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The Phases Of The Moon

Once in a month, and better it be when the moon is full..."

As Witches we have always attributed great significant to the Moon Phases.  In the next lesson you will be given instructions for your first Full Moon Ritual.  So this week I want to explain something of the Moon Phases and why they mean so much to us. We will delve into the secrets and powers of the lunar energies and how they affect our lives as Witches.

Throughout history there have always been people who have paid attention to the moon and its various phases. This sketch of the markings found on a Cro-Magnon
bone tool, c. 28,000 BCE, may indicate one of the earliest records of how the moon was important in the lives of the people at that time.  

From ancient times our ancestors knew that their affairs were influenced by nature's cycles. Being aware of the moon cycles and the earth's seasonal changes has always been important to us. The ancients choose to focus the lunar energy on their goals and objectives and these traditional concepts are still used in modern times for goal setting and self-empowerment.

Farmers' almanacs are based on the lunar cycles. The phases of the moon were very important to the farmer who timed his harvesting according to them. But even before settled agriculture, the moon phases served as a calendar for hunter / gatherer societies. Even our modern calendar divides the year up into "months" or "moons".

The moon's reflected energy has the power to affect our moods and emotions. People with emotional or mental imbalances experience their inner states more intensely around the Full Moon and often, emotional issues escalate then. Lovers find the Full Moon romantic and sexually inspiring. Lunatics are particularly affected by the lunar cycle (hence the name) and become especially unstable at the Full Moon.

We Witches, as well as other sensitive occultists, find the Full Moon empowering and hold our most important rituals at this time. Do you remember what I said in a previous lesson about positive and negative not being the same as good and bad?  In this sense the full moon and the waxing moon are good times for positive magick. The waning moon and the dark of moon are good times for negative magick

As a general guide, the New Moon is a good time to start new things, things that require time to develop. The Full Moon is the best time to announce new things, especially things to do with our emotions. This is also an ideal time for rituals and other spiritual celebrations and events.

Knowing the moon phases can help you plan and prepare for change, new beginnings and endings. Rituals can be enhanced by using the moon and its cycles for specific purposes. Having a goal and being aware of the atmosphere you wish to create can greatly affect the outcome of your rituals. Working with the moon's energy increases your own personal power and supports your intention.

We always see the same face of the Moon because the Moon's day is the same length as its year. This is because the Moon's rotational period is the same as it's orbital period. The phases of the Moon, or the different shapes of the Moon, are caused by the different angles from which we see the illuminated part of its surface. Half of the Moon is always illuminated; we just cannot always see all of the illuminated part of the Moon.

When the Earth, Sun, and Moon are nearly in a straight line, with the Earth in the middle, we have a Full Moon. When the Earth, Sun, and Moon are nearly in a straight line, with the Moon in the middle, we have a New Moon. Just after and before a New Moon, the dark portion of the Moon is slightly illuminated by earthshine. Earthshine is caused by sunlight reflected from the Earth to the Moon and back to the Earth.

The New Waxing Moon

When the moon first appears at the start of its cycle, it has the form of a crescent on the right side. The New Moon is used for new beginnings; it can be used for personal growth, healing, and blessings of new projects. This is the time to focus on your needs and do some serious thinking about your goals and objectives.

As it grows bigger it is said to be waxing. Technically the term "waxing" refers to the two-week period between the new moon and full moon This is a growing period, a time to act and be strong. The waxing moon is an excellent time to perform rituals that add to your blessings such as, prosperity, protection, health, etc. Use the moon's influence at this time to make constructive changes.

Full Moon  

When the moon reaches the second quarter of its orbit, the entire daylight side is visible and appears to us as a circle. This is good for all types of magick and power raising, but it is generally used for protection, divination, planning and releasing. The best results can be achieved the night prior to the full moon, the night of the full moon, and the following night. the night prior to the full moon, the night of the full moon, and the following night.

The full moon is an emotional time. Feelings are more intense and powerful. One may also be more prone to accidents and anger. Don't allow your emotions to control you. Be aware that what you think creates how you feel and how you feel creates your emotional state. To use the power of the full moon to your advantage, remain in control. This is a time of fertility, creativity, sensitivity and psychic awareness.

pThe waning moon is the time period from the full moon to the dark of moon. The visible portion of the moon dwindles to a crescent and we get ready to start the cycle all over again.

The Waning Moon is used for banishing things that are no longer needed or wanted in our lives, such as bad habits, negative energy, and ailments. It is a time to make plans to eliminate old negative habits, ideas and attitudes that no longer serve your highest good. This is also the time to banish illness, bad relationships, and "bad luck". Get ready to clear obstacles and get rid of unwanted things It may also be a time of introspection and inner healing.

Dark of the Moon

The Moon lies between the earth and the sun. Because the sunlit side is away from the earth, the moon is invisible to us. The dark moon is not normally used for ritual although it can sometimes be used for very heavy banishing work. All magick works best when our rituals are timed to coincide with the appropriate moon phase. Each phase is a special time when spells with certain qualities are stronger and more likely to work. 

The Triple Goddess

Once In a Blue Moon

This is an expression we use in everyday speech to mean "not very often", but what exactly is a Blue Moon?&

It is the second Full Moon to occur in a single calendar month. The average interval between Full Moons is about 29.5 days, whilst the length of an average month is roughly 30.5 days. This makes it very unlikely that any given month will contain two Full Moons, though it does sometimes happen. On average, there will be 41 months that have two Full Moons in every century, so you could say that once in a Blue Moon actually means once every two-and-a-half years.


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