The moon represents many things to the Witch; goddess, divine feminine, feminine power, and cycles of energy. You may well have heard the term ‘Drawing Down the Moon which is an important ritual in many pagan traditions. Where the spirit of the Goddess is invoked.
Harnessing the power of each moon phase can help connect with your powers. And makes for some beautiful spells and rituals. The moon is our closest neighbor. Our ancestors would have gazed up at its silvery glow and tried to make sense of its rhythms. And many humans feel a connection to Earth’s beautiful natural satellite.
The rhythms of the earth and the universe are ever-moving; years, seasons, weeks, and days. These many spirals have a magic all of their own – and one you can connect to should you choose. It’s believed in by many witches that the waxings and wanings of the moon have their own special magic. A little magic lunar knowledge can help to harness the energy of each moon phase if you want to call upon it. Here are some ideas for magic based on various lunar stages.
There are many simple free apps that will tell you what the moon phase is right now, and many diaries and calendars have the details printed in as well.
When the moon is in this phase, you may see the ghost of an outline, and the sky can appear black. For around three days during each lunar cycle, after the moon has waned, it goes dark before waxing again. Taking time to rest in darkness before one more grows bright.
New moons are new beginnings, a fresh start. The new moon is a wonderful time to set goals and intentions for the forthcoming cycle. What do you want the next month to look like? Is there a joyless job that you’re finally ready to leave to make room for the career of your dreams? The new moon is a great time to encourage beginnings. And you know what beginnings need: letting go of the past. If you want to clear bad energy, the new moon can help.
New moon time can be considered a time for rest and reflection. A time to plant seeds of intentions and watch them grow as the moon grows brighter in the sky. Some examples might include:
- Cleansing and purifying of the body and mind
- Magic related to inner harmony and peace
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Getting in touch with your inner self; reaffirming personal and spiritual goals.
New Moon Bath Ritual
I love bringing a little magic and ritual to activities already in my schedule. So I am particularly fond of a little bath magic. After all, why not make use of the giant cauldron we have in our bathrooms? Run yourself a hot bath, and fill it with cleansing salts such as Epsom salts or Himalayan pink salt. Light a candle if you wish. Channel simple candle magic with a white candle for cleansing or blue for contemplation. As you relax in the Bath, visualize the past soaking off of you; hurts, bad habits and grudges, anything you want to let go of. And when you eventually get out, all these things can go down the drain. Spells can be intricate and elaborate, but they don’t have to be. They can be as simple and delightful as enjoying a cleansing bath on a new moon.
The full moon is the point at which we can see the entire side of the moon brightly illuminated. This is a good time to do rituals focused on personal growth and spiritual development:
- Spells related to increasing your intuition and awareness
- Rituals that connect you with the Goddess, such as ‘Drawing Down the Moon
- Any magic related to developing your magical skills
- Moon Bathe: absorb the moonbeams from a safe space outside, or by a window. (Often witches will cleanse crystal or jewelry in the light of the new moon)
The waxing moon is a journey of the moon growing from New to Full. It takes around fourteen days for this to happen. You can use this time to perform magic that draws things to you or increases things. Some examples would include:
- A spell for abundance or money
- A visualization of getting a new job or home
- Any magic related to increasing material items
- Manifestation practice
- Vision/Soul boards
The waning moon is the period during which the moon goes from Full to New once again. This can be a time of the month to do magic that casts away or removes things you no longer wish to hold onto. So that you may start afresh with the New Moon:
- Magic to cut negative people or toxic relationships from your life
- Rituals to release bad habits or energy
- Magic is related to reducing things, such as fear or illness.
Moon Magic for Yogis
In yoga, you’ll often hear references to the moon, whether that’s in the name of a pose (e.g. Half Moon and Crescent Moon pose) or in the teachings. For example, I often mention it to the class if I am teaching on the day of a new moon or full moon. It can be a good energetic theme for the day’s yoga practice. So, why is the moon significant in yoga? and how it can help deepen your practice and connection with the Earth.
It’s all in the name…
“Hatha yoga” is the term used to describe the practice of combining physical postures of yoga asana. In Sanskrit, ha means “sun” and the means “moon.” Together, they relate to the balance of feminine and masculine energy within us all. The Sun is our masculine energy – energetic and active, and The moon is feminine energy – calm and grounded.
When we practice yoga, we are working toward uniting these masculine and feminine energies. A typical hatha yoga class will move from energizing poses like Sun Salutations, to calming poses, before relaxation. Hatha yoga is a powerful practice for balancing the body and calming the mind.
The New Moon and Full Moon
The sun and moon work together to create a gravitational pull on the Earth. This is most visible by observing the ocean tides. During a new moon or full moon, tides are higher, waves are bigger, and ocean life behaves differently. Taking time to acknowledge when this happens is to acknowledge our connection with the ebb and flow of all things on earth. This difference in energy experiences can be compared to the rise and fall of the breath.
Each month, there is a new moon and a full moon. The full moon corresponds to the top of an inhalation; when the force of prana (energy) is the strongest. Take a deep inhale and hold your breath. you can feel the energy building up in your body. During the full moon, we tend to be more dynamic and more likely to take action.
The new moon corresponds to the end of exhalation when Apana is at its greatest (downward energy). Close your eyes and take a deep exhale. Notice as your lungs empty, your energy naturally drains away with the breath. You feel calmer and more grounded. During the new moon, we tend to be more reflective, contemplative, and still.
New Moon Yoga Traditions
A new moon is considered a time to let go. It’s a time for turning inward and planting the seeds for new beginnings. A time to be gentle with yourself, without feeling guilty for not achieving them sooner. Write these goals down with renewed energy and inspiration for the month ahead. practice restorative yoga and take it easy.
Full Moon Yoga Traditions
Between a new moon and a full moon, the energy builds and builds. The full moon is a powerful time to release this energy, unburden yourself and purge. It’s a time to take action on the intentions you set for yourself during the new moon; to celebrate your emergence by stepping out of old skin, a negative behavior, relationship, or attitude, and cleansing yourself. Practice an energetic yoga class, like Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga. Embrace your masculine energy. Sweat out toxins from the body in a hot yoga class.
The moon can influence the kind of yoga we practice, or feel like practicing. Or in some cases, to not practice at all: full moon and new moon days are yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. Ashtangis, like many other yogis and witches, believe we are physically affected by the phases of the moon. The force of the full moon can make us feel energetic and emotional, but also ungrounded. (If you feel ungrounded, head to chapter 4). In contrast, the new moon energy can help us calm and grounded, but disinclined to practice yoga. Practicing Yoga over time can help us attune to these natural cycles. And you can decide for yourself whether to practice yoga in line with the lunar cycles.