Health & Wellness, Spirituality

What Are Astrological Moon Phases? A Guide To Manifesting and Setting Intentions

moon phase intentions

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s spring editorial intern Selma Dizdarevic. Find her on Instagram at @selmadiizdarevic. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

The moon is not just a pretty sight up high in the sky—it plays a large part in astrology and in our everyday lives. In the realm of astrology, the moon sign represents the inner workings of one’s emotions, deep desires and truest feelings: it is a reflection of one’s true self. While most people know about the full moon and new moon phases and their astrological importance, there are several other in-between phases that you can tap into and use to your benefit.

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The eight phases of the moon all mean different things. Some are for letting go and releasing energy while others represent new beginnings and setting intentions. There are so many ways that moon phases can help you feel realigned and rejuvenated in your day-to-day life. But, we get that it can be confusing (what’s a waning gibbous, anyway?), so allow us to simplify it for you. Here is a guide to astrological moon phases, complete with a how-to on moon phase intentions and more to help you reach your fullest energetic potential.

The Phases

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New moon: This isn’t just the name of that one Twilight movie. Scientifically, this happens when the Sun and Moon align and come together. Think of the new moon as a blank slate and a great time to think about your future goals and possibilities. At this stage, reflect on where you are and visualize becoming the highest, best version of yourself.

Waxing crescent moon: This is the second moon phase and marks the beginning of the moon’s rebuilding, as only a small part of the moon is visible here. Take what you have visualized during the new moon phase and start to work at it by setting intentions. Change old habits that are no longer serving you or your peace and continue to plan and prepare for your idealized self.

First-quarter moon: At this point in the phases, the moon is illuminated halfway. Spiritually, this makes for a time of reflection, conflict resolution and perseverance. The intentions you set for yourself might be challenged at this stage, so it’s a perfect time to reflect on your goals and strengthen the steps you are taking to fulfill them. It might get rocky, so be prepared to squash whatever obstacles come your way and keep striving towards living your best life.

Waxing gibbous moon: The waxing gibbous phase comes just before the full moon stage, so the moon is easily visible and pretty well-lit here. The first-quarter moon might have given you obstacles and hindrances, but you’ve taken them in your stride and now it’s all about staying committed to your goals and adjusting them if necessary.

Full moon: This phase is when the moon is opposite the Sun, illuminating it fully and giving us the loveliest view. Not only that, but it also has a ton of spiritual significance. It is an emotionally charged time, which means you might be feeling all the feels during a full moon. Bask in reaching the peak of the phases and all the progress you have made.

Waning gibbous moon: After the full moon, light is lost and it becomes smaller, which marks the waning gibbous phase. It’s a great time to reap all that you’ve sown over the past couple of weeks, especially after the climactic full moon, so introspection and gratitude are key here.

Third-quarter moon: The third-quarter phase, also known as the last quarter, is all about releasing and letting go. Forgiveness is critical here. Reflect on whatever may be holding you back, and get rid of any negative energy or bad habits that get in your way.  

Waning crescent moon: This phase is right before the new moon and signifies a period of rest and recuperation. Now that the moon phase is at the end of its cycle, it’s a great time to practice self-care and tap into how you’re feeling so that you enter the next cycle with greater clarity and peace.

Working With The Moon

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Now that we’ve gone over the phases and what they mean both scientifically and symbolically, you’re going to want to know the best ways to work with the moon. This includes manifesting intentions and releasing energy, so get ready to tap into your spiritual side with these methods!

In the wake of new possibilities during a new moon, it’s important to set powerful new intentions for yourself. These intentions will help guide you on a path to becoming your best self, so it’s crucial that they speak to your specific goals and needs. Grab a pen and paper and let the words flow. Make sure to write your manifestations in present, affirming language. For example, you could write something like “I am on the path to being successful in my chosen career.” You can also strengthen your intentions and send them out into the universe by speaking them out loud.

As we’ve mentioned, the full moon phase is a feeling fest. You’re bound to feel a lot of energy, so it’s a great time to release anything that isn’t benefitting you. As with new moon intentions, you can do this ritual in writing or by speaking out loud. Some full moon intentions examples include, “I release any fears and insecurities that are holding me back” and “I let go of negative thoughts about myself and others.”

While all eight phases of the moon cycle are important to know, the big phases to remember and practice rituals for are the new moon and the full moon. So, start being intentional and do what serves your peace and prosperity. You’ll be closer to unlocking your full potential and will be more in tune with your inner world than ever.

Did you like this article on moon phases and moon phase intentions? Did you find these full moon intentions examples helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

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