The Moon, Queen of the NIght, and starship of the Mother Goddess, is the influential planetary body in the sky. Our response to her power is deeply embedded in us. She comes to us with a history; the representation of her major phases is still replicated today — )0( — and is used to symbolize the covenant with the Great Goddess. Her eight Phases related to the solar cycle of Pagan holidays, and the symbology is analogous, as both cycles start with the absence of light and march forward sing the same song.
The New Moon Phase
At the begging of Moon’s cycle, she slowly emerges from under the beam of the Sun, where she has been resting and gathering energy for the coming journey. From 0 degrees to 44 degrees in her zodiac cycle, the New Moon celebrates the rebirth of light, just as we do at Yule. The maiden is setting the stage and magic is afoot!
The Crescent Moon Phase
In the Crescent Moon phase (45 degrees – 89 degrees), she appears in the sky like a slim harvest sickle. Her curve mimics the round belly of the letter D. With the faintest of light in the sky, this Moon is poised for action, energizing new projects with fresh power, and offering new challenges. This phase is related to the sabbat of Imbolc.
The First Quater Phase
Seven days after the New Moon, the First Quarter Moon (90 degrees – 134 degrees) can add balance and considerable magic to your endeavors that burgeon with life. The waxing phase is the time to plant your sees, be they ideas or moonflowers. You’ll feel the drive to get a move on, to let go of the past, and be aggressive in working new spells. Half of the Moon is light and half is dark, just like the Quarter Day, Eostre (Ostara) or Spring Equinox, which divides the solar day into equal parts of light and dark.
The Gibbous Phase
Gibbous is a wonderful medieval word that describes the hunchbacked swell of the lady Moon as she moves from Maiden to Mother (135 degrees – 179 degrees). It’s time to evaluate new growth, eliminating what doesn’t work and finding more successful ways of doing things. Refine goals and prepare for the work of the Full Moon. The Gibbous Moon indicates that the most powerful time for magic is about to peak. This phase is related to the sabbat Beltane.
Full Moon Phase
The Full Moon (180 degrees – 224 degrees) reflects the golden glory of the Sun, light the night for ritual or planting or other agrarian* tasks. Crystals, herbs, and oils bated in the Moon’s light will be energized and ready to dedicate for pathwork. Consolidate efforts to move towards completion in short-term projects. This is the last of the big energy in this cycle for growth, but major undertakings can still be aggressively be set in motion. Look to the mythology of Midsummer to find a more profound meaning of the Full Moon
Disseminating Moon Phase
The Disseminating Moon (225 degrees – 269 degrees) indicates that it’s time to start drawing in; the project set in motion at the New Moon is maturing. Diets and other work of “letting go” can only properly be started now with the waning Moon. As the Moon starts to shrink, the side with the rounded curve of the letter D loses light and the viable curve faces the other way shaped like a C. This phase is related to the sabbat of Lammas.
Third Quater Phase
The Third Quater Moon (270 degrees – 314 degrees) is the crone-wise and still very powerful, but no longer fecund**. This Mabon Moon continues to power banishing work, expelling illness, negative thoughts and bad habits. Now is the time to weed and prune your life and in the garden. As worked started at New Moon crystallizes in its completion you are already beginning to feel the draw of a new cycle.
Balsamic Moon Phase
The Balsamic Moon (315 degrees – 360 degrees) provides the three and half days when you can best go indie yourself to search out what drives your passions and dislikes, so that you can understand them and let go. It’s necessary to prepare yourself for the rebirth of the next cycle, even while feeling out of step with everyone in the current one. If you missed the power of the FUll Moon phase to look into the future, the last 30 degrees of this cycle are very potent for prophecy work. This phase is related to the sabbat Samhain.
The Dark Moon
The Dark Moon rests for three and a half days while she gathers information and lays the foundation to implement new ideas. It occurs just before the beginning of the next lunar cycle.
Editor’s Note: The eight phase of the Moon as they are described in this article are different for the Moon’s quarter system, which used on the date pages of this book. The eight phase system divides the Moon cycle into segments, each of which can influence magical begun at that time. The quarter system divides the Moon’s cycle into four parts. The first quarter begins at the New Moon and continues until the Moon has moved 90 degree; the second quarter begins at 90 degrees and continues until the Full Moon (180 degrees); the third quarter begins with the FUll Moon (180 degrees) and continues for another 90 degrees to 270 degrees; and the fourth quarter begins at 270 degrees and continues to 360 degrees, a perfect circle and just before 0 degrees, the place of the New Moon. Although the two systems are different, you can easily compare them and use them together. In the quarter system, the New Moon phase and Crescent Moon phase of the eight-phase system combine to make the first quarter; the First Quarter phase and the Gibbous Moon phase combine to make the second quarter; the Full Moon and the Disseminating Moon phase combine to make the third quarter; The Third Quarter phase and the Balsamic Moon phase comebine to form the Forth Quarter. The DArk Moon is the time just before the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next. Although there are no actual days between cycles, it is the time just before the New Moon when seeds, dreams, and plans of the new cycle await birth.
Copyright by K. D. Spitzer 1999 Llewellyn Wiches’ Datebook Pages 11 – 13
*a·grar·i·an [ uh- grair-ee- uhn]
1. relating to land, land tenure, or the division of landed property: agrarian laws.
2. pertaining to the advancement of agricultural groups: an agrarian movement.
3. composed of or pertaining to farmers: an agrarian co-op.
4. rural; agricultural.
5. growing in fields; wild: an agrarian plant.
a person who favors the equal division of landed property and the advancement of agricultural groups.
**fecund fe·cund | \ ˈfe-kənd , Adjective