This seems a little too basic to spend much time on, but Roderick devotes today to explaining how the moon affects magical workings. As we know, there are four main lunar phases: dark/new, waxing, full, and waning. The dark/new moon occurs when you can see no Moon in the sky because the Sun and the Moon are on the same side of Earth. A waxing moon describes the time when the illuminated surface of the Moon as seen from the Earth increases. Conversely, a waning moon describes the time with the visible illuminated surface decreases. A full moon, obviously, is when nearly the full surface of the moon is illuminated and visible. If you would like to be a little more specific, you could say there are roughly 9 lunar phases: the new moon (not visible to the first visible crescent), waxing crescent (first 1-49% visible), first quarter (first 50% visible), waxing gibbous (first 51-99% visible), full (100% visible), waning gibbous (last 99-51% visible), third quarter (last 50% visible), waning crescent (last 49-1% visible), and dark (last visible crescent to not visible).
Interestingly, the northern and the southern hemisphere see the moon differently at any one time. If the moon is waxing, the northern hemisphere sees the illuminated portion on the right side. In the southern hemisphere, the waxing illuminated portion is on the left. Another way to think about it is that if you are in the northern hemisphere and the moon looks like a D, it is waxing, and if it looks like a C it is waning. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, the C moon will be waxing and the D moon will be waning.
Magically, the waxing moon states are best for spells concerning increase, gain, growth, construction, creation, accomplishment, progress, development, improvement, expansion, flourishing, etc. Full moons–which are considered to be the day of the full moon and the day before and after–are suited best for spells concerning achievement, triumph, victory, success, conquest, realization, command, control, influence, authority, attainment, fulfillment, power, strength, psychic ability, and magical prowess. Waning moons are best for work concerning inhibiting, transformation, holding, returning, stopping, internalizing, loss, defeat, failure, blocking, interrupting, diminishing, collecting, altering, and replenishing. Early in the dark/new moon phase (the day before the new moon up to the new moon) is good for work pertaining to endings, death, demolition, and replenishings, while the later phase (after the new moon up to the day after) is good for beginnings, births, and foundations.
In case it isn’t obvious yet, the phases form a cycle and you time your work to best fit that cycle. Final events and brand new things occur in the dark/new phase. Growing things occur in the waxing, fulfillment and psychic stuff occur at the full, and losing things occur in the waning.
- This evening, go outside to observe the moon. Lie on your back and gaze into the sky. Allow the lunar light and energy to pour down upon you. What effect does it seem to have on you?
- What is the moon’s current phase?
- What kinds of magic could you do on a night like tonight?
I did this exercise on March 9th. On this day, the moon was waning and barely illuminated–maybe 5%. The new moon actually occurs on the 11th at about 12:54 pm, so it would be hard to see. Unfortunately, it was not in the sky for me at all at 11 pm tonight because it set at 4:13 this afternoon and won’t rise until 6:39 am on the 10th. I was a little sad when I realized this, for tonight happened to be an atypically clear night for Western Washington in the early spring. I did take a moment to identify constellations, though, so the night wasn’t a complete bust.
Though I wasn’t able to feel the light of the moon pour down on me, if you’d have asked me to guess the moon’s phase by the energy I felt, I would have said waning. Though I’ve been starting new projects as have the others around me, the greater feelings I’ve been having lately have been nudging me toward wrapping things up. I’ve also been more motivated to lose weight, and I’ve been more profligate in my spending as of late–both of which are personal quirks I’ve noticed happening in waning moons.
Tonight would be a good night for ‘banishing’ magic. If I had a trait about myself that I wanted to minimize, now would be the time to do so. Weight loss spells are popular new moon magics here in America, as are spells to help you sell items or to keep negative influences and people at bay.