The lunar disk that shines from the dark night sky has always drawn people’s attention. Moon has been the subject of many legends and the object of worships, like the Sun. Ancient people realized that Moon influenced the life on Earth and that its influence depends on the change of phases.
Moon is positioned in such a way that some part of its surface reflects the light of the Sun. Sometimes the whole “face” of the Moon is illuminated and sometimes it is wrapped in darkness. The change of the illuminated area is called the change of phases.
With time, ancient beliefs and superstitions were replaced by scientific observations, which helped to prove the influence of lunar phases on people’s lives. The Moon rules tides; every gardener knows that the moon phase has an impact on the growth of plants, making some days auspicious for gardening and some absolutely disadvantageous. Moreover, Moon has a direct influence on human health and psyche: the full moon increases the number of crimes and accidents; financial experts also tie the fluctuations of world market indices to the changes of the moon phases. In other words, who knows what would have happened to our lives and if we would be living at all if there were no Moon?
The influence of the moon phases upon our lives is not a fiction or a legend, it is an important piece of knowledge that has scientific proof. But we can’t disrespect out ancestors and reject all the symbols and sacral images they associated the nighttime luminary with.
A lunar month consists of 29 lunar days; throughout which the Moon reaches 4 phases: new moon, 1st quarter, full moon, and 3rd quarter. The new moon is wrapped in darkness and hidden from our sight. Then the moon turns into a thin crescent, also called waxing. The phase when we see one half of the moon, is called the 1st quarter. The full moon puts a bright disk up in the sky. Then the moon starts waning; the 3rd quarter shows us the other half of the moon, then a thin crescent facing the opposite direction, which is also called waning.
If you keep a watchful eye on the moon, you’ll see there are intermediate phases in between the major ones. This is why we suggest that you divide a lunar month in 8 periods: 4 quarters, 2 critical points (new moon and full moon) and 2 transition phases. This is the sequence of the moon's phases:
1. New moon
2. 1st phase – waxing crescent (young and growing)
3. 1st quarter
4. 2nd phase – waxing gibbous (the moon is lit up almost in full, except for one narrow crescent)
5. Full moon
6. 3rd phase – waning gibbous (the same as waxing gibbous, but in reverse)
7. 3rd quarter
8. 4th phase – waning crescent (old and thin, turned in the opposite direction from the waxing crescent)
In order not to mix up waxing and waning phases, use the “DOC” mnemonic:
“D” has an arch to the right, just like the waxing crescent.
“O” stands for the full moon.
“C” has an arch to the left, just like the waning crescent.
The mnemonic itself reads in the following way:
Dog comes in the rOom, Cat goes out.
An alternative mnemonic device uses the phrase “Light left, Last quarter.”
If you pay attention to your and people’s behavior throughout a month, you’ll see that there are certain correspondences between the moon phase and the emotional state of people. This is connected to the flow of lunar energy, which grows in the beginning of the cycle and starts subsiding after the full moon. Transitions between phases are marked by critical stress: your body becomes weaker, sensitive people may even feel depressed or sluggish; they are subject to ailments and accidents. Aligning your plans with the moon phases will help you take the most from the days when your energy runs high and stay cool when the risk of unpleasant outcomes is high.