Hilo means “The first moon”
Muku means “cut-off” or “end”.
The moon is constantly in motion, moving in a circle around the earth. It takes 29/30 days to make a complete orbit. This orbit is known as the moon cycle.
From earth, we experience the moon cycle as degrees of illumination provided by the light of the sun. Starting with the first day of the moon cycle, each day the illumination grows until it reaches fullness. This is what we know as a full moon and is the mid point of the cycle. The illumination then shrinks gradually each day until no illumination can be seen. In Hawaiian terms, the dark moon is known as the Muku, the end of the cycle. These concepts differ from traditional/astrological terms applied to moon phases. In England the common name given to the dark moon is ‘New moon’ and counted as the first day of the cycle. Each person who works with moon energy will have his or her own thoughts on what they identify with. For my work, I use the Hawaiian concept.
There are words for each of the phases in between Hilo and Muku, but in the interest of simplicity I will save those for another time.