We have the waxing moon, full moon, waning moon and new moon. And what quarter do you prefer for your tattoos. Let’s take a closer look at them one by one.
The Moon has always had an enormous attraction for mankind (and lovers of tattoo art) because it is thanks to our understanding of the various phases of the moon that we can better comprehend what happens on Earth.
The Moon, the passive entity par excellence, shines with a reflected light (that of the Sun, obviously) and can be seen to be a satellite without any atmosphere or water. Uninhabitable by nature, the surface is covered in craters, mountains and plains. But this is only the scientific aspect…
The symbolic aspect harks back to a strictly feminine and ambivalent imagery, hanging suspended between life and death (the famous “dark side of the moon” of Pink Floyd), between light and shade.
At the same time this satellite evokes ideas of purity, eternity, fertility, the sixth sense, sensuality and the clarity which comes to us directly from the divine.
Featuring in all sorts of different religions, the Moon is almost always placed beside the Sun of which it is the bride or handmaid. In Christianity, for example, there are images of the Madonna with a crescent moon beneath her feet signifying that the female figure of the Virgin Mary receives the light of the sun which she then transmits to the world through the birth of her son Jesus.
In other mythologies we find the Egyptian goddess Isis, bride of Osiris, a mother goddess who simultaneously creates and destroys (once again the ambivalence of the lunar influence) and Nut, the goddess of day and night, who at sunset swallows the sun to leave only darkness and stars.
The moon has four distinct quarters: the waxing moon, full moon, waning moon and finally the new moon (sometimes a black moon). Let’s take a closer look at each one.
The waxing moon symbolises growth both in terms of plans and also actual physical birth. This is the phase when we should set ourselves new goals and take those important decisions which will influence (or disrupt) our lives.
From a metaphorical point of view, the waxing moon stands for a courageous, impulsive woman, willing to face any new challenges, who laughs at any obstacles in her path. Many scholars associate this with the period between the menstrual cycle and ovulation, a time of the month when women tend to have greater energy and drive.
The time for the harvest and sowing, the full moon is the moment for actual creation. The sun, at this point, is on the opposite side and can only illuminate it fully. The “Harvest Moon” has further connotations such as creativity and a genuine desire to help others. The full moon is basically a favourable, positive time for each and every one of us.
After the full moon, the moon gradually begins to wane, leaving behind it all that is old and used up. Vital energy gives way to thoughtfulness and introspection. Self-analysis. Symbolically speaking, it is a good time for regeneration, for combing out the knots of the past. It often coincides with a kind of homecoming. A desire to settle down, the need for warmth and comfort after some exhausting effort.
Finally there is the fourth and final quarter: the new moon. Now our beloved satellite is in the shade and this is the precise moment when our energies are renewed leaving space for a new beginning. Change is just a step away, transformation is around the corner. The old stands for the past and the future is only an intriguing invitation to discover what will happen from here on.