New Moon Magick is often under appreciated by the magickal community. The eight solar celebrations, known as Sabbats are the most commonly celebrated and revered occasions on the pagan calendar, marking the ever-changing seasons. Secondly, most witches celebrate Esbats, but many witches limit their Esbat celebration to Full moons, when the representation of the Goddess is big and full and beaming radiant light. However, I would put forward that the new moon or dark moon are even better times to celebrate and work your magick.
I think there are many reasons people ignore the new moon, not least of which are the facts that:
- preparing for approximately twenty-one rituals per year is a lot of work (8 Sabbats and 13 full moons), without adding another 13 or so new moon rituals can be exhausting;
- the lack of visual cues, no big full moon to see or a change in the leaves to recognise; and
- Perhaps most discouraging is a lack of clarity on what the new moon is.
Let’s tackle those points in reverse, starting with that last one… what is the new moon? Not everyone agrees, which definitely can add confusion for a new witch. In astronomy, the new moon is when the moon is completely hidden from view, because the Sun and Moon are aligned consequently no light is reflected onto the earth. For centuries, magickal workers also referred to this as the new moon. This is also commonly referred to as the dark moon.
However, for magickal purposes many modern witches would suggest the new moon and the dark moon are not the same thing. Most witches now believe that the new moon is when you start to see the first little sliver of light forming a crescent after the dark moon. That means that instead of the new moon being when there is an absence of lunar light (the dark moon), the new moon is a day or two after. This makes sense based on the name “new moon”, which suggesting the start of seeing the moon, as opposed to an absence of the moon.
While some people take the term new moon very seriously and have great debates on the exact time of the new moon, like many things in the craft, what you believe matters more than what someone tells you. In reality, lunar energies last for multiple days, so either interpretation will still result in the same magickal energies being available to you to work your magick. Therefore, rather than get caught up in the nomenclature, I would suggest to follow your heart…
The second point I raised was visual cues… depending on if you see the new moon as an absence of light or the start of a crescent, there are visual cues and all one needs to do is embrace the imagery. The dark moon invokes images of absence… a clean slate. You know the goddess is there, but her potential has not yet been shared with you. The dark and mental stillness that the dark moon provides can help you to see what it is that you are trying to achieve without distraction.
If you celebrate the first sliver of a crescent as your new moon Esbat, then it gives the visual cue of the moon being born, starting anew. You are getting a glimpse into all of the possibilities you can make happen. Either way, the new moon speaks to starting something great.
Lastly, many witches would suggest that celebrating the new moon on top of all of the full moon and Sabbat celebrations is too much work. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t have to be. Many people have big elaborate Esbat celebrations on the full moon and can’t imagine doing that twice each month. However, rather than having a big ritual every month, two smaller rituals can be done using the same amount of preparation.
The new moon is the time for beginnings and new projects. So, taking any spell work for new beginnings out of the full moon Esbat and doing it at the new moon instead results in the same amount of preparation, but the opportunity to connect with the divine more often. By planting the seeds of change on the new moon you will harvest greater success on the full moon.
New moon magick can be powerful and life changing. I would encourage you to take the opportunity to celebrate the new moon and plant the seeds of change you want in your life. I would also encourage you to use the time to reflect on the goddess in her dark aspect, this can allow you to see reality in its entirety, for there is no light without dark.
Happy new moon and many blessings.