If you're feeling out of sorts or different than normal, you might ask yourself, "what is the phase of the moon tonight?" It's true, tuning into the lunar cycles is a great way to tap into the power of cyclical living. The first step to harnessing the powers of cycles is to determine which lunar phase you're in now.
How to Determine the Current Moon Phase
The moon, our closest celestial neighbor, is more than just a glowing orb in the night sky. It continually evolves through various stages, known as moon phases. From a sliver of a crescent to a full-blown moon, each phase has its unique charm. In fact, each phase has its own effects on the tides, and our rhythms, here on Earth.
Understanding the Moon Phases
The moon rotates around the earth every 29.5 days. During this cycle, the moon undergoes eight distinct phases based on its position relative to the Earth and the Sun. Here's a brief overview of the phases:
New Moon: The moon is positioned between the Earth and the Sun. Therefore, the moon's side facing us receives no direct sunlight, making it virtually invisible. This "dark moon" is the beginning of the lunar cycle, and energetically provides us a "blank slate" - a time to go within and reset for the new cycle ahead.
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Waxing Crescent: A small portion of the moon becomes visible as the moon starts to move away from the Sun.
First Quarter (or Half Moon): A week into the cycle, we can see half of the moon illuminated.
Waxing Gibbous: More than half of the moon is now illuminated.
Full Moon: The Earth is between the Moon and the Sun, and we see the entire face of the moon. This is a highly activated time energetically, where "everything is illuminated." Be sure to pay special attention to what the Universe or your soul reveal to you during this time.
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Waning Gibbous: Once the full moon starts to shrink, we enter this phase.
Last Quarter (or Half Moon): Three weeks into the cycle, half of the moon remains visible.
Waning Crescent: Just a thin crescent is visible as the moon prepares to become a new moon again. As the sky begins to darken again, the Waning Crescent Moon is an opportunity for reevaluation and self-improvement. It is a chance to let go of past mistakes and make space for personal growth as we approach a fresh lunar cycle with the upcoming New Moon.
Knowing these phases helps you understand the cycle and allows you to determine the moon's current phase.
Ways to Determine the Current Moon Phase
The most direct way is to observe the moon in the night sky. Its shape and the area illuminated can give clues about the current phase. However, this requires a clear sky and might be difficult in the case of a new moon.
If you'd prefer to stay indoors and find out, NASA has a beautiful daily moon guide on their website. You could also try checking out an almanac or a lunar calendar, but do keep in mind that they might differ slightly based on your geographical location.
Your Lunar Personality
Some believe that the moon you are born under can influence the energetics of your personality. To determine which moon you were born under, you can check out a variety of moon phase calculators online.
The Lunar Phases & You
In conclusion, the phases of the moon are a fascinating celestial spectacle, offering insight into the workings of our universe. Once you start observing or tracking these lunar transitions, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for this nightly spectacle. So, whether you decide to observe the moon from your backyard, use an app, or check a website, enjoy your journey through the lunar cycle!