It’s Dark Moon and I’m feeling the pull of that darkness. Tonight I’ll burn the leftovers of all the spell work I’ve done this month for myself, my family and friends and my clients and shop. This will include paper petitions, dried herb sprinklings and woody stems as well as tiny chunks of resins, broken thorns and cactus spines and bits of hemp twine.
As it burns I’ll gaze into the flames and watch for portents. I’ll scry for warnings of potential dangers, of my own darknesses that may (or may not) need to be explored and addressed, for hints of any who work against me and my family and for solutions and actions needed to protect us.
After the flames have reduced everything within to ash, I’ll let it cool and then carefully scrape the bottom and sides of my cauldron to get any charcoal residue, which I’ll crush in a mortar and pestle, moving ever widdershins. Again in that counter-clockwise direction, I’ll mix the ash and charcoal before adding it to the jar of cauldron ash that I use for a lot of Dark Moon Magick and spells. It will go into my Fuck Off Powder, used in the work of crafting the Fuck Off Candle Spell. I also use this ash in my Witches’ Salt and Small Black Salt Protection Charms as well as other protection, repelling, hexing and hex removal and cursing and curse removal workings.
Now let’s talk a bit about Dark Moon. Just like with retrograde planets, modern witches know both that retrograde planets are not actually moving backwards, no more than the moon is actually gone, although to our eye these things both appear to be so. These astrological occurrences carry very specific and well known energies. While Mercury in Retrograde seems to only have become more well known, mostly for it’s seemingly negative influence on communications and technology, the period of Dark Moon- it’s very special energy and its deep mystery- has been sort of swept under the rug or even abandoned, by many.
In recent years, this ol’ witch has noticed a strong trend in online pagan communities, blogs and articles toward glossing over, if not eradicating the mention of Dark Moon. More and more I’ve seen only posts about New Moon and bright blessings for new beginnings, (which is what actual New Moon is about), but NO mention of Dark Moon or Dark Moon mysteries.
Worse is it seems these new age pagans are calling the actual night of Dark Moon, the night when the moon is perfectly suspended between waning and waxing, New Moon. What? It seems that toxic positivity culture has infiltrated what was once known as the Craft of the Wise. New age witchcraft is drowning in uneducated misinformation and fluff bunny positivity. How did this happen?
Well, I looked around a little (yes, google is my friend) and I discovered it’s not just witches doing this. In fact, it began with astronomers and migrated over to witchcraft.
For some unknown reason, the original meaning of New Moon, which was the first visible crescent of the waxing moon visible in the night sky, slowly changed through popular usage among astronomers and ultimately to calendar makers, to the moment the Moon and Sun are in conjunction, which is the very middle of the Dark Moon period.
So I’m thinking that an entire generation of self educated witches (those without the benefit of old school witches) have simply been led by the modern calendar to completely miss out on the mysteries of Dark Moon.
Traditionally that 1.5 to 3 days when the moon isn’t visible in the night sky, when it’s reflecting no light from it’s fiery paramour, are the nights of the Dark Moon. These are nights to do some deep (and sometimes dark) magick and inner work. These are the nights when witches delve into their shadow side to work, sometimes to root out darkness and other times to embrace it. To claim and honor the part of us that isn’t all light and sunshine and glitter and rainbows. I have that side. You have that side.
During the dark of the moon we work in darkness and with darkness, to both clear away and embrace the shadows so we might open and shine with the return of her lovely light as the first crescent sheds her glowing silver light upon us.
If it’s hurting you, if your pain and rage and anger are unfocused or turning inward in self harm or you’re acting out against people you love, Dark Moon is a time to embrace and love yourself back to balance. It’s a good time to scream your rage and pain, your disgust and outrage to the moonless night and then send it to ground where Mama Earth will absorb and hold it for you.
For some of us it’s time to right a wrong or to protect ourselves, our loved ones or even unknown strangers. It’s during the Dark Moon that I have stopped the mouths of gossips and liars, jinxed thieves, hexed abusers, and bound child molesters.
Harm none, you say? A witch that can’t hex, can’t heal, say I. Know thy True Will and may it be so.
In Light and Shadow,
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