What Does A Waxing Moon Mean & How To Create Your Own Ritual

waxing moon
Photo by Min An

There’s a lot of information, conversation, and rituals designed around the new and full moon, but what is the waxing moon, and how can you work with the energy of this lunar phase?

I have been living and leading in harmony with the waning and waxing of the moon for many years. Ever since I discovered that the moon cycle mirrors our own sacred cycle as women, I was hooked. Her cycle lasts around 29.5 days, the same length of time as an average menstrual cycle. She waxes and wanes, alternating between light and shadow, as do we.

I continue to deepen my understanding of both feminine cycles and work with the natural energy available to me on any given day. I plan my calendar and tackle particular tasks and projects when my energy is best suited to them. This is just a small part of what lunar living looks like.

Are you ready to explore the waxing moon in more detail?

The Eight Phases of the Moon

waxing moon

The eight phases of the moon are:

  • New Moon
  • Waxing Crescent
  • First Quarter
  • Waxing Gibbous Moon
  • Full Moon
  • Waning Gibbous Moon
  • Last Quarter
  • Waning Crescent

Some people work with a nine-phase system by observing the dark moon, which happens right before the new moon.

The most celebrated phases are the full moon and new moon, which occur roughly every 14 days, and are at opposite ends of the lunar cycle. The next well-known phases are the waxing moon and the waning moon, which occur between the new and full moon.

If you want to know more about each moon phase in detail, check out this article:

The 8 Moon Phases Of The Moon Cycle & How To Flow With Them

If you’re a beginner when it comes to moon magic, I’d recommend working with the new and full moon to begin with. Once you’ve established a comfortable rhythm, you can weave in the waxing and waning moon.

Sometimes life feels too full to honor and celebrate all four phases with a ritual. If you don’t have a lot of free time, working with the new and full moon is more than enough. What’s most important with this type of work is your intentions.

What Does a Waxing Moon Mean?

As she moves through her 29.5-day cycle, we see the moon take many different shapes and ranges of brightness in our sky.

During the new moon, it’s as if she has disappeared, but this is because the sun is in front, blocking her light. At full moon, she is round, full, and illuminating brightly, reflecting the full light of the sun opposite her. And as she wanes again, she fades back to a crescent of light (the famous shape we associate with the moon) before she disappears again.

The journey she takes from new moon to full moon is known as the waxing moon phase. This simply means she is getting fuller and brighter each day in the sky.

The transition from full moon to new moon is known as the waning moon phase. This is when she becomes smaller, and her light gradually fades from our sky.

Waxing Crescent, First Quarter & Waxing Gibbous Moon

The waxing moon phase comprises three separate moon phases: the Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, and the Waxing Gibbous.

Waxing Crescent

A waxing crescent is the first in the waxing moon phase. Less than fifty percent of the moon’s surface is illuminated, and you will see a tiny crescent shape in the sky.

First Quarter

The first quarter moon is also known as the half-moon. This is because half of the moon is illuminated since the moon is halfway between the new and full moon.

Waxing Gibbous

The waxing gibbous moon is the final phase in the waxing moon phase, right before a full moon. This is when some people mistakenly think it’s a full moon because about 95% of the moon will be illuminated in the sky.

If you want to find out what phase the moon is currently in where you live, click here.

The Waxing Moon and the Maiden

woman nature

Each of the four main phases of the moon is associated with a menstrual cycle phase, season, and archetype.

Here’s a very brief overview:

  • Maiden: Waxing Moon & Follicular Phase (Spring)
  • Mother: Full Moon & Ovulatory Phase (Summer)
  • Wild Woman: Waning Moon & Luteal Phase (Autumn/Fall)
  • Wise Woman: New Moon & Menstruation Phase (Winter)

As you can see, the waxing moon is tied to the Maiden archetype. She has a youthful spirit, is an optimist at heart, and is full of energy. Her energy magnetizes those around her. She is a carefree, independent, and confident woman who exudes charm.

If you want to read more about the Maiden archetype, along with the other three archetypes we cycle through during the moon and menstrual cycle, check out this article:

The Four Female Archetypes & How To Work With Them

Waxing Moon Symbolism

Now that you understand what the waxing moon is let’s explore how to work with it.

The waxing moon is a time of shifting and focusing your energy outward, taking action, and expanding. Whatever goals and intentions you set for yourself around the new moon are ripe for working on. This is the phase to get moving, creating, and doing. The energy of the moon is with you as she grows bigger and brighter overhead.

I would like to note that many women’s menstrual cycles do not match up with where the moon currently is. What I mean is, the waxing moon phase corresponds to the follicular phase of your cycle (after your bleeding). If your cycle is at a different phase when the moon is waxing, you may be confused about how to work with the moon cycle.

Should you follow what the moon is doing or follow what your body is doing?

I would recommend following your own sacred cycle and following the natural rise and fall of energy within. But it is also possible to do both.

For example, if the moon is waxing, but your body is going through the waning phase, you may want to take action and create in a more internal, reflective way.

For a long time, I would bleed around the full moon and ovulate around the new moon (also known as a red moon cycle), which means that the energies of both cycles appear to clash. But I still wanted to celebrate the full and new moon.

So, at full moon, I would expand inward and celebrate more peacefully. I would still set my new intentions for the coming cycle at the new moon, but I would also use the extra energy I had to get to work on those new projects right away.

You will find your cycle shifts back and forth over time depending on what’s going on in your life. This is completely normal. During pregnancy and for a time after giving birth, you won’t have a period. Looking skyward and following the moon is the perfect way to still honor your cycle and live and lead in a feminine way.

Waxing Moon Rituals

moon ritual

You’ll find a lot of ideas when searching for new moon rituals or full moon rituals, but waxing and waning moon rituals are less common.

So, what do you need to know if you want to create a waxing moon ritual for yourself?

First, I would recommend setting up a sacred altar for yourself. Check out this article for everything you need to know:

How To Create A Sacred Altar: For Meditation, Magic & Ritual

Now, here are some waxing moon ritual ideas to get you started.

#1 Appreciate what’s working

It has been a few days since the new moon, so now is the time to look around you and acknowledge what’s working.

Make a list of everything you appreciate and enjoy about your life today. No matter how large or small it may be, presence it.

What we appreciate grows. Plus, it will make you feel wonderful.

#2 Get inspired

Now is the time when all your senses start waking up again, and you’re opening to new possibilities and opportunities.

Look for symbols, messages, and intuitive sound bites that find you. If something feels like a full-body, yes, welcome it in.

Write down all the ideas and inspirations that flow to and through you during these days.

There is no pressure to act on any of them. It’s up to you where you want to focus your energy for this moon. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all. Follow what feels good—allow this to be your sacred guide.

#3 Journal

Journaling is a powerful act any time, any day. But the waxing moon is a great period to check in with yourself and see what’s been happening for you since the new moon.

If you made intentions on the new moon, check in with them and see if they still feel aligned for you. You may want to change some or all of them or completely re-write new ones. If this feels right for you, trust that inner knowing.

Write about where you want to focus your energy between now and the full moon.

What feels most exciting to you? What is calling for your attention and life force?

#4 Seek clarity

If you feel torn or confused about where to focus your energy this cycle, ask the waxing moon for clarity.

Find some stillness, and ask her any questions that you seek answers to.

For example: What should I focus on this cycle? Is this the right place to put my energy? What will I need to support me on this journey?

Write down anything and everything that comes to you. Don’t hold back.

#5 Visualize

Once you’ve refined your intentions, create space to visualize them in detail. Imagine they have already manifested in the physical realm.

How do you feel?

What does your life look like?

Who is with you?

Think of this like purposely slipping into a daydream where everything you desire is a reality.

This will help inspire what you need to do now to manifest your intentions.

#6 Ask for divine wisdom

oracle cards

There is never a wrong time to lean on your favorite oracle deck and seek divine guidance.

You can ask for clarity on where to focus. What action you need to take to manifest your intentions. How to best nourish and support yourself during this time. Messages from your higher self or the universe.

#7 Start planning

Once you’re clear on your intentions for this cycle, start planning how you’ll accomplish what you intend to.

Break your goal down into small, achievable steps that will help you feel like you’re making progress along the way.

Some intentions will be achievable within this one cycle, and others will take many more to accomplish. For example, if your goal is to find and cook a healthy recipe, you can probably manage this before the full moon. But if your goal is to write a book, you may need a year’s worth of moon cycle to complete it.

If you know your intention will take longer to achieve, think about what you can complete within this cycle.

Careful planning and methodical action align with the energy of the waxing moon.

#8 Soak in a waxing moon bath

There is never a bad time to take a bath, but it’s particularly powerful during the four main phases of the moon (new moon, full moon, waxing, and waning moon). If you can see the moonlight from the tub, even better.

If you need some inspiration on creating a blissful bath ritual, check this article out:

Create A Soulful, Healing Bath Ritual That Nourishes You Inside & Out

You may choose to meditate, journal, or visualize while you’re in the bath. Being in water is a powerful way to connect with the moon’s energy since she rules the tides and oceans.

Make Magic with the Waxing Moon

waxing moon

I hope this article has inspired you to connect with the waxing moon and use the energy of this moon phase to feel more in flow and connected to your sacred rhythm as a woman.

The more you work with the moon, the greater your connection will grow. Remember, this is not a science; this is magic. So don’t get caught up in doing things exactly the right way. Trust your intuition and do what feels right for you in the moment.

If working with the waxing moon feels overwhelming right now, you may just want to honor the new moon and full moon, to begin with. Check out these articles for inspiration on creating a ritual for these potent moon phases:

A New Moon Ritual To Manifest Magic

Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual For Manifestation & Magic

I’d love to hear about your experience working with the waxing moon or the moon in general. Tell me all in the comments below!

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