Since the beginning of time, the majestic Moon has been a great source of intrigue and mystery for us. As one of the most ancient symbols, this celestial body has been the focal point of rituals and moon magick, and has been worshipped as a mother goddess (and god) cross-culturally.
Mystics and wise people throughout the ages have considered the lunar phases when making important decisions. And as a counterpart to and mirror of the Sun, the Moon has been associated with romance and supernatural myths and legends—with good reason.
Science has shown that the Moon and its unique phases can alter tides, our sleep patterns, moods, and the weather. Besides that, intuitive people can pick up on lunar energies and sense the emotional and behavioral effects they have on people.
Knowing how and when to harness the Moon’s powerful energy for manifesting and spellwork can be extremely beneficial. Why? Because summoning moon energies means calling upon universal intelligence.
The Moon has long been associated with the goddess and the Divine Feminine. It also plays a major role in astrology and divination. As a constant companion to Earth, and as the ruler of the tides and waters, the Moon, and one’s moon sign, represents our deepest, darkest, and hidden emotions.
But how do you draw upon lunar energies for spellwork? Well first, we need to recognize that the moon phases, and their relation to human behavior, is something that’s best interpreted through symbolism.
For example, as we track the Moon, in its waxing and waning phases, this movement represents the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. Spells cast during these varying periods will yield different results.
For instance, any magick aimed at increasing something in your life—money, romance, abundance—is performed during the waxing or growing phase of the Moon. And things you’re looking to rid yourself of or banish, are cast away during the waning, or darkening phase of the Moon.
Although there will be some variation, most Wiccans, neo-pagans, witches, and shamans, agree that there are ideal energetic times (based on the Moon) to cast a spell or perform a ritual.
Therefore, by scheduling magick and daily activities centered around the lunar calendar (which is in sync with the human body, e.g. a 28-day menstrual cycle) you can utilize its energy to enhance your spiritual life.
It’s important to note that, astrologically, the Moon is associated with:
- The Zodiac sign of, and ruler of Cancer
- The element of water
- Our emotions, feelings, and desires
- How we seek to nurture ourselves, and others
The Lunar Phases
There are 8 Moon phases, grouped into 4 stages:
- The dark and new moon
- The waxing phase
- The full moon
- The waning phase
It’s important to note; depending on which school of thought you’re studying, the New Moon and the Dark Moon are considered to be distinctly separate phases. For example, most witches believe that the Dark Moon and the New Moon are two different things (the Dark Moon is black, and the New Moon is when there’s that first sliver of light shining through). On the contrary, most astrologers consider the New Moon to be when it’s black, with no sliver.
Dark or New Moon
The beginning of a new lunar cycle is known as the New Moon. Practitioners of magick tend to refrain from casting spells during this phase (unless it’s a spell specifically related to the New Moon).
Think of this as a dark and calm period that requires rest—physical, mental, emotional—much like the first couple days of one’s menstrual cycle. These darker energies are best honored in as much quietude as possible.
This is also a suitable time to think about your intentions, and not act upon them, but plan out how to achieve any goals you’re setting for the next 28 days.
Spiritually, this is a wonderful time to clean and purify your ritual space, add to your Book of Shadows, take a ritual bath, and address any shadow work that needs attention. Enjoy the dark side of the Moon.
The New Moon’s associations include:
- New beginnings
- Shadow work
Waxing Crescent (7-day period)
During this “waxing” phase—in between the New and the Full Moon—there’s an emphasis on growth.
Straightforwardly, the Waxing Crescent phase is associated with business, money, and goals. This is understandable, symbolically, because the Moon is now “growing,” and becoming more visible in the sky.
Likewise, it’s an excellent opportunity to seed things that you want to grow, expand, and burst into fruition! Ask yourself, what do I want more of in my life? Then meditate on it, and under the Crescent Moon, plant the seeds that will manifest your dreams and goals.
Spells cast during the Crescent Moon period can include anything relating to:
- New projects
Noteworthy; the crescent moon phase is associated with the god Thoth, from ancient Egypt, the Roman goddess Diana, and Diana’s Greek counterpart, Artemis.
As the Moon’s light continues to grow and brighten the night sky, this phase is a powerful time to act. From our earthly perspective, the Moon’s radiance is expanding and growing, so equally, we must do the same.
Besides focusing on goals and on manifesting, now direct your magick and attention to the non-material things you need to live your best quality of life—health and beauty routines, positive family relations, and spiritual practices. These latter elements are fundamental to an enriching spiritual life.
During the First-Quarter Moon phase, say yes to things that will add to your repertoire of self-development practices, such as:
- Self-healing and beauty rituals
- Manifestation techniques
- Entrepreneurial opportunities
- New and/or ongoing spiritual practices
Waxing Gibbous (5-day period)
We’re approaching the full Moon, but we’re not there yet. The waxing gibbous phase is a period of observation. So far, since the New Moon, you’ve rested and cleaned your space, set your intentions, and acted.
Now, right before the Full Moon, just pause, and simply observe and feel. This is a suitable time for you to forget about your goals, in an esoteric way. You may have heard the adage, “set it and forget it.” But what does that mean? Well, magick requires unwavering faith, without any doubts, that what you’ve conjured and cast will come to fruition.
During this Moon phase, your intentions, spells, and magick from the past 10-12 days since the New Moon are brewing. Trust and allow the universe to do what it does best–makes things happen.
When the light of the Full Moon oozes across the earth, all the inhabitants can see it, and many can feel it. It’s mysterious, romantic, and inviting. The illumination removes darkness from the land, and amongst us, there’s a boost in energy.
For medicine people, witches, and other practitioners of magick, the Full Moon phase is the most valuable time for carrying out rituals involving protection, healing, divination, harvest blessings, and the summoning of deities. Any magick practiced at this time will be greatly magnified.
For you, this is a culmination period of everything you’ve initiated during the waxing phase, so check in with your manifestation results. Also, with the heightened energy, this could be a good time for romance and socializing—a shared sentiment among millions of people on the planet.
Here are some suggestions on how to harness Full Moon energy for magick:
- Set your crystals, wands, chalices, and other tools out to charge under the Full Moon and remove them before the sun’s rays come up
- Imbue your home and sacred space with the energy from those charged crystals
- Sleep with charged crystals under your pillow or near you, and note any lucidity or meaningful dreams that come from it
- Make moon water to drink, sprinkle on your altar, and use in rituals (this can be done by putting spring water in a clean and pretty container, maybe with a sigil on it, under the moon’s rays to charge)
Waning Gibbous (5-day period)
Now the Moon is darkening into obscurity—in the waning phase. This represents the removal and release of things. We can all relate to this. There’s a heavy feeling around things that exist in our lives that shouldn’t be there.
Decide what’s not working for you (perhaps write a list) and then create a ritual to banish these things from your life. Burn the list and cast everything on it away and into oblivion.
During this moon phase, your magickal workings can include anything that repels energies and people that have a negative influence on you. This could include:
- Emotional attachments
- Old relationships
- Bad vibes
- The evil eye, or any curses
Note: Salt is a great cleansing tool to use in banishing rituals.
We’re coming to the end of the moon cycle now. Anyone suffering from depression can utilize the Third-Quarter Moon, and its banishing associations, to rid themself of self-deprecating thoughts.
Here we benefit from overcoming any kind of enemies as well, and by “returning to sender” the harmful thoughts that have been cast our way.
Think of this period as a deep-cleaning phase, as in, you’ve already cleaned your house, but afterward, you go through it again to disinfect what needs it. This freshness opens you up to benevolence, new beginnings, and the clean slate of the New Moon.
Take time now to fully remove and close out stale chapters and pending energies. Set up your ritual space and perform your return-to-sender spells, keeping in mind your strong and necessary boundaries. Remember, the only people who would object to you establishing healthy new boundaries are those who would benefit from you not having any.
Waning Crescent (7-day period)
This is the last phase of the moon, it’s completed its cycle. At this time, it’s strongly advised not to venture into any new business projects or make any decisions (while the Moon energy is closing out). This makes sense, right? The symbolism and energy at this time aren’t ideal for such important ventures.
Instead, focus on gratitude and don’t compare yourself to others. Spend time reflecting on your accomplishments, no matter the size. Celebrate even the tiniest victories. With a bunch of baby steps, we accomplish our goals.
Rituals during this moon phase can include:
The impact the Moon has on spellwork and manifestation is indisputable. Align your magickal workings with the lunar phases and notice your personal power flourish! The wisdom of the sages who came before us is aligned with the stars and the Sun and Moon.
And If you don’t know already, find out which lunar phase you were born under!