The Seasons of the Moon

& how these can help you sync into the rhythms in your own life

a beautiful moon in an inky sky surrounded by trees

Table of Contents

blue waves crash against grey rocks

The Magick of the Moon

The moon is a mystical and mysterious force. For centuries, people have been guided by the Moon in all areas of life; planting and gardening, all sorts of celebrations, even the menstrual cycle.

The most well-known impact of the moon is probably its push and pull of the ocean. Apart from the physical changes the moon makes upon the Earth, she is also thought to have a great influence upon spiritual and emotional experiences as well as energy levels.

But in the mechanical, industrial world we live in now, much of this ancient wisdom has gotten a little lost. Using the moon as a guide is another way to live more symbiotically with nature; she can help us sync more deeply into the rhythms of the wilderness and connect more profoundly with ourselves too.

The Nine Phases of the Moon

the moon in a beautiful blue and pink sky

A lunar month (the time it takes for the moon to orbit around the Earth) is approximately 29 days. There are 4 main phases of the moon, but these can be further separated giving a total of 9 more nuanced phases. These are as follows:

New Moon

The moon does not have her own light, she reflects that of the sun. The New Moon is when the moon is directly aligned with the sun and we do not see her illuminated side. This is a time when the energy is said to be its lowest: a time of creativity, intuition, and intention setting.  A great opportunity to journal or write down some goals or wishes for the next lunar month. What is it your heart and soul really yearn for? This phase correlates with the Maiden facet of the Triple Moon Goddess – more about that here

Waxing Crescent Moon

The moon is slowly ‘growing’ each night as she becomes more visible to us. As the moon waxes, much of nature (like seeds and fruit) is also ‘waxing’ or growing.  We echo this expansion of energy: a time of developing  plans, intentions and manifestations.

Waxing Half Moon/First Quarter Moon

Half of the moon is visible right now – like a chunky segment of orange! A period of growth, this time can also bring a few obstacles. See any challenges that come your way as learning opportunities; you have everything you need within yourself to overcome these speedbumps.

Gibbous Moon

She is almost completely visible now. A time to straighten out any crumples in your plans and utilise this expansive energy to engage in meaningful activities. As the moon is on her way to shining fully, this is your time to express yourself boldly and bravely.

Full Moon

She is fully illuminated! At this point, the sun and the moon are directly opposite each other and so the moon is fully floodlit by the light of the sun. This increased light can help photosynthesis along, which is why plants are said to grow under a full moon!

This is a time when plans or goals come to fruition; where things may reach a sense of culmination or competition; energy is fizzing and emotions may be highly charged. For many, this may manifest as feeling overwhelmed or frantic – hence the word lunatic. This is not a word I would choose to use; it has a deeply oppressive and cruel history. The word originiated from the Latin ‘lunaticus’ which referred to periods of madness brought about by the changes in the moon.

This is also a time of change. A time to notice what it is you want to let go of as the moon enters her next phase. What needs to be shed.

This phase correlates with the Mother facet of the Triple Moon Goddess – more about that here.

Waning Full Moon/Waning Gibbous Moon

The moon’s light is shrinking now. As she lets go of some light, you too can let go of what is no longer serving you. A soft, gentle phase for reflection. The waning period is said to be good for soil adjustments and root establishment. Just as plants develop strong and sturdy roots at this time, you too can stretch your roots into the soil to create the foundation you’d like to build on over the next few weeks.

Waning Half Moon

As the moon continues her journey towards darkness – surrender and release any pain, suffering or beliefs that are holding you back from becoming the best version of yourself. A time of transformation – utilise this waning energy to shed old layers.

Waning Crescent Moon (Or Balsamic Moon)

Only a silver fragment of the moon can be seen at this time; sitting shadow-like in the sky you might mistake her for a thin wisp of cloud perching magically between worlds. This is a deeply magickal and mystical time; a time to go inwards, deep dive into those rivers that swim below the surface and open yourself to the great mysteries of the universe. During this phase: follow your curiosities, listen to inner wisdom and spend time in the quiet.

This phase correlates with the Crone facet (my favourite!) of the Triple Moon Goddess – more about that here

The Dark Moon

Three days or so before the New Moon, the moon is practically invisible. You would be forgiven for thinking this is the New Moon (I used to up until recently!) but this is in fact The Dark Moon. This is a time to rest, meditate, reflect on learning experiences over the last lunar month and prepare for the next phase. You may feel a little tired at this time, as the cycle is ending, so make sure you’re taking really good care of yourself (as you always should!).

Recommended Reading: Sacred Earth Celebrations by Glennie Kindred (which helped guide the info above about the nine moon phases).

the moon in a pink sky with a bird flying

Making Moonwater

One way to work with the moon is to make moon water! Leave a bowl or jar of water outside (somewhere safe) or on a windowsill underneath where the moon is shining. Set an intention or wish that you would love to come true or focus on an intention such as love, peace or joy. (You could also add a herb or two if you fancy such as rosemary or lavender). Leave overnight for the water to be charged with the moon’s energy. In the morning, this water will be imbued with the magick of the moon! Use it to wash your face with, water your plants, pour into your bath or make potions with!

How the seasons of the moon reflect other seasons

handmade natural candles in the uk

These phases of the moon also correlate with the 4 seasons experienced in the UK, 4 general stages of life, the 4 times of day, and the 4 seasons of the menstrual cycle. They are as follows:

New Moon

Old Age

Night

Winter

Menstruation

(restful, reflective, quiet, cosy)

Waxing Moon

Childhood

Morning

Spring

Follicular

(energy rising, dynamic, active)

Full Moon

Youth

Day/Afternoon

Summer

Ovulation

(abundant, high energy, high attraction levels, social, connection)

Waning Moon

Adulthood 

Evening

Autumn

Pre-menstration

(hunkering down for winter, going inward, creativity, nourishment)

a woman sits on a sofa reading a book, surrounded by natural candles and greenery

The Moon & The Menstrual Cycle

There are also said to be different coloured moon cycles depending on when you menstruate in the lunar month. These are:

White Moon Cycle

– when you bleed during the new moon

– in ancient times this was thought to be the time most women menstruated

– a time of connecting with your soul, nourishing yourself and those around you, replenishing

Red Moon Cycle

– when you bleed during the full moon

– anciently, this was thought to be the time the witches and wise women bled.

-a time to teach, heal, share wisdom with those around you

Pink Moon Cycle

– when you bleed during the waxing moon

– a time to follow your curiosities, explore new things and discover more about yourself

Purple Moon Cycle

– when you bleed during the waning moon

– perhaps you are in a time of transition, entering a quieter patch of life or letting go of what is no longer serving you

Ideas for further reading: Luna Ladies, Lauren from Aligned Purposeful (which helped inform the info about cycles above)

full moon in a blue sky
Names for each Full Moon

The most common names the full moons of each month go by are said to have their roots in Indigenous American cultures, or later colonial Northern American cultures (such as ‘Flower Moon’ for May, which feels very appropriate given the blooms bursting to life at this time!). Different cultures have different names for the moon. For instance, for Indigenous Americans the full moon in June as known as The Strawberry Moon but in China it is the Lotus Moon. It can get a bit confusing (there are so many different names!).

There are also the Celtic names for each moon. These also differ according to different sources, but below are the Celtic names of the moon taken from The Quiet Moon: Pathways to an Ancient Way of Being by Kevin Parr (who himself recognises how difficult it is to neatly find the Celtic name for each moon and has done his best to compile a list that feels most authentic):

January: The Quiet Moon – rest and reflect

February: The Moon of Ice – set intentions

March: The Moon of Winds – plant kernels

April: The Growing Moon – rise and love

May: The Bright Moon – tend to the buds of your life

June: The Moon of Horses – enjoy the outdoors

July: The Moon of Claiming – relax and focus on positivity

August: The Moon of Dispute – celebrate hard work

September: The Singing Moon – celebrate equilibrium of light and dark, practice gratitude

October: The Harvest Moon – honour dead loved ones, feel near the spirit world

November: The Moon of Smoke – let go of negative energy

December: The Cold Moon – celebrate the return of the light (winter solstice)

Pagan Moons

January: Snow Moon

February: Death Moon

March: Awakening Moon

April: Grass Moon

May: Planting Moon

June: Rose Moon

July: Lightning Moon

July/August: First Fruits Moon

August/September: Harvest Moon

September/October: Hunter or Blood Moon

October/November: Tree Moon

November/December: Long Night Moon

December/January: Ice Moon

Tree Calendar

The moons can also be traced using The Celtic Tree Calendar where each moon is named after a particular tree, with its properties reflecting the energy of that time. More on that here

a beautiful forest with sunshine glinting through the trees

More on the Moon

In the tarot, the moon card represents intuition, the watery element of emotion and your fears and anxieties. Any pain that you have pushed into your subconscious may be shaping your experiences now. This card talks of releasing old belief systems to positively transform your life and create new, bright and meaningful beliefs instead. This card also encourages you to trust your intuition; feel your way through decision making rather than only thinking your way through them.

And of course, the lunar calendar is celebrated every year: Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year as many people call it). Chinese folklore details the quest of 12 animals to win a race, and their order in that race determined the order the years would be named after them. These animals are referenced as far back as 201BC – 220 AD in the Han dynasty and are known as the 12 animals of the zodiac. There are various interpretations of these animals across cultures – in Vietnam for example, a water buffalo represents a year rather than the ox.

The moon appears in an endless number of myths, traditions, cultural stories and folklore. She has ignited the imagination for centuries and continues to be a source of awe for us all. Perhaps in your own life, in whatever way feels best, you can begin to check in with the moon and enhance your connection to this magickal force. She’s there every night - even when you can't see her!

MOVE WITH THE SEASONS

For a simple way to honour the cadence of nature, we have a candle for each of the four seasons, reflecting the natural aromas at each turn of the year. These help us to tune into the changing rhythms of nature and bring the outside in.

fresh & citral

notes of bergamot & mint

sweet & exotic

notes of citrus & patchouli

spicy & herbal

notes of cedarwood & thyme

sweet & woody

notes of orange & fir needle

for more seasonal folklore, slow-living stories and sustainable inspiration, sign up for our newsletter:

Scroll to Top