The First Quarter Of The Lunar Cycle
The first quarter, or new Moon, is a time for new beginnings. The solar and lunar energies come together and pull in the same direction, which provides a thrust of new life. Beginnings come to pass as instinctive or intuitive actions. Since all is hidden from light at the dark Moon, dreams and waking inspirations often hold the answers. Our inner-self naturally listens to the rhythms of the world and is aware of the unseen.
Shortly before the new Moon, a New Age bookstore owner told me her story. Apparently, she was so busy with her daily activities that she seldom found time to read the books in her store. Around the time of the new Moon, her intuitive abilities were at their strongest, and she was able to recommend books without reading them. She matched her "feelings" about a person to her "feelings" about a book. The feedback she received from her customers was very positive.
Toward the end of the first quarter, the Moon and Sun are no longer in relative alignment. The Moon exerts a stronger influence; it maintains its energetic presence but is no longer added to by the Sun. The Moon's and Sun's energies will be combined again at the full Moon, when they are opposed to each other. Until then, the newly-formed crescent Moon shines and grows, nurturing all that is positive. This is the time to finalize plans and make progress. Gather your energies and direct them toward new goals.
The Second Quarter Of The Lunar Cycle
The second quarter is a time to work on things already started. Apply active energy towards completing, producing, or adding to previously initiated projects or activities. Under the steadily growing light of the Moon, progress toward goals should be well underway. As the full Moon approaches, the final touches should be put in place to perfect that which is desired.
Michael manufactures magical knives (athames and bolines) by hand for a select clientele. He is very particular, as are his customers, about the phase of the Moon when he's crafting these knives. He will only forge, temper, and hone blades or fashion the handles during the Moon's first and second quarters. He polishes the blades, decorates the handles, and sews the sheaths in the last few days of the second quarter, and completes his knives by the full Moon.
The Third Quarter Of The Lunar Cycle
The third quarter begins with the full Moon, which signals the time for completion. What was begun at the new Moon has progressed to maturity. The full Moon represents the peak of lunar, life-giving energies and, when coupled with the opposing solar energies, we receive all that nature has to offer. This is the time when effort meets its purpose. Our work is complete, and we should put to use what we worked so hard to create. Fulfillment is the primary directive as we near the last quarter. The original thought has become reality. As this quarter progresses, begin to consider the excess that needs to be reduced.
The Fourth Quarter Of The Lunar Cycle
The fourth quarter is a time for destruction or disintegration. It is a time to eliminate the unnecessary in order to make room for the new. We have celebrated our success long enough. Now we must rid ourselves of old thoughts and plans to make room for new inspirations. This is the time to dismantle that which has been productive in order to eventually make room for new life in the freshly fertilized ground. The light is decreasing as darkness begins to take control.
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Michael cuts his stock and cleans his forge during the Moon's last quarter.
When the need for destruction arises, it should be brought to light during the third quarter and allowed to die, as with all things during the last two quarters of the Moon. The dark Moon arrives with lessons of its own. The Moon is dark in the last days of this quarter, which is nature's time to rest and recuperate.
Upon completing the cycle of birth, life, and death, the soul remains in this darkness to concentrate on the lessons of this incarnation. These teachings remain in the forefront of thought, and must be condensed and converted to a vision to be built upon in the next life. It is in this phase that the past makes a commitment to the future. Introspection is a key word for the dark Moon. Since most of the work that occurs during the dark Moon is of an intuitive nature, intentions and affirmations are the best hope for permanently laying to rest that which is dead.
The shift from light to darkness and back again is a natural phenomenon. As the Moon revolves around the earth and the earth revolves around the Sun, there is always a dark and a light side. Darkness has often been associated with evil, and light is usually considered to hold the goodness of all things. This belief probably came about because darkness hides all within its realm, while light is seemingly transparent and open by nature. These beliefs are somewhat unfortunate because each of us has a dark side -- a hidden inner-self. Meditation gives us access to our darkness and raises our level of consciousness so that we might understand the relationship between the dark and light aspects that comprise the soul.
This article is excerpted with permission from the book:
The Moon & Everyday Living
by Daniel Pharr.
About the Author
Daniel Pharr is a writer, firewalking instructor, and Pagan living in the Pacific Northwest. He is an avid practitioner of Eastern and Western spirituality, divination, and energy work. Daniel is also a scuba instructor, a martial arts teacher with a Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, and a Certified Firewalker Instructor. Visit his website at http://www.dannypharr.com