Moon Tracking Using A Moon Phase Calendar

Last week I covered why you might consider tracking the Moon, and shared some different ways to do just that.

Now, I thought I’d share a tool I’ve been using a lot recently, particularly in my New Moon and Full Moon rituals.

Which is… a Moon Phase Calendar. It’s a simple diagram really, mapped out like an astrological chart in Western Astrology. It maps the houses (mine is based on the equal house system) and depending on your rising sign/ascendant, you can map what Zodiac sign falls where.

Rather than mapping the position of the planets on this chart though, I map the New Moon date in it’s particular sign, and the Full Moon date too. 

So this is what it looks like for 2019 for my rising sign (Cancer):

Moon Phase Calendar

Here are the steps to Moon tracking using a Moon Phase Calendar

Step 1: Write/draw your Rising Sign/Ascendant in the place marked by House 1 in the diagram.

Step 2: Continue to fill in the other Signs in order (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.)

Step 3: Fill in the House that corresponds to each Sign in the table below.

Moon Phase Table

Step 4: Add the dates of the New Moons and Full Moons in the diagram.

Note: There is no New Moon in Cancer in 2019, and two in the month of July.

 

What to do next?

So once you’ve finished filling in your lovely Moon Phase Calendar, you have some options.

Option #1: Forget about it. Yep, I mean put it away until after you’ve experienced the first New Moon in 2019, and you’ve journaled about that day or couple of days either side on the New Moon in Capricorn.

As mentioned in the Moon Tracking post, I believe in the value of reflecting after these notable days, rather than hyping yourself up about the events that might occur.

Part of this reason is pure superstition: the idea that fate or fortune won’t come to pass if you’re expecting it.

The other part is more psychological: I know I’m likely to act in a certain way or be more biased in my thinking if I’m hyper aware of the current astro weather.

This is just something I’m playing with whilst I’m tracking and learning more intimately about how these events affect me personally.

Option #2: If you’re less prone to overthinking and want to embrace the power of ritual a bit more, then I recommend using this calendar like you would any other, and possibly integrating it in your main calendar.

For example, adding a note on iCal or whatever you use, that yep, Jan 5th = a full solar eclipse in Capricorn, which happens to be your 6th house. Then you can reflect on what it means to have Capricorn in your 6th house, the house that signifies health. 

Does it mean you want to release unhealthy patterns or habits and implement a new exercise regime? Is there a lesson to be learnt in how you’ve spent the month since the last Full Moon?

If you are looking to honour the lunation in a more proactive way, here is a guide that you can use to work with the Moon and this Calendar:

Meanings & Tips for Understanding the Moon Phases

New Moon

This is the time our sky is at it’s darkest: our Moon is hiding behind the Sun.  From our perspective, the Sun and Moon are in the same Zodiac sign – at the exact same degree – and therefore, the same House. It’s a time when our ego (the Sun) and our emotional self (the Moon) are sitting down for tea; they are meeting. I see this as a good time to start something new, set intentions, and focus on external matters. Your desires – conscious and unconscious are in alignment, and you may experience harmony that helps drive you forward.

Full Moon

When the Moon reaches its maximum reflection of light and sits in the opposite sign and degree to the Sun, we have a Full Moon. Unlike the New Moon where they are in the same place in the chart, a Full Moon sees a stand-off on opposite sides. This can feel like tension between our ego and our emotional self, and emotions may run high. You may feel more sensitive than usual. Use this time to observe and release unhealthy emotional patterns or habits, and show care towards yourself. Spend time with loved ones, get out into nature and journal about your experience.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Eclipses

Eclipses are like super-charged New or Full Moons. It’s when the Sun and Moon are taken offline, allowing for dramatic changes to be made. They can feel like a rug that’s been pulled out from under you. The best you can do is to see the potential for growth, change and course correction, and reflect on what the eclipse brought you. The sign and house the eclipse falls in will provide a clue to what changes may come and where they are likely to show up. Be easy on yourself at these times.

Houses 

In astrology there are 12 different Houses, each describing a particular area of life. Some Houses deal with the outer world and other houses describe the inner or more psychological plane. The House where a New or Full Moon will occur is specific to you, based on your Rising Sign. This is deserving of a post all of it’s own, but until then, you can refer to posts like this which describe the Moon in various Houses.

Signs

Finally, you have the 12 different signs of the Zodiac. Just as the Houses describe what life area that particular lunation will affect, the sign the Moon is in will give a hint towards how that affect will manifest; it’s flavour or the nature of it. Again, this is a bigger topic than I can fit in here, but you can get an idea of the Moon in different signs here.

As a rule of thumb, a formula I use for understanding how a lunation might affect me is:

I will feel (because it’s the Moon) pragmatic (because it’s in Capricorn) about my health (because it’s in my 6th House).

Of course, there’s much more to this, depending on your other planets and the aspects they make and what sign they’re in but… you get the picture.

Special Considerations

Pay particular attention to lunar events happening in your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs, as you’re likely going to be more effected by these.

I’d love to know how you get on with your Moon Phase Tracking and if you have any questions about how to use the calendar, or want a more in-depth chat about how the Moon might affect you over the course of the next year, feel free to get in touch.

How To Track The Moon

Why Track The Moon?

Self-awareness

This process requires you to keep a journal, which in my experience is incredibly helpful for building self-awareness. Just noting what happened in your day can, over time, help you see patterns over time. In turn you can become more aware of what’s working and what causes disruption in your life. From there, you can adjust either in taking different actions or changing your reactions.

Intuition building

These patterns I just mentioned, over time, create something I’m calling intuition. This is a tricky word because people have lots of different interpretations of it, but in this case I really just mean a deep knowing, that might feel like it’s coming from your subconscious (and maybe it is) that isn’t a result of reading a book or watching a Youtube tutorial.

One way to build this inner knowing, is through pattern recognition. The study of astrology, in this case, is a great way to start to note those patterns and in turn, build intuition.

Guide your yoga practise

Naturally, I recommend using the Moon to guide your yoga asana practise, partly because I know how important it is to physically honour the waxing and waning of your own energy, and the Moon is a great external guide.

I have a daily yoga practise, and much of the time it is self guided. If left to my own devices, I’d likely hurt myself (and have done in the past.) I forget that just because I was full of beans yesterday, doesn’t mean I’ll be as energetic and limber today.

When I connect to an external source, I can honour that need for balance much better. And let’s face it, the Moon is a lot more fun than a reminder on your phone or note on your calendar.

That said, do keep in mind your own intuition will become an even better guide than a simple note of whether the Moon is in a ‘yin’ sign or a ‘yang’ sign. As you start to track the Moon, you might find that your own bodily patterns are more intricate, and need a different system.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what tracking the Moon will allow you to do.

Connection to… something bigger

Finally, and one of my core reasons for learning about astrology, is to connect with something bigger. The sky has been, for thousands of years, our way to do just that.

However you choose to see the connection between the above and below, it’s hard to deny the sense of meaning you feel when you get to experience that unity.

Noting that when the Moon was in Sagittarius, you happened to feel an emotional need for freedom and space, for example, might help you make sense of what may sometimes feel a random and chaotic existence.

For that alone, tracking the Moon is well worth the time you invest.

How To Track The Moon

There are various apps to track this, which I’ll list at the end of this post, and you can always go to astro.com and click ‘Chart of the moment’ to see where the Moon is.

Tracking the moon

I’ll list a few different ways to do this, each more complex (but also rewarding) than the last!

Option #1: Track The Moon Phase

This is probably the best place to start for most, because it isn’t difficult to find out what phase the Moon is in. Heck, if it’s a clear night you could just look up.

Ezzie Spencer introduced me to this idea before I really ‘got into’ astrology beyond a hobby, and I started to track the Moon as a way to plan my week in terms of rest and work. My main reason was to get my hormones back in check, and after hearing Ezzie’s story, I figured it could work for me.

As someone who struggles to ‘back off’ and take rest, whether it’s in the gym or at the laptop, just having an external marker to remind me when to slow down and when I can drive forward, is a huge help.

There are 8 phases of the Moon – New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent.

You can find different rituals or practises to honour each of these phases (or check out my journal prompts) OR you could simply track your own life events and note what Moon phase you’re in.

Here’s a list of some Moon phase significations, though I’d encourage you to track and try to spot patterns that are true for you. Even if you just paid attention to the New Moon and Full Moon, you’ll undoubtedly get a lot from that outer guidance.

Option #2: Track What Sign The Moon Is In

The Moon moves through a zodiacal sign every 2–3 days, which definitely gives the Moon a different vibe. A Moon in Cancer is going to feel very different to one in Virgo.

What I also like about tracking the Moon through signs, is how speedy it is. You don’t have to wait a whole month to start to tune into that zodiac sign vibe, yet it’s just long enough to feel it’s effects.

Option #3: Track What Aspects The Moon Is Making

The idea of this is to look at any planet the Moon is connected with, within 3 degrees. So if the Moon is at 7 degrees of Gemini, and Neptune is at 9 degrees of Pisces, then a square is happening and you have something to work with.

It’s well worth checking out this video from Adam at Nightlight Astrology, as he goes through the interpretation of a Moon transit:

Option #4: Track All The Above Overlaid On Your Natal Chart (!)

You might have an idea of your birth chart or natal chart (and if you’d like to delve into that further than a free chart online will allow, feel free to check out my offerings). You might now also have an idea of the current Moon phase and transits.

But how are the current transits effecting your own chart? Your own astrological blueprint? This article is a great step-by-step explainer for working out how the current transits map onto your own natal chart.

Houses are the most important things to look at when you interpret these Moon transits, as they will tell you what area of your life is being affected.

However, planets also transit signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc.) and make aspects to your natal planets (conjunction, trine, square, opposition etc.) so there is plenty to keep you busy here!

Additional Moon movements of note: Lunar Mansions, Lunar Days and Void-of-Course periods. 

How To Set Up A Moon Tracking Experiment

I learned this from Adam Elenbaas of Nightlight Astrology, who has videos on his experiments on tracking the moon, and are well worth a watch.

The key is to not think about the Moon during the experiment. The more you think about the Moon while you’re tracking, the more likely you are to (1) throw off your findings – as you’ll start to ‘make’ things happen even subconsciously to match the Moon and (2) go crazy! Well, there’s a chance you’ll become a bit of a hypochondriac if you’re checking your tracking app every hour to see what ‘should’ happen.

In short, to run a successful Moon tracking experiment:

  1. Pick a short period of time, 2-3 days to track
  2. Journal carefully every day you track about the day’s events
  3. Only check the Moon transits and phases after your experiment period

Once your experiment is up, pull up your tracking app or online tool and compare your journal with the map of the sky. Ideally, you’ll have exact or close-to-it times for each event you recorded, as the Moon moves pretty quick and aspects will change throughout the day.

Month of Journal Prompts For Every Moon Phase

Journal Prompts for Moon Phases

If you’re new to astrology, just Google what you see. If you aren’t sure what a balsamic Moon can signify, Google it! If you don’t know what Moon conjunct Uranus means, Google it!

I can’t recommend this enough for learning about astrology and the possible interpretations (there are a LOT!) of the planets and aspects are.

Some resources I’ve found helpful:

Moon giant – great for tracking the Moon phase – probably the best designed, clearest of the web apps for this.

Lunarium – a calendar displaying the phases and signs the Moon is in, as well as lunar days, the mansions of the Moon, void-of-course periods and the apogee and perigee moments for any month.

Luna Solaria – a free app for iOS and Android that gives you a beautiful, real-time view of the Moon, telling you the sign and phase it is in.

Astro.com – excellent site with lots of options for viewing the current sky.

In conclusion…

Tracking the Moon can be a great way into understanding the significance of certain positions of the planets above, as well as paying greater attention to the connection in your own life to them.

It’s a matter of opinion, but I find a lot of meaning when I connect to the sky in this way, and it seems to help me be a lot more compassionate for the circumstances I find myself in.