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*Whether astrology is science or magic, we’re open to most things, if they may be of benefit. ~ Ed.
“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” ~
I’m kind of obsessed with the dark moon.
Of all the moon’s phases, I look forward to ritual with this one the most.
If you’re not familiar with the dark moon, here are a few quick facts:
The dark moon is celebrated by witches and other lovers of Luna when the moon is invisible in the night sky (dark), before the first silver crescent comes to light.
Modern-day astrology and astronomy call this a new moon because a new cycle is beginning, but there is this dark period of grace which we can tap into.
Witches distinguish between the new and dark moon because the energies present and the magic practiced are distinctly divergent. For instance, one would strictly only practice banishment spell work or divination during a dark moon. Work with ancestors, medium-ship, and contacting the underworld also fall under dark moon magic.
New moon spells include those for initiations, casting dream seeds, new growth, charging visions. Not the same thing at all, right?
The dark moon calls us to explore the shadows. For everything there is a season, as they say, and on the night of the dark moon, we go inward—we invite stillness and introspection. We, like the rest of nature, are cyclical beings. During the dark moon, our energy reflects that of this cosmic body—we are, in tandem, at the lowest point energetically, and that low energy can be an incredibly restorative period.
Why rush through the dark moon to new? Why not mirror the universe in its wisdom and allow for a sacred pause?
Each month, on this night, sit in silence, breathe quietly, and honor the space between waning and waxing—this is the purpose of dark moon energy. We cannot, or should not, be rushing from pillar to post without allowing ourselves a mindful moment in time.
If ever there was a night to call upon Lilith, goddess of shadow work, inner instincts, intuition, and sovereignty, this is it! Lilith is a perfect companion to the dark moon even though she ignites our inner rebel. She is a soul alchemist, a lover of independence, of freedom, conscience, and karma.
While in silence, in rest, we can access stores of insight and wisdom. When not rushing into the next phase, we can evaluate, be gentle with ourselves, and find compassion for the cycle we just traversed. With Lilith as an ally, we can open doors to those places where we dream the impossible, the irreverent, the much-needed aspects of self that we routinely crush because to show our vulnerability is seen by the ego as death.
Allow the dark moon and Lilith to help you stop, close your eyes, and practice a little dark magic.
In the dark, we use our third eye intuitively.
In the dark, we rely on heart instead of mind. The mind ignores instinct, preferring knowledge. The heart understands wisdom born of taking unexplored paths.
In the dark, we ask our ancestors to guide us. In the dark, we are a little less human, and a little more divine.
Lilith’s Dark Moon Ritual:
Create a nest for yourself somewhere where you will be alone—your bedroom, your whole apartment, in your garden, the woods.
Make this nest rich with things that you find supportive to the spirit—tea, your yoga mat, incense, candles, pillows, blankets, tarot cards, flowers, crystals, your guitar, photos of an ancestor, music, journal, your familiar (pet or visiting bird, perhaps?).
Determine how much time you would like to spend in silence, or alone.
Create an intention. This is the most important bit. For example, intend that you wish to connect with a deeper part of yourself which usually remains silent while you tend to everyday life.
Invite Lilith to your circle. By this time, you may already have noticed the presence of other allies such as the four directions or elements such as fire, if candles are lit, or air, through incense.
Do what feels natural. Sing, hum, dance, stretch, or sit in still meditation.
Ask Lilith to work with you in awakening your sovereignty and allow her to assist you in approaching your shadows. She is an expert at revealing that within our shadows lies much of our talent and genius. These shadows need love and compassion, as they are so often rejected as bad or frightening. If she shakes something loose, and she very well might, this is perfect timing, or it simply would not have surfaced.
Journal whatever comes intuitively. This is the time to write anything that arrives! Even if it sounds nonsensical—let your intuition lead, let your heart lead, leave your mind out of this.
Allow a whole 24 hours for rest. Even in your doings (because you may have to go to work), the intention of rest can be the nugget of gold you hold. Breathe. Relax your shoulders. Know that you are in this period of inner ease. Observe this period of darkness along with Lilith. It’s your little 24-hour secret rendezvous with an energy that understands the shadows. She is like a lover with whom we can truly be ourselves.
Practice this for a year and you may find yourself on the other side of a wonderful transformation. I’d love to hear about it.
A Month with Luna:
A mindful practice with Luna that I like to keep myself or with my clients, is to journal for a month, from dark moon to dark moon.
This practice is intensely grounding. It keeps us focused on what’s happening in the now. It reconnects us with the natural cycles of the cosmos and, therefore, ourselves.
Using whatever inspires you—colored pencils, ink, photographs, pressed flowers—observe each day of Luna’s journey against your own. Write what is present for you, what your desires are, what hurts, where your shadows lie, what joy you are experiencing. Include gratitude as a base for this recipe in self-contemplation.
This can also be done with an online journal, if that’s your jam.
Perhaps add a pinch of yoga or meditation. Meditating with Luna is powerful and expansive. See how you flow as she flows. From dark waxing toward fullness, from fullness waning toward dark.
One lunar cycle is like a mini-year. What will you discover about yourself? How much closer will you feel to the natural world and your own cycles of ebbing and flowing? What has your body taught you during this time of concentrated awareness?
Find a lunar calendar online which can guide you with which planets the moon is in each day. Those planets will be part of your journey as well.
Let this month with Luna create loving-kindness in your life.
“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” ~