Phases of the Moon

I don’t think I ever made as much sense of myself as when I started working with the phase of the moon that I was born under. A fairly newborn waxing crescent, living in the shadows of the “dark” phases and yes, the confirmed introvert and shyer-away from collective behaviours and yet I am also “of” the growth phase of the moon and that is what I am primarily talking about today as I share this brief post (I could write copiously on this topic but I will leave Steven Forest to explain all in his excellent The Book of the Moon). Even before SF suggested it, I began running comparisons of all the people I could think of and their moon phase and, as with the Out of Bounds Moon trait that I wrote about previously, I found super-accurate correlations. Of course, as Forest reasserts at the start of every new chapter, a whole load of other factors come into the way that a person’s moon phase plays out but there is something remarkably consistent and assertive, underlying all that, which seems to correspond with this moon-phase aspect, right down to the very precise degree of wholeness the moon has reached at the time of birth.

By wholeness, I don’t mean that a person born under the full moon is any more “whole” than someone who is not…but they certainly tend to be very much more manifest as a “human being” with all that entails, materially speaking and in terms of outlook. As for myself, on the other-hand, I have always tended to feels like I am hanging in here by the very merest thread of a connection to physical reality; one which wavers and wobbles in the slightest breeze…and I’ve always felt more familiar, somehow, with the unmanifest reality that lies unseen yet, for me, very minutely felt. I’ve found similar traits amongst other waxing crescent people, of whom I have “accidentally” gathered a small but meaningful collection in my life (one being my husband), along with more than a handful of early waxing gibbous types (those born just after the first quarter point), a phase out of which I seem to have hand-picked my very closest female allies across a lifetime, including my mother. My immediate instinct, on realising this, was that I “chose” them because they were a more worldly version of my waxing trait, capable of showing me the ropes, somewhat, when it comes to being “me” in a more manifest sense (all of them have been more successful than I at bringing their esoteric side out into the world, in practical, socially acceptable, collaborative and even commercially successful ways).

Though I have formed meaningful relationships with many other people born under other moon phases (SF’s system works with 8 precise segments), those other relationships have not run deep at the esoteric level and have, rather, served a more worldly purpose to me (I see in retrospect), as practical partnerships and friends that helped “get me out into the world” at times of my life when it felt important to do so. I laughed to see the segment of the moon immediately following the full moon described as “The Human” in SF’s book; yes, I have had several of those human friends and they have been good for me in a variety of ways. However, I notice how I feel less of a kinship and thus less at ease with these people than I do with my waxing friends and, as I have increasingly allowed myself to dive the depths of “who I really am” in the broadest sense, those friendships have largely fallen by the wayside or become more perfunctory while my waxing friends persist in ways that feel collaborative at the deepest level.

One of the key traits that we waxers share, and particularly identify with, is the “growth” urge that the waxing phase is all about. Having that burning passion to manifest something is what gets us up in the morning; like a relentless desire to break the soil-surface of our current paradigm and push our shoot skyward towards the sun…So, akin to how foliage in our gardens must feel as it receives Nature’s cue to pull back now, that shift in moon phase from waxing to waning can feel for us just like when the midsummer solstice is over and the days become undeniably, shorter, the urge less towards growth than it is towards bearing fruit and turning inwards. Likewise, we feel the phases of life that carry the energy of being “beyond the full moon” as an alienation of sorts…or we do if we lose that sense of growth-purpose that is so inbuilt at our core. In fact, I suspect the evolutionary gift of learning to work with this phase is the potential to over-ride the seasons to become more steady as the growth phase that we are, regardless of outer circumstances, which involves swimming against the tide and takes the deepest kind of inner work; the kind that accepts “other” as self, ceasing the prior paradigm of resistance and separation.

Another theme keeps pressing on me as I dive this matter deeper and it’s the topic of feeling thwarted. Of all the times in my life that have felt most (self) destructive it’s those when I have allowed myself to feel thwarted, cut off in my prime, shut down and not welcomed or wanted in whatever growth project I have been putting out into the world. I see that same thwarted theme in my waxing gibbous mother’s life; her career “shut down” as soon as she got married, her self-expression “shut down” by so many people (even my father) who failed to truly grasp where she was coming from, even when it came from such powerful love and her purpose “shut down” when all her children flew the nest far and wide, leaving the domestic construct of which she was the undisputed matriarch in total disarray. The more thwarted she became, the more she grew herself instead until, when the weight became a serious problem because of diabetes, the sudden need to lose it left that growth urge nowhere to go…and so she grew a cancer in her liver instead. Heaven only know where her powerful growth urge (and it really was formidable!) could have taken her in an alternate life and so the gift is the seeing of that, even in hindsight. It’s a version of the “growth” theme I’ve noticed more than once in the case of a powerfully creative waxing gibbous person and I would be so curious to see the results of a study comparing types of cancer with natal phases of the moon. As ever, there is always oportunity in that circumstance if viewed from the highest perspective.

For the waxing crescent, I may be over-egging my own experience but, I suspect the shadow tendency is more a case of responding to “feeling thwarted”  by acting like the shoot that got scalded by the midday sun. So we recoil, wounded and now over-sensitive (often with nerve issues or anxiety, super-sensitivities, chronic health conditions that necessitate a solitary life and so on…perhaps also skin issues including cancer), sometimes pulling back even further into the dark moon than where we started from. So, in my own case, I have noticed that I have periods of time when I definitely feel and act more like a waning than a waxing crescent; wanting, almost, to “get out of here” and have nothing more to do with the manifest existence that makes up my painful and frustrating human life. I suspect there’s a certain ease and pragmatism when it comes to considering our own physical demise, for a very dark-phase moon person, too; perhaps because we are so familiar of what lies on the other side of our death and remember so clearly that it is not an end. The result is that we can back-track more easily than a waxing gibbous; can do that slippery u-turn and pull back into our cave when the going doesn’t feel good since physical survival isn’t more important to us than our broadest level of comfort; a distinction which mostly prevents us from making growth into a very obvious physical thing, to do with health or body mass (though it can, from time to time). We would often rather pull back to lick our wounds than keep on pushing forwards into a wall of resistance and remain more intact in that deep-dark place than is relatable to more manifest beings to whom spending much time on their own or in social isolation is a terrible prospect.

Perhaps it’s so much harder for the waxing gibbous to pull back in like that when the going gets tough, having got their growth momentum started, and so they battle on against all the resistance they are encountering in the world (to good effect or perhaps at the cost of their health) or divert that growth mechanism into the propagation of the “wrong thing” within their own bodies or personal lives. This might be something counter-helpful or even destructive which grows and grows as an obstacle in their life, in spite of their innate optimism, which only confuses them, though if they gain the overview and work with this obstacle in all-new ways, drawn from the well of their waxing momentum, the healing that can occur in such situations can be profound and even groundbreaking. Us waxing crescents always seems to have a stronger sense of having other “escape” options when the going gets tough (being that much closer to the “beginning” of the dark moon…like we have hardly stepped in through the manifest doorway of what it is to be human). Those choices, which we allow for recuperation and a certain amount of reconfiguration, might include living on the fringes of what is deemed “normal” or seldom going out into community; behaviours we feel we need, some or even most of the time, in order to survive the times when when our growth periods thrust us forwards, which tends to happen in spurts. And yet that ever-persistent growth urge, from within that choice to hide away, can feel like the very thing that both keeps us from going nuts, by grounding us into some sort of manifest, collaborative and relatable existence (at least part of the time), but also what makes us more crazy than ever; because we just have to keep on creating, striving, growing, opening…as though we really have no choice in the matter. Though we hardly know why, we just have to keep on being optimistic, imagining new outcomes, forging forwards with new projects that we birth from somewhere so bizarre and outside of most people’s concept of what is “normal”  or “relatable” that we are more likely than every to be rebuffed in our efforts….but we keep on dusting ourselves down and starting over anyway. It’s who we are and how we are, and knowing our moon phase in more depth has the potential to help us reconcile this otherwise bizarre behavour.

So, back forth, back and forth we go…only wishing that we could take the easier route of becoming the all-or-nothing hermit (which is much-more the territory of the waning crescent) but something in us keeps making us “put out” into the world, only to get our feathers burned and to recoil, feeling oh-so frustrated and weary again. This can feel even more tricky for us once we pass the “full moon” phase of our lives, at mid-life, and start to feel that waning momentum building in our very biology. A sense of “what is the point” seems to tug us contrary to ourselves more than ever before now and the body can feel oh-so tired out, especially if we have struggled with relentless health issues for a very long time (again, I can’t help wondering if chronic nervous-exhaustion-type health issues are the natural domain of the waxing crescent). We navigate the very hinterland of human experience but we are also here to grow and there’s no avoiding that by staying where we would rather be…in the dark, out of sight. Our more comfortable “later life” experiences will come (I suspect) from accepting this dichotomy and working with it to the best of our ability; allowing both the creative-growth aspect and the private-contemplative aspect to coexist comfortably side-by-side…and for me, that’s still work in progress. We will each get to work with this theme in our own special way, coloured by other influences in our experience but this feels like the basis of the waxing-crescent experience, wherever we happen to find our most comfortable expression of it. Perhaps my extremely slow-moving, Out of Bounds Moon makes me an extreme case of a waxing crescent; thrust into being far more abstract than most people yet driven almost mad with the need to keep asserting or offering something of what I have in case it might be of use to other people. This is the essence of the pain-pleasure paradox of my passion for writing; damned if I do, damned if I don’t, so I swing back and forth, wondering why doing it feels so compelling when my audience is so niche and generally unresponsive. Yet I keep on offering abstract bits and pieces of myself forwards in case I happen to “see” something  in my own experience that is important for someone else to hear as a reminder, as they intersect my words with their own experiences (as these synchnonicities tend to work). Perhaps this is the full extent of what I can expect from myself when it comes to co-creation; and yet, maybe its time I stopped knocking it so hard since it seems to be very typical of the waxing-crescent’s way.

Perhaps this post holds hope of being relatable only to other waxing moon types and, even then, only those who are eager to plunge the depths of the topic starting, I would recommend, with Forrest’s book (though I suspect it comes with the turf that we are the very types most likely to deep-dive this kind of material). As with the way I plunged into the Nine Waves of Creation (with which I glean numerous cross-references; working with 27 day moon cycles is not so very different to how I continue to “work” with the 36 day rhythms of the Ninth Wave…), this territory is where we tend to feel most at home. Our playground is a world of overviews and archetypes more so than people and things; so this is where we find we already have our driver’s license and that we already half-know our way around as soon as we glean a new stretch of road opening up for us to explore. Yet it can be a long, lonely and misunderstood road “being” a waxing crescent (which is the ony moon phase I have any real authority to talk about since it is mine) and this new understanding of myself, relative to the moon, has been one of the most profound mechanisms for helping me make some sort of sense out of what previously felt the least fathomable about myself. Knowing this about my moon phase doesn’t determine who I am or where I’m headed (though I have found the progressed moon phases of my life so startlingly accurate that I feel compelled to bear them in mind as a springboard to a deeper understanding of, at least, the rhythms of what lies ahead…) but, rather, it helps me to gain more clarity and overview, perhaps a better foothold, as I launch myself onwards, than I ever had before; which is the very strong point of Evolutionary Astrology. Worked with as it is put out there by players such as Steven Forrest, this material contributes to a deeper understanding of our individual evolutionary potential, as a tool of higher understanding from a view “way out there”, (you could say) as high as the moon. It’s a reminder of how we set things up on arrival in this particular human vehicle; a clue to how we intended to work with our human opportunity in a particular way in order to gain a certain amount of evolutionary benefit out of it all; yes, even the stuff that feels really hard or more than a little bit off track. We can lose touch with the thread of “who we meant to be” as the cloth of life becomes ever more wooly with the friction of circumstance and it can be so useful to reconnect with that most pristine of golden fibres; the one that led us to want to be here at this place and time in our collective evolutionary story, contributing our all-important piece to the tapestry. It can provide the very mid-life review that helps keep us working to our strengths and playing down our apparent weaknesses, owning parts of ourselves that might otherwise have felt like unhelpful foibles or even downright flaws in our own perfection. When we see ourselves “by design”, as though looking down at our original blueprint, it can be a wake-up call and a motivation boost; not as a prediction device or any other kind of old-style limitation structure but as a springboard to reaching new heights.

In fact, working with this material has actually helped me to feel more at home in my own body at a very-crucial time for me in terms of needing all the renewed motivation I can get. Its helped me to get over some of the “givens” about the way I am as a waxing crescent, and stop fighting them, such as the dark phase traits that keep me pulled back from too much social engagement or “taking part” in life. For me, it’s as though the moon is no longer just this big white glowing rock “out there” but, rather, that it’s now internalized and fully integrated within me, “as” a working aspect of me (along with my sun aspect, which I am also working with somewhat differently in light of Forrest’s book). This is almost exactly the transition in moon-relationship that Annie Sennov talks about in her Golden Age, Golden Earth book (a complex discussion with which I don’t fully resonate though I can relate to parts of it, including the newly individualised nature of what the moon has now become to me compared to what it more generally represented to me, externally, “before”). Yet it’s almost funny how this process came about for me (as she predicted it would, post Aura-Transformation) through my chance encounter with Forrest’s book and the way I felt so magnetically drawn to study the material as deeply as I have. As with all these approaches, there’s an inherent danger of intellectualising who you think you are or where you are at; and this is best avoided in favour of a soft, integrated, intuitive approach to what feels useful to know. Below is the review I shared on Goodreads for The Book of the Moon, which will give you a further taster of my response to it and why I recommend it to anyone that is curious (not just astrologers!), should they be interested in taking the plunge. It’s a wonderfully accessible read; compulsive too and, who knows, may offer you that whole other layer of self-understanding that was previously so elusive but which drops in the missing piece of the puzzle (which is how it feels to me).

Review of The Book of the Moon with numerous attached quotes that will give you a preview of some of the themes discussed above and more.

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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1 Response to Phases of the Moon

  1. Pingback: The moon and our key relationships | spinning the light

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