Since ancient times our ancestors have used the moons cycles to determine when the best time is to do certain rituals that pertain to celebrating Spirit, planting and harvesting, and ridding oneself of negativity.
It is a well known fact that the moon phases affect things such as women’s menstrual cycles, the moods of the mentally unstable, and the behaviors of children. Many nurses feel that the moon will affect the number of births or deaths among their patients. They also talk about the restlessness that many elderly patients feel during the new moon and the way they act out with strange behaviors during the full moon.
In pagan beliefs, such as Wicca, it is of vital importance to follow the phases of the moon to ensure that the rituals performed are at the time of highest power to manifest their intent. For example, the full moon is the perfect time to focus on fertility as the moon is associated with feminine or Goddess energy.
Our calendar is based on the moon cycles as are the season changes. It is not only pagans and those of pagan beliefs that follow the patterns of the moon to focus their intent, in fact many religious groups have holidays and celebrations that begin on certain changes of the moon.
Each month the moon goes through different phases in order to complete a cycle. Each cycle is approximately 29.5 days long from new moon to full moon. Beginning with the new moon the phase which starts the waxing cycle.
The night before the new moon is the first night of the new moon phase. It is at this time that it is best to begin rituals that will bring about new beginnings especially in things that may take time to manifest. The second night of the phase is the night of the new moon and this is the night to continue work toward those things that you wish to bring about. The third night is the night to see to it that all is in order within the rite or spell.
As the moon goes on through the waxing cycle it continues to grow in size on its journey to the full moon. This is a time to perform rituals having to do with protection, healing, wealth, and blessings of new ideas and goals. It is said by some that this is the time to cut your hair as it helps it to grow faster, thicker, and more healthy.
When the moon reaches the full moon phase it will appear to us as a circle in the night sky. This is when the full half of the moon that is illuminated by the sun is fully visible to us. It is during this time that the moon is ending its cycle.
The full moon is believed to be a night of tremendous power and just as it is with the new moon starting those spells, rituals, and celebrations on the night before the full moon is the best way to achieve the highest energy toward the goal. The night of the full moon is an excellent time for raising power, fertility magic, divination, and rituals to raise spiritual and psychic awareness.
The time of between the full moon and the dark of the moon is known as waning and this is the time to focus on letting go or banishing negativity. It is the time to work on clearing out the old in order to make room for the new. This is also an excellent time to focus on healing and inner vision; to look within at your own spirit and find what it is you need to work on next.
The dark of the moon is the time when the moon is not visible to us at all, this is a time that it is good to rest up and allow your own energy to rebuild and to make sure that you have your intentions for the next phase clearly set. It may be an excellent time to make a journal so that when the new moon arrives you can focus your full energy on those things that you truly wish to change or bring about in your life.
What ever the phase of the moon the energy is extremely high and if a spell or ritual is performed at the right time, during the right phase, with all its important additives, it is more likely to work correctly and have a lasting affect.
There are many rituals one can do to celebrate the moon and though some can be extremely elaborate most are fairly simple and can be performed alone when necessary. One does not have to be pagan or of any specific religion to enjoy the pure beauty and raw energy of the moon, one merely needs to appreciate the natural cycles of life and the natural flow of energy.
For more information on the phases of the moon as well as eclipse types visit the NASA Eclipse website. There are many great books on the moon as well as magic and rituals for the moon at local area bookstores and online.
Topeka area bookstores:
- Barnes and Noble: 6130 SW 17th Street Suite 101 Topeka, KS (785) 273-9600
- Hastings Books: 5317SW 22nd Place Topeka, KS (785)271-8808
- Borders 700 New Hampshire Street Lawrence, KS (785) 331-3226
- Hastings Books 1900 W. 23rd Street Lawrence, KS (785) 832-0719
- Half Price Books 1519 W. 23rd Street Lawrence, KS (785) 856-4253