The Moon...La Luna, she is called many names by many peoples. Humankind has worshipped and revered the Moon since the dawning of man. Herein you will will find both Moon Magick and interesting Lunar facts.
Moon Quarters and Signs
The first quarter begins at the New Moon, when the Sun and Moon are in the same place, or "conjunct". This means the Sun and Moon are in the same degree of the same sign. The Moon is not visible at first, since it rises at the same time as the Sun. The New Moon is a time of new beginnings of projects that favor growth and expansion. The first quarter is the time of germination, emergence, and outwardly directed activity.
The second quarter happens halfway between the New Moon and the Full Moon when the Sun and Moon are at right angles (90 degrees). This "half Moon" rises around noon and sets around midnight. The second quarter is the time of growth, development, and articulation of things already existing.
The third quarter begins at the Full Moon, when the Sun is opposite the Moon and it's full light can shine on the full sphere of the Moon. The Moon can be seen rising in the East at sunset, and then rising a little later each evening. This is the time for fulfillment, illumination, culmination, completion, drawing inward, unrest, emotional expression, and hasty actions leading to failure. The third quarter is a time of maturity, fruition, and the assumption of the full form of expression.
The fourth quarter begins about halfway between the Full Moon and the New Moon, when the Sun and Moon are again at 90 degrees, or "square". This decreasing Moon rises at midnight, and it can be seen in the East during the last half of the night. It reaches the overhead position about the same time the Sun rises. The fourth quarter is the time for disintergration, drawing back for recognition, and reflection.
Click on the Above Linked Image to See the Moon on a Particular Date of Your Choice
As Goddess, the Moon has been recognized as Aataentsic (Iroquois), Aine of Knockaine (Irish), Al-Lat (Persian), Anningan (Inuit), Anu (Celtic), Aphrodite (Greek), Aradia (Italian), Arianrhod (Welsh), Artemis (Greek), Ashtaroth (Phoenician), Astarte (Phoenician), Auchimalgen (Araucanians), Bendis (Greek), Black Annis (Celtic), Brigantis (Celtic), Brigit (Celtic), Brizo (Greek), Callisto (Greek), Caridwen (Welsh), Changing Woman (Navajo), Ch' Ang-O (Chinese), Chia (Columbian), Circe (Greco-Roman), Coatlicue (Aztec), Cybele (Celtic), Danu (Celtic), Demeter (Roman), Diana (Greek), Europa (Italian), Fana (Italian), Freya (Norse), Frigga (Germanic), Hainvwele (Indonesian), Hathor (Egyptian), Hecate (Greek), Hera (Greek), Hina (Tahitian), Holle (Teutonic), Hun-Ahpu-Mtye (Guatemalan), Hunthaca (Colombian), Inda (Hindu), Inanna (Sumerian), Io (Greek), Ishtar (Babylonian), Isis (Egyptian), Ixchel (Mayan), Jana (Roman), Juno (Roman), Jyotsna (Hindu), Ka-ata-killa (Pre-Inca), Komorkis (Blackfoot), Lilith (Sumerian), Luna (Roman), Morgana (Celtic), Nuah (Babylonian), Pe (African), Persephone (Greek), Sarasvati (Indian), Sedna (Inuit), Selene (Greek), Shingo-Moo (Chinese), Sina (Polynesian), and Sirdu (Chaldaean).
"Night Witch" © copyright by Robin Wood
The lunar phase is important in determining the best time for Magick. There are basically two lunar phases: The waxing Moon (an ideal time for positive Magick, or "bringing") and the waning Moon (an ideal time for banishing and negative Magick, study, introspection, meditation, and "sending away".). In between you'll have the dark Moon (the best time for banishing and negative Magick) and the full Moon (the best time for positive Magick).
Many religions including witches and pagans base their work on the lunar cycles. Silver RavenWolf's book, "To Stir a Magick Cauldron" gives the following use of Moon phases:
"New Moon Magick":(the first night of the New Moon to 3 1/2 days after)
Timing: Your Magick should be performed between dawn and sunset for the best use of this Moon. Conjuring: beauty, health, and self-improvement, farms and gardens, job hunting, love and romance, and networking.
"Crescent Moon Magick": (from 3 1/2 nights after the new Moon through the 7th day)
Timing: When the Moon rises at mid-morning and sets after sunset. Conjuring: animals, business, change, emotions, and matriarchal strength.
"First Quarter Magick": (The Waxing Moon) (from 7 to 10 days after the new Moon)
Timing: Sunset is the best time for waxing Moon Magick. Conjuring: courage, elemental Magick, friends, luck, and motivation.
"Gibbous Moon Magick": (from 10 to 13 days after the new Moon)
Timing: The best time is around 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Conjuring: patience.
"Full Moon Magick": (14 days after the new Moon)
Timing: Midnight is the best hour to work. Conjuring: artistic endeavors, beauty, health, and fitness, change and decisions, children, competition, dreams, families, healing, knowledge, legal undertakings, love and romance, money, motivation, protection, psychism, and self-improvement.
"Disseminating Moon Magick": (3 to 7 days after the full Moon)
Timing: The best time is at 3:00 a.m. Conjuring: addictions, decisions, divorce, emotions, stress, and protection.
"Last Quarter Magick": (Waning Moon) (7 to 10 days after the full Moon)
Timing: When the Moon rises at midnight and sets at noon. Conjuring: addictions, divorce, health, healing, banishing disease, stress, and protection.
"Dark Moon Magick": (from 11 to 14 days after the full Moon)
Timing: The strongest force of the dark Moon is around 10:00 a.m. Conjuring: addictions, change, divorce, enemies, justice, obstacles, quarrels, removal, separation, stopping stalkers, and theft.
Eclipses represent the perfect union of the Sun and Moon. Any type of Magick is acceptable.
(There are 2 types of lunar eclipse: Partial eclipse and Penumbral eclipse of the Moon).
"Moon Void of Course":
It's said that the Moon is "void of course" before it enters a new Moon sign (such as Cancer, Leo, Virgo, etc...). There is a sort of "dead space" when this is happening. The rule here is to avoid doing any important Magick work while the Moon is in this time. Don't do any major Magick work. Don't complete any Magick work. (See our Magickal Dictionary in the Cauldron for more detailed information on this)
Real-Time Lunar Cycle Calendar
The Moon Signs
Many people don't realize that the "Sun Sign" is but a small portion of the astrological equation, for the Moon sign is just as important...along with your ascendant, or rising sign.
Moon in Aries:
This is a good time for starting things, but this sign lacks staying power. Things occur rapidly, but they also quickly pass. You can be be spontaneous, but be careful of the Magick choices you make...be sure it's what you really want in the long run!
Moon in Taurus:
In this sign things begun tend to last the longest, and they tend to increase in value. Things begun now can become habitual and hard to alter later.
Moon in Gemini:
This is an inconsistant position for the Moon, usually characterized by a lot of talk. Things begun now are easily changed by outside influence.
Moon in Cancer:
This sign stimulates emotional rapport between people. It pinpoints need, and it supports growth and nuturance.
Moon in Leo:
This sign accents showmanship, drama, recreation, and happy pursuits. It may be concerned with praise and subject to flattery.
Moon in Virgo:
This sign favors accomplishment of details and commands from higher up, while discouraging independant thinking.
Moon in Libra:
This sign increases self awareness. It favors self-examination and interaction with others, but it discourages spontaneous initiative.
Moon in Scorpio:
This sign increases awareness of psychic powers. It precipitates psychic crises and ends connections thoroughly. (New Year 2000 was Moon in Scorpio)
Moon in Sagittarius:
This sign encourages expansionary flights of imagination and confidence in the flow of life.
Moon in Capricorn:
This sign increases awareness of the need for structure, discipline, and orginization. Institutional activities are favored.
Moon in Aquarius:
This sign favors activities that are unique and individualistic, along with concern for humanitarian issues, society as a whole, and improvements that can be made.
Moon in Pisces:
During this sign energy withdraws from the surface of life, hibernates within, secretly reorganizing and realigning for a new day.
She was called Luna by the Romans, Selene and Artemis by the Greeks... Here are a few Lunar facts...
When will the next Halloween have a Full Moon?
In the year 2012 at midnight Eastern Standard Time, the moon will be 100% illuminated on October 29th and 30th, and 98% illuminated on the 31st. This 98% of Full Moon will probably look indistinguishable from a Full Moon to most people. In 2020, there will be a 98% illumination on October 30th, and 100% on the 31st which is a genuine Full Moon and the first one that is technically Full as well as apparently so.
What is the significance of the 'crescent moon-star' symbol seen on flags and ancient drawings?
On April 23, 1998 we will see a similar conjunction with Venus and Jupiter within 1 degree of a crescent moon. These kinds of conjunctions between the crescent moon and a a bright planet like Venus or Jupiter are not that rare, but are very spectacular! Even more interesting is that around 1054 AD, a supernova in the constellation Taurus, which produced the famous 'Crab Nebula', may also have been the most spectacular during the time of a crescent moon phase. Some Native American petroglyphs show a crescent and a bright star together, and this event must have been simply dazzling, not to mention the many possible mythological/religious interpretations of this sign.
How much brighter is the Full Moon than the half Moon?
The Full Moon is about a factor of 10 times brighter than the Half Moon phase.
What are the two New Moons in a month called?
A "Blue Moon". The names that would coincide with 'Blue Moon' are: Secret Moon, Spinner's Moon, and Finder's Moon.
How often has a Full Moon happened on May 31?
This is always a Blue Moon. The last one was on May 31, 1988. The next one will be on May 31, 2026.
The Moon orbits around the earth, completing one cycle every 27.322 days.
Compared with the other moons in our solar system, our own Moon is something of an oddity. Except for tiny Pluto, all the other planets are much larger than their moons. But Earth is only about four times wider than its moon. Compared to huge planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are 40 or 50 times larger than their biggest moons, Earth and its Moon could almost be considered twin planets.
From Earth, we always see the same side of the Moon. This "synchronous rotation" is caused by the same force that causes tides on Earth's oceans...gravity. The Moon's gravity pulls on Earth, and Earth's gravity pulls on the Moon.
This gravitational attraction is strong enough to pull the water in Earth's oceans slightly toward the Moon, creating the tides. Conversely, Earth's gravity has slowed down the Moon's rotation on its axis. As a result, the Moon completes one turn on its axis in the same time it completes one orbit around Earth. So the same hemisphere of the Moon always faces Earth.
From 1969 to 1972, six Apollo missions sent 12 astronauts to the Moon's surface. The astronauts gathered lunar rocks and soil and brought them back to Earth. They also left behind four special mirrors aimed at Earth. Astronomers at The University of Texas McDonald Observatory and elsewhere use these reflectors to determine the exact distance between Moon and Earth. They do this by beaming pulses of laser light to the Moon and measuring the time it takes for the light to reflect back to Earth. This technique has established the exact distance from Earth to the Moon to within a fraction of an inch.
Each full Moon has its own name to denote its significance to that time of year. What's probably the best-known full Moon of the year is the "Harvest Moon". It got it's name because it casts extra light during the end of summer harvest season, giving farmers extra time to gather their crops.
The full Moon after the Harvest Moon is the "Hunter's Moon". October's full Moon was named the Hunter's Moon long ago. With the crops harvested and safely stored for the winter, the fields were bare. That gave hunters a better look at game scampering across the fields.
You can usually count on the Hunter's Moon to be orange or yellow as it rises with the result of particles suspended in our atmosphere. It makes the Moon look like a pumpkin...appropriate for that time of year.
Moon Illusion is an optical illusion that makes the Moon look larger when it's near the horizon than when it's higher in the sky. Psychologists say it looks bigger because we can compare it to objects on the ground. When it's higher, it stands alone.
Like the rest of the Solar System, the Moon is about 4 1/2 billion years old. Most of the cratering occurred in the first billion years of its life, when leftover debris from planet formation was abundant.
Because of a loss of orbital energy to gravity from the Earth, the Moon is very gradually moving away from the Earth. In the early history of the Earth, the Moon looked about 3 times larger in apparent size in the sky, because it was closer to the Earth.
The dark looking "seas" on the Moon are really smoother and darker colored rock that came from volcanic flows early in the history of the moon after most of the cratering had occurred. These dark spots are called "Maria". There are few "seas" on the back (far) side of the Moon (the side opposite Earth).
The Moon is only one-fourth the diameter of the Earth.
The Moon has almost no atmosphere, because of its weak gravity. (The gravity on the Moon is one sixth that of the Earth) All types of gas will escape from its surface. The surface temperature fluctuates from roughly + 300° F during the 2-week daytime to -270 F during the 2-week night. This is because there is not enough atmosphere to keep the Moon warm at night, nor protect it from the Sun's rays in the daytime. Because the Moon has no atmosphere air/sound cannot "travel".
Without an atmosphere, there is no wind or water erosion. The Moon's surface is about the same now as it was 3 billion years ago. (Contrast to the Earth). The astronauts' footprints remain unchanged on the Moon's surface, and will (unless the Moon is struck by an asteroid or "man's hand").
The Moon is about a quarter of a million miles away from the Earth.
The Moon has no global magnetic field. But some of its surface rocks exhibit remanent magnetism indicating that there may have been a global magnetic field early in the Moon's history.
Calendars...Did You Know?
Astronomical calendars are based on the rotation of Earth (the day), the revolution of the Earth around the Sun (the year), and the revolution of the Moon around the Earth (the month).
There are three distinct calendars:
1. A Solar Calendar, such as the West's Gregorian calendar, which is based on the tropical year. Every four years (leap year), an extra day is added to keep things on track.
2. A Lunar Calendar follows the phases of the Moon irrespective of the tropical year.
3. A Lunar-Solar Calendar follows the lunar cycle but has an entire month added every few years in order to keep in sync with the tropical year.
The Moon’s close proximity to the Earth offers more than just a good view of its craters and heights. Our lunar satellite is also the major cause of the ocean’s tides. Imagine that the entire surface of our planet is covered in a large body of water. Now picture the Moon on one side of the Earth. This half of the Earth’s oceans are drawn by the Moon’s powerful gravitational pull. Water covering the opposite side is farther from the Moon, so it is affected instead by the planet’s gravitational force. Because the water is being pulled in conflicting directions, a bulge is created at the "edges" of the Earth's water surface. This ocean bulge is what causes the high tide. At most shores around the world there are two high tides and two low tides each day, due to the changing gravitational forces around the planet.
If the Moon regulates the ebb and flow of the Earth’s great waters, then, for many people it isn’t too far a leap to believe in the Moon’s agricultural powers as well. For millennia, farmers have planted and harvested according to the phases of the Moon. The Moon-watching gardener’s rule of thumb is to plant crops that grow above the ground during a waxing Moon and to plant those seeds that produce crops under the ground during a waning Moon. By no means a thing of the past, modern farmer’s almanacs include planting tables and guides for the best harvesting and fishing times according to astronomical calculations
The Moon’s mysterious influence on nature has been believed to extend itself to people as well. Considering approximately 80 percent of our bodies is composed of water, perhaps this is no surprise. What is remarkable though, is the variety of behavioural distortions that the Moon is thought to induce.
Scapegoat of our Darker Nature?
England’s Lunacy Act of 1842 gave allowances for uncharacteristic crimes committed during the full and new Moon. This law distinguished between the chronically insane and the lunatic. It was argued that the lunatic became deranged at these times because of the Moon’s power and thus could not be held accountable for his or her actions.
Do you doubt the Full Moon has some unexplainable effect on our behavior? Early psychologists had no doubt about the Moon's effect on our mental states. The "lunatic," (derived from the Latin "Luna" or Moon) was separated from the chronically insane, and extra staff were called into the asylums on the occasion of a Full Moon. Special allowances were often made before the Full Moon..hmmm...AaaaaOoooooooooo!
To Stir a Magick Cauldron by Silver Ravenwolf
LLewellyn's 2000/2001/2002 Moon Sign Book and Almanac
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Wicca for Men by A.J. Drew
The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies & Magic by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler