Solar and Lunar Cycles
From the beginning of time, the sun and moon, and their ever-changing relationships to our planet, have fascinated human beings. Early civilizations honored these heavenly bodies as deities. Our distant ancestors noticed that the sun's apparent movement brought about the seasons and that the moon's phases altered the tides and affected fertility in humans and animals. Even in today's sophisticated, modern society, it's easy to see how solar and lunar forces operate in everyday life.
The sun, moon, and planets play important roles in magic, too. Choosing the right time to do magic, when solar and lunar vibrations are most auspicious, can greatly enhance the power and effectiveness of a spell. In Chapters 11 through 18, you'll learn the best times to perform different types of spells.
It's easy to see the moon's shifting faces as it traverses the night sky. Every month, the moon goes through eight distinct phases. Four of these are particularly important in spell-working. Because the moon changes so rapidly, you don't have to wait long for the type of lunar energy you seek to become available.
For two weeks, from new moon to full moon, the moon is waxing, or increasing in size. This is a good time to cast spells that involve increase or expansion. For the two weeks from the full moon to the next new moon, the moon wanes, or diminishes in size. This is a good time for spells dealing with decrease or letting go.
If, for instance, you wish to earn more money or get a promotion at work, do a spell during the waxing moon. As the moon's light grows, so will your fortune. Conversely, if you seek to reduce your responsibilities at work or at home, cast a spell during the waning moon. Maybe you want to decrease your debt, end a relationship that no longer satisfies you, or lose weight. Spells designed to address these objectives are best done during the waning phase. As the moon shrinks, so will the conditions you've targeted with your magic.
The new moon is the best time to plant symbolic seeds that represent whatever you're trying to create in your life. At this time of the month, cast spells to launch a new business, begin a relationship, or start a family. As the moon moves toward its full phase, you can watch your endeavor develop. The new moon is a good time to do divination, too. Some months contain two new moons. The second one is called the black moon. It is considered more powerful than a regular new moon, so any seeding spells you do under a black moon may manifest more quickly.
The full moon represents the time of harvest. Under its bright light, you observe the fruits of the seeds that you planted during the new moon. Concentrate now on the culmination of these spells. In some cases, you may see the results of your new moon spells by the subsequent full moon, but it can take several full moons for some spells to manifest. Spells for healing and empowerment are best performed during a full moon (unless the desired result involves loss or decrease, such as shrinking a tumor or lowering blood pressure). Some months contain a second full moon, known as the blue moon. This is a particularly powerful time for manifesting what you initiated at the new moon.
Once you begin casting spells according to the moon's movement, you may notice subtle differences in yourself — your emotions, your body rhythms, fluctuations in your menstrual periods, your libido levels, your hormones, your dreams, the intensity of your intuition. The moon, after all, is our closest celestial neighbor. It is intimately connected to the ancient worship of the Goddess, to the feminine principle, and the collective unconscious. Developing an awareness of lunar rhythms will help strengthen your link to the Divine.
Keeping a Lunar Journal
You may find it useful to keep track of the moon's phases for a few months. In a notebook or computer file, write a paragraph or two about how you feel during each lunar phase — describe your emotions, experiences, thoughts, and anything unusual or especially meaningful that happens. You might also wish to record your dreams and examine them in connection with the moon's position. This practice will enable you to track your own energetic shifts, so you can work successfully with lunar power.