What Does the Moon Symbolize?
Some nights, when the moon is large and full, we marvel at its grandeur.
Other nights, it seems small and inconspicuous, but one thing we are always aware of is that it is ever-changing, growing from a thin sliver to a round, glowing orb and then slowly fading back again to nothing.
In this subtle way, it reminds us that all things on Earth have a natural cycle. Water evaporates from the ocean and falls down again as rain. Fruit falls from a tree, carrying a seed that grows into a new tree.
We are born, mature into adults, age and eventually die, but our children are there to start the cycle over again. Some people believe that the "rebirth" of the moon hints at the renewal of the soul through reincarnation.
Because of the moon's connection to water and the tides, it is said to represent our emotions and our subconscious mind - what we see on the surface often does not reflect what is going on underneath, nor does it reveal its vast depths.
And in everyday conversation, we speak of "the sea of love", "drowning in pity", and compare the depth of our feelings to the depths of the sea.
Full moons are even thought to influence human and animal behavior, causing intense thoughts, heightened emotions, and some forms of psychosis.
In fact, the Roman goddess of the moon is named Luna, the prefix of the word "lunatic". The word itself comes from the Latin word "lunaticus", which originally referred to epilepsy and madness, diseases though to be caused by the moon.
Moon Phases Meaning
Because the moon continually passes through cycles of growth and decline, the phases of the moon are seen as symbols to guide our own personal growth and development.
New moon meaning: When the moon is fully dark, with no illumination from the sun, it is symbolic of a quiet time - the time before something begins. It is thought of as a time to make new plans, or to think of what projects or dreams you wish to set into motion.
Waxing moon meaning: This moon is partly illuminated and growing. It represents the progress and expansion of your project, time for you to stay motivated, take consistent action and strengthen your resolve.
Full moon meaning: The full moon is round and completely illuminated. It represents completion, the height of power, the realization of your desires and the peak of clarity. It is a time to celebrate your growth, take note of what progress you have made and to reflect on how far you have come.
Waning moon meaning: The moon is again partially illuminated, but is now decreasing in size. This represents a time of reflection, purging and decluttering.
Time to let go of people and things that no longer serve you. These can be relationships, negative thoughts, poor habits or projects you are no longer interested in.
This period of purging allows you to start again with a clear mind to pursue fresh projects or goals during the new moon.
Triple Moon Symbol Meaning
The triple moon is a symbol of Wiccan and Pagan traditions and can be found on crowns or head pieces worn by priestesses.
It is a goddess symbol that represents the Maiden, Mother and Crone as the waxing, full and waning moons. It is also a symbol of the spiritual aspects of femininity, such as intuition, psychic abilities, creativity and wisdom.
The Maiden, symbolized by the waxing moon, represents purity, youthfulness and enchantment. She is full of optimism, excited about new beginnings and what the future will bring.
The Mother, symbolized by the full moon, represents fulfillment, fertility, ripeness and stability. She is caring and often parental in nature, there to nurture and protect.
The Crone, symbolized by the waning moon, represents wisdom, maturity, completion and restfulness. She has a lifetime of experience and also reflects the end to all phases of life.
Together, the Maiden, Mother, and Crone also symbolize the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.
Sun and Moon Meaning
The sun and the moon have been the subject of countless works of art throughout human history.
There are many natural opposites in the world - day and night, hot and cold, male and female, life and death, and of course, the sun and the moon.
The sun and moon as opposite forces are often represented as male and female entities. The sun is often seen as having traditional masculine qualities - courage, independence, assertiveness and strength of purpose.
It always seems to be the same - everyday, it passes through the sky in the same way, giving off light and heat. It is constant, steady, reliable and straightforward, never veiling or disguising itself in any way.
On the other hand, the moon is seen as having feminine qualities - gentleness, sensitivity, compassion and connection with others.
Because the moon seems to change every night, not only in shape and size, but also in color, it is said to rule the emotions, which are fickle and change depending on our thoughts, attitudes and the conditions of our lives.
The sun and moon symbol also expresses a universal principle of life - that where there is good, there is also bad. It acknowledges the two sides of the human spirit - everyone has a good side and a bad side.
It is also a romantic symbol of the love between a man and a woman, symbolizing an emotional and physical union. There is a beautiful quote that goes, "Tell me the story about how the sun loved the moon so much he died every night just to let her breathe". It is a quote not just about romance, but also about the sacrifices we are willing to make for those we love.
Does the moon hold any special meanings for you? Let me know in the comments below!
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Photo credits: Full moon: https://pixabay.com/en/ moon-full-moon-night-the-night-sky-1109746/; moon rising over ocean: https://pxhere.com /en/photo/1334138; moon phases: https://www.maxpixel.net/ Moon-Phases-Eclipse-Full-Moon-1099732; thin crescent moon: By David Moug - Personal work of David Moug, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org /w/index.php?curid=19101867; three women: https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Moirai#/media/File: The_Three_Fates_by_ Paul_Thumann.jpg; sun & moon: https://commons.wikimedia.org /wiki/File:Nuremberg_chronicles_ -_Sun_and_Moon_(LXXVIr).jpg