While astrological energy tends to prioritize the full moon and new moon, those are just two of the moon’s monthly phases. The full moon is connected to a feeling of abundance, celebration, and, occasionally, restlessness; while the new moon is for setting intentions and starting a new cycle fresh. But since most of our time unfolds amid waning and waxing moon cycles, understanding how to best harness their energy is crucial.
According to transformational astrologer Corina Crysler, a key component of working with the moon is knowing patterns in the moon’s cycles. “Knowing the patterns creates awareness and a deep understanding of what you want, and how to get it,” she says. “When we know how we want to feel, we can apply that to our dreams and create soulful manifestations.”
For some basic background lunar intel, the moon’s cycle is 29.5 days. The first half of the cycle builds light (waxing phase) and the second half loses light from the sun (waning phase). Below, learn how to most effectively embrace the energy of each.
The waning moon follows the full moon and marks the part of the moon’s cycle when it loses light—think “waning,” and getting smaller, day by day. Once the light starts to retreat in the moon’s waning phase, you may notice its impact on your energy and emotions.
“During the first part of the waning phase, it’s important to look at what you’ve accomplished and harvest the rewards for your work,” says Crysler. “It begins the process of going inward and tapping into your intuition. It’s a time to be more gentle with your energy and adjust your routine to honor the opportunity of transformation. So instead of a bootcamp, try yoga or a long walk; eat foods that are warming and grounding, and conserve your energy.”
According to astrology, lunar energy is passive, gentle, and connected to retreating inward, and the darker moon phases ask us not to act, but to listen to our intuition and be within our bodies. When the emotional body is suppressed, stagnation happens, which creates blockages and pain points. That’s part of why the waning phase of the moon asks us to look inside and realize what needs to be released.
This can culminate toward the end of that cycle, when the waning moon becomes the dark moon. Any water moon signs will love this energy, which makes sense—moon signs reflect our deep emotional worlds, and water signs have deep emotional worlds. That said, the dark moon’s intensity impacts all other moon signs as well.
“The darkness, however, is not evil or bad—it’s concentrated energy where no light is reflected,” says Crysler. “It’s the unknown but holds the answers you are seeking. This is when we ask the questions we are seeking to help us rejuvenate, and set out intentions to begin a new cycle on the new moon.”
The waxing moon is the opposite of the waning phase of the moon; it begins after the new moon and lasts until the full moon phase. The waxing moon’s energy is noted as overt, outward, and expanding; it wants you to spring forth and finish what needs to be done in order to make your dreams a reality.
“Our energy builds during this moon phase for us to achieve our goals by creating action around our intentions,” says Crysler. “During this phase, it’s important to expend your energy to honor the cycle of movement and expansion. As the moon becomes illuminated, so do areas of life that need to be addressed that are challenging us in our personal expansion.”
So during the waxing moon phase, pay attention to what physical worldly obstacles are in your way, and creative ways to get around them. Look for new solutions to old problems and hustle, hustle, hustle.
“The work during the waxing phase is to get things done and to find the motivation to create change for growth,” Crysler says. “This is typically associated with the feelings that make you feel motivated and have a lot of strength and creative expression.”
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