Passenger Side, Lighting the Sky
For the moment, I want you to see yourself as an eight-year-old boy in 1989. You’ve got blonde hair and blue eyes that are full of wonder. You’re in the passenger seat of a convertible driving down the Pacific coast of California. Your third-grade class had a field trip to Fort Ross. You, being the hellion that you are, you managed to get suspended for fighting a week ago. Your parents have punished you by not letting you stay the night with the rest of your class. So now you’re in your teacher’s car driving back to San Rafael.
The sun began to sink itself into the ocean as the two of you set off to head home. You’re watching the moon, quiet for maybe the first time all day. You smile as the moon stalks the little red car coasting down the highway. It peeks through thin, silver, sporadic clouds while you watch, mesmerized in awe. The teacher driving asks if you’re okay because, let’s face it, they don’t call you motor-mouth for nothing; it must be odd to her that you’re silent.
You tell her you’re just watching the moon follow y’all. Ever the teacher, she takes this opportunity to educate you. “You know it only appears that way,” she says. “It’s an optical illusion.” You cock your eyes and tilt your head like a confused puppy dog. “What,” you ask. She goes on to explain that the moon seems to follow the car because of relative distance. And just like that, what was once magick is now boring old science to you.
Okay. You can be you again.
You’re My Satellite
Even though the science of the moon and its relative distance blew my eight-year-old mind right out of its magickal waters, the moon still held its magick for me. My life has been full of an off-and-on practice of witchcraft. Even in the off stages, the moon has always drawn me in. Its bright, changing face was a comfort to me when I was homeless, sleeping on the street. I was not alone when I had her to talk to. And I do, I talk to the moon, still to this very day. Like a consistent, dependable friend, she has always been there.
Sober or stoned, practicing witchcraft or not, the moon is magick. Yeah, I guess some people aren’t so enthralled. I mean I can see the logic behind a person not being that impressed. The moon is basically just a random satellite floating through dark matter with us. But it’s so much more than our companion on this journey through the universe our earth is taking us on.
We all know that our Earth’s tides are ruled by the moon. But much like the tides, so are our emotions ruled by this celestial being. Many of us feel our emotions rise to the surface when the moon is full. Conversely, others feel this happen when the moon is dark or new. This is a scientific phenomenon noted in this Bustle article 7 Weird Ways the Moon can Affect Your Mood.
Are You What I Think You Are?
So if the moon affects your mood and the tides, it isn’t hard to believe it also affects your magick. Honestly, I didn’t buy into this idea for a long time. It wasn’t until I really came into my power as a witch that I started paying attention. Magick has an ebb and a flow. There are times when certain magick works best in alignment with the phases of the moon.
Of all the explanations I’ve heard or read, the best, in my opinion, was in Cyndi Brannen’s book True Magic: Unleashing Your Inner Witch which I reviewed in my last article. Cyndi explains the seven phases of the moon and how to best use those phases in concert with your magickal practice. She explains that the seven phases of the moon are: the new moon, waxing crescent, half waxing, full moon, half waning, waning crescent, and the dark moon.
From the full moon to the dark moon the energy of release is at its strongest. This is the time when protection magick and cord cutting will likely work best. But as the moon grows more dark, so can your magick. Between the half waning and dark moon, focusing your energy into curses would be ideal. If you aren’t one of those witches who hexes others, that’s cool. Continue releasing and cord cutting during this phase.
The full moon and the dark moon have strengths of their own.
The full moon is super diverse. In my practice, I like to use the three days of the full moon to its fullest. On the night before the moon reaches a true one hundred percent fullness, I give my last big push for whatever I am manifesting into my life at that moment. On the night of the full moon I take a break from active magick. I like to take my talismans and various altar tools and lay them on my outdoor altar in order to recharge them. Then on the following night, I set my sights on what I am getting rid of in my life. Often I will take this time for some introspection and self surveying. It is always on this night that I get a good feel for what is not serving me anymore.
The dark moon also has a three-day set up. On the last night of the waning moon I like to give that final push on whatever I am releasing. Putting a hex on someone is not something I do on a whim. If I feel as though it is justified, this would be the night that I seal the deal on any curses I’ve been working on. More often than not, though, I tend to use this night to set fire to things that represent what I am cutting out of my life. When the moon is at complete zero, again I stop all magickal workings. Since I am a Hekatean witch I use this time to give offerings to my goddess. I always use this night to pull everything off of my altars and tidy them up.
The next night, which is technically the new moon, is when I reset my altars for the month. I spend time at each altar and decide what I am bringing into my life and how it correlates to what I will release after the full moon. On my outdoor altar I set a crystal grid for the month. And inside my house I set my feathers, stones, and dead things into a meaningful configuration. While I am setting up my altars I place each item with purpose while I fill it with my intentions for the month.
Hanging On a Wall of Stars
I consider myself a solar witch. This is because the sun provides a renewable source of energy that I am receptive to. Basically I’m a solar panel, fueled by the light of the sun. Regardless of this, the moon remains my magickal sweet spot. Of all the things out there in space that we, as witches, can work our magick around, the moon is what provides that magick for me.
I know not all witches are receptive to the moon as a source of magick. For instance my sister, who also practices, isn’t all that fond of following the moon cycles. She has her own practice and that’s perfectly fine. We bounce things off of each other often enough that we are able to learn a bit about each other’s differences. But lunar magick is not her go-to form of witchcraft.
Magick is meant to be dynamic, like the moon. We all work with what we understand as we understand it. This is not a set-in-stone dogmatic practice. If working with the moon works for you, that’s great. If not, that’s awesome too.
When I truly found my way to the path of the wise, I had no idea how to work with the moon. I noticed things felt way off when the moon began to wane. It wasn’t until I grasped the concept of aligning my practice to the moon that I finally managed to find the balance I was looking for. If this is something that you recognize in your own practice, maybe it’s time to consider flowing with the changes of the moon. Maybe that’s exactly what you need. But, maybe it’s not. Either way, stay wild moon child.
Cyndi’s Book is available for pre-order now. I highly suggest this addition to your library.