Birthday Months: Phases of the Moon and Astrological Meanings
By Allison De Meulder
The phases of the moon, also known as lunar phases, are the appearance of the moon as it rotates around the Earth. When a person looks in the sky, the look of the moon is affected by how much of it is illuminated by the sun. This is determined by the moons position between the sun and the Earth at a specific phase of its rotation. There are eight of these moon phases and they follow a specific order. These phases are, the new moon, the waxing crescent moon, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent. The phases of the moon have inspired folklore and the imagination for centuries. Its different phases have been associated with everything from fertility to crops. For some people, they believe that the lunar phase that occurred on the day that they were born also affects who they are as a person. For example, people born under a new moon may be more impulsive while a person who is politically radical may be born under the last quarter moon.
The new moon phase is the first phase of the moon. It occurs when the moon lies directly between the sun and the Earth, and is characterized by the fact that its dark side is facing the Earth. In this phase the moon is nearly invisible, especially at night, unless it occurs during a solar eclipse. In certain calendars such as the Muslim and Hebrew calendars, it marks the start of a new month. In astrological terms, people whose birthdays fall during new moon days are said to be inspired by the Aries sign. They will be more enthusiastic and given to take action quickly on their beliefs, but should be cautioned against being hasty.
Waxing Crescent Moon
The moon's second phase is called the waxing crescent. In this phase, only a small portion of the moon that faces the Earth is visible, forming what looks like a thin crescent. In the northern hemisphere the visible crescent is on the bright side, while in the southern hemisphere it is on the left side. The term waxing refers to the moon's bright side becoming increasingly visible. The moon is in this phase until the crescent grows to half of its surface. According to astrology, those born in this lunar phase will be more assertive.
Eventually, the waxing crescent moon progresses into the first quarter phase. This phase is where half of the moon is visible to Earth, either the right or left side will be visible depending on the hemisphere. When in the northern hemisphere, the right side will be visible and the left in the southern hemisphere. The first quarter moon is called a first quarter because it is a quarter of the way through the phases at this point. The moon is in this phase until its surface is nearly entirely visible. People whose birthdays fall under this lunar phase will be strong-willed.
Waxing Gibbous Moon
The term gibbous means "hunched" in Latin, which is an apt description of this phase of the moon. In this phase, this moon is almost at the point of being a full moon. From the perspective of Earth, only a sliver of the moon is still shrouded in darkness. It will eventually transition into a full moon. The astrological predictions for those born under a waxing gibbous moon say that they will be primarily focused on self-improvement.
In this phase, the Earth lies between the moon and the sun. This means that the moon is completely visible from the Earth. It is the exact opposite of a new moon, or dark moon, and while it is visible during the day, it is most prominent at night. People born under a full moon are thought to be in tune with others. They are also said to run the risk of developing short attention spans.
Waning Gibbous Moon
The waning gibbous moon follows the full moon phase. Its name comes from the fact that while the moon is still almost completely bright and visible, especially at night, its light side is decreasing in size when seen from Earth. From the northern hemisphere a slight dark crescent starts to appear on the right side, while in the southern hemisphere it appears on the left side. Astrological predictions say that people born under a waning gibbous moon will be inspired to become teachers.
Last Quarter Moon
The last quarter moon occurs when half of the moon is visible to Earth. The left side will be visible from the northern hemisphere while the southern side will be visible from the southern half of Earth. It is also referred to as the third quarter moon, because at this point it is three-fourths of the way through its phases. Its bright side will continue to decline until it reaches the waning crescent phase. Astrologists say that those born under this phase tend to be unusually insightful or they may be politically active.
Waning Crescent Moon
In this phase, only a slight crescent of the moon is visible. What remains of the moon's bright side can be seen on the left in areas north of the equator and on the right side in areas to the south. This marks the end of a lunar-based calendar month, and the beginning of another, new one when the moon goes into its new moon phase. People born under this phase are said to look a lot toward the future.