The Meaning Of The Moon’s Quarters
Unless you live on another planet, you have probably noticed that
the Moon looks different every night. As the moon orbits (moves
around) the Earth, the sun’s light reflects off of the moon’s
surface. As the moon grows and wanes she seems to magically appear
and then disappear again, beginning from invisibility to the barest
sliver of a crescent to a Zen like half dark half-light
configuration to the full round silver disk of a full moon. This
entire cycle takes about twenty-eight days and has four phases
known as the Four Quarters of the Moon. However these quarters also
have sub phases such as the Balsamic and Gibbous moon that last a
day or two.
The First Quarter of the moon is a phase that begins when the moon
and sun are conjunct with one another in the heavens. The moon is
invisible at this point and referred to as a New Moon.
This phase symbolizes beginnings and especially the very beginning
of the planting cycle, when the seed of a plant first starts to
germinate deep beneath the ground. This phase also corresponds to
the Winter Solstice in the cycle of the seasons.
During this phase, it is important to be careful of your thoughts
because whatever you think is likely to manifest. It is a time when
a great idea can come to you and either die from doubt or be given
During this phase people also tend to be more withdrawn and
subjective in their opinion. Taking care of your immediate needs or
emotions may seem more important than thinking about the future.
You may also find yourself questioning yourself and others more
often as this phase of the moon is often about analyzing and
“getting to the bottom of things” before a relationship or project
After the moon is “born” it takes about five and a half to six
hours before she is seen in sky. Towards the end of this first
quarter phase, the moon grows in size until a delicate thin silver
The Crescent Moon occurs during the last couple of days of the
First Quarter, which was initiated by the birth of the New Moon.
This is a great time to put an idea into action. In this phase, the
Moon is waxing and halfway between New and First Quarter Moon. A
Agriculturally, this phase represents the young plant’s first
encounters with its environment and has yet to take hold. Any new
thing in your life at this time might still be tentative but there
is a great hope that the venture will succeed in the future as long
as you are vigilante. This phase also symbolizes bravery, new ideas
and impulses. You are also most likely to win over opposition when
the moon is in crescent form as the sickle shape of it symbolizes
the sword of redemption or the sword of justice.
The crescent phase of the moon corresponds to the seasonal holiday
of Christmas, around February 1st, midway between the Winter
Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
When the moon is in its First Quarter it is squaring the Sun. It is
half dark and half light. This represents the time of flourishing
and growth. In the planting cycle it represents a time when the
organism shoots out its roots, leaves and branches. In the cycle of
the seasons, this phase corresponds to the Vernal Equinox.
The First Quarter of the moon is the best time to build new
structures or put ideas into reality. You can realistically achieve
great goals while the moon is in the phase. It may take less effort
for you to accomplish whatever you have in mind once the moon is in
its half phase.
The Second Quarter of the moon begins when the moon has move 90
degrees away from the Sun. At this point, the waxing moon rises at
abut noon and sets about midnight and she can be seen even during
This period of the moon’s growth corresponds to the development and
growth of life. In this phase, also known as the Gibbous moon. This
represents the moment in the planting cycle when the bud begins to
form, carrying within it the promise of a blossom. It represents
fecundity, accomplishment and fertility.
In the seasonal cycle this phase is symbolically linked with the
cross-quarter holiday of Beltane, which was celebrated around May
1st (or May Day), half way between the Vernal Equinox and the
During the Gibbous moon it is very easy to accomplish goals,
especially those started during the previous first quarter. Many
people have the most energy and clarity during this moon phase when
the moon slowly becomes a fully rounded silver disk.
The Third Quarter of the moon starts when the growing moon and the
sun oppose each other in the sky. During this time she can b seen
rising in the east at sunset and can be viewed in her full glory
later and later each night.
This time of the approaching full moon corresponds to the
culmination of plans and maturity. This phase symbolically relates
to the Summer Solstice, the time of maximum light in the cycle of
During this phase, it is likely that you will reap some kind of
rewards or harvest. You may also be more aware of others and grow
closer to them. Projects may reach their final culmination.
The Full Moon, like the New Moonies considered being a very magical
time during which the Gods are more likely to honor your prayers.
Once the full moon has expired it begins to wane (grow smaller). In
this phase, the Moon is waning and halfway between the Full and
Fourth Quarter Moon. In the planting cycle this corresponds to the
first appearance of the plant’s fruit. In the seasonal cycle, there
is a symbolic correspondence to the cross-quarter holiday called
Lamas, celebrated about August 1st, mid-way between the Summer
Solstice and the Fall Equinox.
During the first 48 hours after the moon first starts to loss light
it is also known as the Crone moon, the Old moon or the
Disseminating Moon. During this phase you are to share what you
know with others. Depending on how your endeavor went you might be
learning from a lesson or contemplating an achievement with great
satisfaction. In terms of agriculture, this phase represents the
culmination of the entire planting cycle.
The Fourth Quarter of the moon occurs once the moon has moved 90
degrees past the full phase. She is dimmer and rises at midnight.
The moon can now be seen now in the eastern sky during late evening
hours. The moon in this phase doesn’t reach the highest point in
the sky until very early in the morning.
This is considered to be a fallow time or a time of drawing back or
disintegrate. It is the time for tying up loose ends, to reorganize
and plan for the next new main phase, which will be a new first
quarter that begins with a New Moon.
While in its Fourth Quarter, the Moon is waning and square the Sun.
In the planting cycle, your phase represents the beginning of the
end of the cycle, when the plant is harvested and the parts
remaining start to wither and die back into the ground. In the
seasonal rotation this phase corresponds to the Fall Equinox.
During this phase, you may tear down old structures to make way for
the new. A subphase of the fourth quarter of the moon is known as
the Balsamic moon which is during the 48 hours leading up to the
New Moon. In the agricultural cycle, this is the time of the
maturation of the seed, while the rest of the plant dies away.
Some astrologers also say this is the optimum time for conception.
Psychologically, the Balsamic moon and the Fourth Quarter phase of
the moon in general is a time of cleansing and a better time to
discard things rather than acquire them. It is more a time of
contemplation and vision rather than a time of action.
Symbolically it represents the deepest part of the subconscious
mind and the treasures that are held there.
In the seasonal progression this phase corresponds to Halloween,
midway between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice, when the
veil between worlds is considered to be thinner.