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Lunar Magick

Current phase of Luna is:

 

The Moon is the closest celestial body to our planet.  In technical terms, Luna (the name of our moon) is a natural satellite in orbit around Earth.  Its orbital period, the time it takes to make one obit around the Earth is about 28.5 days long.  This is almost identical to a biological form of Lunar Magick, the female menstrual cycle. 

Being the most obvious object in the sky, there is an over abundance of lunar lore.  Everything from Lycanthropy to Lunacy has been attributed to the moon.  Even the words lunacy and lunatic are derived from the moon’s name, Luna. 

The Moon affects us all.  We are mostly water, and just like the tides of the ocean, the Moon causes tides within us too.  Most people tend not to notice these slight changes, but if you are observant, and truthful with yourself, you will notice that you feel better during certain parts of the month, and more stressed or even depressed during others.

If you talk to someone who is a first responder, they are likely to tell you that things get crazy on the full moon.  While there is little scientific evidence to back this up, it does seem to be a truism.  Why this seems to happen, is less important than the fact that it does. 

This is why a Lunar Calendar is one of the most important tools for a Witch.  Only by knowing the current phase of the moon, and whether the moon is Void of Course, can you perform effective magick. 


Phases of The Moon

All the planets go through phases.  This is because each circles the sun, and based on our vantage point here on Earth, we can see more or less of the sunlit side of each planet, based on their relative positions to us.  Even the outer planets have phases, though they are too far away to see clearly, even with a telescope. 

We equate four major phases to the moon, Dark or New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter.  It takes about seven days to go from one major phase to the next.  One full cycle takes about 28.5 days, or one month, or one moon.  There are a total of 13 moons during our solar year (365 days). 

Because Pope Gregory decided to have only 12 months in a year, and set the calendar to a Solar calendar, we sometimes end up with two full moons in a single month.  The second full moon in one month is called the Blue Moon.  This gave rise to the saying, “Once in a Blue Moon” because it only happens once or maybe twice a year.

We can divide the moon cycle in half.  From the New moon to the Full Moon we call the Waxing Moon.  From Full Moon to Dark Moon we call the Waning Moon.  This is an extremely important distinction for working lunar magick. 

People will sometimes refer to the three days of a Full or Dark Moon.  Really, the days before and after the actual Full Moon, are called Gibbous, and the moon is Waxing or Waning.  It is only on the night of the actual Full Moon, that it is at its height of power.  The same is true of the day of the actual New Moon.

Another powerful aspect of the moon’s phases are Eclipses.  You can only have a Solar Eclipse at the New Moon, and a Lunar Eclipse at the Full Moon.  Of course eclipses don’t happen each month, they are rare.  Each of these events takes place at the exact moment of the New or Full Moon.  It is because of the exact timing of these events, and their infrequency, that they are so powerful.

Moon Void of Course

Astrologically, the Moon is Void of Course when it leaves its last major conjunction with any other planets in one sign, and remains Void of Course until it enters the next sign.  Because of its monthly orbital period, Void of Course (VOC) happens twelve times a month.

Basically, the moon orbits the earth once a month.  Because the constellations we recognize as the astrological signs surround our solar system in a complete circle, it appears from the earth, that the moon (as well as all the other planets) move across them.  One full orbit around the earth, and thus through each of the astrological signs takes the moon one month.

It takes an entire set of calculations, called an ephemeris, to determine when the last major conjunction with any other planet will end.  It’s much easier to figure out when the moon will enter a new sign, since the constellations are stationary, and the moon moves at a stable pace in its orbit. 

If it were just a matter of the moon leaving one sign, and entering another, the calculation would be easy.  Roughly every 2.33 days (28 days divided by 12 signs) the moon moves from one sign to the next.  It’s figuring out where all the other planets are, within the same sign as the moon, and if they form any conjunction, that makes VOC tricky.


Because the calculations are so tricky, I use a computer program to tell me when the moon will be Void of Course.  You can get a full blown astrology program like Astrolog, which is free, but if you’re not an astrologer, it’s very tricky to use.  Instead, try Lunabar which is also free, and sits down on the system panel of your task bar.  It will give you a lot of information on the moon that you will find useful as a Witch. 

There are also websites that will give you Lunar information that can be used for magick.  One of the better ones is Lunarium, which is based in the UK.  It will give you phse, astological position, VOC, and other information, and you can give it your local time so that you don't have to convert time zones.

Why Does The Moon Affect Magick?

If you look at the movement of the planets scientifically, that is to say, in some measurable way, there is no reason for the moon to affect magick at all.  The moon does move closer to the earth at Perigee, and farther away at Apogee each month, but there is no relation between this and the phase of the moon.  Sometimes Apogee is near a Full Moon, and sometimes it is closer to the New Moon.

This being true, we can’t base lunar effects on magick, on how close or far the moon is from the earth.  We also know that at its extremes, the moon’s distance from the earth only changes by plus or minus 5.49% of its total distance (an average of 238,857 miles), and these extremes happen centuries apart.  The last time the moon was at its closest Perigee was January 4th 1912. The next time it will be at its furthest Apogee will be February 3rd 2125.

So Apogee and Perigee happen about once a month each, but the change in distance is negligible, as far as something like more or less gravitational pull exerted by the moon.  We just can’t find any real correlation between the distance of the moon to the earth, and the phase of the moon.

Yet the phase of the moon is important to magick.  Why?  Because it’s easily observable, and as we’ve seen in astrology, the influence of the celestial bodies on humans are based on observation.  An event would happen, and people would make observations of what was in the sky at the time.  The phase of the moon is the easiest observation to make.

How Does The Moon Affect Magick?

There are two major effects the moon has on magick.  The first is that the type of magick you do, will be determined by the moon’s phase.  When the moon is waxing (going from New to Full), your magick will be done to draw things to you.  The waxing moon will bring you health, prosperity, or anything else you may want.

When the moon is waning (going from Full to Dark), your magick will be done to push things away from you, or banish.  The waning moon will help you to rid yourself of smoking, weight, or whatever else you choose.  Why is it this way?  Because that is what centuries of practicing magick have shown us through observation.  Remember, the phase of the moon is a visual stimulus, and the subconscious works with images. 

When the moon is Void of Course, magick just doesn’t work.  Again, we know this through observation.  Those who use the sky to determine when things should be done have learned over the centuries that moon VOC is a bad time to cast a spell.  At best, nothing happens, at worst, the spell goes off in an unexpected direction.

There are Witches, who will cast spells over days or weeks.  Some spells require this long casting time.  In these cases, it may be impossible to avoid working on a spell while the moon is VOC.  Moon VOC can last for as little as a few hours, and as long as a day or more.  It all depends on how far into the last sign, the last major conjunction happens.

You never want to start a spell while the moon is Void of Course.  That is just trouble waiting to happen.  If you choose to do a spell that takes several days, you will want to try to avoid working the actual spell during the time the moon is VOC if you can.  It is this difficulty and preparation that help make such a spell so powerful.  Not only are you focusing your Will and Intent over an extended time, but you are planning when the best times to work are, for each day of the spell.

What if you need to cast a spell for something like a healing, but you’re in a waning moon?  You can wait until after the dark moon, but what if you can’t wait?  Change the phrasing you use in the spell.  Instead of bringing health to you, banish the illness from you!  The same thing works for a waxing moon.  Instead of banishing weight from you, you could instead bring more healthy habits to you.

A true Witch thinks for him or her self.  They do not follow a spell blindly.  They use their creativity and think outside the box.  Research, study, and confidence are the tools a Witch employs to work magick.  While there may be no rational reasons why the moon works as it does, practice and observation have shown us that it does work this way.  But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.

Inconstant Moon: The Moon At Perigee and Apogee was used as the resource for information on the movements of the moon.


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