While the moon sign indicates the motives of one’s inner world, many astrologers consider the moon phase at birth to capture the emotional tone of one's life. Someone born on a full moon, for example, will be open and expressive, while someone with a trailing-off waning crescent will value solitude.
I like to think of moon phases in astrology like movie and TV genres—they essentially help define what type of film your life is. For many people, it's a welcome breakthrough to realize they aren't living in the same "genre" as others around them. The friend who achieved early fame, the coworker who finds love easily—they’re living out a different script!
There are eight moon phases, and yours is calculated by how many degrees, counter-clockwise, the moon is from the sun at the time of your birth. Some free birth chart tools will calculate it for you; Astro-Charts.com lists the moon phase under “Special Features.” To illustrate the tone of each of the eight phases and how they play out on life’s stage, we’ll cross-reference them to film genres (because who doesn’t want to be the star of the movie they’re writing with their life, each and every day?).
Keep in mind that while your moon phase at birth defines your life's mood, the moon moves through all eight phases every 29.5 days. You can always look into the night sky (or open your favorite astrology app) to mix things up and harness the current energy.
All that said, here’s a breakdown of the eight moon phases, and how they set the tone for your life.
What the moon phases in astrology can reveal about your personality
New Moon (0-44 degrees from the sun)
The new moon is at its darkest phase; it’s in union with the sun, and all that will become is a blank slate. A person born under a new moon is living the fantasy genre. Whatever is in your imagination is in your power to make. It may seem “silly” or unrealistic to everyone else, but it’s really too early to cast any judgments just yet. Reserve time and energy for visioning. Your role is to push the limits through your dreams.
Waxing Crescent (45-89 degrees from the sun)
Cue the steamy shower scene and the park bench meet-cute—those born under a waxing crescent are in a rom-com! This phase is full of youthfulness and naiveté. Intent is transformed into waddling first steps. If you fall, brush it off and get back up! Your soul is an unblemished diamond among the jaded. Follow your curiosity like an arrow—synchronicity is your sidekick.
First Quarter (90-134 degrees from the sun)
The astrological shorthand for the first quarter lunar phase is “crisis of action,” indicating a change or decision must be made. Those born under the first quarter moon are in a drama. Your family is the cast of Succession and your friend group is straight out of Euphoria. You’re always having to rise up against something or someone, but your tenacity is matchless.
Waxing Gibbous (135-179 degrees from the sun)
The magic of the waxing gibbous moon phase is that it’s the final stage before the full moon, and thus is fully defined by what’s about to happen. The future is bright, shiny, and light as a feather. Someone born under a waxing gibbous is brimming with anticipation, refining their craft, and, cracking a good joke, because you’re in a comedy. Let the giggles sweep you up, it’s all going to be okay.
Full Moon (180-224 degrees from the sun)
At the full moon, we’ve reached the climax of the story. For someone born under a full moon, that’s just a typical day. Each morning, you awaken to a new adventure. It’s always high tide. This overexposure would wear other people out, but you were born ready for an epic journey worthy of an action-adventure movie. Your desires are worth the fight.
Waning Gibbous (225-269 degrees from the sun)
The waning gibbous moon, also known as the disseminating moon, fits the archetype of the teacher or mentor. You’re stable enough in your worth to share your gifts and wisdom. Like a Western, or more broadly, a period piece, you’ve captured the essence of a particular time (or subject) and crystalized it. Your genius lies in your willingness to distribute your learnings for the good of all.
Third Quarter (270-314 degrees from the sun)
At first glance, the third quarter moon phase is a mirror image of the first quarter. This time, though, it’s a “crisis of consciousness.” Instead of action, a person born under the third quarter moon must brave internal pressures, to work out a change of heart. You are living in a psychological thriller. Life is less about what you produce, and more about what you let go, including your ability to forgive. The reality you see has many layers, and integrating complexity is your superpower.
Waning Crescent (315-359 degrees from the sun)
In this final moon phase, also called the balsamic moon, the moon’s slim crescent of reflected light is fading to black. Someone born under a waning crescent may have an overzealous interest in death or ghosts. It’s possible you take things more slowly than others. Your life is the mystery genre. Unsolved cases and intellectual impossibilities stimulate your curiosity. You’re drawn to things that are ending, because of what they promise: peace and regeneration. When you are able to withstand darkness, nothing can stop you.
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