Timing by the Moon

Moon Timing

By the Light

Moon timing is possibly the oldest form of astrological timing used for rituals, spells, farming and many personal and community endeavours.

Luna - Goddess of the Moon
Luna, 1528, is from a series of seven engravings of the Planetary Gods of the Zodiac

Systematic observation of the moon was practised by hunter-gather societies as evidenced by markings on bones and cave walls. They show that lunar cycles were noted as far back as 25,000 years ago.

Perhaps because the relatively short cycle of the moon is easily observable, and of course coinciding with women’s cycles, tides, and growth patterns, this was a practical and achievable form of early astrology/astronomy. 

The changes are predictable and therefore stable. So it makes sense that a link would be made between the faces of the moon and different natural phenomena and ambient energy.

Selenomancy is divination by the phases of the moon and its changing appearance. A prediction can be made by understanding the condition of the moon when a particular event occurred. Likewise timing the type of activity undertaken, according to the moon phases and the astrological sign in which the moon is placed, will ensure the most supportive energy for that endeavour. Gardening using the moon cycles is still widely practised for maximum crop health and harvest.

Simple Moon Planting Guide

The Phases of the Moon

There are eight phases of the moon. Generally, only four phases are published on calendars and in almanacs.

The cross-quarter lunar phases according to Dane Rudhyar, an astrologer, are significant points in that they have the potential for momentum and critical release of energy.

Because the Moon moves so quickly, completing the full cycle within a month, observing and working with  the four quarters points, (Full and New Moon, First and last Quarter) are usually close enough.

Is the Moon Waxing or Waning

The moon is said to be waxing when it is increasing in size, from the New Moon to the Full Moon. It is said to be a waning moon when decreasing in size, from the Full Moon to the New Moon.

For the purposes of ritual work, it is important to observe the waxing / waning cycle of the moon.

During the waxing moon plan events that relate to the increase, such as a celebration, or business opening

During the waning moon plan events or rituals that are about decreasing or getting rid of, such as clearing clutter or giving up a bad habit.

Sometimes it is all about the phrasing of your ritual or spell.

Lunar Phases

New Moon

Moon is 0 – 45 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Initiating, beginnings, acting on instinct.

The moon is now waxing, the light increasing and energy building. A time to initiate projects, for focus of intent, to begin things

Timing – From the conjunction of the moon and sun to 3 ½ days after. Work on exact conjunction or just after, definitely not before the conjunction. The moon rises at dawn and sets at sunset, so this is the most significant time of the day for this phase.

Offering – Milk and honey

Ritual Focus – Self-improvement, job hunting, love and romance, health, creative ventures, gardens.

Crescent Moon

Moon is 45 – 90 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – New Light, clarity

The first light of the moon shows as the sun’s light fades in the evening. Things begin to manifest, and a time to begin implementation

Timing – When the moon is 45 degrees ahead of the sun, 3 ½ days to 7 days after the New Moon. The moon rises at mid-morning and sets after sunset this is the best time to work for full lunar energy.

Offering- Candles

Ritual Focus – Planning, Firming up decisions

First Quarter

Moon is 90 – 135 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Crisis of action, Balance, equilibrium. The moon is half light half dark making her waxing square to the sun. A time to balance action and forge ahead decisively.

Timing – From when the moon is exactly square to the sun, from 7 days after the new moon to 10 ½ days. The moon rises at midnight and sets at midnight and is most potent at this time for this phase

Offering – Feathers

Ritual Focus – Motivation, elemental magic, courage friends, to encourage luck and approaching the Gibbous moon.

Gibbous Moon

Moon is 135 – 180 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Youthful enthusiasm, growth with confidence. The moon is nearly full with a piece missing. A time of increasing and charging up the energy to meet your goals

Timing- From when the moon is 135 degrees ahead of the sun to just after. The best time is 3 ½ to 2 ½ days before the Full Moon. The moon rises in the mid-afternoon and sets around 3 am, this is the most significant time for this phase.

Offering- Ribbons

Ritual Focus – Enthusiasm, patience, new knowledge, building energy, dancing, drumming

Full Moon

Moon is 180 – 225 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Power, completion, time of magic. The moon fully reflects the light of the sun combining the perfect coupling of yin and yang

Timing – When the moon is exactly opposite the sun or a day or so before. Don’t work after the exact opposition as the moon then begins the waxing phase. The moon rises at sunset and sets at dawn. Either use the exact moment of the full moon or midnight

Offering- Flowers

Ritual Focus – Protection, completion, self-improvement, knowledge, money, change, psychic power, legal undertakings, endeavours, love, romance, dreams, competition, health.


Moon is 225 – 270 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Reassessment, wisdom, initial destruction. The moonlight is now reducing and going into the waxing phase. A time of maturity and sharing. Giving back the gain from the increase at full moon.

Timing – From a day or son after the full moon up to about 5 days after the full moon. The moon rises in the mid-evening and sets mid-morning. Work during the time frame.

Offering – Grain or rice

Ritual Focus – Decisions, stress, protection, addictions, divorce

Last Quarter

Moon is 270 – 315 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Crisis of conscience, contemplation. The light is in balance as the moon assumes a waxing square with the sun. A good time to give thanks to all to eliminate the unwanted and contemplate future goals

Timing –When the moon is 90 degrees past the sun. The moon rises at midnight and sets at noon. Work within that time for maximum last quarter moon energy

Offering – Incense

Ritual Focus – Additions, endings, stress, protection, ancestors

Balsamic (Dark moon)

Moon is 315 – 360 degrees ahead of the sun

Expression – Justice, Crone’s moon. The moon is a sliver again. Going into the underworld to bring the sun to rebirth. The time of banishment.

Timing – From the exact beginning of this phase, when the moon is 45 degrees to becoming conjunct the sun to the exact moment of the New Moon is the most potent time of the lunar cycle for a ritual of banishment and letting go.  The moon rises at 3 am and sets in the mid-afternoon and is the most potent during this time period.

Offering – Honesty, Humility

Ritual Focus – Change, enemies, obstacles, quarrels, removal, stopping theft, divorce, separation,

Void of Course Moon

Void of Course Moon refers to when the moon makes no more aspects to the other significant heavenly bodies before leaving an astrological sign.

How does that work

The Moon orbits Earth in about twenty-eight days, moving through each of the signs in about two days.

As she passes through the 30 degrees of each sign, she visits with the planets in order by forming angles or aspects with them.

Because she moves one degree in just two to two-and-a-half hours, her influence on each planet lasts only a few hours.

As she approaches the late degrees of the sign she’s passing through, she eventually forms what will be her final aspect to another planet before leaving the sign.

From this point, until she actually enters the new sign, she is referred to as void-of-course (v/c).

What is the significance of Void of Course?

The Moon is the emotional tone of the day, carrying feelings of the sign she’s “wearing” at the moment.

 She rules instincts. After she has contacted each of the planets, she symbolically “rests” before changing her costume, so her instincts are temporarily on hold.

It’s during this time that many people feel fuzzy, vague, or scattered.

And so it has been noted that plans or decisions do not pan out.

Without the instinctual knowing the Moon provides as she touches each planet, we tend to be unrealistic or exercise poor judgment.

The traditional definition of
the void-of-course moon is that
“nothing will come of this,”
and it seems to be true.

Actions initiated under a void-of-course Moon are often wasted, irrelevant, or incorrect. This may be because information needed to make a sound decision is hidden or missing, or has been overlooked.

How to use Void of Course Moon

Now, although it’s not a good time to initiate plans, routine tasks seem to go along just fine.

However, this period is really ideal for what the Moon does best – reflection.

It’s at this time that we can assimilate what has occurred over the past few days.

Use this time to meditate, ponder, and imagine. Let your conscious mind rest and allow yourself to feel.

Other good uses for the void-of-course Moon.

This is the time period when the universe seems to be most open to loopholes.

It’s a great time to make plans you don’t want to fulfill or schedule things you don’t want to do. Plan a meeting you dont want to attend, and maybe it wont happen!

Resources: This website will give you the moon phases and can easily be adjusted for your region


This website gives you the void of course times for the moon as well as many other useful astrological bits of information, such as moon signs.  It is given in UTC (Greenwich Mean Time), so you may need to adjust for your region.


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