Since man has walked on this planet I suspect he has always looked to the stars at night and it wouldn’t have taken him very long to work out that the moon had regular phases. Not only would man have worked with the seasons but he would also have had to pay attention to the moon because on a dark/new moon it would have been pretty black at night so his hunting would have been done during the day, however on the nights of the full moon he would have been able to track nocturnal animals to bop on the head for his supper. Finding food was one of his top priorities so the light of the moon would have been very important.
Roll forward in time just a tad, OK maybe more than just a tad…those clever Babylonians were also looking to the stars and creating the principles of astrology (somewhere in the region of 3500 years ago). They understood astronomy and worked with the phases to create a calendar for planting, harvesting and religious festivals.
By around 1000BC the Babylonians had created planetary omens, giving each planet a name and characteristics that it controlled. The twelve sign zodiac came into being around 600BC with the first known record of a horoscope dating back to April 410BC.
The Roman and Greek astronomers were a bit sniffy about astrology but the public had other ideas and astrology grew in popularity.
By the beginning of the Middle Ages astrologers were struggling because of the rise in Christianity, it just wasn’t their thing…but those Crusaders brought back the idea from the Middle East and it became fashionable again.
Then in the 1600s the elliptical solar system was discovered kinda put a dampener on astrology again but it didn’t disappear for long. Just after the end of World War I daily newspapers started to carry astrology columns and it has been with us ever since.
It has also been suggested that some of the greatest minds such as Sir Isaac Newton studied astrology and many royalty and important public figures over the years have employed astrologers as counselors, Nostradamus is one of the most well known and of course Queen Elizabeth I consulted John Dee and Napoleon was said to have astrologers on hand for advice.Astrology is based on the positions of ten planets, including the sun and the moon but not including the Earth because the Earth is the centre or starting point for the positions of the other planets. We really do like to think we are the centre of the universe…which we aren’t…sorry. When the moon travels through the different signs (the sun does too), that sign influences the magic of the moon.
I have found that the full moon brings the most power but I also love working with the new moon because it brings such a fresh and bright energy for new beginnings, the waning moon I don’t work with very often unless I need to get rid of something…
I think it is a combination of factors that make the moon phases a key part in working magic. It is the huge power that the moon commands in controlling the oceans along with the history of our ancestors and how important it was for them and their well being all with a bit of astrology thrown in too. It is also about cycles; our whole lives work in cycles, think about it…the main one obviously being the cycle of birth, life and death and if you work with that idea the added bonus of reincarnation and doing the whole circus again…and again…But we also work in cycles of years and months and weeks and days, the whole calendar system is a set of cycles and all tied in with the cycles of the moon. Women will probably feel this more than men (but it isn’t exclusive) the menstrual cycle usually works on a monthly basis too. I say women will feel it more because we have the whole physical ovaries/womb thing but I do wholeheartedly believe that men are affected by the cycles as well. A lot of women will also notice that their menstrual cycles are aligned with the moon phases. I always encourage everyone no matter what gender to keep a moon diary; it can be quite enlightening to see how the phases affect your moods and mindset.
Moon magic is a huge subject and one that I am looking forward to delving into and sharing more with you…