But today we turn to the Moon and use the lunar cycles as an ally in our magical practice. Many cultures still use a lunar calendar, notably Islam. The lunar year lasts for thirteen months (or moonths), and that’s where we get the dreaded unlucky number thirteen. In fact, thirteen was once a lucky number to our pagan ancestors, but years of persecution toppled the Mother Goddesses of our nature-revering forefathers and replaced them with the patriarchal God of modern times, vilifying the lunar calendar and the number thirteen in the process.
Mother Moon has been venerated since ancient times for her sheer beauty. The Moon has always been a symbol for transformation as she morphs from a fingernail crescent to a massive Full Moon. The three major stages of the Moon (New, Full and Waxing/Waning) represent the three stages of life: Mother, Maiden and Crone. The way the Moon changes from one form to another throughout the month inspires us to consider how we, too, are always changing. The Moon’s metamorphosis is also an invitation to transform, to exert our will and to shapeshift as she does.
1. New Moon
The New Moon is a monthly lunar eclipse when the Earth’s shadow shrouds the Moon in darkness. Consider that all important growth and transformation happens in darkness: crops grow in the darkness of the earth, and babies develop in the darkness of the womb. So darkness is considered an essential ingredient to transformational magic. The dark of night is integral, but the New Moon marks the darkest night, when even the Moon no longer shines.
Use the day of the New Moon and the three-and-a-half days after as a time to cast spells for new endeavors. Initiating new projects is ideal now, so if you’re launching something new, align it to the New Moon. Spells for new ventures like businesses or going back to school, or even new romances should be cast during this powerful time. The New Moon is the ideal time to plant seeds for the next lunar cycle. What do you want to accomplish in the coming month? Set your intentions in alignment with the New Moon and see how her light can support your progress over the coming weeks.
2. Waxing Moon
The period between the New Moon and the Full Moon is known as the Waxing Moon. During this time, the blank New Moon will grow from a Crescent Moon to a Quarter Moon to a Waxing Gibbous. This window, just under two weeks, is perfect for casting constructive spells that build upon ongoing work.
Rather than planting new seeds, now would be the time to do ceremony in support of work that’s already underway. Ongoing business projects, romantic relationships or health can be strengthened and fortified by spells cast during the Waxing Moon. Add extra power to anything that you’re already in the process of building by holding ceremony for that project under the light of a Waxing Moon.
3. Full Moon
When the Moon is Full, her whole face reflects the Sun’s light, asking us to reflect on our month so far and to reassess our objectives. Have we moved our intentions forward? Have the seeds we planted at the New Moon begun to sprout? Or do we need to reevaluate?
The Full Moon is an ideal time for magic related to enlightenment, enhancing psychic powers, and divination. Readings are especially accurate during this time. With the maximum amount of moonlight, the Full Moon is supercharged with magical energy that can add extra oomph to any spell. Any spells that you’ve cast that need some extra energy can be re-charged now.
The Full Moon’s window of power lasts for three days, including the day before and after the exact Full Moon.
4. Waning Moon
Three and a half-days after the Full Moon, the Moon wanes, shrinking gradually over the coming weeks. This roughly two week window is ideal for banishing that which no longer serves you.
If there are negative people or relationships in your life, the Waning Moon is the perfect time to rid yourself of these intrusions. Negative habits and situations can be banished now. Whatever insights you gained at the Full Moon can be used during the Waning Moon to rid yourself of people, situations and habits that are holding you back.
5. Dark Moon (Old Moon)
The last days of the Waning Moon, right before the next New Moon, are known as the Dark Moon—a four day window used for banishing and binding. If there are particularly nasty forces in your life—an aggressive stalker, a manipulative employer or a negative thought-form wreaking havoc on you—than use the Dark Moon to not only boot them from your life, but to bind their actions so they can no longer hurt you. Binding is more than just banishing, it’s about actually restricting their ability to affect you. Their actions will be bound, or frozen, and they will not be able to speak against you or take any action that would harm you. Reserve your dirty work for the Dark Moon.
By aligning your spell craft to the cycles of Mother Moon, you can enlist her as an ally in pursuing your goals. If you plant seeds of intention at the New Moon, she will be your totem through the month marking your steady progress as she waxes, reaches fullness and then wanes. Use the monthly lunar cycle to set intentions, check in with them periodically, and evaluate your progress.
Simple fire ceremonies can be done with candles, fireplaces or campfires. Just write your intentions on a paper, meditate on what it feels like to have your desires fulfilled, and then cast the paper into the fire. Or you might prefer a water ceremony. Just let a bowl of fresh water sit under the moonlight for at least thirteen months (ideally longer), and then use it to anoint yourself, your home or power objects, or drink it to consume its magical power.
There are many ways to celebrate and honor the Moon, and even more ways to cast spells and use the Moon’s power for your own magical purposes. Whatever spell you decide to cast and whatever ceremony you choose to hold, by scheduling it in accordance with the Moon, you will greatly increase your chances at success.
This massive celestial object has a gravitational affect that fluctuates, at times exerting a lot of energy, and at other times less. With this knowledge, we can use these rhythms of energy to our advantage.