So we are seeing exactly half of the moon illuminated and half in shadow. Once you understand those four key moon phases, the phases between should be fairly easy to visualize, as the illuminated portion gradually transitions between them. An easy way to remember and understand those "between" lunar phase names is by breaking out and defining 4 words: crescent, gibbous, waxing, and waning.
The word crescent refers to the phases where the moon is less than half illuminated. The word gibbous refers to phases where the moon is more than half illuminated. Waxing essentially means "growing" or expanding in illumination, and waning means "shrinking" or decreasing in illumination. Thus you can simply combine the two words to create the phase name, as follows: After the new moon, the sunlit portion is increasing, but less than half, so it is waxing crescent.
After the first quarter, the sunlit portion is still increasing, but now it is more than half, so it is waxing gibbous. After the full moon maximum illumination , the light continually decreases. So the waning gibbous phase occurs next.
Following the third quarter is the waning crescent , which wanes until the light is completely gone -- a new moon. The Moon's Orbit You may have personally observed that the moon goes through a complete moon phases cycle in about one month.source
The Meaning of Each Moon Cycle
That's true, but it's not exactly one month. The time required for the moon to move to the same position same phase as seen by an observer on earth is called the synodic period or lunation and it is If you were to view the moon cycling the earth from outside our solar system the viewpoint of the stars , the time required is This figure is called the sidereal period or orbital period.
Why is the synodic period different from the sidereal period? The short answer is because on earth, we are viewing the moon from a moving platform: during the moon cycle, the earth has moved approximately one month along its year-long orbit around the sun, altering our angle of view with respect to the moon, and thus altering the phase.
The earth's orbital direction is such that it lengthens the period for earthbound observers. Although the synodic and sidereal periods can be used in certain calculations, the moon phase can't be precisely calculated by simple division of days because the moon's motion orbital speed and position is affected and perturbed by various forces of different strengths. From there, it fades into a Waning Crescent Moon.
Finally, the Moon disappears completely from view into another New Moon phase, only to reemerge and repeat this cycle over and over. Moon phases are the same all over the world. The same percentage and area of the Moon are illuminated no matter where on Earth you are. However, the Moon is rotated in different ways depending on the time, the date, your location, and the Moon's position in the sky. Therefore, the illuminated part of a Waning Gibbous Moon can appear on the left, the right, the top, or the bottom.
Sun enters Scorpio
There is no symbol for the Waxing Gibbous Moon in calendars as it is an intermediate Moon phase. These symbols reflect the Moon's appearance in the Northern Hemisphere, which can be confusing for people in the Southern Hemisphere, where the opposite side may be illuminated.
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The Moon illustration on our Moon phase pages changes as time passes, and indicates more accurately, although not perfectly, which part of the Moon is illuminated in more than locations worldwide. Times for Waning Gibbous can vary by time zone. Dates are based on the local time in New York. Change location.
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The cycles of the Moon or each Moon cycle are a great astrological transit for us to utilize on a day to day basis. The Moon moves very quickly through zodiac signs and through each cycle. Each of these impact us in different ways so it is good to understand how it works for you. To better understand how each these can affect you in everyday life, lets touch on how you can use the Moon calendar to jot down some notes on how it impacts you personally and why.
There are two basic principles to understand about the cycles of the Moon.
When it is waxing, it is the time to build. When it is waning, it is a time to withdraw. Each is covered below to give you an idea of how to integrate it into your everyday life - it will start to become easier and easier as you use it more.
Lunar phase - Wikipedia
Pretty soon you will get a good idea on how to make the most of each cycle in your day-to-day activities. Good time to have an awareness of new is coming into your life and what their needs and expectations are of you.
This is considered a lower energy time. A time for the completion of old tasks and activities and the preparation for new ones. Everything is considered to be in a lull at this time, life energy, emotions and physiological activity. It is often thought not the best time to start new projects - but it may represent the end of a cycle with a new project or job coming up.
So in essence the ending of something in preparation for the beginning of something new. A positive time to get things done. Thoughts are best focused on the creation and starting of things. Easiest to think of it from a farming perspective. Waxing is a time for planting and growing. Waxing means to slowly increase and the intensity increases at this point just before the Full Moon Cycle. Listening skills tend to be less evident - as people get more engaged and focused during this time.