Magical Uses of Moon Phases/Cycles
Depending on your spell, you should aim to cast it in harmony with the cycles of the Moon to achieve the most effective results. Below are the phases of the Moon, what they mean, and what sorts of spell are good to do during each phase.
The New Moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle, and means that the moon is almost completely in line with the Sun and the Earth. We see dark sky with only a small sliver of visible Moon. It’s a time of newness and rejuvenation. The Moon is new in the sky and just starting its journey through its phases.
Spells: New beginnings of any sort, Beauty, to Better your Health, Personal improvement and development, new Employment, New Projects. Almost any spell, Moving to a new home swiftly and easily, Safe and enjoyable travel, Increasing your cash flow, Conceiving new business ventures, Starting out on new adventures.
The Waxing Moon is the period of time between the New Moon and the Full Moon. Every night, the Moon gets a little larger. Any spell working that requires growth should be done now.
Spells: Anything where you are bringing things to you, Things that require growth, Courage, Motivation, Inspiration, Friendship, Elemental magic, any kind of Healings, Luck, Moving forward from Depression, Getting out of a rut, Passing examinations and tests, Finding anything lost: persons, pets or objects, Nurturing abundant healthy gardens and the well-being of nature, Developing inner strength and assertiveness.
This is a time when the Moon is at its most powerful, and the magic most potent. Performing any positive and helpful spell work at this time will achieve good results. Since the Full Moon only truly occurs for one night out of the entire lunar cycle, it can be hard to fit it into your schedule. You can harness the energy of the Full Moon for the night before, the night of and the night after the Moon is truly full.
Typically, there is one Full Moon every month, but since the lunar cycle is a bit shorter than our calendar months, there is sometimes two. The second Full Moon in any given month is called a Blue Moon; more on that later.
Spells: Most any kind of spell work, Artistic projects, Love spells, Romance, Fertility or Making Decisions. Also, Healing, Guidance, and Completion spells. Protecting Property and Home, Adding vigor to your life, Protecting self and others, Increasing self-confidence, Advancing in career and work, Enhancing psychic ability and clairvoyance, Strengthening friendships and family bonds, Performing general good-luck spells.
The Moon is waning as it gets smaller again, after the Full Moon. As the Moon seems to disappear in the sky, use this time to do spell work to remove things from your life. The Waning Moon is a good time for the casting out of the old ways.
Spells: Banishing old or bad habits and addictions, Ending relationships, Losing weight and ending bad eating habits. Anything where you are getting rid of something, Banishing Enemies, Stopping Arguments, Soothing unruly children, Calming Anxiety, Getting out of tricky situations, the Removal of troubles and worries, Bindings and Sending things from you. Certain healing rituals are done at this time too, where you are getting rid of the illness or problem.
Dark of the Moon
I want to mention the Dark of the Moon, also called “Dark Moon” because I find it very interesting personally. Many witches do not bother themselves with the Dark Moon or are not aware of the meaning of it. When I first started my studies of Wicca, I was told to do no magic during the Dark of the Moon. That the only thing I should do at that time was to meditate and rest from all magical energy workings. Now, many years later, I know that one can practice magic during the Dark of the Moon. That like any other phase of the Moon, it is a good time for certain practices.
The Dark of the Moon is traditionally the last three days of the Lunar cycle, immediately preceding the New Moon, and the time when the night sky is notably absent of the presence of the Moon. It is said: “The earliest peoples understood that the power of life lay in the darkness of the Moon.” “The purpose of the dark phase of any cycle is that of transition between the death of the old and the birth of the new. The dark time is a time of retreat, of healing, and of dreaming of the future.” i.e. the fallow times preceding outbursts of creativity and growth.
“Most of us do not realize we all have many dark phase times in our lives, and that these are naturally occurring periods in any life cycle. We fail to understand that endings are the precursors to new beginnings; thus when our life rhythms move us into and through these dark phases, we are ignorant of what is actually happening.” It is the grandeur of Death and Rebirth, not merely an ending with the proverbial ride off into the sunset.
“The dark phase of the cyclical process is a phase of healing and renewal rather than one of fear and unknowing; a time of mystery, wisdom, and healing power – all gifts of the Dark Moon Goddess.”
“There is less energy available for outer activities and meeting the expectations of others, because the purpose of the dark phase is for focusing on the inner dimensions of our bodies and minds. If we can learn to attune ourselves to the natural rhythms of ebb and flow in our lives, we can use the intrinsic function of the dark times for healing and renewal. When we resist this inward motion in our psyche, then anxiety, stress, and fear are more likely to take hold of our emotions.”
“The Triple Moon Goddess, in her new full and dark phases, was a model for the feminine nature in her entirety as Maiden, Mother, and Crone. In Her original worship the Dark Goddess, as the third aspect of this lunar trilogy, was honored, loved, and accepted for her wisdom and for her mystery teachings of renewal.”
Spells: Healing, Renewal, Psychic spells, Resetting of Goals. A good time to Meditate on the inner self, Doing spells to rid oneself of bad habits, Binding spells, Exploring our darkest inner recesses and understanding our angers and passions, Bringing Justice to Bear, Seeking Stillness within ourselves, Meditation, Introspection, Contemplation, Soul Searching, Prayer and Magic, Divination, Communicating with those that have passed on and Honoring those that have passed on.
Most astrological seasons have only three Full Moons in them, but because of the variation due to the Moon’s 29.5 day cycle some seasons have four Full Moons. The term “Blue Moon” is used to identify these extra Full Moons. It was first named Blue Moon by Shakespeare over 400 years ago to denote something rare or absurd. It can be the second Full Moon in the same calendar month. However, it is technically the third Full Moon in an astronomical season of four Full Moons; this happens every 2.7 years. Also about every 19 years there is no Full Moon in February. In that case, there will be two Full Moons in the same year in the neighboring months, usually January and March. This happened last in 2018.
These days, the second Full Moon in a calendar month is also often referred to as a Blue Moon. This particular colloquial phrase usage was popularized due to a misinterpretation in a 1946 article in Sky and Telescope magazine. Such Blue Moons occur rather frequently – as often as once a year.
As for its magical significance, there is some controversy. Some say that blessings such as Wiccenings or Handfastings will be stronger as well as protection spells. Thus, spells and magic done at this time come to fruition sooner. Spells that work great at this time are: Attract a new job, Healings, Love, Legal undertakings, Money and Dreams. Other say there is no magical significance to a Blue Moon beyond what you would see for a Full Moon.
Contrary to popular belief, a Blue Moon is not actually blue in color normally.
Are blue colored Moons rare?
Blue colored Moons do rarely occur when dust or smoke particles in the air are of a specific size. Such particles help create a blue colored Moon by scattering blue light.
Red colored Moons, which can be caused by other sizes of dust particles or Lunar Eclipses, are much more common than blue colored Moons.
A Black Moon occurs when there are two Dark of the Moons in a single calendar month. Thus the second Dark of the Moon of the month is called the Black Moon. This is a bit rare but not all that uncommon. Though there are those that say it is when there are 4 Dark of the Moons in a single astrological season so that the third Dark of the Moon is called the Black Moon. This occurs about every 2.7 years. Also about every 19 years February has no Dark of the Moon. At that time you will see a Black Moon in the neighboring months, usually January and March and thus there are two Black Moons in a single year. This happened last in 2014.
As for magical significance, like the Blue Moon, there is some controversy as to whether or not spells are more powerful at this time. But most say that it is the same as a Dark of the Moon, where others will say to do no rituals, rites or magic at all. Again, it is a great time for introspection and meditation.
Lunar Eclipse and Blood Moon
As you should know, the Moon doesn’t actually emit its own light. It merely reflects the light of the Sun that shines on it. A Lunar Eclipse is when the Earth gets between the Sun and the Moon and thus putting the Moon in its shadow. This causes the Moon to be darkened. Unlike a Solar Eclipse where only a few can see the event, the Lunar Eclipse can be seen by anyone on the night side of the Earth.
There are actually three different types of Lunar Eclipses. The Penumbral Eclipse where the Moon passes through the outer edge of the Earth’s shadow. Many don’t actually realize this type of eclipse as it’s very subtle. The Partial Eclipse is when the Moon passes through the more centralized part of the shadow. With this eclipse, you can still see the Moon. The last and best known is the Total Eclipse where the Moon is totally in the shadow of the Earth and is dark. With this, the Moon’s color will many times appear reddish or bloodlike. Thus, you get a Blood Moon at this time; though it is more noticeable during a Total Eclipse of a Super Moon when the Moon is closest to the Earth. However, technically a Blood Moon is a series of four consecutive Lunar Eclipses; also called a Tetrad.
As for magical implications, some sees the Total Eclipse as having all the properties of the whole Lunar Cycle as it passes through the Waning and then the Waxing phases and then reappearing as a Full Moon. Some sees the Total Eclipse as offering more power to one’s spell working. While others think that it’s dangerous to do any spell working during a Total Eclipse. However, there are no grounds for this belief. Remember that putting a limit to your spell working only sabotages yourself.
So what kind of spell working is good at this time? Well remember that the Total Eclipse only occurs during a Full Moon, so anything you would do during a Full Moon is good. This would include, but not limited to, spells that would increase your intuitive and psychic abilities, Healing magic, Any kind of ritual that gets you closer to the Deities and of course any ritual that honors the Lunar Gods and Goddesses. Also, this is a good time to take an objective and balanced look at your close personal relationships. This is also a good time to ask for spiritual advice on your path.
As for timing your magical working or ritual, the actual starting and ending time can vary for a Lunar Eclipse according to your time zone. So, check with the local source or the internet for the exact time it will be occurring in your area.
Did you know?
The ancient Celtics, Native Americans, Mayans, ancient Egyptians and other older cultures yearly calendar had thirteen months. The first and last day of the month was on a Full Moon. Though for the Anglo-Saxons the month started and ended with the New Moon. These months were approximately twenty-nine days long. There was not anything like a leap year because it was not needed. Many Pagan traditions still honor the thirteen-month year when celebrating Esbats and Sabbats.
Something you should also realize is that the Eastern and Western Hemispheres have slightly different dates for the various Moon phases. So, if someone says that tomorrow is a Full Moon but lives in a different hemisphere than you, you will want to check your local calendar for the date of that Full Moon in your area. Also, the exact time of day of the Moon phases vary according to the time zone you are in. Again, check a local source for the exact time of day the Moon will be in that phase.
Also remember that just because you can’t see a particular Moon phase or Eclipse doesn’t mean you can’t work with it. It doesn’t matter whether you are indoors or there is a cloud cover, the Moon is still there and its energies are still available to you.
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