The Moon

I am the shadow of the moon, the hidden magick of the soul.

 I have always been fascinated with the moon. I look up to the sky and there she sits this beautiful orb looking down upon us. Nothing touches with me such magic and wonder as staring into the night sky. I am always finding myself gazing upwards, I am touched with such a rush of magickal feelings and energy. To see the soft silvery glow, a bright blue or a dark hazy red. To watch in amazement as the small sliver of a crescent grows each night into a bright Full Moon that looks so big and close that I could almost touch it. I think it makes perfect sense why the moon plays such an important role on our path. Unlike the sun we can look up into the sky and stare directly into the moon's beauty. We can feel the essence of her pull and watch in wonder as she appears, shifts, disappears each night as she makes her journey through the different phases. She is the closest heavenly body to us, and has been a faithful symbol within the night sky. I can only image how the first humans felt looking up in the sky and seeing the Moon, not quite understanding what it was but feeling its magickal presence.

The Moon as a symbol of the Goddess & connected to women’s mysteries plays a very large role within my practice as a Dianic Witch. We honor the ever shifting phases of the moon as She waxes, grows full, wanes, and hides within the darkness. Just as the Sabbats follow the Sun, we have the Esbats (a ritual other then a sabbat usually referring to those during the full & new moon) which follow that of the moon’s phases.

During the Sabbats we honor the changing seasons and have festivals, feasts & all around celebration. Esbats though are more focused on magickal work, divination, and ourselves as priestesses.

As I explained the Moon phases play a huge role for my craft and spiritual practice. I pay significance to each changing phase and honor the Goddess and hold rituals during these times. 

Moon Phases and Menstrual cycle

While there are Masculine Deities associated with the Moon, the Moon is mostly seen with Feminine qualities. Our own menstrual cycles have been tied with that of the lunar cycle. Even today you can do a quick search of websites focusing solely on the menstruation cycle and find that most have a mention of the Moon!

"The very word menstruation is etymologically related to moon. The terms "menstruation" and "menses" come from the Latin mensis (month), which in turn relates to the Greek mene (moon) and to the roots of the English words month and moon — reflecting the fact that the moon also takes close to 28 days to revolve around the Earth (actually 27.32 days). The synodical lunar month, the period between two new moons (or full moons), is 29.53 days long."

"Throughout all cultures, the magic of creation resides in the blood women gave forth in apparent harmony with the moon, and which sometimes stayed inside to create a baby. This blood was regarded with reverence: it had mysterious magical powers, was inexplicably shed without pain, and was wholly foreign to male experience. Early menstrual rites were perhaps the first expression of human culture."

I think that women especially have a very strong connection to the Moon right there. If we as women wanted to have a stronger connection to nature, and focus ourselves more along the flow of energy and balance, then we would most definitely begin by looking to the Moon and Her energy.

Today in our society we are usually more disconnected from nature. You may want to check out Lunaception Which discusses the book: "Lunaception : a feminine odyssey into fertility and contraception" by Louise Lacey. It discusses the theory of how the moon’s light affects our cycle and the effects of the artificial light that surrounds us.

The Wheel of the Moon & Esbats

Learning about the Moons phases and paying attention to them is a great way to find balance and connect to the flow of Goddess energy. Taking a moment a few times a month to do so can be simple and yet very rewarding. There are tons of different moon calendars out there to ones that only show the phases to quite detailed versions as well. You can even create your very own! Maybe try keeping a Moon diary to see how the phases affect you and your life.

I have been using the Moon Calendar located Here: Moon Phase Calendars
You can print it out and use it. Just write the Month, the days around the outside. Then you even have room to write small comments for each phase or to use symbols instead.

*//* NOTE: *//* The information below has come to me through my own intuition, thoughts, feelings & research. It is NOT written in stone. It may very well not be for everyone. I strongly encourage you to do some more research yourself if interested; there are tons of great moon books out there (some are listed below). Also just stop and watch the moon, pay attention to the different phases and how they affect you – physically, mentally & spirituality. 

* Waxing means a gradual increase
* Waning means to grow smaller

New Moon~ New Moon to Three and a Half days after....
During the New Moon phase the illuminated side is facing away from the Earth, so that only the first emergence of crescent is visible. This is a time when the Crone is being reborn as the Maiden. She is passing Her wisdom and teachings on.

It is a time for new beginnings, and a time for new paths & projects. I see it as a great time for learning and teaching of new ideas. Cleansing & Renewals are very appropriate as well.

Waxing Crescent Moon~
As the Moon turns we begin to see a small illuminated crescent take shape from the darkness. The Maiden is born and is blessing us with her presence. This is a time for increase and growth yet it is subtle and gentle. It’s a time where your new beginnings begin to grow and expand. Constructive and positive magick as well as bringing forth and attraction spells are perfect during this phase.

Waxing Half Moon/First Quarter Moon~
Half of the Moon appears to be illuminated while the other is still cloaked within darkness. There is a real balance within the energy of the Maiden here. We can see it pulling the two sides of the Maiden together. We have Her playful, gentle innocent side as well as the more independent, untamed, Amazon side. We can imagine the Maiden
starting her menses and beginning to understand Her balance between maidenhood and womanhood. I personally see this moment as a small pause during the growth of the waxing phase.

Waxing Gibbous Moon~
This is when the Moon is more then half way illuminated. Only a small dark crescent remains on the left side. As with waxing energy it is a time for growth and increase. You have started that new beginning/project/idea/path. While you do not yet have the strong, structural energy of the Full Moon you do have increased strength and passion. In order to have growth sometimes you need to take chances and jump in head first, putting more energy and effort in. The energy here gives added strength to your new projects.

Waxing Phase Correspondences~ ~ Seven to fourteen days after the New Moon
Energy- strong, untamed, independent, playful, growing, freedom, risk, adventure, nature, vitality, innocence, gentle,

Spells for- growth, increase, courage, independence, friends (sisterhood), women, luck, motivation, change, beginnings, protection, projects, health and healing, beauty, sexuality, attraction (bringing new things to you)

Goddess Aspect- Bright Maiden, Amazon, daughter,

Full Moon ~ Three days before and After the Full Moon
During the Full Moon phase the illuminated side is facing towards the Earth. She glows brightly, smiling down at us, as she reflects the light of the sun. This phase belongs to the Mother aspect. An image comes to mind of a mother's full round belly as she carries her unborn child within her womb. Envisioned here is the full ripeness of womanhood. The Moon's energy is the fullest during this time. Her energy is potent and strong and in connection so is our magick. Many of us choose to do our magick during the phase of the Full Moon for this purpose.

Full Moon Correspondences

Energy- strong psychic energies, magick, manifestation, nurturing, passion, transformation, increase, wholeness, completion

Spells for- healing, abundance, nurturing, love, strength, manifesting goals, protection, divination. positive magick, finding a new job, any work that needs extra power, purification, fertility, children, family and home, all Goddess work.

Goddess Aspect- Mother, Lover, Creatrix, Nurturer

Waning Gibbous Moon
Like the Waxing Gibbous the Moon is more then half way illuminated. Yet now the small dark crescent remains on the right side. The strong energy of the Full Moon is now decreasing and an inner growth of knowledge and inner wisdom. I view the energy here as supportive, compassionate and introspective. It isn't the best time to completely rid yourself of anything or to banish big changes. Instead it gives us a chance to think about what we need to banish from our lives and prepare ourselves for this change.

Waning Half Moon/Last Quarter
Half of the Moon appears to be illuminated while the other is now cloaked within darkness. While the energy of the waxing moon is the Maiden, the energy of the waning moon is the Dark Maiden. She is the Dark Goddess such as Persephone. Persephone is a perfect example as in one aspect she is Kore the Bright Maiden Goddess and in the other aspect she is Persephone the Dark Maiden of the Underworld. This is a good time for banishing or clearing away the old.

Waning Crescent Moon
A small crescent of light is all that we hold on to as the rest slips its way into the darkness. She doesn't quite have the energy of the dark moon but is close. The energy here is strong and decreasing. This is the perfect time to cast out the old, banish that which is not needed, and prepare yourself for the Dark Moon.

Waning Phase Correspondences
Energy-surrender, supportive, compassionate, gentle, intuitive, imaginative, with the flow, magick, descent, introspection, thoughts from within, lover

Spells for-banishing, release, cleansing, removing the old, unwanted and stale. cleansing negative energies, ridding oneself of addictions, illness, and negativity. Physical and psychic cleansing.

Goddess Aspect- Dark Maiden, priestess, sorceress, siren

The Dark Moon
During the Dark Moon phase the illuminated side is facing away from the Earth.
The Moon has reached a balance between the Earth & the Sun, She is covered by the veil of darkness and mystery during this time. This is the time of the Crone Goddess. A time of reflection, rest, inner wisdom and guidance. It is the perfect time for divination and prophecy.

Dark Moon Phase Correspondences
Energy- change, wisdom, shadows, within, veil, exploring the dark, anger and passion

Spells for-Divination, prophecy, protection, purification, scrying, binding, justice

Goddess Aspect- Crone, dark goddess, warrior

Moon Wheel Image © Shekhinah Mountainwater- Ariadne's Thread

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