Legends and witching lore say that witches gain power from the moon. Where did this adage originate? Perhaps it came from ancient Greece, where Hecate (goddess of the moon) also taught and protected witches. And at least part of the tale may have stemmed from the witches themselves who gathered beneath the moon to work their magick and conduct rituals.
Scottish lore advises a woman who's searching for physical beauty to bathe in heather water beneath a full moon. This folk spell relies on the connection between the moon and water, both of which express the feminine force in heaven and earth.
The tradition of using the moon's monthly cycle and its symbolism to empower spells, charms, and rituals continues in modern times. Many Wiccans and witches still celebrate Esbats (full or new moon rituals), or plan their magick according to the phases of the moon.
The crescent moon represents the youthful or maiden aspect of the Goddess. This is a time to plant symbolic seeds and do spells for increase and expansion — as the moon's light grows, so will your seeds. Weave magick directed toward slow, steady improvements while the moon is waxing. Rituals focus on enhancing insight and creating opportunities.
The full moon represents the mature or mother aspect of the Goddess. Rituals embrace wisdom, maturity, nourishment, creativity, and fertility. The full moon is the best time to weave any type of positive, creative, or abundance magick, because it marks a fullness of metaphysical power.
The waning moon represents the Goddess in her crone stage. The Crone knows life's mysteries and has grown content with who and what she is. This time of the lunar cycle supports any magick aimed toward endings, decreasing, or banishing. Rituals focus on releasing and letting go, ridding yourself of negative thought forms and habits that you've outgrown.
The dark moon is like a three-day death (followed by rebirth with the next crescent). Witches use this time for introspection and contemplation. Rituals may involve leaving behind anything from the past that has bound you and preparing to initiate new growth in the coming cycle.
In many cultures, every full moon throughout the year has at least one descriptive name. Here are some of the names for the full moons:
When a month contains two full moons, the second is called a “blue moon.” When two new moons occur in one month, the second is known as a “black moon.”