What The Phases Of The Moon Really Mean In Astrology

Elizabeth Gulino

The sun gets a lot of love in astrology, and sometimes I feel like the moon isn't receiving its fair share. Not just with regards to your moon sign, either. Every 29.5 days, the moon goes through eight cycles. Just like the Sun's placement in the sky can help predict your personality traits and even influence current events, the phase the moon is in at any given time — and the cycle you were born under — has a huge influence on your life, mindset, and mood.

"The stages correspond with the stages of the planting cycle, beginning with the potential represented by the seed planted in the ground," Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, tells Refinery29. "Events in our life begin to unfold as the same way the seed takes root and begins to grow," she says. "Being born during the various moon phases affects the personality, and the personal focus in life."

Adds Mysticalcraft Arriana, a Keen.com advisor and tarot card reader, "Knowing what the moon phase was when we were born is essential, as it allows us to add knowledge in life." Your fate isn't necessarily predetermined because of where the moon was on your birth chart, but you may be pulled toward certain personality traits or ways of thinking. And knowing about those predispositions can help you take advantage of them — or avoid them.

We asked Hale and Arriana to tell us what each moon phase means for life here on Earth. And for those who want to dig a little deeper, we also asked about the personality traits typical for people born under each phase. To find out what the moon looked like when you were born, plug your birth date, time, and place into a birth chart generator, like the one on Chani Nicholas's website. Then swipe through.

<h2>New Moon</h2> <br>The new moon is a time of reflection, explains Arriana. During new moons, you should lean into the energy by reassessing your options, or reviewing your plans for the next few weeks, months, or even years.<br><br>If you were born on a new moon, you may tend to avoid the spotlight. "There is always a great deal of activity around those born on this moon phase, but like the seed that is planted under the ground, others may not know about it," explains Hale.<br><br>"These individuals are drawn toward many new beginnings as opposed to endings, and they often make intuitive decisions," she continues. New moon-ers can often be emotionally confused and swayed by others. Hale also notes that those born on a new moon are slower to find a life partner than someone born on a full moon. They may be on the more thoughtful end of the spectrum when it comes to love, holding out for a perfect match.<br><span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.</span><br><br><br><br><br><br>

New Moon


The new moon is a time of reflection, explains Arriana. During new moons, you should lean into the energy by reassessing your options, or reviewing your plans for the next few weeks, months, or even years.

If you were born on a new moon, you may tend to avoid the spotlight. "There is always a great deal of activity around those born on this moon phase, but like the seed that is planted under the ground, others may not know about it," explains Hale.

"These individuals are drawn toward many new beginnings as opposed to endings, and they often make intuitive decisions," she continues. New moon-ers can often be emotionally confused and swayed by others. Hale also notes that those born on a new moon are slower to find a life partner than someone born on a full moon. They may be on the more thoughtful end of the spectrum when it comes to love, holding out for a perfect match.
Photo: Courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.





<h2>Waxing Crescent</h2>During a waxing crescent, it's important to make moves towards your goals and desired outcomes for the month. "This is the time to start planting the seeds for your future," Arriana explains. "Take first steps toward your goals and towards your planned changes." <br><br>"This moon signifies intentions. This is often when we begin to actualize events that began at the start of the new moon," Hale adds.<br> <br>"Those born on a crescent moon are self-assertive and determined with a desire to follow what may seem like an inner command or personal urge," she continues. Waxing crescent babies are drawn to do good in the world, Hale says, but, "Like the seed in its early stage they can feel a sense of struggle and frustration in life."<br><span class="copyright">Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br><br>

Waxing Crescent

During a waxing crescent, it's important to make moves towards your goals and desired outcomes for the month. "This is the time to start planting the seeds for your future," Arriana explains. "Take first steps toward your goals and towards your planned changes."

"This moon signifies intentions. This is often when we begin to actualize events that began at the start of the new moon," Hale adds.

"Those born on a crescent moon are self-assertive and determined with a desire to follow what may seem like an inner command or personal urge," she continues. Waxing crescent babies are drawn to do good in the world, Hale says, but, "Like the seed in its early stage they can feel a sense of struggle and frustration in life."
Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images.




<h2>First Quarter</h2> <br>The first quarter moon is a time to take action, says Arriana. "Be brave as you set forth the changes you are planning and reaching for," she encourages. "This is when the Moon seems to be a half-moon, so you are still adding light to your plans." According to Hale, you may notice you tend to make more decisions during first quarter moons. <br> <br>Those born under this phase have a strong will and an ability to push through obstacles and make decisions. "They often experience personal satisfaction at overcoming obstacles," Hale says, "but there can be a tendency toward escapism and a defeatist attitude on the negative side."<br><span class="copyright">Photo: Jamie Cooper/SSPL/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br>

First Quarter


The first quarter moon is a time to take action, says Arriana. "Be brave as you set forth the changes you are planning and reaching for," she encourages. "This is when the Moon seems to be a half-moon, so you are still adding light to your plans." According to Hale, you may notice you tend to make more decisions during first quarter moons.

Those born under this phase have a strong will and an ability to push through obstacles and make decisions. "They often experience personal satisfaction at overcoming obstacles," Hale says, "but there can be a tendency toward escapism and a defeatist attitude on the negative side."
Photo: Jamie Cooper/SSPL/Getty Images.



<h2>Waxing Gibbous</h2> <br>The moon looks bigger than half-full, but not completely full during this phase, and it's getting larger. It's a time to take stock of where you're at with your plans and goals, and assess your strategy for going forward. "Do we need to readjust our ideas and options or do we proceed ahead?" Arriana says. Hale calls it, "the time to refine ideas."<br> <br>"Those born on a Gibbous moon are eager to improve others and themselves, and have an innate ability to evaluate things carefully, leading to the ability to bring things to successful conclusions," Hale says. Waxing gibbous moons like to get things done, and well.<br><br>"They often have large spiritual aspirations and can be devoted to those they consider larger than life," Hale continues. They tend to have strong connections too, surrounding themselves with loved ones, friends, and family.<span class="copyright">Photo: Alan Dyer/VWPics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br><br>

Waxing Gibbous


The moon looks bigger than half-full, but not completely full during this phase, and it's getting larger. It's a time to take stock of where you're at with your plans and goals, and assess your strategy for going forward. "Do we need to readjust our ideas and options or do we proceed ahead?" Arriana says. Hale calls it, "the time to refine ideas."

"Those born on a Gibbous moon are eager to improve others and themselves, and have an innate ability to evaluate things carefully, leading to the ability to bring things to successful conclusions," Hale says. Waxing gibbous moons like to get things done, and well.

"They often have large spiritual aspirations and can be devoted to those they consider larger than life," Hale continues. They tend to have strong connections too, surrounding themselves with loved ones, friends, and family.Photo: Alan Dyer/VWPics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images.




<h2>Full Moon</h2> <br>This the phase where the moon is the most energetic — the biggest and the brightest. "Your strength will be intense and your confidence high, so it's the time for action," Arriana says.<br><br>"You become aware of your effects upon others and they respond accordingly," Hale says, of full moons. "You may receive some form of clarity about your situation."<br> <br>People born under a full moon "often have concrete ideals or receive illumination themselves," Hale says. But they may find themselves flip-flopping, shifting quickly from emotional to logical thinking. "They may have a sense of being divided against oneself," she says.<br><br>Hale says that politicians born under a full moon are always a polarizing influence — she lists Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump as examples. <span class="copyright">Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>

Full Moon


This the phase where the moon is the most energetic — the biggest and the brightest. "Your strength will be intense and your confidence high, so it's the time for action," Arriana says.

"You become aware of your effects upon others and they respond accordingly," Hale says, of full moons. "You may receive some form of clarity about your situation."

People born under a full moon "often have concrete ideals or receive illumination themselves," Hale says. But they may find themselves flip-flopping, shifting quickly from emotional to logical thinking. "They may have a sense of being divided against oneself," she says.

Hale says that politicians born under a full moon are always a polarizing influence — she lists Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump as examples. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images.






<h2>Waning Gibbous or Disseminating Moon</h2> <br>"Now you have shown the world what you are made of, it's time to fine-tune the smaller details to make it your own," explains Arriana, referring to the waning gibbous phase. This is a time to reflect on your actions from this past month, and also a great time to figure out ways to enhance your life's journey.<br><br>If you were born under this moon, Hale says that you have an innate ability to demonstrate what you have learned, and you fight for what you believe in. "On the negative end, there can be tendencies toward fanaticism or mental confusion. People born under a waning gibbous moon can become lost in social and moral conflicts," she says.<br><span class="copyright">Photo: Jamie Cooper/SSPL/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br>

Waning Gibbous or Disseminating Moon


"Now you have shown the world what you are made of, it's time to fine-tune the smaller details to make it your own," explains Arriana, referring to the waning gibbous phase. This is a time to reflect on your actions from this past month, and also a great time to figure out ways to enhance your life's journey.

If you were born under this moon, Hale says that you have an innate ability to demonstrate what you have learned, and you fight for what you believe in. "On the negative end, there can be tendencies toward fanaticism or mental confusion. People born under a waning gibbous moon can become lost in social and moral conflicts," she says.
Photo: Jamie Cooper/SSPL/Getty Images.



<h2>Last Quarter</h2> <br>The last quarter moon phase makes it easier to let go of what's not working for you, Arriana says. "Each path is unique as we are all special to our talents and goals, this is where you are true to yourself as you make life yours."<br> <br>"The last quarter type often has organizational and managerial abilities," Hale says. "They have broad social ideals and can force issues and create a crisis to transform something, and build new systems and work for future goals regardless of personal cost."<br><br>"On the negative side, it is hard for these individuals to accept personal criticism and they can have a dictatorial attitude," Hale says.<br><span class="copyright">Photo: SSPL/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br><br><br>

Last Quarter


The last quarter moon phase makes it easier to let go of what's not working for you, Arriana says. "Each path is unique as we are all special to our talents and goals, this is where you are true to yourself as you make life yours."

"The last quarter type often has organizational and managerial abilities," Hale says. "They have broad social ideals and can force issues and create a crisis to transform something, and build new systems and work for future goals regardless of personal cost."

"On the negative side, it is hard for these individuals to accept personal criticism and they can have a dictatorial attitude," Hale says.
Photo: SSPL/Getty Images.





<h2>Waning Crescent or Dark Moon</h2> <br>A waning crescent moon is the perfect opportunity for downtime. "This is the time for you to zone out and rest up as you have built a stable path," Arriana says. "Before you step forward again, you need to recharge your batteries."<br> <br>"If you were born on a dark moon you my experience eagerness to serve in organized groups and social institutions," Hale says. You may often feel a sense of personal destiny or being led by superior powers. You may even have a prophetic gift.<br><span class="copyright">Photo: VW Pics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images.</span><br><br><br><br>

Waning Crescent or Dark Moon


A waning crescent moon is the perfect opportunity for downtime. "This is the time for you to zone out and rest up as you have built a stable path," Arriana says. "Before you step forward again, you need to recharge your batteries."

"If you were born on a dark moon you my experience eagerness to serve in organized groups and social institutions," Hale says. You may often feel a sense of personal destiny or being led by superior powers. You may even have a prophetic gift.
Photo: VW Pics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images.



Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

The Best Crystals To Use During A Full Moon

How These Astrologers Are Rethinking Gender

6 Crystals That'll Uplift Your Bad Mood







More From

  • Mercury Retrograde Doesn’t Deserve All The Hate

    Mercury retrograde is one of the most talked-about transits in astrology. Even if you’re not into the cosmos, you know that when Mercury goes retrograde, things are about to get seriously out of whack. It’s become almost a joke, something to blame no matter what’s going wrong. Emails aren’t sending? Thanks, Mercury retrograde. Ex paperclipped you? Thanks, Mercury retrograde. Broken nail? Don’t tell me — Mercury’s in retrograde. But how did we get here?Mercury retrograde’s popularity can be tracked back to a certain political figure, astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Refinery29. “In the 1980s, Nancy Reagan’s interest in astrology brought more insight into retrogrades and astrology,” she says. “In modern times, it’s become the go-to meme on social media, so we can thank the internet for making it big.”Mercury retrograde definitely gets a bad rap. Sure, the messenger planet backtracking through the sky can cause communication to go haywire, words to be misconstrued, and travel plans to be upended. But its effects aren’t as intense as many of us tend to make them out to be.Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com, blames what she calls pop astrology, and “the variety of overly dramatic descriptions on the internet” for Mercury retrograde’s scapegoat. Memes about the transit tend to trend when one is taking place, and they’re often very relatable. No one can blame us if, after laughing at a few dozen “Thanks, Mercury” Instagram posts or tweets, we’re more inclined to blame the planet for whatever little thing goes wrong in our own lives, without fully understanding what the effects of retrogrades really are.Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer at Astrology.com and Horoscope.com, says that another reason this particular cosmic event has become so popular is because “our society is highly dependent on technology, so when a text or an email gets lost, or our computer crashes, we are highly inconvenienced.”“We are beings who talk, travel, and rely on information and news,” Stardust agrees. “Obviously, this retrograde would be the biggest one we discuss.” What’s more, Mercury goes retrograde the most often out of any planet — at three to four times a year. So it’s no surprise that it’s the one we tend to hear the most about. But there are worse retrogrades out there.Montúfar names two in particular: Venus and Mars. When these two planets go retrograde, we feel it. But they don’t happen often, so they’re not as talked about. “Because Venus goes retrograde every 18 months, and Mars every 2 years, we get to experience these the least, even though they are hardest to navigate,” she says. Montúfar says that we tend to overlook Mercury retrograde’s positive effects too. “Mercury retrograde is a time to slow down, a time to revisit, redo, and rethink plans or projects,” Montúfar says. “But in a fast-paced culture like ours, that is seen as negative, when the truth is it offers us a chance to fix projects and situations that actually needed revision in order to be successful.”So why don’t we reframe the current Mercury retrograde mindset? Thinking of it as a short break we’re given a few times a year to slow things down could be more beneficial to us all. “We can’t go full steam ahead every day of our lives, therefore retrograde Mercury is part of the natural process,” Hale explains. She has a point.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Neptune Retrograde Is Coming For Your Love LifeMercury Retrograde Might Be Coming For Your PeriodThe 2020 Revolution Was Written In The Stars

  • 11 Eco-Friendly Masks That Are Kinder On Faces & The Planet

    Although wearing a face mask in public is the responsible decision during a global pandemic, let's not allow the need for such a precaution to overshadow our eco-conscious judgments when deciding what type of non-medical covering to buy. As discarded single-use face masks pile up on beaches and nature trails, the environmental threat posed by these COVID-19 essentials is a fast-growing concern. Luckily, there are sustainable-style alternatives to help curb the impact of this issue — and if your current face covering (fashion-forward or otherwise) is washable and reusable, then you're already on the right track. Things like breathability and personal expression matter when picking out a mask that's best suited to our particular lifestyles (and faces) — but it's also important to consider how a mask is made, what materials it's crafted from, and, ultimately, what impact that has on the environment. By paying attention to the fabrics and production methods used to create these masks, we can make more eco-friendly choices when it comes to protecting ourselves, others, and the planet. A handful of top sustainable-retailer favorites (like Nisolo and Collina Strada) are already a step ahead of us; offering durable options made from up-cycled materials, deadstock fabrics, and/or natural fibers that are designed to last longer. Even a quick Etsy search will direct you towards an impressive selection of handmade face masks from smaller vendors — which translates to less energy and resources wasted. We've rounded up 11 such sustainable styles ahead that are ready to get the germ-shielding job done — without harming the planet in the process. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Most Breathable Face Masks For Hot Summer DaysHere's Where To Shop Fashion-Forward Face MasksHere's Where To Buy Non-Medical Face Masks Online

  • Try Pull-On Boxer Shorts For A Cool & Comfy Summer

    We’re here today to talk about the penultimate summer-wardrobe sleeper item: the baggy boxer short. We didn’t realize this was an item that our warm-weather rotation needed, but now that our eyes have been opened to the possibilities, these workhorse shorts are everywhere we look. There are so many reasons why these are the every-short: they’re athletic, effortless, a throwback. Most importantly, they’re cool, comfortable, and available in a host of options, from a crisp poplin chino-style to a nylon iteration worthy of soccer practice circa 1998. We feel strongly that there's a boxer-baggy out there for everyone, so click on through to find your new summer short. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?11 Items People Are Adding To Cart This WeekThe Best Under-$150 Buys Of The MonthYep, The Bike Shorts Trend Is Still Going Strong

  • Is The Trump Tower Black Lives Matter Mural Meaningful — Or Just Performative?

    Even before the 2016 election, New York City’s Trump Tower has been a site of protest, with people gathering on Fifth Avenue to protest everything from gun violence to the nomination of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. As of today, though, this stretch of Fifth Avenue will look a little different, thanks to the addition of the words “Black Lives Matter” painted in giant, yellow letters on the street directly in front of Trump’s Midtown Manhattan building.Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio authorized the mural to be painted in front of the Trump headquarters, and the project kicked off today with Mayor de Blasio painting alongside dozens of city employees. Predictably, Trump is against the mayor’s plans. In a tweet on July 1, Trump said, “NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue.” Trump also called the move to paint the sign as something that will “further antagonize New York’s finest,” referring to the NYPD, and said that the words Black Lives Matter are a “symbol of hate.”In response to the president, Mayor de Blasio said, “President Trump said we would be denigrating the luxury of Fifth Avenue. Let me tell you: we’re not denigrating anything, we are liberating Fifth Avenue, we are uplifting Fifth Avenue.” New York is not alone in painting Black Lives Matter in large, bright letters on city streets — a similar painting exists just outside of the White House in Washington, D.C. Proponents of these signs say they send a serious message of solidarity, and communicate that local leaders and communities are prioritizing the anti-racist movement. And, the decision to make the message inescapable to Trump, in particular, is important considering that the Black Lives Matter movement has sustained many attacks from the president, who recently called protesters “hoodlums” for trying to take down racist statues. Of course, affixing murals in Trump’s periphery is not a solution or real response to the ongoing crisis of police brutality in America — and many activists don’t support the murals at all. After the Black Lives Matter mural was painted outside of the White House, the D.C. chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network called it a “performative distraction from real policy changes.” And let’s not forget that the painting outside of Trump Tower comes after the New York City council voted to change the NYPD budget, but failed to meet protesters’ other demands. Though there are undoubtedly purely performative aspects to this mural, the message to Trump — which is loud and relentless — still stands. Mayor de Blasio has maintained that, “When we say ‘Black Lives Matter’ there is no more American statement, there’s no more patriotic statement, because there is no America without Black America. We are acknowledging the truth in ourselves and in America. By saying ‘Black lives matter’ we are righting a wrong.” It remains to be seen how de Blasio and other local leaders across the country plan to put their words into real action, but all eyes are on them to see if they can make good on their promises.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Housing Crisis Is A Black Lives Matter IssueTrump Tweeted A Video In Support Of "White Power"Protests Haven't Led To A Spike In COVID-19 Cases