The Third Quarter of the Moon arrived today, July 26th, at 4:02 PM Pacific Time, putting us firmly on the return path of our monthly journey with Grandmother Moon.
In many ways, the lunar Third Quarter is akin to Autumn in the solar year. We planted our new seeds at the new waxing moon, grew them in the first quarter and saw them bloom at the Full Moon. And now, the Moon’s light is diminishing, its energy is becoming quieter, more introspective, more yin. We are now reaping the harvest that we started at the beginning of the cycle and are preparing for the completion of our journey.
And what do we associate with the Harvest? Thanksgiving! Gratitude!
At this time of year, my Celtic ancestors were preparing for the first harvest of the year, Lughnasadh (also known as Lammas, and the Irish Gaelic name for the month of August), which “officially” arrives on August 1st. In Celtic traditions, the day is measured sundown to sundown, so Lughnasadh celebrations start the evening of July 31st. I will be posting more about Lughnasadh in the coming days.
And like other harvest celebrations around the world, at Lughnasadh we give thanks and gratitude. So, we have a double harvest this week… and it’s definitely time to start getting ready for your Lughnasadh celebrations.
Elements in the Third Quarter Moon
The Moon passes through all the zodiac signs as it goes through its cycle and this morning moved into Taurus: an Earth-element sign which suggests patience but also resting and getting cozy, taking one’s time and conserving one’s energy. Perfect for the waning energy of the Moon!
Many people associate the Four Elements with the Moon’s journey as we do with the seasons and the directions, but – as far as I can see – there is no universal agreement on which element fits each phase.
Some people use these correspondences:
1st quarter (New Moon, Waxing Crescent): Air
2nd quarter (Waxing First Quarter/Gibbous to Full Moon): Fire
3rd quarter (Full Moon through Third Quarter and Waning Gibbous): Earth
4th Quarter (Waning Crescent through Dark Moon): Water
And others use this association, going through all four elements in the waxing phase and the waning phase:
New Moon = Earth
Crescent Moon = Water
First Quarter = Fire
Waxing Gibbous = Air
Full Moon = Fire
Waning Gibbous = Water
Third Quarter = Earth
Balsamic Moon= Air
While others see us going through all four elements in each phase but with a slightly different order!
1. new moon = water
2. crescent = air
3. first quarter = fire
4. gibbous = earth
5. full moon = earth
6. disseminating = fire
7. last quarter = air
8. balsamic = water
Working with the Air Element
Using these correspondences, we can choose to work with either (or both!) Air or Earth. Choose what works best for you. That being said, if we look at Air (the realm of thought) as our element, its message is in many ways similar to the autumnal Earth message…. thinking, patience, reorientation, review.
If you have been journaling your feelings and actions throughout the month, take some time to consider how you feel in this phase of the Moon’s journey:
- your emotions
- your work and sleep patterns
- your energy levels
- your progress on your goals
- and, of course, what you are grateful for
Focus on living through gratitude in the third quarter… taking time to “smell the roses”, noticing the beauty around you and all that brings joy and abundance to your life: friendship, health, family, your gifts and abilities, love, your resources and abundance… I’m sure there is something to be grateful for.
Working with the Earth element
If the Earth element correspondence resonates with you for this quarter, think about incorporating Earth elements into your daily activities:
- drinking herbal teas
- taking a bath with sea salts and essential oils
- nurturing your plants
- spending time in the forest or in Nature
- light a salt lamp to purify the air
If the Air element correspondence resonates with you for this quarter, use that element even more:
- enhance your meditative practice with deep breathing meditation
- use your voice – sing:)
- keep your mind active with journaling, reading, and learning
Take some time to journal what you are thankful for this month.