Monthly Columns

Learning Lunar

Learning Lunar: The Waxing Crescent


Welcome to the next instalment in our Learning Lunar series, and the second about waxing moons, this time looking at the waxing crescent. The crescent moon is such an evocative image, found throughout history in the form of Roman pendants, Greek goddess statues, and even 16th century Christian manuscripts. Understanding the meaning of the waxing crescent moon could help hone your moon magic skills and increase your connectedness with the cycles of the moon and the seasons.

What Does a Waxing Crescent Moon Mean?

A crescent shape is instantly recognisable, and is basically a sliver of the moon—less than half, but beyond the dark moon. In technical terms, a waxing crescent moon can mean any phase of the moon that’s at least 0.1% visible in the sky, all the way up to being 49.9% visible.


What Does A Waxing Crescent Look Like?

The waxing crescent is a thin, curved band of moon that gradually gets fatter until it’s a waxing half moon or first quarter. In the northern hemisphere, the waxing moon starts at the right and gets bigger towards the left. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite occurs, with the moon seeming to fatten towards the right.

The waxing crescent moon is often brightest in the west, just after sunset. This does not mean the moon is rising in the west! It just means the moon was visible during the daytime and is about to set, however, the small crescent of the waxing moon isn’t as noticeable in the daytime hours.


Quick fact: Some people might think they can see the “dark side of the moon” or the rest of the moon that’s not generally visible during this phase. This isn’t an optical illusion: The dark partial disk is lit up just a tiny bit by what’s called Earthshine. Just like the moon reflects sunlight onto Earth, the Earth also reflects light back at the moon! It can, in some circumstances, be just enough to illuminate the normally “hidden” part of the moon.


What To Do On A Waxing Crescent Moon

The waxing moon is often associated with rejuvenation, rebuilding, and the gradual progress of plans that are coming to fruition. If you practice a regular, monthly connection with the lunar cycles, this is a great time to check in and see how your work is progressing and what steps you need to take to ensure your work keeps moving forward and is serving you in the best way it can. For example, if a part of your practice has become redundant or feels like a chore, it may be that you can swap this out for something else or focus on a different aspect of your spirituality. Meditation, visualisation, or speaking to a peer or mentor can help with this.


The waxing crescent is also associated with:

    • Abundance, prosperity, and wealth
    • Luck and good fortune
    • Communication
    • Power
    • Creativity
    • Aspirations, such as career or life goals

The waxing crescent can be the ideal time to set your intentions and check in with your motivation levels: are you doing too much? Too little? Do you need some external help? Make a list or lists of what you need to do next, and remember to include time to refresh yourself and enjoy life. This is a time of rising energy, but all energy can be depleted and doing too much can lead to poor physical and mental wellbeing and increases the risk of burnout.



During the Summer Solstice 2023 the waxing crescent moon is in Leo. For those that follow astrology, this could mean the urge to be creative becomes much stronger, particularly the need to bring beauty into the world—perhaps not for profit, but simply for the joy of it. Rising lunar energy in Leo could also mean you’re more preoccupied with your appearance or what others think of you. This could be the time to try and let go of insecurities before they stop you doing something or cause friction within relationships. If you find yourself feeling this way, try and focus on the qualities you admire in others, particularly those you respect highly. This can help draw you out of yourself and even inspire you toward more creative endeavours.

Healthwise, many people believe that Leo influences the heart and other cardiovascular aspects of your overall wellbeing, including blood pressure and circulation. It may be worth taking extra care of your heart health around this time, which is generally a good idea anyway! Consider eating more mindfully, moving more if this is safe and appropriate for you, or getting a check-up if needed. My spouse is currently recovering from heart surgery, so this is a hot topic for us, and we’ll be sure to check in with him and his hearth-health extra closely during this Solstice.



Moon magic can involve divination, meditation, guided visualisation, spell work of all kinds, plus ritual work. The waxing crescent might inspire you to create some money magic, or magic related to other kinds of prosperity. This might be very specific, such as guidance over choosing a new house or another big ticket purchase. Another example could be making a commitment to do more overtime and dedicating that commitment to a deity to help you follow through with it.

When drawing cards, runes, or other divination tools, you might find more clarity when asking question related to waxing moon associations such as career goals, growth, or communication concerns.


The Moon And The Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice in 2023 falls on the 21st June, 14:58 UTC, and yes, it will be a waxing crescent moon at this time. The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year, although in the southern hemisphere, of course, it will actually be the Winter Solstice at this time. You could combine your magical or spiritual solstice efforts with what you know about the waxing crescent to produce some pretty powerful outcomes, if you try!

With the sun at the peak of its power, heat and fire magic are a natural choice—remember, safety first! Candle magic for prosperity might have a little extra oomph, as will any spells that require you to burn something as a catalyst. One example might be to write out, on paper, one or several things that you wish to leave behind you as you move through summer toward the darker part of the year. Visualise those things leaving you or what your life will be like without them in it, then burn the paper safely in a firepit or incinerator. Meditating in a hot bath might be a wonderful sensory experience, especially when paired with bath oils or scented candles imbued with fire fragrances such as ginger, cinnamon, or orange.

Deities associated with the sun are also excellent to include with your moon magic at this time. Apollo and Artemis are an obvious choice, twin archers associated respectively with the sun and the moon who can bring their differing viewpoints together to perhaps help you gain clarity over a situation, or go on the “hunt” for your goals with laser focus.

Will you be moon gazing over this year’s Summer Solstice? Come and tell us all about it on our socials!


*Photos: Waxing crescent photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash [Image ID: Close up of a waxing crescent moon against a black sky]

Lights and sunset photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash [Image ID: An open jar filled with lights buried in sand beneath a blurred sunset]



About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist and content creator. She’s a nature-based witch, obsessed with Irish and British Paganism and Folklore, plus she’s a massive plant nerd. She’s also a long-time Hekate devotee and a newbie Lokean. She works extensively with the UK Pagan Federation, including editing their bi-annual children’s magazine. Mabh is a passionate environmentalist and an advocate for inclusiveness and positive social transformation.

Mabh is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors,  Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways, and most recently, Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living. Search “Mabh Savage” on Spotify and @Mabherick on all socials.