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Astrologer Leah Samuels of Moonlight Offerings guest blogs with Haute Macabre today to teach us about tonight’s Dark Moon, and share a release ritual.
New & Full Moons are commonly celebrated in spiritual and astrological circles. Yet, there is much power in working with the Dark Moon, as well. The Dark Moon is the last phase of the lunar cycle- the liminal space just before the New Moon arrives. In astrology, we call this the Balsamic Moon Phase. During this time, for about 3 ½ days each month, the moon wanes until it becomes invisible in the night sky.
When the light of the moon disappears each month, we are presented with an opportunity to rest and look inward. The Dark Moon can be equated with the “incubation stage” of the creative process. Incubation is an intentional and necessary pause. We are encouraged to exist at a pace of urgency and strive for productivity around the clock, often at the expense of creativity. During the Dark Moon, take a break and allow your mind to wander. If you can find a sense of calm and relaxation, it clears mental space for visions, ideas, and solutions to arise. Some of my most creative ideas have arrived while I’m in the shower, spacing out on my couch, or taking a walk. The Dark Moon encourages the type of passivity that allows for receptivity.
In a society so focused on active production, we can miss out on the richness of reception, and the wholeness of working with a complete cycle.
Notice how you feel in times of inactivity. How does the transitional space between projects, life changes, relationships, impact you? As the Dark Moon occurs at the end of a cycle, it’s also associated with themes of loss, grief, and the feelings of formlessness that follow. There are moments in each of our lives that call for recuperation and introspection before moving forward. When we learn how to work with these times of discomfort, we can deepen our relationship to ourselves and our intuition. When we learn to receive, we can connect with “unseen” forces, and deepen our trust in the invisible guidance that’s always available to us.
In our modern society, the Dark Moon is often misunderstood or even interpreted as taboo to some, as it embodies themes such as emotional honesty, sexuality, menstruation, violence, and the occult. To work with these energies, we must integrate and cultivate compassion for the parts of ourselves we’ve been taught to bury or repress. In doing so, deep healing can occur. Also associated with the sensitive sign of Pisces, Dark Moon themes must be treated with care. When this energy is unsupported, it can result in confusion, rather than spiritual connectivity. People born under a Dark Moon (when the Moon is within 45 degrees clockwise from the Sun in your birth chart) experience emotional complexity and intense connections with people from their soul’s past. It is important for people born under the Dark Moon phase to overcome the fear of rejection so that they can share their visions with the world.
Find Your Natal Moon Phase here
On the Dark Moon, set aside time for cleansing, clearing, and releasing rituals. It is common to struggle with the term “letting go.” Although “release” can conceptually be understood, the actuality of it can sometimes feel unattainable and out of reach. Ritual helps this abstract idea become a tangible reality. Trust your own process, and understand that healing isn’t linear. Sometimes people think of closure as this one-time big event, and maybe sometimes it is. Yet, more often, it unfolds in many layers and various ways. My teacher, astrologer Kelly Lee Phipps, shared this quote,
“It’s not about letting go. It’s about recognizing when something is already
The Dark Moon is a time when you are gently assisted in the process of clearing the path for the new moon, and inviting new cycles into your life.
Dark Moon Ritual (from my Lunar Astrology Handbook) :
Some of the deities connected with the Dark Moon are Hekate, Persephone, and Lilith. Stones associated with this lunar phase are obsidian, onyx, and labradorite.
Paper & Writing Utensil
Light the candle and meditate on the flame.
Write down what you want to release- ways of being, emotional
patterns, relationships, places, that no longer serve you
Sit with your list and thank each item for the lessons you have learned from them.
Burn the list under a safe location under the Dark Moon