Humans have an ancient and sacred relationship with the moon. Lunar calendars were probably the first method of time keeping developed by our earthly ancestors. In fact the words month and moon are etymologically related. The moon is directly related to the seasons and to the way we experience time. The moon affects the tides, way plants grow, as well as human fertility.
The phases of the moon are caused by the relative positions of the earth, sun, and moon. The moon goes around the earth, on average, in 27 days 7 hours 43 minutes.
The edge of the shadow (the terminator) is curved, being an oblique view of a circle, giving the moon its familiar crescent shape. Because the “horns” of the moon at the ends of the crescent are always facing away from the setting or rising sun, they tend to point upward in the sky.
The sun always illuminates the half of the moon facing the sun (except during lunar eclipses, when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow). When the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth, the moon appears “full” to us, a bright, round disk. When the moon is between the earth and the sun, it appears dark, a “new” moon. In between, the moon’s illuminated surface appears to grow (wax) to full, then decrease (wane) to the next new moon.
Check out The Solar Lunar Calendar 2011, the beautiful guide to planting by the moon, and orienting our household activities to the cycles of the Moon, Sun and Earth for more on this year’s lunar cycles.
Depending on your magical intention, you should aim to work with the cycles of the moon to receive the most effective results. The three major aspects of the moon are the Waxing (or New), Full and Waning.
The New Moon
The Moon is waxing and growing. This marks the phase of the moon when the light is not visible from Earth, because the side of the moon that is being lit by the sun is not facing us. This should be a time to plan spells that introduce new beginnings and projects. A new career, house move, job, relationship, any new venture in life.
The New Moon occurs in the middle of the monthly Dark Moon period. A Dark Moon describes the Moon during the time that it is invisible against the backdrop of the sun in the sky. The dark moon lasts between 1.5 and 3.5 days depending on the orientation of the earth and the sun.
The casting out of the old ways, banishing old habits, the removal of troubles and worries. A waning gibbous moon comes halfway between a full moon and a half moon, and a waxing gibbous moon lies between a half moon and a full moon.
A half moon looks like half a circle. It is sometimes called a quarter moon as this Moon has completed one quarter of an orbit around the Earth from either the new position (First Quarter) or the full (Last Quarter) and one quarter of the moon’s surface is visible from Earth.
This is a time when the Moon is at its most powerful, and the magic most potent. Performing any positive spell at this time will achieve good results. This is the ideal time for healing, guidance, and completion spells.
The full moon is referred to by a different name, depending on when it appears. For example, the “Harvest moon” is the full moon that appears nearest to the Autumn Equinox, which occurs in late September or early October.
Other names given to the full moon include:
January: Wolf Moon, Moon After Yule or Old Moon
February: Ice Moon, Snow Moon or Hunger Moon
March: Storm Moon, Sap Moon, Crow Moon or Lenten Moon
April: Growing Moon, Grass Moon or Egg Moon
May: Hare Moon, Milk Moon or Planting Moon
June: Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Flower Moon or Strawberry Moon
July: Thunder Moon or Hay Moon
August: Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, or simply Corn Moon
September: Fruit Moon or Harvest Moon
October: Harvest Moon, Blood Moon or Hunter’s Moon
November: Hunter’s Moon, Beaver Moon, Frosty Moon, Snow Moon
December: Cold Moon, Moon Before Yule or Long Night Moon
A second full moon occurring in any month is called a Blue Moon.
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Moon Protection for Amulets
Amulet Protection Spell
Place a jewel, that you regularly carry on you, in a cup of spring water a day before the full moon. The following day, on the evening of full moon, stir the water three times with your finger in a clockwise motion. Take the cup in your hands and in a clockwise, stirring motion, move the cup in a clockwise, circular, stirring motion three times. Then, repeat these words aloud:
Oh Light of the Moon,
Keep me from harm.
Raise the cup towards the sky and drink the water. Remove the jewel from the cup. You must carry it on your person to the next full moon in order to ensure your protection. Repeat this ritual every month to benefit from its influence.
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