Taylor Swift’s newly-released album Midnights, reflects a distinct shift in mood. Her first album since 2020 surprises Folklore and Evermore takes a break from the earnest love songs and clever revenge bridges. Instead, she’s turned her perspective inward, with tracks telling stories of “13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.”
From an astrological perspective, this new melancholic theme is playing out right on cue. Earlier this year, according to her birth chart, Swift crossed into a new progressed moon phase, which marks a fresh chapter of emotional development. Midnights is the first release of Swift’s “disseminating” moon phase, an era characterised by melancholy.
Generally speaking, the moon represents our emotions, and usually a person’s moon phase at birth indicates the tone of their life — what genre you’re living in, so to speak. Someone born on a waxing crescent is likely defined by hope and optimism, the emotional equivalent of a happy ending, meet cute romance, while someone born on a full moon would be living in a high-action flick.
But with the progressed moon cycle, you get to live through all eight lunar phases for about two and a half years each, which means learning to acclimate to unfamiliar emotional energy.
The progressed moon cycle is calculated by mapping each day after birth to represent a year. The full progressed cycle lasts 29.5 years, for the 29.5 days of the lunar cycle. As the moon waxes from new moon to full moon, a person experiences heightened visibility. On the other side, while the progressed moon wanes, life’s emotional tone matures inward, and at the very tail end, starts to imagine its next big act. (Side note: you can find out when your progressed moon cycle is by using this tool, or asking an astrologer.)
With Swift’s natal moon in Cancer (considered its domicile because the moon rules Cancer) we know anything moon-related will be significant in her life and work. Let’s explore how neatly aligned her albums are with the phases of her progressed moon.
Rise From Country Star to Pop Icon (2004-2022)
In 2004, Swift began a fresh new cycle with a progressed new moon, the start of a three-decade-long developmental period. During her new moon phase, she signed her first record deal as a songwriter and released her eponymous album. In this nascent phase, the moon is still dark, and all her potential was contained within a carefully planted seed. Her name wasn’t widely known yet, but she was dreaming up everything she’s done since.
In the waxing crescent phase, Swift released both Fearless and Speak Now. Her career was emerging. This moon indicates the first steps taken towards realising a vision, with innocence and impulse, captured in the eagerness and fantasy of hit songs like “Love Story” and “Enchanted.”
At the first quarter phase of the moon, the sun and moon are in a square aspect, the first sign of tension, called a “crisis of action.” Something must change for growth to continue. Swift released Red and 1989 in this phase. Between the two, she fully transitioned her sound from country to pop music, a shift in artistry that expanded her audience to match her ambition.
In the waxing gibbous phase, characterised by anticipation and final adjustments, Swift’s work took a darker turn with Reputation, an essential exploration of shadow. Her lyrics, “Honey, I rose from the dead / I do it all the time,” reflect the cosmic truth the queen of lyrical narrative knows all too well: you don’t stop just before a climax. This lunar phase was just the lead in to her chorus.
In Swift’s full moon phase, a time marked by high energy, action, and visibility (just like the full moons we experience every month), Swift released three new albums — Lover, Folklore, and Evermore — in addition to three re-recorded albums, plus her film directorial debut, All Too Well: The Short Film. No big deal! While the world was shut down because of the pandemic, she was at the height of emotional energy — no wonder she couldn’t help but write new songs.
Disseminating Moon: Swift’s Current Phase May 2022-May 2026
With Midnights, Swift kicks off a melancholic phase that isn't afraid of the dark. The moon begins to dim. The tone turns to maturity, generosity, and sharing lessons learned. It makes sense that the stories on Midnights are pulled from across Swift’s life — she’s now able to look back and see her history through new eyes. In album-closer “Mastermind,” Swift sings, “No one wanted to play with me as a little kid / So I've been scheming like a criminal ever since,” a nod back to themes of the outlaw in Reputation’s “Getaway Car” and prey vs. predator in Lover’s “The Archer,” that also adds new psychological depth to the core wounds driving her behaviour. In “Maroon,” the too-hot love from 2012’s “Red” and 2019’s “Daylight” lyric “I used to think love would be burning red,” now becomes a more mature “so scarlet it was maroon.”
Swift’s songs have always let fans feel like they’re reading her diary. This phase could introduce surreal music with the sensitivity of Angel Olsen’s work, applying the mournful tone of country-folk sounds to echo both intimacy and resignation (and Olsen, in fact, has a natal disseminating moon). We’re about to see a more honest and raw version of Swift than ever before.
Closing the Narrative: Last Quarter and Balsamic Phases 2026-2034
The last quarter moon, like the first quarter, is a square aspect, this time representing a “crisis of consciousness.” Swift’s work at this point in the future could build upon tracks like “Only The Young,” with a message geared towards the collective — telling stories of social change that are transpersonal rather than interpersonal.
The final progressed moon phase is the balsamic phase. It represents a retreat into the dark quiet. At this time, we might see less new music. But, judging by Swift’s last, pre-2004 balsamic phase, when she moved from Pennsylvania to Nashville — we can trust that she’s just prepping for her next epic cycle, with a clean new blank page.