Salty water flows gently
Over glistening white sand.
Moon Maiden coyly veils
Her face in the dark
Mask of a star filled night.
I push my toes deeper into
Star lit beach and look
Out at the vastness of
Ocean’s rising waters.
I push myself deeper into
Star-filled body of mine
Looking out at the vastness
Of emotions that seek me out.
I stand within the space of
Eternity and the promise of
Moon Maiden’s quickening kiss.
The waters of healing surround
Lifting me gently from my
Place of digging deeply into
The changing sands of time.
I surrender to the place
Of my celestial home as
Maiden Moon lifts her veil
Of darkness and fills me with
The tides of her waxing Light.
Working with the Moon and her phases are part of the natural cycle that is used in the Craft of the Witch. We draw from the energy of the Goddess as represented in her archetypal forms of Maiden, Mother and Crone and see these in manifest form as New, Full and Dark Moons.
With all the diverse energy and mystery surrounding the Moon is it any wonder that its greater mysteries are used to enhance sacred work. Dancing around a fire on a moon lit night, moving to the beat of drums is the nearest one can come to being totally absorbed into the Natural world. When we begin a new journey through the cycle and flow of Lunar energy, we mark the cycles of these changes within ourselves by the works of magick and offerings of devotion we express. Although the focus may be that of the Moon, we must also consider the energy of Her polarized opposite, the Sun. Each cycle brings their own specificity to the day or the month and both are ever present in our cycle of time on this planet. If we also work with the energy of the planets, a rite held on a MO(o)N-day would correspond with the energy of the Moon and any moon phase in the astrological sign of Cancer would add additional lunar energy as Cancer’s planetary ruler is the MOON.
In the greater wheel of the Lunar Year we move through the astrological signs of the zodiac, each offering key points of unity and synthesis (New Moon) or opposition and productive change (Full Moon) in accord with the astrological energy of the Solar year. What this means is that for any given New Moon (with rare exception) it will be in the same astrological sign as that of the Sun (Solar Month). For instance, we are currently in the Solar Month of Cancer and today’s New Moon is also in the astrological sign of Cancer. This gives a double boost to any workings that benefit from application of Cancer’s energies because the heart (Moon) and will (Sun) are working in a synthesized way. By the time the Moon reaches it Full phase, the Moon has moved into the sign directly opposite (with rare exception) that of the Sun. So the upcoming Full Moon in July will be in the astrological sign of Capricorn, which is directly opposite that of the Sun, still in Cancer. The opportunity here is one of productive tension that launches a new state from the friction. Best example, husband and wife fight, come to an agreement and the make-up sex is great!
Now, this is not to say that you can’t keep the Esbats (Moon Rituals) simple and effective. Everyone is not versed in astrology, nor do they care to be. That’s fine. Knowing the astrology and any other layer of compatible magickal system enhances what is essentially quite effective in its simplicity. It is during these ceremonies and rituals that we seek to connect with the energies of the moon, her phases and the gifts that each brings. These rituals would include: Rites of Healing – Divination and Rites of New Growth and deeper awareness.
The Phase of the Moon and Tides of Lunar Magick
Moon Phase Basics:
The Waxing Moon is the time between the New Moon and the Full Moon.
The Waning Moon is the time between the Full Moon and the last day of the last quarter- just prior to the New Moon.
Although Magickal working can be done at any time, there are specific times during the lunar cycle when your workings can be enhanced. One of the first considerations is what type of energy you want to use for your intent.
The waxing of the moon, from New to Full, provides a crescendo or building effect and the waning of the moon from peak of Full to the subsequent New Moon allows for release and diminishing of energetic effect.
In addition to the cycle of Waxing and Waning, there are three phases of the moon that are typically used for magickal working. These are the New – Full and Dark Moons.They are likened to the Triplicity of the Goddess as Maiden – Mother and Crone:
NEW MOON – The Maiden
The New Moon is a time of beginnings and first seeds towards growth. New projects, goals and behaviors are all supported when given focus during this time.
The New Moon is the beginning of the cycle of increased flow and dynamics. It embodies the Goddess as the Maiden. Full, fertile and ripe with creative outpour and though lacking the experience of the Crone, has more than enough enthusiasm to seek out the many paths that could be taken. It is to some degree the allowance of nature taking its course, directed towards a goal of productive manifestation. It is the yearning and desire that is inherent in the Maiden that will attract to Her that which she desires most. And, it is this energy, which if with intention and correct thought is set into motion during this phase will blossom with the waxing of the Moon.
Magickal workings would include:
* Beginnings of any new endeavor
* Fresh starts at old projects/pursuits
* Dedications to a new pursuit
* The first steps towards a specific goal
FULL MOON – The Mother
The Full Moon is the peak and product of all efforts begun at the New Moon. Additionally, any working that needs extra oomph, magnification or energetic boost, will benefit from Full Moon energy.
The Full Moon embodies the energies of the Goddess as the Mother. She is the giver of life and the nurturer and guardian that ensures that that life will be productive, fruitful and at the apex of whatever endeavor is undertaken. The expansive light of the Full Moon shines upon all under its sway and the dynamics of ebb and flow are at their most potent. Energy exchanges with energy and movement and expansion occurs bringing the highest possible outcome for all that it touches. The energy of the Full Moon causes things to happen and therefore is neither stagnant nor still in its outpour.
Magickal workings would include:
* Acknowledging achievement made towards goal
* Taking action to bolster the strengths gained
* Completion of a working
* Synthesizing action between two goals of intent
DARK MOON – The Crone
The span of time from completion of Full moon, up to and including approximately 3 days prior to the next New Moon is the optimal time for release, cutting away and inner preparation. These 3 days prior to the next New Moon are also known as the Dark Moon phase.
The Dark Moon embodies the Hidden nature, that if embraced in the fullness of the dark reveals what may lay beneath the surface waiting to be used and transformed. This is the Goddess as the Crone. She holds nothing back, invites you to look at the truth of your own reflection and then demands that you release what serves no purpose and what hinders your growth. She carries the wisdom that has grown through experience and she knows the secrets of the darkest of places and holds within the Light that illumines those who have courage to enter.
Using the energy of the Dark Moon is to call upon the reserves of knowing that are contained within what it is you seek to release. This is a time for culling, pruning and preparing for the upcoming New Moon where what is viable may be planted anew, with greater understanding of the process that ensures success.
Magickal workings would include:
* Uncovering what holds you back
* Releasing a negative habit or energy
* Uncovering your shadow nature
* Healing and removal of blockages
In practice, how could you make the most of these phases? Suppose I want to seek new employment…..
On the New Moon, I may do a meditation, plan, brainstorm and journal about the type of work I may wish to acquire. I may even, physically plant a few seeds in a pot as concrete visual symbols of my intent. Each day thereafter I will tend the seeds- mentally and/or physically- enriching them with more concrete ideas and goals for obtaining my ideal work. On the Full Moon, I will give thanks for the new growth in my life towards my goal. Perhaps do a meditation, visualizing in as much detail as possible my future work surroundings, myself enjoying and looking forward to each day, etc. And, finally as the moon wanes and the days prior to the next New moon approach, I spend some time identifying and releasing any negative thoughts, words or actions that are preventing me from bringing into manifest reality my goal. This release may take any form as long as the symbolic or actual release is something you can strongly connect with, and is of harm to none. This or a similar cycle may need to be repeated several lunations, depending on your goal, the strength of your focus and intent and ability to truly release that which may be holding you back.
Adding the Astrological Component
Today the Moon is New in the astrological sign of Cancer and opportunity abounds for work that connects you more deeply to what you feel and those things that offer the comfort of home and the loyalty of unconditional love. If you would like to learn more about how to use the energy of the Moon phases and fine-tune them to resonate specifically with the energy of the Zodiac please consider following The Temple of the Cosmic Spheres blog. The kick-off was a month of daily writings that highlighted the expression of the Moon and Her phases as she transited through each of the astrological signs during a Lunar month.
Read more about the New Moon in Cancer and the cast of supporting planetary players that make this a story of your own writing.