Waxing Gibbous Moon Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning and Significance

Written by Sammi Caramela
Published: November 14, 2023
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Many people adore the moon for its beauty and glow. As it moves through its many phases, we get to experience different patterns of the Moon from our view here on Earth. Each of the eight phases of the lunar cycle carries its own magic and significance. For instance, the waxing gibbous moon symbolizes progress and growth toward a specific goal. As the phase right before the full moon, this time is meant for the final steps required for manifestation or success.

The waxing gibbous moon is the fourth phase of the lunar cycle that immediately precedes the full moon, meaning the Sun is almost fully illuminating the Moon. During this time, you might begin to feel the energy shift as we approach the full moon. Here’s everything you should know about the waxing gibbous moon, including its spiritual symbolism and significance. 

What Are the Different Moon Phases?

The eight phases of the lunar cycle include the following (in order): the new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent. Each moon phase plays an important role in Earth’s natural flow and climate. In fact, some research shows the Moon impacts human and animal behavior and physiology. 

According to the study “The lunar cycle: effects on human and animal behavior and physiology” in The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the lunar cycle impacts fertility, menstruation, and birth rates. In fact, research found that melatonin levels might correlate with the menstrual cycle.

Additionally, hospital and emergency room admittance has been shown to correlate with moon phases as a result of health issues like “cardiovascular and acute coronary events, variceal hemorrhage, diarrhea, [and] urinary retention.” In terms of human behavior, the lunar cycle might also influence car accidents, crimes, and suicides. 

When it comes to animals, The National Center for Biotechnology Information found the following details:

“Animal studies revealed that the lunar cycle may affect hormonal changes early in phylogenesis (insects). In fish, the lunar clock influences reproduction and involves the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. In birds, the daily variations in melatonin and corticosterone disappear during full-moon days. The lunar cycle also exerts effects on laboratory rats with regard to taste sensitivity and the ultrastructure of pineal gland cells. Cyclic variations related to the Moon’s phases in the magnitude of the humoral immune response of mice to polyvinylpyrrolidone and sheep erythrocytes were also described. It is suggested that melatonin and endogenous steroids may mediate the described cyclic alterations of physiological processes. The release of neurohormones may be triggered by electromagnetic radiation and/or the gravitational pull of the Moon. Although the exact mechanism of the Moon’s influence on humans and animals awaits further exploration, knowledge of this kind of biorhythm may be helpful in police surveillance, medical practice, and investigations involving laboratory animals.” 

Michał Zimecki

What is a Waxing Gibbous Moon?

The waxing gibbous moon is the phase of the lunar cycle when the side of the Moon facing Earth is almost fully illuminated by the Sun. At this point in the lunar cycle, the Moon almost appears full except for a small sliver. This phase immediately precedes the full moon phase, signaling the final push of action before “completion.”

Close-up moon in waxing gibbous phase. Moon surface, craters and the night sky. Isolated on a black background and copy space.

The waxing gibbous moon is the fourth phase of the lunar cycle.

©Thomas Marx/Shutterstock.com

During this time, it’s a good idea to take stock of any resistance you’ve been facing or blocks that have kept you from manifesting your dreams.

Waxing Gibbous Moon Symbolism: Spiritual Meaning and Significance

The waxing gibbous moon holds deep symbolism that reminds us to continue our progression toward our goals. Here are the spiritual meanings and significance of the waxing gibbous moon.


Throughout life, we all endure periods of growth and transformation. Oftentimes, this growth takes place in stages, with some being more significant than others. The waxing gibbous is one such stage that reminds us how integral our growth is to achieving what we desire in life. We can physically see the Moon “growing” (though it actually remains the same size, but our view from Earth changes). Just the same, we can look back and notice our own internal growth.

For instance, perhaps you’ve been working in therapy to reduce your self-doubt and begin talking more kindly to yourself. While you might still notice some negative self-talk from time to time, you might recognize how much less you are partaking in negative dialogue with yourself. Though there is always room for more growth, you should be proud of the development you’ve achieved thus far.


During the waxing gibbous phase, we notice the Moon becoming larger — nearly full. Just like with the Moon, we can see evidence of the progress we have made and notice how close we are to reaching our full potential. Keep in mind, however, that progress is not always linear. Sometimes, our healing and growth ebb and flow through different periods of life. Noticing your progress, as mentioned earlier, is a great way to keep a positive mindset and maintain confidence in the direction you’re heading. You might not clock miles every day, but so long as you’re moving forward, you’re still making progress.


The waxing gibbous moon symbolizes refinement, as this is the stage when you might make the necessary adjustments to get what you want. For example, perhaps you thought you could win over that promotion at your current job by working later hours, only to realize you don’t desire that lack of work-life balance. What you truly desire might actually be financial freedom, and perhaps you’ve found that through a different avenue. Now is a great time to reflect and make those changes.

The waxing gibbous moon phase reminds us that it’s never too late to refine our plans or even change our goals. In fact, sometimes, our desires change throughout life. One year, we might want to travel the world and make new friends in various places, while the next year, we’d rather spend more time in solitude and focus on our careers or pursuing a committed relationship. 


There is much wisdom we can take from the waxing gibbous moon phase. At this time of the lunar cycle, we’ve likely taken the proper steps toward the goals set during the new moon. As we are getting closer to our fulfilled manifestations, we might reflect on the lessons we’ve learned during the first half of the cycle, noting any resistance or ease we’ve experienced. While the Sun sheds more light on the Moon during this phase, there is also more light shed on our desires, blocks, and passions. 


Now is the time to make difficult decisions on your journey toward your manifestations. As the lunar phase immediately preceding the full moon, the waxing gibbous moon phase represents a prime time for making the right choices that will secure your future. For example, maybe you’re trying to manifest a soulmate yet can’t seem to cut ties with your toxic ex. This is the time to get serious about your desires and make the proper decisions that will align you with your manifestations. As difficult as it might be, you might first need to let go of someone you once loved to meet your soulmate.


To get to the full moon phase, the Moon must first endure early and humble beginnings toward our goals. This entails hard work and sustained action in the right direction. To truly reap the benefits of the full moon (or the state of abundance you desire), you must remain loyal to your goals — even in the face of conflict. The waxing gibbous phase reminds us that committing to our goals is the only way we will achieve them. You can manifest all you want, but if you aren’t willing to back those manifestations with action, you likely won’t get your desired outcome.


During this phase of the lunar cycle, we might find our dreams are coming to fruition. While there are likely still those extra steps you must take before truly seeing our manifestations in their full glory, you might notice that your dreams seem more realistic now that you’ve been making progress toward them.

room full of clouds surreal dream 3d rendering moon

This phase of the lunar cycle might entail fulfilled dreams and manifestations.

©ogeday çelik/iStock via Getty Images

This can be an exciting time if you choose to see it that way, but it can also feel intimidating if you don’t truly believe you can achieve your manifestations. This is the ideal time to reflect on any resistance you’re feeling so you can cleanse your energy and continue aligning yourself with your dreams.


As the phase immediately preceding the full moon, the waxing gibbous moon requires a willingness to expand. Expansion can occur in any area of your life, from your love life to your friendships to your career. Consider the parts of your life you’d like to expand (and in what ways) and continue growing in those directions. The waxing gibbous will support this honed focus on your desires.


The waxing gibbous moon is a time to get creative — especially if you’ve been hustling toward your goals. You might find more inspiration during this phase, as it occurs right before the full moon, which is a time of abundance, celebration, and completion. If things have been going your way during this lunar cycle, you might be putting the finishing touches on certain projects or even revisiting some areas of life you find yourself longing for again. Whatever the case, allow this creativity to speak to and through you. View your life as the work of art it is, and know that you hold the paintbrush.


After a period of commitment, action, and progression, the waxing gibbous phase might stir up unsettled emotions, distress, or even exhaustion. Energetically, you might feel depleted at this time. That’s why many people believe the waxing gibbous phase represents resilience as we continue hustling and working toward our manifestations. Your resilience will be rewarded by the full moon. 

Celebrating the Waxing Gibbous Moon

The waxing gibbous moon phase is a great time to take the final steps needed to achieve your goal. It’s certainly not a time to give up or give in, though you might feel tempted to do so. Keep your eyes on the prize and know you will be rewarded soon.

To celebrate the waxing gibbous moon, reflect on how far you’ve come and express gratitude to yourself and the universe for getting you this far. Keep pushing forward, making the necessary adjustments or sacrifices to fulfill your desires and manifestations. You might consider journaling through difficult emotions or documenting any lessons learned during this phase.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Thomas Marx/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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