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Modern Moon Rituals For 2021 Part II

Modern Moon Rituals For 2021 Part II

Welcome back!

This is the second of a two part series covering how to craft your own moon rituals and bring your life further into harmony with the cycles of the Moon -
if you haven’t read Part I yet, you can check it out here!

So you’ve been monitoring the moon phase for a while and you’d like to deepen your practice, maybe go beyond the full moon/new moon duality and give your magic and manifestation some more power and nuance?

Sounds like it’s time to introduce a couple more moon phases you’ll want to keep track of: the first and third quarter moons!

If you visualize the reflected light of the moon moving across the satellite’s
surface, these names will start to make more sense.

The first quarter moon comes when the moon is waxing, exactly halfway through her journey from new to full... and the third quarter moon, yes, is the halfway point while the moon is waning (or moving from full back to new). Looking up, or rather out, at the Moon during a first or third quarter Moon, you’ll see why these are also called half moons - but remember, the direction of the lunar energy matters, so I’ll stick to first and third quarter. So now you see where this popular design comes into play, and you’ll be able to locate the new, first quarter, full, and third quarter moons. Awesome - but magically speaking, what does it mean??

First Quarter Moon: between the seeds of manifestation that were planted at the new moon and the harvest of the full moon we find the first quarter moon. The half that reflects the Sun’s light down to us has grown to cover roughly 50% of the lunar surface, and so too our efforts towards our stated intentions and goals for this lunar cycle are taking hold and finding firm roots.

This, for me, can be a time of either great cooperation and synergy across my
mundane and magical workings (think Four of Wands, if you love Tarot like I do!) OR it can seem to be a total cluster (Five of Wands... enough said). The key is to take time to actively manage the strong energies of this Moon, to use them to reaffirm your commitment to your goals, and of course to check that you are Doing The Work!

Herbs for the First Quarter Moon: Cedar, juniper, garlic
Crystals for the First Quarter Moon: Amethyst, carnelian
Affirmations for the First Quarter Moon: “I rise to any challenge,” “I claim the
strength to face anything to achieve my goal”

Third Quarter Moon:
They may look the same on the face of it, but the two Moons couldn’t be more
different in terms of their places in the lunar cycle and their effect on your goals, challenges, and even your energy levels and mood! Remember that this is the outgoing Moon (sometimes called the Last Quarter Moon), the denouement after the beautiful Full Moon crescendo and after we all reap the results of our spellwork and other hard work towards the goals we’ve set for that cycle.

So what on earth do we do with the third quarter moon, then? The lunar energies have peaked and we - hopefully - have manifested more of what we want in our lives, and less of what we don’t. All we have to do is wait for the New Moon and we can start all over again, right?

Yeah... Not exactly. If you don’t leverage the third quarter moon energies
correctly, you won’t have as stable a foundation when trying to work with the
New Moon. Remember that the New Moon is used not only to sow the seeds of the changes we want to bring about in our lives, but also about letting go of that which no longer serves. This formation of the way to success and new thought forms begins here at the third quarter, where you’ll find yourself looking inward at the past cycle.

Did what you manifest come to pass? How did it look? Were there obstacles, and how did you overcome them? What would you do differently if you had it to do again? If you’ve ever written a project wrap up for work, this will all seem very familiar - but it works!

These are some of the common journal prompts I like to use at the third quarter moon, but I’m certain that once you start manifesting along with the lunar cycle, you’ll find even more questions to ponder. As long as you’re working in alignment with this Moon’s energy, and beginning to shed the things that may have hindered you in this or a previous cycle, there’s no real wrong way to do it!

Herbs for the Third Quarter Moon: Salt, rue, rosemary
Crystals for the Third Quarter Moon: Tourmalinated quartz
Affirmations for the Third Quarter Moon: “I trust the process,” “I am shedding
what must be released and I prepare for new growth”


  • You’ll notice I make mention above of Doing The Work, and you’re right - the capitalization is on purpose. More on Doing The Work in another column. It’s too much for right here and now. We’ll get there though.

  • Always forgetting when the Moon phases fall? I’ve been there! Pro tip: look up the Moons for a few cycles in advance and write them down in your planner, or find an astrological calendar to subscribe to on your phone - I use this one:

  • These moon phases straddle the line between light and dark, and you may wish to take a few extra moments of meditation and journaling when you notice they’re coming up. They provide great energy, but you’ve got to have the will to make the most of it and work within it.
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