Moon Phases 101: The Complete Guide To The Third Quarter

The third quarter Moon phase definitely has a few questions and a bit of confusion attached to it. For starters, if you think of the Full Moon, you have the entire lunar disc illuminated in the sky. With that logic it would stand that the third quarter would only have a quarter visible right? Well, not quite. That’s where the issue arises with this particular phase. As we are working through our mini-series on the phases, we knew that this guide would require a bit of an explanation, because let’s face it, it is confusing! 

Third Quarter Basics

What’s in a name? Well, a lot actually. Let’s start with the most difficult thing to wrap your head around. The third quarter is the final primary phase of the lunar cycle. 50% of the Moon is illuminated, on the left side opposite of the first quarter that is illuminated on the right side. So why the quarter? 

To understand this concept, we look to baseball. Think of Earth as a pitcher and the Moon as a player making their way around the diamond. The diamond representing the different phases; basically, where the Moon is in its cycle. First base is the first quarter, the full Moon is second base and finally the third quarter is third base when there’s only one quarter left before reaching home base. The baseball diamond is the perfect metaphor for this orbital cycle. 


The Rise of the Third Quarter 

This particular phase rises in the middle of the night and then sets in the middle of the day. That means we get to enjoy this phase in both the evening and in the quiet hours of the morning. This also means that during this phase we have the opportunity to see both the Sun and Moon in the sky together. 

Now’s the Time 

As the lunar cycle is coming to an end, this phase is the perfect time to release and break any negative habits that have been formed over the last month. A time for reflection and slowing down. Not only taking a look at how you’re doing but also a time to look ahead. Begin your concentrating on what you would like to manifest for the next month. A time to start thinking about your goals and intentions moving forward. 


This Moon phase also invites you to rest, relax and recuperate. Life moves quickly, some would argue faster now than ever before. And in all the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to take a quiet moment. But this phase calls for moments to yourself, moments of slowness and moments of quiet reflection. 


Next time the Moon is in the third quarter phase, and someone asks, “why do they call it that if it’s a half Moon” you’ll know the answer. Do you have any extraordinary moments that occurred under the third quarter? If you’re not sure, then use our Moon phase calculator to find out. Wear your moment and be sure to tag us with your #Moonglowmoment for a chance to be featured on our socials.