New Moons and Full Moons in Astrology Explained

New and full moons in astrology are the most common types of moon phases tracked by astrologers. Each month typically has a new moon and a full moon, but they are different. This article explains each.

The cycles of new and full moons

Both new and full moons in astrology can be great ways to set goals and reap their benefits. Astrologers believe that our energy begins to build at the new moon, then peaks two weeks later at the full moon. In many cultures, farmers have planted by the new moon and harvested by the full moon. Why not get a little lunar boost for your own life? There is also a six-month link between new and full moons. Each new moon falls in a specific zodiac sign. Then, six months later, a full moon occurs in that same zodiac sign.

What are new moons in astrology?

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New and full moons in astrology explained

New moons mark beginnings, and are the perfect time to kick off any new project or idea. Lay the groundwork for what you want to manifest in the coming six months. Set intentions or initiate relationships and tend to them for a half year. Fresh starts are favored by the new moon.

What are full moons in astrology?

Full moons are times for completions, creative outpourings, and harvesting. They’re also your cue to cash in on anything you started at the corresponding new moon six months earlier. What have you been building toward? Full moons act as giant cosmic spotlights, so they can be illuminating. Everything comes out into the open in the light of the full moon—including the parts of human nature known as the “shadow.”

Learn more about new and full moons

New moons

What are new moons exactly?

New moons occur when the Sun and the moon meet at the same astrological degree that astrologers measure in the sky. The new moon is the very first of eight monthly moon phases which occur in a 29.5-day lunar month. 

Each new moon in a calendar year falls in a different zodiac sign. The new moon is always in the same sign as the Sun. For example, during Aquarius season, the new moon will always be in Aquarius. 

In astronomy terms:

The new moon occurs when the Sun and the moon are at the same longitude on the ecliptic—the plane created by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

The full moon is the reverse of this. A full moon occurs when the Sun and the moon are in opposite zodiac signs, and 180 degrees apart in ecliptic longitude.

What is the spiritual meaning of new moons?

The moon is the Sun’s favorite companion, holding space for all the private matters el Sol doesn’t care to shine a light on. These are things like our deepest feelings, secret desires, and the security blankets that we reach for to comfort ourselves. Home and family affairs, how we nurture others and what kind of caretaking we crave are also #MoonMatters. 

That is the gift of the new moon, a great time for setting intentions, making wishes, and taking the first bold step towards a new goal. We may actually start to see the first signs of these lunar requests two weeks later, when the next full moon on the calendar lights up the night skies.

How to do a new moon ritual

Many people honor the new moon by doing a new moon ritual, such as meditating, journaling or setting intentions they’d like to fulfill during this monthlong lunar cycle. What would you like to begin at the new moon? Anything you start at a new moon can be “harvested” in six months, when the full moon occurs in a corresponding zodiac sign. Short-term rewards can be reaped at the full moon that immediately follows each new moon, even if it’s in a different zodiac sign.

You can do a new moon ritual, journal or write down intentions. Consider making a new moon Power Wish, a method created by Japanese astrologer Keiko that involves a technique called “anchor statements.” 

Is your moon sign important at a new moon?

Your moon sign refers to the zodiac sign that the moon was traveling through at your moment of birth. If someone was to look up at the sky when you were born, or the piece of the sky that we measure from our view on Earth.

Your moon sign is a part of your birth chart, or natal chart. You can find your moon sign by entering your time, date and place of birth into our Moon Sign Cosmic Calculator.

Once a year, a new moon falls in the same zodiac sign as your Sun sign and your moon sign. These can be extra powerful dates to initiate a new plan of action or take a bold first step.

Were you born during a new moon?

Fun fact: If your Sun sign and moon sign are the same, you may have been born during a new moon! How do you find out? Do a free birth chart here.

You can also use our moon phase calculator to find out which lunar phase the moon was in when you were born, and what it means about you.

Full moons

What are full moons exactly?

Full moons occur once a month, when the Sun and the moon are exactly opposite each other in the sky and on the zodiac wheel. For example, an Aquarius full moon will occur while the Sun is in Leo (the opposite sign of Aquarius). The full moon is the fifth of eight monthly moon phases which occur in a 29.5-day lunar month—the halfway point. 

In astronomy terms:

  • The full moon occurs when the Sun and the moon are 180 degrees apart in longitude on the ecliptic—the plane created by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
  • The new moon is the reverse of a full moon. A new moon occurs when the Sun and the moon are in the same zodiac sign, and the exact same degree in ecliptic longitude.

What are the spiritual meanings of full moons?

The moon is the Sun’s favorite companion, holding space for all the private matters el Sol doesn’t care to shine a light on. These are things like our deepest feelings, secret desires, and the security blankets that we reach for to comfort ourselves. Home and family affairs, how we nurture others and what kind of caretaking we crave are also #MoonMatters. 

A full moon is about fully embodying your choices, your identity and your life. It can be a cosmic coming-out party, a time to celebrate your victories, step into the spotlight and advocate for your desires. Since full moons are the peak of the moon’s visibility, you may see clearly that it’s time to go in a new direction or even end some part of your life that has reached a natural turning point.

How to do a full moon ritual

Many people honor the full moon by doing a full moon ritual, such as meditating, journaling or visualizing something they’d like to either release or manifest. What would you like to either finish or achieve at the full moon? Look back to the corresponding new moon six months prior (in the same zodiac sign as the full moon). The full moon is the completion or turning point of that new moon.

You can do a full moon ritual, journal or write down intentions. You can make a full moon Power Wish, a method created by Japanese astrologer Keiko that involves a technique called “anchor statements.” 

Is your moon sign important at a full moon?

Your moon sign refers to the zodiac sign that the moon was traveling through at your moment of birth. If someone was to look up at the sky when you were born, or the piece of the sky that we measure from our view on Earth.

Your moon sign is a part of your birth chart, or natal chart. You can find your moon sign by entering your time, date and place of birth into our Moon Sign Cosmic Calculator.

Once a year, a full moon falls in the same zodiac sign as your Sun sign and your moon sign. These can be extra powerful dates to manifest!

Were you born during a full moon?

Fun fact: If your Sun sign and moon sign are the opposite each other, you may have been born during a full moon! How do you find out? Do a free birth chart here.

You can also use our moon phase calculator to find out which lunar phase the moon was in when you were born, and what it means about you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of Astrostyle.com and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.