If you pay attention to astrology in the slightest—or, well, use any social media platforms—you’ve probably heard people talk about the moon’s ability to affect our moods.
While there isn’t scientific proof that the moon’s cycles impact our emotions (no — the moon’s gravitational pull doesn’t affect the water in our bodies, as you may have heard), it can certainly feel as if there’s a connection.
So, let’s dive into this phenomenon. How might each moon phase make you feel? What kind of self-care should you practice during each part of the cycle? We’ll cover all that and more!
As the name suggests, new moons are a time of renewal. During this first lunar period, the moon is seemingly invisible. Without the moon’s reassuring glow in the sky, this time can bring tiredness, a low social-energy tank and a need for reflection.
Self-Care During New Moon
New moons are the perfect times to look inward. Grab your journal and reflect on your emotions, relationships and anything else weighing on you. Channel your introverted self, set new intentions, and relish in the joy of solitude. Check-in with your boundaries, and let go of what isn’t serving you.
When you look into the night sky and see a slight sliver of light, take that as a sign. This is the glow of a waxing crescent moon, and it carries the light at the end of the tunnel.
Self-Care During Waxing Crescent
Waxing crescents are a time of optimism, hope and excitement. Remember those intentions you set during the New Moon? It’s time to act on them. Take your newly refreshed energy and keep manifesting those dreams. Then, get ready to start the journey you’ve been putting off!
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If you see what looks like a half-moon in the sky, it’s actually a quarter moon! Only the right side is illuminated during the First Quarter Moon (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is). Consider this balance of light and dark in your own life.
Self-Care During First Quarter
As you embark on the path you’ve prepared for in the previous moon phases, you may get thrown some curveballs. Not to worry! In this First Quarter Moon, you have the capacity to adjust. Allow those hiccups to refocus you. Open yourself to opportunity. You can do this!
The Waxing Gibbous is the last cycle before the Full Moon hits, and it can be a loaded time for us. You’ll be pushed, challenged and tested, but remember, it’s all in the name of expansion. As the moon works towards full expansion, so are you.
Self-Care During Waxing Gibbous
It’s time to tie up loose ends. Whether you’re finalizing plans or adding the finishing touches to a project, everything you do should be in the name of forward progress. Reassess any prior roadblocks you’ve hit with fresh eyes, and see if you can move through them.
Light warms the sky as we reach peak lunar force. The bright Full Moon is typically associated with strange behaviors and inexplicable events. Emotions are at an all-time high as the Earth sits between our sun and moon. Prepare to feel all the things as these opposing planets act on you.
Self-Care During Full Moon
Many people practice specific rituals during the Full Moon. Whether that be by charging your crystals, drawing tarot cards or making some moon water, embrace what makes your heart sing in these times. Be gentle with yourself at this heightened emotional state, and let your intuition guide the way.
As we leave the powerful Full Moon, we head into the slightly less vivid Waning Gibbous phase. You’ve reached the top of the energetic rollercoaster already, and now it’s time to slow things down.
Self-Care During Waning Gibbous
Consider the ride you’ve been on since the New Moon all that time ago. Look back with love and gratitude on the experiences you’ve had—both the good and not-so-good ones. Reflect with a clearer, calmer mind and express thankfulness for yourself and your loved ones around you.
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The Third Quarter Moon appears opposite to the First Quarter. Instead of witnessing the right side of the moon, we now see the left as it wanes away. While the illumination fades, it’s time to take note of what may also need to be removed from your life.
Self-Care During Third Quarter
Third Quarter Moons are for cleaning your slate. Take down the hang ups causing tension in your life, forgive the people who deserve a second chance, and cut ties to unnecessary burdens. It’s the Marie Kondo of moon phases, and you need to release what does not spark joy.
With your newly-cleaned palette, the slivered Waning Crescent offers a moment of stillness. In this final lunar period before the cycle restarts, allow yourself the rest you deserve.
Self-Care During Waning Crescent
Take this opportunity to restore your faith in the universe. Reconnect with the things that make you feel cared for; maybe crystal meditation, card reading or some written affirmations. Now, get ready to enter the New Moon phase and repeat it all again!
Each lunar cycle phase grants us unique opportunities to connect with ourselves and the world around us. By paying attention to the moon phases, we can better honor and understand our emotions, intentions and overall journey. Next time you look up at the night sky, take note of what’s going on!
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- Stardust, Lisa. “How to Use the Moon’s Eight Phases to Guide Your Daily Decision-Making.”
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- ĀTHR Beauty. “How the Moon Affects Us.” ĀTHR Beauty, ĀTHR Beauty, 4 May 2021,