Moon Phases in Astrology: find out your own one and how your Unconscious expresses itself

The first time that Doc. Angiolucci has examined my Natal Chart, I saw him murmuring something like: – Mmmmh… let me check how this Moon is… –, he quickly went to his library, taken a huge book, and started to browse it.

I asked him curiously: – Hey doc., what’s that book…? – 

He answered: – These are the Ephemerides. I have to check how is your Moon.  – 

I checked my Birth Chart, obtained with an online calculator, and it seemed complete in everything. So I asked interrogatively: – But doc… here seems everything ok, moon’s position is clearly visible, even with its precise degrees and… – 

Doc. Angiolucci interrupted me: – Oh yes, that says to us its position, but it doesn’t say to us in which phase the Moon was the day you were born. – 

At that time, I believed to already know everything about the Moon and its significances in Astrology, but that simple declaration hit me like a bolt, because it has brought to my attention such obvious thing which had been under my nose all the time: Moon has different phases, it is not “static” like the other Planets, so even the lunar phase of the day we were born is important to draw our psychological portrait in detail and depth.  

This concept is often ignored or neglected by astrologers or amateurs, because they focus in analyzing only in which Zodiac Sign the Moon is in the Natal Chart, give to it the same treatment of the other Planets. But this is a mistake.

In Astrology every celestial mechanism has its symbolic correspondence on the human plane, and so on the human psyche.

First of all, we have to remember that the Moon is already a “special” Planet and it has a particular place in Astrology, because together with the Sun, it is one of the two Luminaries, namely, the 2 fundamental Principles of the whole astrological system; they psychologically represent the 2 fundamental sides of our being: the Conscious [Sun] and the Unconscious [Moon].

It’s not a case that in Horary Astrology or Electional Astrology, the Moon is the co-significant Planet of the applicant, in other words, the aster which represents him in the Chart.

The Moon embodies one of the two opposite poles in the Cosmos: The Passive-Feminine Principle, which in Alchemy is responsible for the irradiation of one of the two Generative Universal Forces, namely the Humid. In fact, even according to Aristotle, the Moon distributes the Humid in various shapes and measures following its different phases exactly (you have to think at that allegorically and not literally, of course). 

The importance of the lunar phases it’s even more obvious if we also remember that in all the Esoteric Traditions they are a capital element to consider. For example, in Traditional Magic or even in Ceremonial Kabbalistic Magic, rituals must be made during precise lunar phases to be successful.

Astrology, as the esoteric science that treats the specific study of the Celestial Bodies, cannot give low valor to the lunar cycles and their correlations with the Men’s plane. If we reflect carefully, we will note that Astrology already gives great consideration to at least one lunar phase: the Eclipse. It is even the base of an entire branch of Astrology founded upon the Draconic Zodiac, a different Zodiac from the Tropical one or the Sideral one, which takes as reference the Moon and its Eclipse phases. However, those are advanced concepts of Astrosophy that are not important today.

The point is that, as always in Astrology, we find analogical correspondences between the moon phases and the human psyche. So, if we want to get an accurate and detailed analysis of a Natal Chart, we will not check the Moon’s position only, but we will check even in which phase was that Moon to get the exact psychological shade of the piece of the personality that it represents.

Indeed, we could see it like that: If Planets were colors, and, for example, we know that the Moon is the color Blue and we also know that it irradiates every shade of blue in different moments, well, saying just: – the Moon is the blue – is not enough. Is it blue china? Is it turquoise? An ultramarine blue? A sky-blue? A light blue? Here is the same thing; Moon is the Planet of the emotions, and emotions are multiple shades of the same essence, the Unconscious. So, the Moon’s position will tell us how is the basic “mood” of the person examined, but its phase will tell us the real nature of that mood, giving us a more refined psychological portrait.

Well, now it’s time to go more in depth about the psychological meanings of the different Lunar Phases.

First of all, we start saying that the Lunar Phases are officially 8 “regulars” : Waxing Crescent > First Quarter > Waxing Gibbous > Full Moon > Waning Gibbous > Last Quarter > Waning Crescent > New Moon , plus 1 “special”, the Eclipse (I hinted about it previously), so a total of 9. 

Again, here we can notice the close symbolic correlation between the Moon and the Feminine Principle: 9 phases like 9 are the months of gestation during the pregnancy. And again, the moon phases take about 28 days to make a complete cycle (called Lunation), exactly like the menstrual cycle of women takes about 28 days (and, little note, in normal condition it should be synchronized with the lunation).

So, it is not a surprise that, from the begins of times, all the deities associated with the Moon were females. In fact, because of the multiform nature of the Moon, in the myth, we find not one, but three goddesses that rule this celestial body: Artemis, Selene, and Hekate.

It happens often that people make confusion between those 3 lunar goddesses, or think that they are the same thing or that they have different names for the same goddess, but this is not the case.  

In ancient Greece, and even in ancient Rome, Artemis (Diana in latin), Selene (Luna in latin) and Hekate (Ecate in latin) were 3 sister goddesses that ruled respectively the 3 main lunar phases: Artemis was the goddess of the Crescent Moon, Selene was the goddess of the Full Moon, and Hekate was the goddess of the Waning Moon and New Moon. 

The symbol of Artemis is a sickle with the hump toward the west (ideally), the symbol of Selene is a full disk (do not confuse with the circle) and the symbol of Hekate is a sickle with the hump toward the east. These 3 symbols united together form the “Trimoon”, a symbol that we can find in all the ancient pagan religions and consequently even in modern neopaganism, for example in Wiccan.

This proves again how the cult of the 3 lunar goddesses is ingrained into the archetypal patrimony of Humanity and so its great importance in every Esoteric Sciences. We can find another big confirmation of the valor of this extraordinary truth even in the Holy Bible. In the Gospels, and particularly in the Gospel of John (19-25), we find “the three Marys”, namely the three women that were present at the crucifixion and even at the resurrection, all named Mary. They are: Mary mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas.

Those 3 female figures symbolize precisely the 3 lunar phases, Crescent, Full and Waning, and it’s not a case that they are all named Mary; english version of the original “Miriam”,  from the hebrew root “mar” = “drop” and “yam” = “sea”, – drop of the sea – which underlines the Feminine Humid Principle that lies in the Moon.  

Peter Von Cornelius: The Three Marys at the Sepulchre

I’m spending time particularly in putting spotlights on those lunar symbolisms because, I’ll never say it enough, symbols and symbology are the true keys to understand Astrology. Only when you will know in depth the symbols’ language you’ll become capable to make the right interpretations about an aster on your Birth Chart, and consequently understanding who you really are.

That’s why now we will analyze the symbolisms of the 3 Lunar Goddesses one by one and we will see how this will give us great insights about the psychological meanings of their different lunar phases.

As I said before, there are 8 lunar phases and then 8 psychological types that we can associate to them, but today I will treat here about the 3 main groups: Crescent, Full, and Waning. Anyway, those groups simply divide respectively the psychological meanings that belong by the Moon. Each one of them emphasizes and exalts some of its concepts, like: Emotivity, empathy, intuition, fertility, hospitality, mother, dreams, and so on; all those things that come from one unique part of our psyche: the Unconscious.

Now, it would seem bizarre, but the strong bond between the Unconscious and the Moon is underlined by a symbol that we will find in all the 3 lunar goddesses: the Dog.

When we go in depth with the symbology of the 3 lunar goddesses we note that in all of them there is a close correlation with dogs. – Artemis is always accompanied by hunting dogs – Dogs howl during the full moon nights of Selene – Hekate can enter undisturbed in Hades because Cerberus (the three-headed dog guardian of the Underworld) permit her to pass.

Even the Tarot remembers to us how the symbology of dog is tangled with the one of the Moon. In the Major Arcana no.18 of the Tarot of Marseilles (the tarot more close to the original one) which is called “La Lune” (the Moon), we can see the drawing of a Moon on top, with 2 dogs under it and a crustacean below. This Arcana unveils to us that the full lunar symbology is eternally impressed in the starry sky already: This Arcana is like a celestial map that perfectly represents the section of the sky where we can observe the constellations of Canis Major (the Great Dog) and Canis Minor (the Small Dog) which are next to the Cancer constellation (the crustacean), namely the Domicile of the Moon.

But why does the symbolism of the dog is connected to the Unconscious? 

Everything derives from the Archetype of the dog as keeper of the Underworld, in its true meaning: “the world below this”, the whole Afterlife. This archetype is present in almost all the ancient cultures, it’s enough to remember that in ancient Egypt the god who welcomes the souls of the dead in Afterlife is Anubis, the god represented with a dog head (or jackal, again canine). 

The world of the Afterlife represents the invisible part of the Macrocosmos (Hades in greek means “invisible”), a mysterious world; unknown, hided, buried (“underworld”) by the manifested and visible world. Since the Man is Microcosmos, namely a reflection in small size of Macrocosmos, the Unconscious is the invisible, unknown and buried part of the human psyche, his “Underworld”. Furthermore, the Unconscious is the origin of the dream world, and its heralds are the night and the Moon, and its door is the sleep; it is not a case that in myth Hypnos [god of the sleep] and Thanatos [god of the death] are twin brothers, to underline the mirroring between the Unconscious and the Afterlife. 

So, now that all the needed premises are made, it’s time to see how the Unconscious projects itself differently according to the 3 main lunar phases.

Before I go ahead, here is a link to an online lunar phase calculator, so you can find out your own moon phase and then discovering how that is inserted on your personality:

And now, let’s proceed to some information about the phases.

The Crescent Moon – the Unconscious as instinct – the overwhelming Emotions – 

Those who are born during the phases of the crescent moon have great ideals and great integrity, they are often very blunt and honest, because they need things clear and pure. Artemis is the goddesses of purity who choose to stay always virgin. So she embodies the feminine archetype of “the girl” or “the daughter”; naive, dreamer, romantic, without malice – characteristics we can find in those who have this kind of Moon in the Natal Chart.

“Young girl” means even living the emotions intensively and with rapid changes of mood. Crescent moon emphasizes volubility and irrationality, because prefers to follow instincts and intuition. Goddess Artemis is even a formidable huntress exactly for this reason; the hunting dogs, which belong to her figurative representation, symbolize here the pure instinct that acts before the rational mind (the Sun) realizes what is happening. Of course, this is not always good necessarily, but in general, instinct well guides people who have these kinds of moon’s phases. This makes them even rebellious and full of ambitions, because Artemis uses her bow to target her arrows toward high goals.

“The Girl”

But “young girl” means also being unripe, so full of fears and unsureness in the sexual sphere especially (Artemis wants to stay virgin), giving excessive prudery, shame, shyness or too many inhibitions in sex affairs. 

The Full Moon – the Unconscious as dreams and imagination – the Emotions of the others –

Those who are born under this phase are people capable of great empathy. Emotivity is important here, but not their own; other’s emotions first. This pushes them to take care of others, and accepting or look after those who are needy.

In fact, if Artemis is “the daughter”, the “virgin young girl”, goddess Selene embodies the feminine Archetype of “the Mother”: hospitable, reliable, protective, who transmits secureness. That’s why the dog here is a symbol of reliability and protection. All these “maternal” characteristics are amplified in people with this moon (remember, it doesn’t matter the gender, everyone has a male side – sun- and a female side – moon – ).

“The Mother”

The full moon is the maximum expression of the feminine energies, it’s enough remembering that if you have a full moon, this means that your natal Moon is in Opposition with your natal Sun (180º distant), so the Unconscious, the not-manifested forces, rival or even overcome the Conscious, the manifested forces.

Selene is even the goddess of fertility. In fact, in the myth, she is very fertile: she had 50 children with prince Endymion (underlining again the archetype of the mother), furthermore, the full moon phase coincides with the ovulation moment of the menstrual cycle, so the moment of maximum fertility of a woman. Translating this in psychological terms, Selene and her fertility become a fertile imagination and creativity in those who have this kind of Moon, this happens even thanks to the privileged connection with the dream world, so with their own Unconscious, as we saw, the origin of the dreams. In fact, in the myth Selene conceived her 50 children while Endymion was sleeping because of an enchantment, dreaming of her eternally.

Those persons are often dreamers and visionaries; they could be predisposed for artistic careers, in show business especially, or to be visionary entrepreneurs.

• The Waning Moon/New Moon – the Unconscious as intuition and deepness – the aware emotions

Those who are born under a Waning Moon, or a New Moon, have a formidable intuition more than others; they can perceive innately thousand of details that others cannot see, and this permits them to easily see the big picture like a great sixth sense. That happens because of their great curiosity which pushes them in exploring above all the mysterious side of life; in fact, they are often lovers of the occult disciplines (for the Last Quarter especially).

All of that, because Hekate, the goddess of the Waning Moon, is even the goddess of the occult, the magic, and the mysteries. 

Those appellatives derive from her myth, in which Hekate is a psychopomp deity, in other words, she can freely travel across the world of the dead, and she often accompany the souls of the dead in the Afterlife (we see again the thin bond between the Moon and the Underworld). So Hekate knows all the mysteries of the invisible world (“hades”), how to use its forces and every truth about life and death; this makes her masterly and authoritative. That’s why, after Artemis “the girl” and Selene “the mother”, Hekate is the feminine archetype of “the mature woman”, not necessarily “old woman” (even if it is also an image that belongs to her), but a self-aware woman who knows the world and transmits her knowledge and experience to the younger women, teaches them the secrets of nature, assists them during pregnancy and helps them to give birth.     

Because of those reasons, together with her connection with the occult world, Hekate was even considered the goddess of Witchcraft, the real Witchcraft, that has not “evil” connotations but it’s mastering the mysteries of nature. She is refigured with a torchlight for this reason: the one who brings light (knowledge) in the dark unknown (ignorance).

But “mature woman” means also be a self-confident woman, independent and self-aware, so people with a Waning Moon have innate introspection and reflection capacity. Generally they are able in living emotions in a more aware way; they feel emotions but are capable to don’t be controlled by them.

“The Woman”

Closing, differently from his young sister Artemis who has sexual inhibitions, Hekate is an accomplished woman, the charmer woman who is provocative, seductive and disinhibited; characteristics that we can find in those who are born under her lunar phases.

Well, we can note how Hekate expresses feminine forces similar to those of Lilith, and this is true. It’s not a case that the symbol of Lilith is a Waning Moon upon the cross of matter, anyway, these 2 figures don’t have to be confused. There are no doubts that Lilith possesses lunar roots, but she is the Black Moon, another moon, a moon that misses; because of that, she is connected with the psychological concepts of “deprivation”, “loss” or “absence”. It’s another different story.


So, we just saw which are the main psychological traits connected to the different lunar phases analyzing their respective goddesses and their respective symbols, that, as always, are an extraordinary help in interpreting the celestial bodies and their mechanics.

However, remember that the lunar phases are 8 (Lunar Eclipse deserves a study apart) and each one of them expresses a specific shade of the lunar forces and consequently a specific projection of the Unconscious. 

So, before taking leave, I wish to give you my humble suggestion. If you desire to go in depth with the study of the 8 lunar types in Astrology, I recommend to you the good work of the famous esoterist and astrologer Dane Rudhyar: The Lunation Cycle – A key to the understanding of personality – a very insightful and helpful book about this, too often underrated, topic in Astrology. 

Become aware of yourself through the laws of the stars: Get my free guide – Know Your Planets, Know Yourself • Astrology Fundamentals – and use it for determining traits and the other aspects of your individuality.


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