What Time Is It? A Guide to The Lunar Cycle

The lunar cycle is representative of the journey the moon takes around the Earth each month. It is the cyclical calendar we use to understand the Moon’s transient relationship with the Sun and Earth. The Moon is both magical and full of surprises. She might feel unpredictable at first, but she is as dependable as the Sun rising each day. The Moon passes through each zodiac sign during her cycle, waxing and waning in the sky. Once we learn the Moon’s rhythm, we can align with the magic present during each different phase of her cycle.

The complete lunar cycle lasts about 29.5 days as she moves through her stages: New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Full Moon, and Last Quarter Moon. Each of these phases embodies powerful energies and deep meaning that we can use as a blueprint to build our visions. As we follow the monthly dance of the Moon, we can create a natural schedule and order to the flow of our energy. Learning her steps helps us learn more about ourselves and how to realize our full potential in this life, knowing that we're supported by the Universe.

How the Sun and Moon Interact

Both the Moon and the Sun move through the signs of the zodiac, but the Moon does so at a much faster pace. During her 29.5-day cycle, she will spend about 2.5 days in each zodiac sign, moving counterclockwise through the zodiacs. In contrast, the Sun spends about 30 days in each sign. This time is known as the Sun Season.

Because of this difference in cycles, the Moon meets with the Sun in the same zodiac for each New Moon and then moves to directly oppose him in the opposite sign during each Full Moon. Each day also has its own Moon and Sun sign. On the day you were born, there was a specific Moon and Sun sign that made up your natal chart. Your own Moon sign comes into alignment about once a month and you might feel more of the Moon’s energetic prowess during this time.

When we understand the rhythm of the Moon, we can begin to work with its cycle to embody the Moon’s energy in our own lives throughout each phase.

What Time Is It? A Guide To The Lunar Cycle

New Moon: Time to Dream

Each Lunar cycle begins and ends with the New Moon, so we’ll begin our journey here. The New Moon is always in the same zodiac sign as the Sun. This is the start of a new lunar cycle when the Sun and the Moon rise and set at the same time, combining forces. The New Moon is a time when the Moon is no longer visible to our eyes. She’s still in the sky, powerful as always and reminds us of the powers that lie hidden beneath our surface. The darkness of this phase allows for deep introspection, ironically shedding light on our subconscious thoughts and our intuition. This makes it a great time to set new intentions and decide what you want to work towards

Ritual: Now is the time to set clear intentions. Take time to write your intentions down and state them out loud as mantras. Great things to ask during this phase are: What do I truly want? What am I ready to create? What do I need to call into my life to manifest my dreams? Try placing one or more crystals in your space to harness the energy you are working with during the current Sun Season.

First Quarter Moon: Time to Dive In

As the Moon reaches one-quarter of the way around the Earth, we enter the First Quarter Moon or the Half Moon phase. When the Moon sits at 90 degrees from the Sun as it does during the First Quarter Moon phase, this is known as a “square” in astrology. There are opportunities for breakthroughs when this occurs and you might see your intentions beginning to manifest. The First Quarter is a time for us to build our dreams and start to put our plans into action.

Ritual: Check in with yourself through meditation and reaffirm your intentions. Ask yourself what needs to be released as you enter this new stage, and how you can create a foundation to build upon. You might cleanse yourself with a dried herb bundle or light a candle to signify clearing mental blocks and releasing old ways of being.

Full Moon: Time to Reveal

This is the halfway point of the lunar cycle when the Moon opposes the Sun. The Moon is now in the zodiac sign directly opposite the Sun. Just as the New Moon is a magical time for setting intentions, the Full Moon energy allows those intentions to manifest. With the breakthroughs you made during the First Quarter Moon, you can now put your intentions into action. The Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun with the Earth in between. This is a powerful time of both friction and illumination. We can work with these two extremes to find a balance that brings our desires to fruition. 

Ritual: Harness the energy of the Full Moon to help you get over hurdles that may have popped up in the last week or two. Do the really hard work during this phase, the things that seem impossible. Know the energy of the Full Moon with help make them possible. You might perform a Full Moon ritual with manifestation cards to guide you in building your highest visions. Ask yourself: What am I ready to show the world? Who am I now? How can I integrate my dreams into my new identity?

Last Quarter Moon: Time to Revise

As the Moon moves into the final phase of her cycle, she sits at a 90-degree angle from the sun once again in the Last Quarter Moon phase. This is a time of release as the Moon makes its return to where it started at the beginning of the lunar cycle. We can use this time to let go, and in doing so we create space for new ideas to come in, mirroring the Moon as she resets back to New. We then begin the cycle of dreaming, building, sharing and releasing once again. It’s a natural rhythm that can guide us in creating our best lives once we learn to dance with the energy of the Moon.

Ritual: Take time to reflect and let go of what no longer serves you. Ask yourself: What intentions would I like to change? What is not serving my highest potential? What would I like to keep and work on? And know that a bigger, brighter you awaits!

Ready to illuminate your next steps? You can harness the power of each lunar cycle with our New Moon and Full Moon Workbooks. These workbooks guide you through the phases and provide space for you to journal your intentions, manifestations, and work through anything you want to release. 

They are part guide and part journal. Each is based on the current zodiac sign so they work for everyone, no matter your Sun or Moon sign.

new moon and full moon workbooks by spirit daughter

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