working with the moon

Photo by Don Hasemeyer

We witches are obsessed with the Moon, to the point of it being meme-able. In fact, I’m pretty sure @magickmemes on Instagram, has covered that topic on at least a dozen occasions. (P.S. if you didn’t already know, or didn’t know when there’s a lunar eclipse on the 21st!)

Image sourced from @magickmemes on Instagram.

Magick completely aside, the Moon is connected to us in so many ways, it’s almost terrifying. When you look at it from an analytical stance, the Moon is the big rock in the sky, orbiting our planet. Its glow is caused by the Sun’s light bouncing off its light surface and each phase of the Moon is caused by the shadow of earth blocking out some of the Sun’s light. As the Moon gets closer to the Earth, it affects the ocean’s tides, rising and falling accordingly (this is what causes high tide, if you don’t already know). When the Moon is close, the tide level rises, and as it moves away, the tide lowers. The human body is about 60% water, therefore the tides affect our chemistry as well. Ask anyone who works at a hospital, or in law enforcement and they’re likely to tell you, the Full Moon is the maddest night of the month. So let’s talk about the lunar phases and what exactly they’re good for anyway.

There are six phases of the Moon we work with; New, Waxing, Full, Waning, Crying and Dark. A full cycle of the lunar month takes about 29 days. Early civilizations often based their calendars around the Moon, which proved to be just slightly inaccurate enough to not function.

Full Moon

This is the most common face of the Moon people tend to be comfortable working with. The full Moon is considered to be the time of the month when energy is at its peak and [in the Wiccan Religion] a time marked for Esbats. The Full Moon actually lasts three days and is associated with the Triple Goddess, so if you miss it, there is a three-day window you can celebrate it equally. The First day is marked as the Maiden, second is the Mother (full Moon at 100%) and finally the third is the Crone. The full Moon is a time we do spellwork intended for specific purposes depending on the monthly energy. Every Full Moon has its own name, which is something I will get into on another blog entry.


Waning refers to when the Moon’s visibility is shrinking. A waning Moon begins the day after the full Crone Full Moon and lasts all the way until the Crying Moon. A waxing Moon always begins as a gibbous Moon (referring to more than half full). Because of the nature of a Waning Moon shrinking, similarly we use this time to push away or “shrink” things or energies in our life we don’t want. A waning gibbous is seen a time of gradual pushing, while a waning crescent is forceful pushing.


The Crying Moon is the very last sliver of the waning Moon right before the dark Moon. It is what the New Moon would be, only in reverse. Similarly to the New Moon, it also only lasts one day and often is missed and forgotten about. This is the time of the month when most negative energy is worked with and therefore is one that a lot of witches chose to not work with. Personally, I believe that just because something you are working with is negative, it’s about your intentions in using it. This is a good time to end negative things affecting your life abruptly. Knowing this, it is a fine line and a tough balance, so be careful witches! Traditionally, however, the Crying Moon is when most curses are started, but a huge disclaimer please don’t go cursing your friends. This is simply informative and I want to be well rounded in what I’m putting out there, but let’s be responsible.

Dark Moon

This is another lunar phase a lot of pagans, witches and Wiccans tend to avoid due to the misconception of working with negative energy. Traditionally the dark Moon is a time of banishing, usually done in a forceful way. This can be a time however where we remove things from our lives that no longer serve a purpose to us, such as bad habits. The Dark Moon holds as much energy as the Full Moon.

New Moon

The New Moon is the very first sliver immediately following the Dark Moon. This is a time for new beginnings, starting new projects and fresh starts. This is a time when we breath new life into things. It lasts only one night and is often missed, I know my ass has missed it more times than I’d like to admit. This is also a great time to cleanse your space, even just by cleaning your house and start with fresh energy for the month ahead.


Last but not least the Waxing Moon day after the New Moon, last all the way until the day before the Maiden Full Moon. The Moon at this time gives off the illusion of being bigger and brighter than it normally is, and has the appearance of growing, As the Moon grows, it pulls. Therefore the waxing Moon is an appropriate time to do magick that attracts. The waxing Moon also is a slow Moon and is best to do longer spell working, such as 7-day spells, etc.

If you’ve lasted this long, I know this is only a dip into the water of knowledge that is the Moon! Remember whatever magick you do, grounding is always important!

Leave a comment, and tell me what topic I should cover next!


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Twenty Something. Wife. Cat Mom. Vegan Brat. Junkfood Enthusiast.

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