How to Dance with the Cycles of the Moon to Bring its Magic into Your Craft
This week marks another New Moon. You may see posts all over the internet about setting intentions at the new moon and manifesting and cleansing at the full moon.
You see things about this moon or that one being in this particular sign and sometimes which one is best for this particular type of spell.
But what all does that mean? How do you go about performing moon magic if you have never done it before? How do you get started with moon magic?
Below we came up with some easy ways to understand what is involved in moon magic and some ideas on performing spells and rituals for some of the phases of the moon.
What is Moon Magic?
Moon, or lunar, magic is magic performed specifically during a moon phase, to harness the moon’s energy. In general, it is about aligning your goals with the phases of the moon to better manifest what you want. It isn’t necessary to always perform your rituals and spells in accordance with the moon phases, but it can definitely help.
It is sort of like trying to swim in a flowing river. If you are swimming against the current, it takes more work and your own energy to get anywhere. However, if you are swimming with the current, it takes a lot less personal energy to get to your goal because you are often just flowing with the current.
In other words, performing rituals and spells during a moon phase and/or sign that matches your goals for the spell, helps amplify your intention and helps manifest more quickly without wasting too much of your own energy.
And because the moon has drawn the attention of humans since ancient times, it has long been connected to specific goddesses and gods throughout the millennia. It is connected heavily with emotions, intuition, water, and creativity and thus connected to magic and witchcraft, making it an ideal celestial body to work with in your personal craft.
Since the moon goes through phases of waxing and waning, you will come to discover certain phases work better for different kinds of magic. In general, if you want to bring something into your life or increase its presence, cast magic during the waxing phases of the moon (when the moon is getting bigger). If you want to get rid of things, let go, or banish things, perform your magic during the waning phase of the moon (when the moon is getting smaller).
But what the heck does that mean?
Photo by Mason Kimbarovsky on Unsplash
Here are the 8 major moon phases and what magic is good for which phase:
- New Moon - This moon phase is when no light of the moon can be seen through to the first slivers of light. It is a time of beginnings. This is the best time to set intentions and plant literal and metaphorical seeds of new projects you wish to grow.
- Waxing Crescent - This is the phase that appears as almost a curved bow (or thumbnail) opened to the left. This phase is good for exploring your dreams and focusing on your intentions. Also consider planning during this phase.
- First Quarter - This phase is where the right half of the moon is lit up while the other half remains dark. It is time to fully commit to any intentions you set at the new moon and cast spells for growth and pushing through obstacles.
- Gibbous - This phase the moon appears mostly full. It is time to stay on course and tweak any aspects of the intentions you have set. It is time for attraction and success magic.
- Full Moon (2nd Quarter) - This is the phase everyone is most familiar with as it is the phase where the moon is fully lit. It is time of culmination to receive the rewards of your work. A time of harvest and manifestation. It is also a time of cleansing. It is considered the most powerful for any magical work.
- Disseminating - This is when the light starts leaving the moon and getting smaller. This phase is a time to breathe, relax, and let go. It is good for magic regarding cleansing, and undoing curses.
- Third Quarter - Like the first quarter, the third quarter is when the moon is at another half-way point, with the dark half to the right this time. It is a time to evaluate and re-evaluate what you know. Cast magic to release bad habits or getting rid of mental blocks.
- Balsamic - This phase is nearing the end of the cycle and again appears as a slim bow or thumbnail. It is a time of resting, releasing, and healing. If you haven’t let go previously, this is now the time to do it. This is a good time for magic involving meditation and balancing.
Finally, there is the Dark Moon, which while not a traditional moon phase, is one that many observe when doing moon magic. It is the time when there is no visible moon at all, lasting about three days. This is a time that many believe you should not perform any magic or spells. Divination and meditation during this time is possible, but magic should be avoided. Though, I would say magic that is meant for introspection or other deconstruction or banishing magic would work well during this time.
After the moon phases, you may want to consider the Astrological Sign the Moon falls into for your spellwork. Like with the moon phases for growing or decreasing something in your life, the moon sign can help you figure out what your intention should be for it.
The following is a list of the moon signs and what they can be useful for in magic:
- Aries - fire, boldness, courage, starting projects, change (good for starting but not for maintaining long term projects)
- Taurus - earth, solid, grounded, beauty, continuing projects already started (good for long lasting projects but can be hard to alter them once cast)
- Gemini - air, social, communication, searching for answers (energy can be frenetic and scattered and magic can be easily influenced by outside sources)
- Cancer - water, emotional, home and close family, sensitive, focus on family (good for spells relating to relationships but can be moody)
- Leo - fire, dramatic, attention and spotlight, boosting self-esteem and confidence (can be melodramatic in energy)
- Virgo - earth, detailed oriented, productive, magic for attention to detail and everyday practical solutions, good for health and hygiene magic (good for attentive magic but can be prone to perfectionism)
- Libra - air, balance, cooperation, social activities, partnerships (great for finding balance between things but can be bad for decision making)
- Scorpio - water, extreme moods, meditation, magic for understanding mystery and spirituality, magic for psychic power (can be prone to brooding too much and being secretive)
- Sagittarius - fire, searching for knowledge and understanding, study and practice all forms of magic and divination, imaginative, adventurous (can be great for any growth magic and being adventurous, but can be difficult for pinning down)
- Capricorn - earth, cautious, career focused, spells for career or major life goals, setting boundaries (can be pessimistic and stubborn)
- Aquarius - air, rebellion, spells for breaking norm and creating something new (great for spells working on personal freedom but can be abrupt change)
- Pisces - water, impressionable, dreamy, magic for meditation and focus on spirituality and compassion (can be too dreamy and prone to falling to illusion)
Void of Course Moons are when the Moon is transitioning into a new sign. There is a short period of time, sometimes lasting a few hours, where the Moon is in no sign whatsoever. You will see this in almanacs as V/C and the time. Some find it difficult to work magic during this time due to the moon carrying no energy of any of the signs and being very scattered, causing plans and communication to go a bit awry.
It is helpful for performing moon magic to have some sort of almanac on hand. Llewellyn’s 2021 Magical Almanac provides the times when the moon transitions from one sign and phase to the next, but does not provide Void of Course times. Llewellyn’s 2021 Spell-A-Day Almanac does provide the moon phase, sign, and Void of Course times.
Check out the Almanacs we have HERE.
New Moon Ritual
The first moon of a cycle is the New Moon, as mentioned previously. It is one of the best moons to begin something new or planting the seeds of a project. It is also a good time to set intentions.
What is an intention? It is basically a goal that you want to attract for the day, week, month, etc. Some will tell you to focus on the intention as being the feeling you want when you reach a goal. For others it is more about visualizing how specifically you want things to go. Setting and defining your intention for magic is key to actually manifesting your goals more clearly.For More Help with How to Set Intentions, check out these links:
Photo by Muhammad Haikal Sjukri on Unsplash
If you are just getting started with lunar magic, try a new moon ritual to set an intention for the next cycle.
Whatever the sign the New Moon is in, will likely permeate the majority of this cycle for you even as it shifts every few days. So plan accordingly. This New Moon will be in Pisces so it will be a good time to set intentions relating to dreaming, intuition, psychic abilities, and any spiritual or philanthropic pursuits.
- Phrase your intention positively, like you would affirmations.
- Speaking of affirmations, consider writing an affirmation to say throughout this lunar cycle to reinforce the intention you set.
- Now, to make it more magical and ritual-like, set up your space by cleansing and setting up your altar and casting a circle if you wish. Light a candle and any incense you would like. Selecting colors or scents related to the moon sign or your specific intention would be a good idea.
- Once you are set up and ready, write down your intention on a slip of paper. Sit in meditation focusing on this intention and what it will feel like to meet it. Then speak it out loud, if you are comfortable doing so, three times.
- If able, burn the paper in a fire safe vessel like a cauldron to send the intention out into the universe to manifest.
- Afterwards, take down a circle if you cast it and be sure all fires are out before leaving the space.
- Each day repeat an affirmation to continue to attract the intention you set to you. This is good for a morning routine if you don’t already use affirmations.
I typically recommend sticking with one intention per cycle, but if you feel you have a couple things you would like to focus on for the cycle, keep it to no more than three. Scattering your attention to too many ideas, even for the full month can make it difficult for any one to receive enough energy to be fulfilled. You can always set a new intention the next month or set smaller intentions each week or day to help support your bigger New Moon intention.
Other things to do during the New Moon:
- Plant seeds
- Start something new (new projects, new habits)
- Begin studying something
- Practice Divination
Full Moon Ritual
Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash
The Full Moon is a powerful time for most all forms of magic, though best for manifestation, harvesting, and cleansing rituals.
Take the time this next Full Moon to perform a simple ritual for cleansing and gratitude.
- Prepare a bath with herbs that fit your intention and spell’s purpose or to simply cleanse yourself. Bath Salts are great for this (you can find some HERE in our shop). However, if you don’t have a tub you can take a cleansing shower. You can mix oils with a carrier oil and your body wash to serve as a cleansing shower.
- Prepare your space as you normally do. Casting a circle is often a good idea for major spellwork.
- Light candles. White are generally a good idea for their connection to the Full Moon. Use other candles related specifically to your spell’s goal and your associations.
- Call upon any spirits to help you in your endeavor and call upon the power of the moon to bring your spell to fruition.
- Perform any additional details of your spell.
- Give thanks to all who have helped get you here. List people, spirits, and events that you are grateful for.
- Release things that don’t serve you. Make a list of things you want to make sure you let go to make room for your current goal. Burn this list.
- Close your ritual in the way that works for you. Give thanks to the moon and any spirits you called in to aid you. Close your circle if you cast one.
- If burning any spell specific candles, let them burn through, but any other candles can be snuffed out.
- Clean up the space.
Other things to do for a Full Moon:
- Cleanse your crystals
- Perform a Drawing Down the Moon Ritual
- Practice Divination
- Create a Witch's Ladder with knots to harness the moon's energy
Other Ways to Connect to the Moon During All Its Phases
- Journal daily how each moon sign affects you
- Observe it daily
- Reach out and build a relationship with moon deities
- Work with crystals that relate to the moon (moonstone, selenite, etc.)
Dancing with the Moon
Moon Magic is incredibly powerful and fulfilling. Attuning to the ever changing energies of the moon can transform your magic. Following the way it ebbs and flows can remind us of how our own craft can ebb and flow. It is a dance with the energies of the natural world and our own personal cycles.
Take time this next New Moon and Full Moon to perform a simple or complicated ritual to connect to these energies. Have fun and play.