An Introduction to Moon Magic for the Modern Witch

The moon is our most direct connection to natural magic. She’s honored as a source of power and life across cultures and generations. For eons her luminescent face has inspired thousands of cultural traditions, folk stories and pagan rituals.

For thousands of years she’s been a symbol of love, hope, rebirth, passion, fertility, mystery and magic. At this point she’s synonymous with witches and modern pagan practices. Even for those choosing not to identify with either of these spiritual communities, the moon is a great resource to help honor the rhythms of the natural world and develop a deeper connection with your spiritual self.

That’s why I always recommend moon magic for those interested in exploring their witchy side. It’s the most intuitive and accessible form of magic. You may already be practicing it.

When working with the moon, we’re working with the energy of the goddess. Here, she can take any form or name that fits your tradition and your comfortability.  But the presence of a feminine divine energy is pertinent to Wiccan tradition, and one of its defining characteristics.

You don’t need many supplies for this magical work. The only necessary supply would be a journal, and maybe a dated calendar. If you’re a fan of bullet journaling, the bloggers from Archer & Olive put together this awesome bullet journaling for the moon phases guide.

There are 8 phases total of the moon, each with its own specific set of magical energy for you to use. Since this is an intro, we’ll focus on the broad strokes  of the lunar phases: new, waxing, full, waning and dark.

The Phases of the Moon

New Moon

new moon magic

This is the beginning of our cycle. It’s where we set our goals and intentions for the upcoming cycle. It’s said your luck will be best here when starting new projects. This is our calm before the storm. We get a solid idea of what it is we want, why we want it, how it will make us feel. I like to do my divination practices (tarot and oracle readings) during this phase. Our focus for this phase can be clarity & beginnings. 

Waxing

waxing moon magic

As the moon moves from new to full, it is waxing. Now is the time where we take action. We begin to move our goals and desires from the inner realm of intentions to the outer world of actions. This is also a good time for magic that has to do with increasing: what do you want to bring more of in to your life? Our focus for this phase can be strength action. 

Full Moon

full moon magic

The full moon is a witches best friend. As recognized across culture, energy is especially potent here; any and all magic is suggested. In our cycle of intention setting the full moon is a time for celebration, harvest and being thankful. Look back over the past two weeks and think about all you are grateful for and what you have created so far. Every full moon has special energy to it according to the time of year. We call these esbats in the witchy community, but that’s for another lesson. Our focus for the new moon is to harvest and celebrate.

Waning

waning moon magic

When the moon wanes it begins its transition back to dark as the light slowly fades. And so we transition back from the external to the internal. We begin to focus on what we want to release. Cleansing and clearing magic are especially powerful here. What themes or actions showed up over this last moon phase that are not serving you? Are there things that are holding you back that you need to release? For our waning moon we learn to release and let go. 

Dark Moon

dark moon magic

The few days of darkness right before the new moon is a time of total rest and rejuvenation. Give yourself space before you jump back in to the cycle again. Be mindful of the feelings and energy level in your body. Take whatever actions you need to physically rest and reset. 

 

Then the wonderful cycle starts all over again and we are connected to the infinite flow of the universe. As we transition our idea of time to this more natural, connected form we may begin to notice more about ourselves and create a deeper connection with how we live our life.

If all this seems like a lot to digest, start simple. Just try connecting with the moon on a daily basis. Take a moment to look up, notice the moon and notice how you feel. Maybe take an extra breath to close your eyes, give her a silent greeting and say a prayer of gratitude. Then you can intuitively start building your moon magic if it resonates with you.

No matter what practices you choose to take and leave, always lead with your intuition. Research and structure is nice, but the ultimate tool of the witch is their connection to their Self.

What does moon magic look like for you? Let me know in the comments

 

 

Check out some of these awesome moon calendars if you’d like some more guidance in tracking the phases of the moon.

 

A Lammas Ritual Guide for Modern Witches

The Wheel of the Year was my introduction in to pagan ideologies. I felt the connection and celebration of the seasons was so intuitive. Today marks the beginning of the darker half of our year with the holiday called Lammas. As a cross-quarter festival, it marks the halfway point between the summer solstice and the fall equinox.

Lammas is the first of the harvest festivals, and a time for reaping what we’ve sown – both physically and energetically. You may notice Mother Nature bursting forward with life during this time of the year. In Anglo-Saxon England this was the celebration of the first grain harvest. Apples and grapes are ripe with life and ready to be harvested, the Sage and Basil bushes are nuts with growth,  and we give thanks to the bounty of food we receive.

If you’re interested in connecting with the energy of this transitional holiday, try a few of these simple and accessible ritual ideas. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Simply give yourself the space to connect in whatever way feels best to you.

Reflect and Recenter

Lammas is a time of reflection. We’re over halfway through the year. Where do you stand on some of the goals you set for yourself back in the winter? What can you take notice of and give thanks for, and what can you let go of? Sometimes the aspirations we set for ourselves seem wonderful in theory, but when it comes time to create we realize there’s no space for them in our lives. Or we get something we thought we wanted, only to find out it makes us feel even more bogged down. Image this as a time to take an imaginary scythe to your life. Where can you cut back, so you can give more fully to the areas of your life that make you feel authentic and whole?

Take out your journal and answer these questions for yourself:

Where do I want to focus my personal growth?

Where can I cut back, and give myself more space?

How can I create more balance for myself?

Set a Lammas Altar

Altar practices are the bread and butter of a ritual. Find a space where you can feel safe, relaxed and open. Maybe it’s a simple side table by the window. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Fill it with symbols and objects that represent abundance for you. Local, blooming flowers would be a lovely addition, as well as some decorative bits of wheat or corn. If you can get them from a more organic source, like a farmer’s market or from the wild, they’ll have a bit more magick in them for you. But store-bought items will always do. It’s all about the intention you put behind them. Colors of yellow, red, brown and green are traditional of harvest festivals like Lammas.

I found these super simple apple candle holders that would be a nice, handcrafted addition to any alter space.

Lammas Altar

Have a potluck dinner with friends

Enjoy your community and reap the rewards of the harvest season together! Pagan celebrations don’t always have to be super secluded and private. We love a good party just as much as anyone else 🙂 If you’re feeling extra festive, make a traditional Lammas loaf of bread. It’s a symbol of the traditional grain harvest of our ancestors and is a lot easier than you might think. Apple cider, potato and root vegetable dishes are also great seasonal selections. If your community would like to participate, you can do this lovely Lammas Harvest Ritual with them as well.

Take a walk to your local farmer’s market

Since we’re no longer in the time where we do much harvesting of our own food, it’s important to strengthen this relationship with the Earth however we can. If you have a garden, this is a wonderful time to harvest some of your bountiful produce. Be mindful and attentive to the energy of the plant, and make sure to say a thank you. If you don’t have access to a garden, local farmer’s markets are great. Connect with the people who’ve planted, tended and harvested the food. And have appreciation for the great cycle of life and how it sustains us all.

Abundance and gratitude meditation

Lammas begins the slow descent in to darker half of our year. It’s the time when we begin to slow down and turn inward. If you don’t have a regular meditation practice I encourage you to start small. Simply sit in a comfortable position where you can be undisturbed. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Take a mental note of all the things you’re thankful for in your life – big and small. Say a prayer of thank you to Source for guiding you, and allow yourself to clear space so that you may harvest the fruits of the season.

 

There are free apps like Insight Timer that have thousands of easy and accessible guided meditations for you.

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