Aligning with the Four Phases of the Moon

Written by: the Editors of goop


Updated on: October 24, 2022


The moon is often depicted as a symbol of the feminine. An embodiment of the rhythm of time. A metaphor for the cycles of womanhood. And a beautiful force that can impact everything from the ocean waves to our emotions.

The lunar calendar is still used in some traditions today, and for many modern-day moon lovers, its energy marks a deeper connection with our intuition and seasonal nature. Working with the moon, says intuitive Aarona Lea, gives us an opportunity to regularly check in with ourselves, validate our insights, set new intentions, and plan next steps with greater ease. Use each phase of the moon to develop more of what you need: self-care, productivity, outward connection, or inward contemplation.

Rituals for the Moon Cycle

By Aarona Lea

Here is a look at the meaning of the four main moon phases and a corresponding ritual to invoke its greatest power in each one. Not only will this align you with the natural world, but this awareness will also empower you to recognize your own changing cycles so that you can plan your months accordingly and take advantage of your energetic and mental shifts without judgment. The moon invites you to observe natural fluctuations and attune to your cyclical nature so that you can consciously tap into the rich wisdom of each phase.

New Moon: New Beginnings

The new moon is when the moon is at its darkest, and it’s sometimes called the dark moon. From here, it gradually builds in strength toward the full moon over the following two weeks. The new moon phase is a more introspective time and represents new beginnings as we plant seeds for the future. It’s a good time to set clear intentions for the month ahead, clarify your goals, start new projects, and acknowledge your growth since the previous new moon. It’s also a good time to let go and release what no longer serves you so that you can welcome in the new, especially because this phase can spark a desire to pause and reflect. New moon energy can be honored the day before, the day of, and the day after the actual new moon.

The Ritual: Journal Intentions

Light a candle and grab your journal. Date the top of the page along with the words “New Moon Intentions.” Then close your eyes for a few deep breaths, and when you’re ready, write down three to five core intentions for this moon cycle. Write clearly in the first person and present tense as though it’s already happening. When you’re done, read each one out loud, stating, “And so it is,” after each spoken intention. Some intentions may take a few moon cycles to fully materialize. Reflect on what you’ve written and edit it as needed on each new moon. Be grateful as your intentions come to life.

Waxing Moon: Time for Action

The waxing moon is when the light of the moon gradually begins to expand and grow in its fullness, serving as fuel during this phase. It is the sprouting growth of the seeds you planted during the new moon as you clarify and breathe life into the intentions you named. The waxing moon is a good time to get motivated, commit to what you are building, and put your intentions into action. As the moon progresses toward fullness, look honestly at your goals and the realistic daily steps you can take to achieve them. This is a magnetic time for transformation, new ideas, building energy, nurturing dreams, overcoming hurdles, and potential breakthroughs.

The Ritual: Intuitive Oracle

During this phase, grab a pack of oracle cards, like the Moon Deck, for inspired action. Pause for a couple deep breaths, tune in to your intentions, and shuffle the cards. Spread out the cards and hover your left hand over them until you feel a magnetic pull. Draw two cards: The first one brings clarity to your core intention, and the second card represents the support or action needed to nurture this intention. Sit with what arises as you contemplate your cards.

Full Moon: Completion

The full moon is the phase when the sun illuminates the entire moon, making her as full, round, and bright as can be. This phase represents completion, fertility, abundance, and transformation, when the seeds from the new moon come into bloom. Because the moon is directly opposite the sun during this phase, it can also be a time of friction, polarity, and more-intense emotional energy. Everything is in full illumination, which also means it’s a good time to look honestly at the full spectrum of what is or is not working for you. With this higher energy also come more outward connection and celebration. Plus, your psychic abilities may be more awake—so listen closely to what you intuitively want to shed, let go of, and release. Full moon energy can be honored the day before, the day of, and the day after the actual full moon.

The Ritual: Crystal Charging

The full moon is an excellent time to charge your crystals. Place your crystals somewhere they will be exposed to the moonlight, such as on your windowsill or outside in a safe and dry spot. Leave them out for up to forty-eight hours so that they can soak up as much of this cosmic juice as possible. The full moon will cleanse and activate your crystals.

Waning Moon: Conscious Endings

Waning refers to the decreasing of the moon’s light, inviting us to surrender and soften. The waning moon is a time to renew, withdraw, and rest. You may lean into this phase intuitively, or you may have to consciously carve out the time to pause if you tend to be constantly on the go. After the active glow of the full moon, the waning moon begins to darken, inviting you to shed and release. This is a good phase to reflect and contemplate what is coming to a close so that you can prepare to plant new seeds or tend to those that need nurturing as the moon makes her way toward the new moon once again. The waning moon is also a time to declutter, decrease, cleanse, heal, end chapters, and allow the waters of your intuition to flow fully.

The Ritual: Clutter Cleanse

We all know how good it feels to walk into a clean and clear space. The waning moon invites you to release the clutter and create a sacred space to dwell in so that your mind and energy feel clear. It may take a few waning moon phases to declutter your home, so start small and let it build. You will instantly feel the difference. Let go or clean up anything that weighs you down or takes up valuable space. This is also a great time to create your sacred altar: a place to journal, meditate, and work with your oracle cards. If you already have one, clean it and reorganize it to reflect your current intentions.

Aarona Lea is an intuitive oracle reader, a ritual wellness teacher, and the author and cocreator of the Moon Deck.