We are into the Waning Crescent phase of the Moon which occurs between the last quarter and new Moon phases. In the Northern Hemisphere, we see the Moon’s left side lit and the right side in darkness. The lit area slowly shrinks each day, covering less and less of the Moon’s surface until it looks like a very thin crescent on the left side.
About 30% is lit this weekend with what we call “moonlight.” But there is no moonlight – only sunlight reflected off the Moon’s surface.
The whole Moon will be in darkness at the new Moon phase and another lunar cycle will begin.
Waning Crescent Moons rise in the east between midnight and sunrise and are highest in the morning. It sets (yes, just like the Sun) rather invisibly between noon and sunset.
Even this phase of the Moon has its lore, though the Full and New Moons tend to get more attention. One of the many lunar superstitions is that the first time you see a crescent moon for the month, take all your spare coins out of your pocket, and put them in a different pocket in order to ensure good luck for the next month. Clearly, this belief came from a time when people carried coins in their pockets instead of credit cards and a phone.
Some other Crescent Moon connections:
- A crescent shape is a symbol for this lunar phase and it is sometimes called the “sickle moon.
- In Hinduism, Lord Shiva is often shown wearing a crescent moon on his head symbolizing that he is timeless and the master of time.
- The crescent is also used as the astrological symbol for the Moon.
- It is the alchemical symbol for silver.
- It was the emblem in mythology of Diana (Artemis) and represented virginity.
- In Christianity, it is associated with the Virgin Mary.
- Because it was used as a roof finial in Ottoman-era mosques, it has also become associated with Islam.