to the next.
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