Moon Phases, what do they mean?
About two days after the true Dark of the Moon you will see a tiny sliver of a Moon appear in the sky at sunset, near where the Sun has gone down. Some people call this the First Crescent. This is the beginning of the waxing cycle, a time of rebirth and renewed energy. The First Crescent rises a little bit after sunrise and sets a little bit after sunset.
After the three days of the dark phase, you will often feel a lightening of your mood and a renewed energy, like reawakening. The positive energy of New Moon is excellent for working on personal growth, healing and blessing of new projects or ventures. It is a good time for initiations or for self-dedication, if you work solitary. It\’s also a good time to cleanse and consecrate new tools and objects you wish to use during rituals, ceremonies or an up-coming festival.
Attributes: New beginnings, attraction, new growth, start of a spiritual journey, dedication, initiation, the birth of something new.
Waxing Moon ( from new moon to full moon )
The Moon begins her journey to fullness, nightly increasing to form a horned moon. As the moon increases, shining ever more brightly on the earth, she symbolizes the eternal rhythm of growth to maturity. The Waxing Moon rises after sunrise and sets after sunset – it is seen in the night sky for a short time after the sun goes down, almost an hour later each day.
This is considered the ideal time for magick geared towards drawing things to you, for attraction magick and spells or rituals of increase, growth and new projects. The waxing phase is excellent for spells that are worked to increase or expand something ~ to draw love or money to you, to bring you the most success on the job or in school, to draw customers to your business. Initiation or the start of a spiritual journey can be reinforced by connecting to the energy of the waxing Moon, visualizing the seeds planted now germinating and growing as the light of the Moon increases.
A ritual performed at the New Moon can be strengthened and added to throughout this phase. Folks who want their hair to grow thick and fast, cut their hair when the Moon is waxing. People plant crops grown for leaves, flowers, or seeds during the waxing Moon
Candles, oils, potions and herbal preparations made during this time vibrate with the energy of increase, hope, rebirth and gentle light.
Waxing Half Moon : Every night the Moon rises in the East a little later and the Waxing Crescent gets thicker, until the shape of the Moon is half a circle. This is the First Quarter, also called by some people the Waxing Half Moon. It is dark on the left and bright on the right, in the northern hemisphere; the opposite in the southern hemisphere. The Waxing First Quarter Moon rises around noon and sets around midnight.
Half moon is a time of pause, symmetry & balance, with the light & dark united in a stunning visual orb. Magick performed during this time is excellent to balance our own spirit body, to affirm our stability, equanimity & endurance as we move forward to achieve our heart\’s desires for ourselves or our loved ones. The waxing half Moon is a special time for attraction magick, inner love spells, protection for couples and healing energy for couples.
As the cycle continues, the Moon starts to look like it is pregnant — it is bulged out past halfway, with over 50% of the surface illuminated. This is the Waxing Gibbous Moon. The Waxing Gibbous Moon rises in the middle of the afternoon and sets before well before sunrise.
Attributes: Germination and growth of ideas and projects, building energy, commitment, healing, the cycle of growth and coming to being.
It takes about 14 days of growing bigger for the moon to grow or wax completely full ~ that night you will see the Full Moon rise as a perfect circular disk. The Full Moon rises almost exactly at sunset and sets almost exactly at the next sunrise.
This is the phase of the lunar cycle when the Moon is at Her brightest and perfectly round: the period when 100% of the Moon\’s face appears to be illuminated. There are three consecutive days when the moon appears as a fully illuminated disk: the day before astronomical full, the day of astronomical full and the day after. This is when all magickal qualities of the Moon are at their strongest… the time of greatest power.
Many witches perform Full Moon ceremony on the night of astronomical full moon, which is held to be when the moon energy reaches its highest potency. If astronomical full moon occurs during the day, the full moon ritual will often be held on the preceding night, when the moon is still in its waxing cycle, (eg: if astronomical full moon occurs at 11 am on 29th of the month, Full Moon ritual is held on the night of the 28th).
This is the high point of lunar power when Witches traditionally gather to work magick for healing, abundance, and all spells of power. It represents the universe in brilliant glory, wholeness or completeness and is a wonderful time to work on your own personal spiritual lessons, growth and enlightenment.
This night is a special time for dedication, initiation, cleansing and charging of magickal instruments. The full moon is traditionally the time to reconnect with the Goddess; a time of thanks and a time to rejoice in the energy of the Goddess. In the “Charge of the Goddess,” She says, “Once in every month, and better it be when the Moon is full, gather and adore Me…”
Full Moon is a time to bring spells to fruition and strength. The Full Moon is at its most potent and it is a powerful experience to stand under Her full illumination, absorbing her light and energy. She pulls on us, water creatures of the earth, calling forth our emotions, our hidden desires, our repressed thoughts & feelings, as she brings them into the light of our mind\’s eye. We celebrate, expressing our gratitude, our passion, and our unique spiritual dance in the journey of life.
Candles, oils, potions and herbs vibrate with this great tidal pulling, calling to fruition those things that have been veiled or are as yet unfolding, and all magick performed at this time carries the potent energy of the Full Moon.
Attributes: Ideas and projects coming to fruition, maximum focus, potency, celebration, consecration, abundance, direction of will.
Waning Moon (from Full moon to new moon)
After 14 days of waxing, culminating with the Full Moon, the entire process is reversed and the Moon decreases in apparent size. It slowly begins to go dark on one side, while the other stays the same disk-shape as it had when it was full ~ this is the Waning Gibbous Moon. The Waning Gibbous Moon rises in the early evening and sets some time after sunrise.
Every night the Moon rises in the East a little later and the thickness of the Waning Gibbous gets thinner, until the shape of the Moon is half a circle. This is the Last Quarter, also called by some people the Third Quarter or Waning Half Moon. The Waning Last Quarter Moon rises about at midnight and sets about at noon.
As the shape continues to shrink every night, the Moon becomes a Waning Crescent, decreasing in light and energy. The Waning Crescent Moon rises between midnight and dawn, but fades from our sight when the Sun comes up.
The Waning Moon is a time of study, meditation and magick of repelling (the opposite of the attraction magick of the waxing cycle). The Moon energy has reached its peak and is slowly declining in power, following the cycle of death and rebirth.
This is the time to work rituals and magick designed to remove unwanted influences and energies, to break bad habits, to banish or release negativity, to end harmful relationships, and to reconcile with the past. It is a time of endings and conclusions. Negative emotions, diseases, ailments, and bad habits can all be let go and special spells for clearing can be performed at this time. Spells that are worked to decrease or diminish something ~ to break up a love affair, to drive away an unwanted person or influence, to banish crossed conditions ~ are often worked when the Moon is waning.
Folks who want to keep a hairdo and slow down their hair growth cut their hair when the Moon is waning. Plant crops grown for roots during the waning Moon.
Magick performed during this time vibrates with this acceptance that all things fade away, dissolve and yet continue to exist, in unseen realms. Use this cycle to release the unwanted, the lost, the finished phases of your own path through the world. Release the old joyfully to make way for the new!
Attributes: Decrease, decline, banishing, slowly winding down, acceptance, reflection and release.
Finally, growing smaller still, the moon has waned completely and it vanishes. This is called the “Dark of the Moon” or “Dead Moon” – it signifies death, although not literally physical death. It is the last cycle of the moon and on that night you will see no Moon at all, no matter how long you stay up and watch, because…
The Dark Moon, in conjunct with the sun, rises at sunrise and sets at sunset.
Some people don’t deal with (or even mention) the period of the Dark Moon ~ it is the time when you can’t see the moon in any phase. As with the Full Moon, the Dark Moon lasts for approximately three days: the day before, the day of “astronomical new moon” and the day after. and is when the power of the Moon is at its weakest. For many people this is a time of rest and introspection where little to no magical workings are conducted. This is the time to give yourself a break, to turn to self and pamper or replenish your own energies.
For some traditions, particularly those who walk the Left-hand Path, the Dark Moon holds the same power as the Full Moon. The Goddess has turned Her face, and darkness walks the earth. Dark energies are conjured, it is a time for black magick, Satanism and dark working.
This is traditionally the best time in the cycle to do divination. Vision quests and deep meditations are called for at this time to focus on personal matters, questions and answers.
Attributes: Solitude, introspection, divination, rest and resurrection.
A Lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the Earth\’s shadow. This type of eclipse does not occur every year, but when it does, it’s a wonderful and magickal night. The actual eclipse lasts for only a few hours, so you need to plan your rituals well in advance. Some traditions believe this one night is perfect for all purposes and has the energy of a full lunar month in one night. You can plan your spells or ritual to coordinate with the passing shadow. When the Moon is in full eclipse, treat those few moments as if the moon was in its Dark phase. Some witches forego magick work altogether and use this time to honor the Goddess in a special ritual.