We're eagerly waiting to see the second full moon of the month (a rare lunar event known as a blue moon), but we'll have to endure our share of darkness before we reach that brilliant, culminating moment on January 31. This week, we'll see the moon wane in earnest, from a third quarter moon tonight to a waning crescent to a new moon next week. More than a week of rapidly darkening skies may sound like the last thing we need during an already not-so-sunny winter month, but it will have a grounding effect that so many of us crave at the start of a new year.
In general, waning moon phases (in which the area of the moon that's illuminated decreases) are wonderful opportunities for cleansing (spiritually, that is) and reorganizing personal matters. More specifically, the third quarter moon is meant to kick off this period of letting go; and as astrologer Dana Gerhardt writes, it can be a challenging period of transition.
Like we said before, it's easy to be blinded by the brilliance of the full moons this month. So, when the moon wanes to its third and final quarter, we're in for a rude awakening: It's telling you that the time to revel is over for now — time to get down to business. The Astrotwins write that this no-nonsense lunar phase is often associated with difficult choices of the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go variety. What deserves your energy and attention, and what should you leave behind for good? You'll be well-served to spend the evenings under the waning quarter moon with your journal, to-do list, or phone contacts, reevaluating your priorities and relationships.
No, this is not exactly a "fun" moment in the moon's cycle, but it is a necessary one, especially if you're in the midst of staying true to your New Year's resolution or you're up against a major decision. Consider the moon your cheerleader, urging you to make the choices that will lead to less negativity in your life. And it should be noted that, even though this lunar phase emphasizes commitment, that may mean you should commit to abandoning a certain behavior or goal. In other words, if your resolution is proving too ambitious or downright ill-conceived, here's your chance to break the darn thing.
The restorative new moon next week will encourage you to turn your focus toward the future. So use this week to clear away anything that will distract you from those reflections — and leave only the tasks, relationships, and plans that will propel you forward.