hello, friends. as promised in my new beginnings piece from the first of the year, moving forward we’ll be working with the moon on its own cycle, rather than looking at moon phases as part of each calendar month. that means that every new moon, paid subscribers will receive a breakdown like this one, detailing the new and full moon of this cycle as well as giving details on a few other phases that you may want to work with. however, since this is a shift from my previous moon work, i’m making this first post available to all subscribers, to give everyone a chance to see how these pieces are evolving. i hope you like this new format as much as i do, and that it helps you to approach your moon work from a more cyclical perspective.
i also want to take this opportunity to tell you that my unlocking archetypes study guide is now officially for sale on my website, along with updated versions of my tarot 101 beginner’s guide and my digital study guide. i’m so proud to offer these PDF versions of my books, and hope that they help you find new, brilliant, magical ways to connect to the cards this year. (and for those that have asked, i’m working on making printed copies available too!) you can purchase these downloadable PDF books right here.
before we dig in, i want to remind you that i write about the moon in a fairly traditional way, viewing the dark and new moons as a time for setting intentions, waxing phases as building of energy and power, the full moon as a time of celebration and abundance, and waning phases as opportunities for release and reflection. whether you’ve been working with the phases of the moon for years or are just beginning a more personal practice, i urge you to pay close attention to what your body feels during each of these phases. i personally have a lot of energy around the dark and new moons, so setting intentions and getting organized feels really good for me - and i’m usually energetically wiped out at the full moon, making my celebration a simple one that usually involves tea, baths, and going to bed early. you may feel the same, or may experience the opposite, feeling wildly energized and creative on the full moon, or perhaps during another phase. as long as you are acting with intention and not seeking to harm anyone else, there is literally no wrong way to work with the moon, so do what feels right for you. you may find that the cards that i use for each moon phase don’t feel resonate, and that with personal work you’re able to find new meanings - or you may choose to pick different archetypes for each phase of the moon, deliberating finding cards that more closely represent the cycles your mind and body follow during each phase. don’t feel constrained by these descriptions: instead, take what works for you and leave the rest behind.
i hope you enjoy digging into this next cycle of the moon, beginning with today’s new moon in capricorn, and thanks for reading.
new moon in capricorn - january 12/13
combining the fool’s cheerful optimism and self-confidence with the devil’s urging to consider our patterns and potentially destructive behaviors, the first new moon of the year asks us to consider intentions around security, responsibility, success, ambition, management, and authority. capricorn is cardinal earth, the beginning of a new cycle of growth and potential - but as future-oriented as this sign can be, the fool reminds us that we must be flexible, open to possibility, ready for anything. what are you activating? what goals are you setting for your career, your home, your legacy? how can you make space for adaptation, for shifts along the way?
take some time to think about what success really means for you, and where those ideas come from. are you giving in to pressure from societal or family expectations, from internal or external assumptions, from the disaster that is late-stage capitalism? where have your ambitions come from, and do they resonate with who you truly are? how can you create space for yourself to expand your definition of victory, to perhaps shift your goals in ways that give you a sense of joy and anticipation?
the new moon on its own often calls for initiation rituals or intention-setting, but given the complex astrology happening right now, many astrologers are encouraging protection spells instead. give your intuition space to breathe today, and don’t push too hard. what is coming forward? what feels good? where do you need to be cautious?
first quarter moon in taurus - january 20
the first quarter moon is represented in the major arcana by the magician, an archetype of confidence, optimism, and endless potential - and we anchor all of this dazzling imagination with taurus’ card of the hierophant, a master of history and an upholder of tradition. these cards may initially seem like they can only exist in opposition, but this phase offers you a chance to consider where your magic comes from, and what it is anchored in. as you feel energy building and possibilities growing, the intentions that you set with the new moon beginning to clarify and manifest, pay attention to the rituals you lean on, the traditions that you find grounding, the spiritual practices that give you hope and comfort. what feeds you? what do you want to keep? and where are you ready to innovate?
full moon in leo - january 28
the full moon’s card of the sun, with its brilliant clarity and fiery joy, already feels tied to leo and its archetype of strength, giving us a joyous period of celebration, abundance, independence, and power. full moons ask us to be present, to recognize all that we have become, to take pride in our accomplishments and gather with loved ones to laugh and play and rest. strength is a card of maturity and wisdom, of knowing our gifts and understanding when to use this, making this full moon a potent time for self-awareness and personal magic.
yet full moons also represent the culmination of the cycle, giving us an opportunity to consider what we might be ready to leave behind or slowly release. this is a chance to reflect both on the new moon from today as well as the new moon in leo back in august. what did you begin last summer, that may be coming to fruition now?
if the intentions and cycles that have been in motion feel like they’re settling firmly into place, you may be in a position to shift your energy to another area. and if you haven’t seen progress, this may be the right time to quiet your efforts, to give yourself an opportunity for rest and joy. what can you celebrate? and how can you find contentment and delight in whatever place you are?
last quarter moon in scorpio - february 4
with scorpio’s card of death teaming up with the last quarter moon’s phase archetype of judgement, this may feel like a heavy set of energies to move through. but each of these cards are connected to release and reflection, giving us space to let go of something that was once important but has likely needed to end for some time. what are you carrying, dragging behind you, clinging to even as it fades and fails? why are you so afraid to set it down, to leave it behind? as the moon’s light wanes, give yourself permission to honor an important ending, to say goodbye and take the time to grieve if necessary. have you been going through the motions, working towards an old ambition that no longer feels right for you? have you stayed in an unhealthy relationship, an unfulfilling job, following a path that has you dragging your feet? the last quarter moon makes space for quiet awareness, for shadows, for conclusions. what are you ready to leave behind? and how can you honor all that it once was, while still recognizing the value in moving on?
our next new moon is in aquarius on february 11th, kicking off a new cycle that i’ll explore in more detail with paid subscribers. wishing you a beautiful new moon!
images from this post feature cards from the fountain tarot. all photos by meg jones wall.