About this moon phase
The moon's phase on Friday January, 17 2020 is .
Is the moon phase the same everywhere?
Is the moon's phase the same everywhere on Earth? Yes! But that doesn't mean moon phases happen on the same "date" for everyone on Earth.
Depending on our time-zone, we each experience the start of a new calendar date at different times. All new dates start at midnight. But in one city, "midnight" can happen 12 hours before midnight in another city.
NOTE: To calculate the exact date of any moon phase, one must account for differences between geographic locations and time zones.
The question "what is the moon phase today?" is a more complicted question than it sounds. "Today" can mean different times in different locations. Furthermore, no matter where you are on Earth, the moon phase continues to progress throughout each day.
e.g: The moon may be not quite full at the beginning of the day, but be a true full moon by the end of that same day. Or a moon might be perfectly full before midnight in one city, and perfectly full after midnight in a different one. So if you search for "today's moon phase", you might see a slightly different result on this page above than you see in the sky overhead -- depending on your geographic location and the time of day.
A universal moon phase result
As such, the moon phase calculation above should be taken as an average. For most purposes, this moon phase calendar is 'accurate enough'. But please be aware that "calendar dates" are dependent on geographic location and time-zone. Moon phases for 2020 may be off by as much as 1 calendar day depending on your location. Also keep in mind that during the course of the day and night the moon's phase will progress. If the moon phase shown above is a "hair off" from a major moon phase, there is a good chance that the moon will pass, or has already passed through that major phase at some point during the current 24 hour period.
If you need a more accurate reading on the position of the moon, as well as the position of the planets, please use the astrological charting application.
If this date is a birth-date, use the search-tool on the main moon phase page and select the 'birth moon' option for meanings and interpretations of this moon phase on your birthday according to 'moon-phase astrology'.
Why is the moon tilted in the sky?
Depending on your location and the time of day, the moon may appear tilted. This is particularly noticeable during crescent moons when the moon can appear "on it's back" or rotated forwards. The moon phase depicted above is shown at a consistent angle for the sake of clarity, but the moon overhead in the sky may appear rotated very differently depending on where you are.
About the moon's other phases
In Western astrology there are 8 major phases of the moon. What we call "phases" however, are really just arbitrary divisions of an ever changing interplay of light and dark. There could just as easily be 16 or more phases, but the general division into 8 moon phase names based on a system of "quarters" and "transitional phases" between each quarter is used by virtually all astrologers and astronomers alike.
Astrologers first divided the cycle into the four primary phases (New, First Quarter, Full, Last Quarter) and then the 2 crescent phases and 2 gibbous phases were added between them as "transitional phases". Mathematically speaking, each phase's "perfect" state exists at 1/8th of the way (or .125) through the cycle.
To understand the moon phase order, we start with the "new moon". The new moon is not visible because the sun is shining on the side of the moon opposite to our position on Earth.
The second phase of the moon is the "evening crescent", followed by the "first quarter moon" which many people mistakenly call a "half moon". After the first quarter moon come the "waxing gibbous" and then the "full moon".
While we often perceive full moons to last for 3 days or more, the reality is that they are only truly full for an instant. The full moon marks the final phase of the waxing moon, after which begin the waning moon stages.
Following the full moon come the "waning gibbous", "last quarter" and "morning crescent" phases. The final waning phase of the moon is the "new moon", at which point the cycle begins again.
The New Moon
The first lunar phase is called the "new moon". The new moon phase is the only phase that is not visible in its perfect state. From Earth, the moon will appear dark. Nights and evenings can be especially dark during new moons.
Why isn't the new moon visible?
The new moon is typically not visible with the naked eye, although careful observers may notice that it blocks the visibility of stars behind it. During a new moon, the sun is shining entirely on the other side of the moon (which we cannot see.)
The moon itself is still receiving sunlight, but due to the relative angle of the earth and sun, we cannot see the side of the moon which is receiving sunlight.
NOTE: In some astrology texts, the start of the new moon is considered to be the very first moment the crescent of the moon is fractionally visible -- as this is the true start to the lunar cycle. In other texts, the new moon is considered to be the moment when the moon is completely invisible to the unaided eye.
The meaning of the new moon
This is time of new beginnings. This moon heralds an excellent time to start new projects, new relationships and to "turn a new page" in life. A new moon is a time of increased spiritual potential, building energy, apprehension and excitement for what lies ahead. This is a time for creativity, passion and a flourishing of new ideas. Intentions and goals swirl around us as the path ahead slowly comes into focus.
The Evening Crescent Moon
The second lunar phase is called the "evening crescent" or "waxing crescent moon". It is the first of the waxing phases of the moon following the new moon. The definition of a perfect "evening crescent moon" is an illumination of exactly 25% of the moon's face during the waxing cycle. It is typically visible in the late morning to early evening.
The meaning of the evening crescent moon
As this lunar cycle is now underway, an understanding of this cycle's energies has begun to take shape. We begin to put plans into action. We begin to take our first steps along the path that came into focus during the new moon.
Mistakes will be made, but they are 'good mistakes'. This moon phase indicates a time of trying new strategies and testing new waters. The energy of the new moon is at your back you and the wind is filling your sails. Follow your heart but don't ignore your intellect at this time.
The First Quarter Moon
The third phase in the moon's monthly cycle is the "first quarter moon". This waxing moon phase is often mistakenly referred to as a "half moon" because it is half visible. During the first quarter moon, the moon is one-quarter of the way through the overall lunar cycle.
The definition of a first quarter moon is a phase with an illumination of roughly 50%. The phase begins about one week into the lunar cycle. The iconic first quarter moon is often bright enough to spot during the daylight hours.
This moon phase is preceded by the evening crescent moon, and followed by the waxing gibbous moon phase.
The meaning of the first quarter moon
With this moon above we are now deeply rooted in plans and trends which began the week before. Momentum grows by the day. What were once small personal goals and ambitions are now beginning to manifest themselves visibly.
The first quarter moon can also be conflicted: Its divided nature represents both a wealth of progress and a daunting amount of work still undone. Beware of doubts at this time. Know that momentum is with you and let your spirit guide you forwards. Challenges will arise, but they should be met head-on and not avoided.
The Waxing Gibbous Moon
The fourth phase in the monthly lunar cycle is the "waxing gibbous moon", which is the final waxing phase before the full moon. The easily identifiable "bulging" shape of the waxing gibbous is one of the brightest moon phases. A true waxing gibbous moon has 75% of the waxing lunar disc visible and occurs ten to eleven days after the new moon. This moon phase can be easy to mistake for a full moon phase -- which follows in a couple of days.
The meaning of the waxing gibbous moon
Waxing gibbous moons represent times of intense anticipation. Parts of your plans will feel complete, but others feel like they are hanging on the brink of a conclusion. There is a palpable feeling of "almost" in everything you do at this time -- as if the world is bracing itself in anticipation of something big happening.
At the same time, there can be an insidious temptation to quit during the waxing gibbous phase. It's common to feel like things are "good enough" right now. Should you walk away and move on to something else? Resist these temptations at this time. The true fruition of your plans and energies still lies ahead.
The Full Moon
There is no more revered and impressive sight in the night sky than the full moon. The full moon marks the half-way point of the monthly lunar cycle, and is considered its peak.
This fifth phase of the lunar cycle begins when the sun and moon are at a 180 degree angle to one another, and the maximum amount of the sun's light is reflected back towards the Earth. The full moon typically rises in the evening and sets in at sunrise, affording the brightest nights of the lunar cycle.
The meaning of the full moon
The power of the full moon is awesome and everywhere. We are jubilant and filled with its energy. Sometimes to the point of being irrational, giddy and out of control. There is a natural, mystical wildness to the full moon, and it fills every corner of our lives. This is a time for achievement and fulfillment. Goals are accomplished, but the unexpected can happen too. With this much energy flowing through each of us we are filled with the ability to rise above our everyday expectations -- but we are also prone to getting caught-up in that energy and acting rashly.
The full moon brings peaks of intense emotional energy. We find ourselves charged with its power whether we want it or not. Our emotions rise like the tide. Our passions overflow. At times this may result in bursts of creativity and genius. But at other times it may result in irrational outbursts and even a loss of control. The spiritual power of the full moon can be overwhelming. It is a time when anything can happen. It is both a gift of energy and a time of unpredictable overflowing passion.
The full moon is typically regarded as a poor time to start projects. While you may feel a surge of energy, vitality and creativity -- the reality is that the lunar cycle has finished its waxing phase. Now begins the waning cycle. Projects started at the full moon are typically regarded as missteps -- born at a time of passion and brilliance, but possibly without a strong foundation in common sense.
The Waning Gibbous Moon
The waning gibbous traditionally begins on the 3rd or 4th day after the full moon. A 'perfect' waning gibbous is considered to be a 75% illumination during the waning cycle. Some astrologers prefer to use the older term "disseminating moon" to describe this phase, although most modern astrologers now use the more generally accepted term, "waning gibbous". The waning gibbous rises in the late evening hours and remains visible until mid-morning. It is the sixth phase of the monthly lunar cycle.
The meaning of the waning gibbous moon
Transformation is upon us as we depart from the full moon. We have crossed a great river from a place of growth and gathering momentum, to a different land of ebbing energies and waning phases.
This may indicate a time of questioning previously held ideas -- ideas that seemed wise only last week. The passionate genesis of the waxing phase has now transitioned into a period of introspection, questions and possibly letting go of ideas that need to be abandoned.
The waning gibbous heralds a time of intense communication. Ideas need to be shared. Issues need to be addressed. And an assessment of our position needs to be made. This is an excellent time for reading and study. Through knowledge and information comes the ability to transform. As the world around us shifts into the waning cycle of the lunar month, we too must shift ourselves into a period of decreasing momentum, flexibility and resilience.
The Last Quarter Moon
The iconic last quarter moon is the seventh phase in the monthly lunar cycle. Like the first quarter moon, the last quarter phase is often incorrectly referred to as a "half moon" because only half of the moon's face is visible. During the last quarter phase, the moon is three-quarters of the way through its monthly transformation.
The last quarter moon is preceded by the waning gibbous moon, and followed by it's final phase: the morning crescent. The last quarter moon typically rises around midnight and stays in the sky until mid-day.
The meaning of the last quarter moon
The last quarter moon is a time of reckoning. The achievements of the past weeks may keep you on solid footing, or your mistakes may also catch up with you at this time. There is an unsteady feeling to all things during this phase. The end of the cycle is drawing near, but there is still work to be done. It is common to feel like life is in chaos at this time -- as if mistakes are piling up along with unexpected pitfalls.
It is a time to take stock of wise decisions and to abandon bad ones. The last quarter moon is an excellent time to change a bad habit. You have learned things over the past weeks and now they must be consciously applied. Although there are pitfalls everywhere at this time, there is also a clear path forwards. Let the moon's remaining light show you the path.
The Morning Crescent Moon
The eighth and final phase of the lunar cycle is the morning crescent or "waning crescent moon". Some astrologers also refer to this phase as a "balsamic moon" or less-frequently a "dark moon". The morning crescent moon typically rises in the early morning (hence its name) just before dawn, and sets in the late afternoon.
Because only 25% of the moon's face is visible during a perfect morning crescent, this phase is usually only visible early in the morning when it is still quite dark -- or on a particularly clear day.
The morning crescent phase is preceded by the last quarter moon, and is followed by the new moon at the start of the next lunar monthly cycle.
The meaning of the morning crescent moon
The morning crescent phase is a time of deep introspection. The "extroverted" phases are behind us, and a time for meditation, self-awareness and deep thought is upon us. We look ahead to the rebirth of spiritual energy in the new moon -- but we are not yet there. Now is a time to look inside ourselves, rest and gather our energies for the coming rush of creativity that comes with the next lunar cycle.
As the moon slips away into darkness we let go of tensions which arose during the cycle. We center ourselves, say goodbye to the waning crescent and connect with our inner selves.
As the moon fades to black, the cycle is complete.