The Last Quarter Moon, also called the Third Quarter Moon or Half Moon, is the final primary Moon phase before the cycle begins again (see: New Moon). It follows the Full Moon phase and represents the waning half of the cycle, when things are coming to a close.
What the Last Quarter Moon Signifies
The Last Quarter Moon is a time of readying for the end. It’s an industrious moment where last minute changes can occur, loose ends can be tied up, and we can look back at the entire Moon cycle with greater clarity.
This is the time to make adjustments and recalibrate your plans, get all your ducks in a row, and look ahead to the future. Like the First Quarter Moon, it can also be a time of crisis, when our story comes to a head. This isn’t as intense of an energy build-up like the Full Moon, but it’s our last chance to integrate lessons. They can come at us hard.
Remember that the Quarter Moon is a hard aspect between the Sun and the Moon. They’re in a tense square aspect, generating tension that’s necessary to create change. When we use these Moon phases consciously, we can take advantage of that turn in the road rather than be taken for a ride.
The Full Moon in January falls in the last decan of Cancer on January 17, 2022. This corresponds to the 4 of Cups card in the Tarot, the Lord of Luxury, ruled by the Moon and Jupiter. The Moon is of course at home in the sign of Cancer, giving this Full Moon positive dignity by sign and by decan.
Mere days before the Full Moon, Mercury has stationed Retrograde in Aquarius in an exact square to Uranus at 10°. At the same time, Uranus is stationing Direct! This can pull some sudden eruptions and surprises from Uranus into both the Full Moon and Mercury Retrograde cycle. Changes and insights will be especially sharp for anyone having important placements at 10° of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Aquarius.
The Sun is conjunct Pluto during the Full Moon, lighting it up like a brilliant power source. We can take advantage of this intensity with Full Moon magick, getting to the heart of a mystery and illuminating the unknown. Pluto allows us to exercise control and will power, revealing secrets and effecting meaningful change and personal transformation.
Full Moon magick is performed in the days leading up to the Full Moon. This lunar phase follows the New Moon and the First Quarter Moon phases. The Moon has so far been waxing or increasing in light, building up momentum and building a charge.
At this moment the Sun and Moon are in perfect opposition, and the Moon is at her brightest and most magnificent. The Moon is in her most potent position for about a three-day period.
From here, the Moon gradually decreases in light. She’s said to be waning or closing the cycle during this time. After this of course we have a Third or Last Quarter Moon followed by a New Moon.
The first New Moon of the year is on January 2 in Capricorn (at 12° 20′, falling in the middle decan). The Tarot card for this Moon is the 3 of Pentacles, Lord of Material Works.
With Jupiter having just ingressed into Pisces on December 28th, he now sits at the South Node bending, in a 90° square to the karmic lunar nodes. During this lunar cycle he will encourage and support our soul growth by helping us release the past. His position in the first decan of Pisces tells a story of moving away from a difficult situation, seeking a spiritual solo journey that moves us away from stagnation.
There is a strong emphasis on Earth element energy as we begin the new year. The New Moon examines the same territory as Venus Retrograde which will be a dominant factor this month. This energy harmonizes with Uranus in Taurus, who will station Direct shortly, tying into a larger theme of change we’ve been experiencing since 2018-19.
Mercury is also in relation to the Nodes at this time and preparing to station Retrograde in Aquarius. This will be similar to last year’s Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius, except that it dips back into Capricorn, bringing Hermes the messenger into the New Moon / Venus Retrograde story as well.
During this Mercury-ruled Full Moon, Mercury squares Chiron, who is in the middle of stationing Direct. Important conversations can be very illuminating at this time. New information may come to light that has been brewing under the surface since the Solar Eclipse. This info relates directly to our Chiron story of inner wounding and will propel us to take a stand for ourselves. But it also has a lot to do with Venus Retrograde.
Third Decan of Gemini: The 10 of Swords
The story here is of shedding an old way of thinking. We have to adapt, as we’ve come to a place where what we once thought to be true is no longer the case. This is the end of a worldview that we’ve held, which can come as a betrayal. From here we have to rebuild, and the Venus Retrograde will help us figure out what is most important from here.
The New Moon in Sagittarius on December 3-4 is a Total Solar Eclipse! This powerful Eclipse falls on the side of the South Node, a karmic release point associated with the past. So get ready to PURGE. Things empty out at the South Node. But for some this emptying out is a source of power. What new form will you take when you give yourself that fresh start? A new year is coming, in more ways than one (I’m looking at you, Jupiter in Pisces)!
With Sagittarius, you have to trust your gut and take a leap of faith knowing that you’ll catch the wind. But this new beginning comes as a result of clearing the way for something. Chances are you’ve already felt it, as we’re nearing the end to this story (this whole lunar cycle being the final chapter). Sometimes we have to get to the bottom before we can find our way back up to the top.
The Sun and Moon are in the middle section of Sagittarius. Zeus, the glowing king of the gods, commands Sagittarius overall. During this lunar cycle, Jupiter splashes into Pisces – a major upgrade for him, as it’s his other abode (cue the Angel choir). We saw a glimpse of this magical energy when Jupiter was in Pisces for a short stint this Summer (exact dates being May 13 – July 28).
Ever the optimist, Zeus is happy to lift us up and to see us through a tough time, even as we nurse our battle wounds. It isn’t easy emptying out before you can fill back up. Shed your skin willingly, though, and you can decide what happens next.
This is our last Eclipse of the Gemini-Sagittarius Eclipse series. Eclipses usher in change, release, and awakening in the area where they land in our charts. See if you can find a theme or pattern to major changes in your life (internal & external) during the dates below.
A Look Back: Gemini – Sagittarius Eclipse Cycle
June 5, 2020: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius (15° 34′)
November 30, 2020: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Gemini (08° 38′)
December 14, 2020: Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius (23° 08′)
May 26, 2021: Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius (05° 25′)
June 10, 2021: Solar Annular Eclipse in Gemini (19° 47′)
December 3, 2021: Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius (12° 22′)
You will want to look at placements in your chart that fall in the Houses of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Need help?
November 19, 2021 is the day of the Full Moon, a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus! This is our first Eclipse of the season. It’s also the very first Eclipse to grace us from the Scorpio-Taurus axis, a set of Eclipses that takes us from this moment into 2023. This Full Moon is the culmination of the New Moon in Scorpio that fell on Thursday, November 4.
Turbulent Uranus still has his hands in the cookie jar, and will continue to be an important player throughout this Moon cycle. He’s sitting opposite hot-headed Mars on Wednesday the 17th, putting tension on our need for independence, freedom, and change that can lead to hasty decision making or other bold moves.
Uranus is also in a more harmonious relationship to Venus, which helps during the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus, because Venus is the ruler of that sign and is overseeing Uranus’ actions. Venus has also just entered the shadow zone of her upcoming retrograde in Capricorn (the shadow starts on November 17).
Mercury rules this chart (set for Portland, OR) and is opposite the Moon during her Eclipse. Mercury in Scorpio opposite the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus can pit our emotions against our logical mind or at least separate the two. Even if we know something logically, emotionally it may be a completely different matter. Now we’re looking at the third decan of Scorpio, which is about passion, hunger, and death.
The New Moon in Scorpio is on November 4, 2021. This Lunation is the beginning of Eclipse season, with our first Eclipse on the Scorpio/Taurus axis falling on November 19. The New Moon in Scorpio is directly opposite unconventional Uranus. Follow that up with a partial Lunar Eclipse in Taurus, and November 2021 Astrology is fairly electric. It will spotlight the ongoing Uranus in Taurus stories unfolding in each of our lives.
The cycle begins in the middle decan of Scorpio, with magnanimous Sun and Jupiter ruling this portion of the sign. The 6 of Cups is the soft underbelly of Scorpio, playful and nostalgic, recalling our inner child. With the middle decan of Taurus opposite (the 6 of Pentacles), there is a reminder of the importance of reciprocity. There has to be a give and take, and equal energy exchange in all that we do.
Venus is in the final degree of Sagittarius during the New Moon, changing signs on the following day. Within this lunar cycle, she will begin her shadow period preceding Venus Retrograde in Capricorn. This period is a precursor to Venus Retrograde. It’s made all the more important by Venus’ rulership over the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus later in the month.
Mercury clears the shadow of last month’s retrograde just ahead of the New Moon early in the month. The swift-footed one is finally moving on from the prolonged conversation and balancing act he’s been at in Libra. On the 5th of the month, he plunges headlong into the cold waters of Scorpio just on the heels of the Sun and the Moon.
Now we are once again entering new territory. We know it when Mercury and Venus change signs – from active modalities to passive-receptive modalities – on the same day.
Venus leaves fiery Sagittarius in favor of the more reserved and cautious terrain of Capricorn also on the 5th. Here she prepares for next month’s Venus Retrograde in Capricorn, a period of review and reconfiguring of relationships, finances, values and valuables. The shadow period for her Retrograde cycle begins on November 17th.
The second half of November 2021 Astrology sees Mercury moving swiftly on to wax philosophical in Sagittarius. The Sun will of course lead the way just ahead of Mercury, beginning Sagittarius season on November 21 this year.
The Full Moon in Aries is on October 20, 2021 in the final decan of the pioneering sign (at 27° 26′), which is ruled by Venus and Jupiter. This decan represents a rite of passage or celebration of initial success. In the Tarot, it’s assigned to the 4 of Wands, whose esoteric name is the Lord of Completion, or the Lord of Perfected Work.
Since the New Moon in Libra on October 6, Mars and Mercury have both been reborn in the heart of the Sun, starting new planetary cycles. Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury have all ended their Retrograde cycles, making way for a new chapter where energies can begin to move forward again. Pluto is in there breaking down the old structures and rooting through the ashes for gold and information.
With so many planets stationing direct, there is both the feeling that things are starting to move ahead, and that the energy is standing still. It will take Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter time before they get back up to speed (while Mercury will be a little quicker on his feet).