Many witches, wiccans, pagans, followers of the old ways, work with the moon cycles and are familiar with the turn of the wheel, the seasons and the symbolism behind each of them.
During the week of a new moon, I get more excited about the time that comes just before the new moon.
One to three days before the new moon, when the moon isn’t visible in the night sky, is known as the “dark of the moon” or “Dark Moon.”
Keep in mind, this shouldn’t be confused with a “black moon” which is two new moons within the same calendar month.
Decades ago, when I was first learning about the moon cycles in my beginner books, most authors advised that during the time just before the new moon, no spells or magickal work was to be done.
It was said to be a time for rest and contemplation, that it could mean bad luck.
I would read in books that spells could turn on you, energy too unpredictable, and all sorts of stuff that, when just learning, can make you turn the other way.
However, as I got older and studied further beyond the introductory basics, I learned that there’s a lot more to the belief and understanding what the dark moon represents.
Knowing why some practitioners avoid or work with the dark moon and how it works can help further your understanding and practice.
Working with the Dark Moon can be a time for working with or on, for example:
- cursing, curse-breaking
- shadow work
- removing fears /addictions / bad habits
- honouring underworld deities such as Hecate (the Dark Moon is also known as Hecate’s Night), Cerridwen, The Morrighan, Osiris
- honouring your ancestors; and
- working with the Crone aspect.
In the same tone or atmosphere as the Dark Moon, Hallowe’en / Samhain / All Hallow’s Eve / Day of the Dead are a time to honour loved ones in spirit, our ancestors, reflect on the shadows, spirits, death and darkness that is around us.
We reserve at the end of October / early November (in Northern Hemisphere), a special day to remember our departed and ancestors, leave food for them, honour them, do divination and more.
However, we have this opportunity each month, not just once a year.
Each Dark Moon is an opportunity to honour our ancestors, pay special respects to them, ask for protection and blessings, remove bad luck, bad habits and fears, to name a few.
Working with the Dark Moon can take some experience, study and practice to work with, which not everyone works with this energy or feels the need to.
If you’re interested in working with the Dark Moon, there can be simple ways to honour ancestors to begin with or to work with your own shadow side.
If you have a special place to honour deity and/or ancestors or your altar, you can light a candle or make an offering of drink, food or incense during the Dark Moon and say a simple prayer or perform spell work suited to the Dark Moon.
A word of caution: Dark God/Goddess energies can be intense, straightforward and hold no punches.
If you’re new to working with dark goddesses/gods, I’d advise to wait until more experienced in your own studies/practice and are familiar with the deity, before working with deities such as Hecate or The Morrighan, for example.
If you feel inclined to get to know them, research their stories and mythologies, read more about them and start by getting to know what you feel your impression is of them.
Each moon phase and cycle has a specific purpose and meaning, which we can use in our individual practices to meet our needs.
The new moon and full moon receive a lot of attention every month; however, the dark moon can also be significant to work with as well.
Cast off the old each month, honour the Crone, your ancestors and the departed during the dark moon; then welcome the new and beginnings to come with the new moon.
Interested to know how the dark moon can benefit you?
Stacey & the Tarot Pugs
Title image designed in Canva.