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The Way of The Witch | Moon phases, charts & info

Moon Phases

Quick Links: Names of the Full Moons Chart

Like the tides of the sea, so connected to the moon are we that understanding the dynamics of its energy can help us focus our own to bring about positive effects in our lives.

Being in sync with the natural energies and rhythms of the world around us can be an important part of finding our own natural rhythm. This can help us transition more effortlessly through the ebbs and flows of life!

The moon’s gravitational and energetic pull changes as it waxes and wanes through its cycle each month. If we are conscious of its effects we can utilize its energy in many different aspects of our lives.

The moon has four phases, or quarters, which last about 7 days each. The first and second phases are waxing, meaning they are increasing in light. The third and fourth phases are waning, meaning that light is decreasing.

The new moon or dark moon is a period of time during each lunar cycle when the moon is not visible from the earth. This usually lasts about 3 days.

The first quarter phase of the moon occurs from the new moon through the first seven days following.  It is seen in the western sky after sunset as a slivered crescent curve.

The second quarter phase begins immediately after the first quarter ends and lasts approximately seven days till the full moon. It rises about mid-day and sets in the early morning hours. At this time it will appear about half full.

The full moon is approximately 14 days after the new moon. It rises at sundown and sets at dawn.

The third quarter moon begins immediately following the full moon and lasts about 7 days. It will appear to gradually decrease in size from the right side and will rise later and later each evening.

The fourth quarter begins immediately following the third quarter. It will continue to decrease from the right side in size each night. It rises in the very early morning hours and sets in the afternoon. This seven day phase will complete the moon’s cycle.

In the first and second quarters, gravitational pull is strong and the moon’s energy is upward and increasing. If we want to be energetically aligned with the moon we can use this time to build and create. This is a time of bringing things into fruition.

In the third and fourth quarters of the moon’s cycle, the gravitational pull is decreasing and the moon’s energy begins to draw down. Energetically, this is a time for bringing things to a close, ridding ourselves of unwanted patterns, ideas, items or behaviors.  

The full moon is considered by many to be the most powerfully creative time in the moon’s cycle. During this time, the moon appears as a complete circle when viewed from the earth. Gravitational pull is high now and the moon’s energy is at its peak. Use this time to manifest and create, or to add power to your most important goals, projects, and intentions, as they will be infused with the powerful energy of this phase in the lunar cycle. You can harness this energy from three days before until three days after the actual full moon.

The new moon or dark moon is also a very powerful aspect of the lunar cycle. During this time, the moon is not visible from the earth. Energetically this is the time to look inward, to be contemplative, and introspective. Use this time to get in touch with your inner knowing, identify goals and desires in life, and to make and begin implementing plans for the future. The Dark moon phase of the lunar cycle lasts for about three days.

Other terms to be aware of are:

Gibbous Moon - The time between a full and a half moon or a half and a full moon.

Quarter Moon or Half Moon - The moon appears as a half circle in the sky.

Blue Moon - The 2nd full moon occurring in a calender month, or the thirteenth full moon in a calendar year.

In many traditions, the full moon in each month has a name corresponding to the month in which it occurs. Below are some common names for the moons throughout the year.

January - Wolf moon, cold moon or moon after Yule

February - Snow moon, hunger moon or quickening moon

March - Sap moon, storm moon, Lenten moon or crow moon

April - Grass moon, wind moon or egg moon

May - Planting moon, flower moon or milk moon

June - Flower moon, rose moon, strong sun moon or strawberry moon

July - Thunder moon, blessing moon or hay moon

August - Grain moon, corn moon or green corn moon

September - Harvest moon or fruit moon

October - Hunter’s moon, blood moon or harvest moon

November - Frosty moon, beaver’s moon, hunter’s moon or mourning moon

December - Long nights moon or moon before Yule

As we become aware of our connection and learn to flow with the powerful energy of our goddess moon, we balance our lives more fully with nature and all beings around us.

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