We talk about New Moons being about rest and darkness. That’s true–but they also provide a glaring, truthful look. It’s this harsh, ugly light in the New Moon that provides some of the most important food for the soul.
When I was younger, I had a habit of staying at parties and bars too long.
Caught up in the Magick of the night, how beautiful everyone looked in the moonlight, the power of the music, I didn’t want it to end. And then it would, of course—when the staff or the host would turn on the glaring lights and the formerly etherial club was exposed as dirty and small, or I’d stumble outside to the dawn and the streets, so enchanting the night before, would be covered in vomit and garbage.
We associate the Full Moon with light and the New Moon with a comforting darkness.
My experience is the reverse—the Magick of the Full Moon is like the darkness of the dance club, highlighting only the beauty that is comforting, enchanting. Basically, highlighting only the beauty we want to see. The New Moon, on the other hand, is the moment when those beautiful lights are shut off. But you’re not plunged into darkness. Instead, you’re exposed to the raw reality of where you are.
Another analogy might be a correspondence with an old flame. You’re both drawn into the nostalgia of something old, familiar, and wonderful. You start to imagine that this is the love you’ve been waiting for–you just simply left them behind! But when you get together, you realize all you have in common is your shared past. You realize they’re not as interesting as you remember…or as good in bed. Worse, you know they’re realizing the same thing about you.
The Full Moon is nostalgia. The New Moon is reality.
We talk about the New Moon as though it’s a time to curl up in a metaphoric womb: hiding, resting, comforting ourselves. That’s true to a point, like going home after party and having a re-watch binge of The Office in your pajamas, accompanied by no one but your cats. But before that happens, a stark reality hits. The lovely experience you had is over, and it’s now possible to see all of the icky corners that were hidden before.
New Moons carry the convex side of its corresponding astrological sign.
A New Moon in Gemini, symbolized by the twins, shows the other face of the less agreeable twin: the Mr. Hyde to the Dr. Jekyll. It makes us sit down and take a glaring look at the ugly parts of self, just like looking in the giant mirror at the make-up counter. It may also show us the negative sides of the people in our lives, exposing issues that need to be addressed between us. Gemini is sometimes known for being ‘the distracted’ sign. Its New Moon won’t minimize any distractions, but its glaring overhead light may show us what distractions are keeping us from doing the work we need to do.
Name it. Embrace it. And like the mess after a party, put it where it belongs or throw it away, and move forward.
I’ve made this aspect of the New Moon sound very unattractive. That’s okay. Not everything in Magick is pretty. In fact, a lot of Magick is gross and inconvenient. But there’s a gift in the stark reality provided by the New Moon. It shows us what messes need clearing, what tables have been danced on too long and need repair, and what friends we have still standing with us at the end of a wild ride.
Most of all, it tells us when it’s time to go home.
And then, we rest.