At the Mystic South Conference in Atlanta last weekend, I offered a workshop on Lunar Witchcraft for the first time since beginning my book project on this subject. More than just researching and writing, this year I dedicated my personal Great Work of Magick to navigating my Lunar practice by the stars; I had to dive into the deeps and actually flow according to her tides for a year. Turns out, there were mysteries I’d never even considered awaiting me there in the gleaming dark.
Lunar Witchcraft Workshop:
Abstract: Presenting a practical system of Lunar Witchcraft for navigating the tides of power that flow through the dance of Sun, Earth and Moon – both internally and externally. We’ll discuss ideas for witchcraft according to a 9-phase lunation, and four season year, with internal/external balancing. This method of Moon Magick is based in astrological timing and will answer questions like:
- What is a “Super Moon?” or a “Micro Moon?”
- When are “Blue” and “Black” Moons?
- What is the difference between a Dark Moon and New Moon?
- What does “Moon Void-of Course” mean?
- When and how do Solar and lunar eclipses occur?
- What magick do I work during all these auspicious moments?
The subject of Lunar Witchcraft is as deep and challenging as the dark ocean Herself, and no hour long power-point presentation could do it justice. Still, the attendees asked for more information to take home with them, and I promised them a blog. Until I manage to finish the manuscript and get it printed, I offer this index of all my previous articles on the subjects we covered, plus the spreadsheets of auspicious Lunar Magick dates for 2019.
Auspicious Timing within Astrological Witchcraft
There are many approaches to auspicious timing among witches. Some base their craft upon the dates on the Gregorian Calendar, but I think that man-made system is arbitrary and devoid of both magickal power and internal consistency. On the other hand, I feeeel the potency of tides on earth deep down in my bones, and have discovered that they can be predicted accurately with the science of astrology.
For example, Astrological Witchcraft times seasonal solar sabbats by when the sun enters a Cardinal Sign. Grand Sabbats are celebrated when the sun peaks at 15º of a fixed sign. Read more here, or click the image link below.
Navigating Lunar Tides by the Stars
By this same logic, I name and celebrate the power of lunar tides by the same method: which sign both the sun and moon are in at the time. Remember that the moon receives, then reflects the light of the sun; the sun projects light, which cannot be perceived until it interacts with a receiver. So they must be considered together. I poetically think of them as perfect symbols of The Two Who Move as One. Alone they cannot be fully realized. This method holds logical internal consistency with astronomy as well as my gut intuition and personal spiritual Gnosis.
All of our rotations and revolutions are viewed against the back-drop of the zodiac stars. Full moons occur when the moon is directly opposite the sun in that zodiac, with the earth cradled between them. Our trip round the zodiac signs also ebbs and flows between both projective and receptive mysteries. Those 12 signs are arranged in six themes of polarity balance. During the light half of the year, the sun is in one side of polarity, while the full moon balances out the opposite side. Then, during the dark half of the year, they trade places and reveal the flip side of the same mystery.
To really dig deeply into all the Astrological lessons to be explored through Witchcraft, I still suggest reading Ivo Dominguez Jr.’s book that I reviewed here: Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans.
I’ve written specifically about full and dark (new) moon balance several times. Check out these links for more information.
Full moon Opposition in a Pisces/Virgo balance
Sun and Dark Moon Conjunct Together in Virgo
“When the Dark Moon enters the earthy sign of Virgo, which is a sign of order, analysis and purity, a dialogue among Witches* unfolds about the relationship between entropy, atrophy and apathy…of life, struggle and insanity in modern American Society.”
What is a “Super Moon?” or a “Micro Moon?”
The moon is on an elliptical orbit around the earth, and the distance between us varies. Perigee is the closest approach to Earth, and when the moon is full at this time we call it a Super Full Moon (closer than 360,000 km). If we happen to have a Super Full Moon AND a Lunar Eclipse at the same time, the shadow will appear RED, and that is when the interwebz loses its collective mind about a “blood moon.” Read why that happens here.
Apogee is the furthest approach to Earth, and when the moon is full at this time we call it a Micro Full Moon (Further than 400,000 km.) This time is also sometimes referred to as “Black Moon Lilith.” The difference in size appears to be about 14% and the difference in brightness is about 30%.
What is so special about “Blue” and “Black” Moons?
How Blue Moons are Calculated
Again, the first step to powerful witchcraft, in my opinion, is to ditch every convention based on the Gregorian Calendar. Read more about my contrary opinions here, or click the image link below.
The Blue Moon Debate: Calendar, Almanac, Zodiac?
How Blue Moons are calculated is still in hot debate, but for magickal people, it really shouldn’t be. Once you know the history of muggle mistakes that led to this modern naming debacle, the witchy truth screams out to be heard.
There are actually three proposed conventions about what determines a blue moon.
- The Pruitt Mistake: 2 full moons within the same Gregorian Calendar Month, second is the Blue Moon.
- The Maine Rule: 4 Full Moons within One season, the Third being the Blue Moon.
- The Astrological Witchcraft Rule: 2 full moons during one zodiac sign, the second is the Blue Moon.
Read all the excruciating details here, or click the image link below:
Astrological Blue Moon in 2019
I created the following table of Full moons for my own lunar practice in 2019. These dates and times are for Eastern Standard time in the USA. I divided them by season, and which sign both sun and moon were in, showing their polarity balance. I used the magickal naming conventions found in the Llewellyn Witches’ Daily planner. However, they still use the Gregorian Calendar system, so I disagreed about which moon was which, and found an astrological blue moon. It was auspicious, because it gave us a second chance to work the cardinal spring magick in Aries/Libra.
“First of all, this moon is “blue” because it is the second full moon to occur while the sun is in Aries, and the moon is in Libra. This is important… [let’s] hold a special esbat this night to work this second “Cardinal Spring” lunar surge. Let’s sow an extra seed for justice and equality! Let’s empower wise and trustworthy governance to be restored, so that we can level the playing field and build up a more just society that will serve our future, rather than clinging to a dying past.” Read more here, or click the image link below.
Ok. So what is a Black Moon?
When there are Four Dark Moons in a Season. We celebrated the second Dark moon to fall within a zodiac sign, because it will usher in a new phase of life, and a new direction of conscious awareness. Black moons refocus our attention and purpose, defined by the sign in which it falls. This cycle lasts 2.7 years until next black moon occurs in the following sign. This is NOT the same as “Black Moon Lilith” (which is the monthly lunar apogee.)
The Last Black Moon occurred in the sign of Leo, August 21-22, 2017. This was during the total solar eclipse which could be viewed throughout North America. Completion of this cycle will occur at the next Black Moon Solar Eclipse on June 21, 2020, in Cancer.
Nine Lunar Phases: The difference between a Dark Moon and New Moon
I’ve not yet blogged on this subject. However, I divide the lunar month into NINE distinctly auspicious phases. Nine is the number of the moon; it is also the ninth sephira in the Qabala Tree of Life. Witches often talk about the Triple Moon and the Triple Goddess, but I prefer to root my practice in the astrological triplicity of a cycle: Cardinal (initiates), Fixed (Sustains), Mutable (Integrates and Transmutes.) 3 x 3 = 9. This is why that number 9 appears in so much folk and ceremonial magick, from 9 items in a charm bag, to the 9 foot diameter circle in Wicca.
Just like the ancient pagans before me, I divide what is commonly referred to as “New Moon” into two parts, thereby creating a ninth phase out of a typically 8 phase system.
Dark moon is the LAST auspicious moment of the lunation, when the moon is exactly conjunct with the sun in the same sign. She is showing us her dark side, and setting at dusk, rising at dawn. Which means we never actually see the moon at night during this phase. Thus, DARK. Dark moon is when we integrate the workings of the last lunation, and reset the stage for upcoming work. I like to do divinations for what that should entail.
New Moon is 2.5 days later, when the moon moved 12º into the next zodiac sign, and that first sliver of crescent is visible right after dusk. Thus, NEW. New moon is the FIRST auspicious moment of the new lunation, and great for setting new intentions for that cycle.
What does “Moon Void-of Course” mean?
This would require an entire article, but for now: Know that it is important not to attempt to do most, typical magickal work when the Moon is Void-of-Course. Which means:
- Time periods occurring briefly every 2-3 days, lasting a few minutes to a several hours
- This period is the few hours of “rest” after the moon makes its last angular relationship to another planet, and before it enters a new sign.
- Wards, circles, and protections are weaker at this time.
- Lunar attendance is suspended. To use a sailing metaphor, there is no magickal wind, you are adrift in the water. Just wait until the moon’s “winds” start to blow again in a few hours before trying to “get anywhere.”
- There is some juicy magick possible during this time, but you’ll have to wait for the book for that. <cackle>
What is the big deal about Solar and Lunar eclipses?
The number one thing to learn about eclipses, is that they occur due to the Sun, Moon and Earth forming a straight line, and one body casting a shadow across another body. Solar eclipses ALWAYS happen at dark moon. Lunar eclipses ALWAYS happen at full moon. Therefore, every eclipse is an auspicious Lunar Witchcraft event.
Solar Eclipses happen because the Dark Moon is conjunct in the same sign as the sun; they are in Syzygy, which is a straight line from Sun —>Moon—>Earth at a Lunar Node. Thus the lessons of that sign are reinforced throughout both conscious and subconscious awareness. Some degree of Solar Eclipse occurs 2-5 times a year, but total eclipses happen less than once a year, due to a 5º angle of Moon’s orbital plane.
They also happen with the Moon is near perigee, or the closest point to earth.
On Solar Eclipses:
“So, what to do about it? Obviously, all eclipses are magickally auspicious, and every astrologer has an opinion about how these energies will play out on earth. I’ve meditated on this question in preparation of my own witchery, and was given this message: Total Solar Eclipses are a HARD REBOOT to both conscious and sub-conscious awareness: the dark truth will be revealed in the light of day to be dealt with. The astral veil will draw back and something our sub-conscious has long known will emerge into our conscious awareness, giving us the chance to correct our course in alignment with Highest Divine Will.” Read more here, or click the image link below.
On Lunar Eclipses:
However, Lunar Eclipses have the opposite conditions with the Syzygy forming a atraight line from Sun —>Earth—>Moon at a lunar node, and the Earth casts her shadow across the moon. The Full Moon always happens in the opposite sign from the Sun, and so there is a balancing effect across the spectrum. One polarity emerges in conscious awareness, balanced by the opposite polarity emerging in subconscious awareness. Except now we have the magickal poetry of one of those things “eclipsing” or blocking out the other. The magick is in discerning what potential may be revealed in that shadow.
“All over witchcraft lore, it is said that a lunar eclipse will symbolize beginnings, endings, and culminations of the cycles we are navigating. They happen at full moons, so magick for growth is still appropriate. Eclipses are also considered to embody all the phases of the moon at once, so they can both remove obstacles AND grow something in their place. Sure. That is true and poetic, but unless a witch understands the physics of what is actually happening in the solar system during special lunar events like a super blood moon lunar eclipse, they’ve missed a chance at the juiciest workings.” Read more here, or click the image link below.
What magick should I work during all these auspicious moments?
Good question! I’ll leave that very interesting subject for you to read in my book whenever it finally is published. Stay tuned!