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Moon Phase Timing

by Estelle Daniels

The most ancient astrology had to do with the Moon as she moved through the sky, starting as a small sliver, growing to bright fullness and then diminishing to a small sliver, only to appear three days later as a small sliver again. As the centuries progressed, people came to find that the Moon could be a marker for certain activities.

A basic type of astrology and timing is based upon the Moon and her cycles. There are three cycles of time markers which can be used effectively to time activities in accordance with the Moon's cycles. These are based upon a two-fold cycle (waxing/waning), a three-fold cycle (new, full, old) and a four-fold cycle (new, first quarter (waxing), full, third quarter (waning)).

When timing with the Moon, it is important to be as precise as possible in determining when the cycles change. An Almanac or calendar will show the Moon phases (new, first quarter, full and last quarter), and these should be paid close attention to. The exact time of the Moon phases signal the culmination or highest energy of that cycle, and the minute after the exact phase is the start of the next cycle. As an example, the Moon is waxing when it is between new and full, increasing in light. The Moon is waning when it is between full and new, decreasing in light. At full it is considered 'most waxed'— the influences of a waxing Moon are most potent. At new it is 'most waned'— the influences of a waning Moon are most potent. After new is exact it is waxing, after full is exact it is waning. With this type of astrology, you are using very precise rules, and exact timing is one thing you have to be aware of.

Waxing/Waning Moon (two-fold cycle)

Mandala for this cycle is the yin-yang.

Waxing Moon – good for starting things, new things (experiences, ideas, people, places, tangible items etc.), things which need to increase or grow, planting, planting above-the-ground crops, leaving on a trip, things which will be brought out into the open, bringing together, building, binding, gathering, summoning, action, birth and growth, vitality is high, subjective awareness, build form, develop structure.

Waning Moon— good for ending ventures, things which should decrease, wither or die, dieting, harvesting, planting below-the-ground crops (root crops), things which should remain secret, banishing, loosing, sending away, returning home from a trip, reaction, loss, letting go, Give-Away, death and decay, vitality is lessened, objective awareness, fulfill purpose, release meaning.

The three-fold cycle

Mandala for this cycle is the triskelion.

New Moon (from new to first trine-about 2 1/2 days after first quarter) is the time for starting plans, projects, relationships; for getting ideas, gathering resources, planting seeds, starting research, making plans, leaving on a trip, entering an arena or coming out, enthusiasm and high spirits, corresponds to Maiden

Full Moon (from first trine through full to second trine-about 4 1/2 days after full moon) is the time for being in the public eye, the implementation and culmination of plans or projects, dissemination and application of ideas, application of research, harvesting the fruits of your labors, doing your business on a trip, having a vacation, enjoying life and just be-ing, corresponds to Mother

Old Moon (from second trine to new moon) is the time to wrap up plans, projects, relationships; reevaluation of ideas and their applications, refinement and storage of research, weeding and plowing crops under, planting and harvesting root crops, saving for the future, returning from a trip, hiding and being reclusive, evasion and secrets, endings and winding-down, corresponds to Crone.

The Four-fold cycle

Mandala for this cycle is the Sun wheel.

New (from New Moon to first quarter) is the time to start projects and bring ourself or ideas into the open. It is beginning, impulsive, emerging, initiating, subjective, instinctual, new, innovative, active, aspiring, young. It corresponds to East, Spring and the Rising Sun.

First quarter (from first quarter to Full Moon) is the time to build, continue, change, perfect and modify our projects and ideas. It is creative, active, adolescent, struggling, challenging, outgoing, vital, powerful, strong, the will culminates. It corresponds to South, Summer and the Noontime Sun.

Full (from Full Moon to last quarter) is when our projects, plans and ideas are released into the world. It is accomplishing, fulfilling, objective, conscious and aware, relating, emotional, mature. It corresponds to West, Autumn and the Setting Sun.

Last quarter (from Last quarter to New Moon) is when we evaluate what we have done, see what worked and what did not and take that and prepare for the next cycle, evaluating the past in the present with an eye to the future. It is releasing, assimilating, old, breaking-down, letting-go, consolidating, introspective, dreaming, silent, wise, renewing, final. It corresponds to North, Winter and the Midnight (Invisible) Sun.

When using these Moon cycles, each element does stand alone, but it is also just a part of the greater cycle as a whole. Each cycle is one of birth, becoming, realization, actualization, culmination, examination, reevaluation, release and then death preparing for re-birth. Seeing your actions and activities as a part of the larger cycles around us, those of the Moon, or Sun or even the other planets, is a way of tuning yourself into the Universe. And if you time your important activities to these cycles, you can then become more effective and aware in your daily life.

© 1995, 2002 Estelle Daniels, all rights reserved.

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Article index

The Age of Aquarius

Alternative Sabbats

Auntie Estelle's Predictions for the Millennium

Basic Electional Astrology

Basic Qabala

BBS, Cyberspace and Privacy

Ceremonial Magick


Choosing Divination

Cord Magick


Dressing Kabbalistically

Eclipses, why are they such a big deal?

Ethical Garage Saling

Finding Magickal Tools

The Future of Witchcraft

House Shields

I Ching
Initiation Instant Circle Know Your Gods Know Yourself Kwan Yin, Mother of Mercy LBRP
Magical Ethics for Teens

Magick in the Workplace

Magickal Timing Tools

Mars Close Encounter

Mercury Retrograde

Modern Magic Carpets

Moon/Mercury Aspects and Psychic Ability

Moon Phase Timing

Moon Spells and Lunar Correspondences

Parents and Wicca

Planetary Hours

Planetary Stations

Psychic Attack

Psychic Manipulation

The REAL Millennium

Tarot Meditations

To Know, To Will, To Dare and to Keep Silent

Void-of-Course Moon

What is Divination?

Why a Circle?

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