Table of contents
Moon Magic for Witches
The moon represents many things to the Witch; goddess, divine feminine, feminine power. You may well have heard the term 'Drawing Down the Moon' which is an important ritual in many pagan traditions. Where the spirit of the Goddess is invoked. Knowing how to harness the power of each moon phase can help connection with your powers. And makes for some beautiful spells and rituals. Regardless of if you identify as a witch or not, most humans feel a connection to Earth's beautiful natural satellite. The moon is our closest neighbour, and our ancestors have gazed up at its silvery glow and tried to make sense of its rhythm. Inspiring songs, writing and dance since the dawn of time, the moon tugs at our romantic nature and inspires our soul. The rhythms of the earth and the universe are ever moving; years, seasons, weeks, days. These many spirals have a magic all of their own – and one you can connect to should you choose.
Considering the moon controls the tides and up to 65% of human body is water, it would make sense to wonder how the stages of the moon affect us. To start, it's useful to remember that the most powerful ingredient in any magic is you. Likewise, if you're feeling powerful and energetic, you may feel compelled to do a spell for abundance, so use that energy and go for it! It doesn't matter where the moon is. The moon's phase can be a handy guide, but as always, you're the one in charge, do what feels right. But a little magic lunar knowledge, can help to harness the energy of each moon phase should you wish to call upon it. (There are many simple free apps that will tell you what the moon phase is right now, and many diary and calendars have the details printed in as well)
The new moon is a fresh start. When the moon is in this phase, you may just see the ghost of an outline, and the sky can appear black. Sometimes magic can be quite literal, and with the moon out of sight, this can be an ideal time to do shadow work or acknowledge our dark sides, or shadow selves, that we typically like to keep hidden. For instance, perhaps you have a jealous side you tend to insist doesn't exist when called out. Are there healthy ways you could use these skills, such as to get ahead in your career without hurting others in the process? Or you could use your ability to read others to encourage your partner to communicate together rather than to control them? New moons are great for exploring our shadow sides and finding ways to work positively with them.
Additionally, as new moons are new beginnings, the new moon is a wonderful time to set goals and intentions for the forthcoming cycle. What do you want the next month to look like? Is there a joyless job that you're finally ready to leave to make room for the career of your dreams? The new moon is a great time to encourage beginnings, especially in love. And you know what beginnings require: letting go of the past. If you want to clear bad energy, the new moon can help.
New Moon Ritual
I love bringing a little magic and ritual to activities already in my schedule. So I am particularly fond of a little bath magic. After all, why not make use of the giant cauldron we have in our bathrooms! Run yourself a hot bath, fill with cleansing salt such as epsom salts or himalayan pink salt. Light a candle or two (Channel simple candle magic with a white candle for cleansing or blue for calm and contemplation). As you relax in the Bath, visualise the past soaking off of you; hurts, bad habits and grudges, or anything you want to let go of. And when you eventually get out, all these things can go down the drain. Spells can be intricate and elaborate, but they don't have to be. They can be as simple and delightful as enjoying a cleansing bath on a new moon.
Moon Magic for Yogis
In yoga, you’ll often hear references to the moon, whether that’s in the name of a pose (e.g. Half Moon and Crescent Moon pose) or in the teachings. For example, I often mention it to the class if I am teaching on the day of a new moon or full moon. It can be a good energetic theme for the days yoga practice. So, why is the moon significant in yoga? and how it can help deepen your practice and connection with the Earth? It's all in the name…
“Hatha yoga” is the term used to describe yoga exercise (physical postures). Translated from Sanksrit, ha means “sun” and tha means “moon.” Together, they relate to the balance of masculine and feminine energy within all of us. The masculine part of us is the sun – energetic and active, and the feminine part of us is the moon – calm and grounded. When we practice yoga, we are working toward balancing these masculine and feminine energies; to unite. A typical hatha yoga class will flow from energizing poses that bring fire to the body, like Sun Salutations and standing poses. Onto the calming and grounding poses, like folds and twists before relaxation time. Hatha yoga is a powerful practice. It is a tool for balancing the body and calming the mind.
The New Moon and Full Moon
The sun and moon work together to create a gravitational pull on the Earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The Sun and the Moon work together to create the tides we experience here on Earth. Most of the rise of the tides comes from the gravitational pull of the Moon, but a small amount comes from the Sun. When the two objects are on the same side of the Earth, we get the highest and lowest tides, and when they’re on opposite sides of the Earth, the tides are less extreme.
Each month, there is a new moon and a full moon. The full moon corresponds to the top of an inhalation; when the force of prana (energy) is the strongest. Take a deep inhale and hold your breath. Do you feel the energy building up in your body? During the full moon we tend to be more energetic, more headstrong, more motivated, and more likely to take action. The new moon corresponds to the end of an exhalation, when apana is at its greatest (downward energy). Close your eyes and take a deep exhale. Notice as your lungs empty, your energy naturally drains away with the breath. You feel more calm and grounded. During the new moon, we tend to be more reflective, contemplative and still – maybe even a little weary.
Just as our breath affects our physical body, the moon cycle has an affect on the Earth. This is most visible by observing the ocean tides. During a new moon or full moon, tides are higher, waves are bigger, and the ocean life behaves differently. Taking time to acknowledge When this happens, we are all instruments in the hands of Mother Nature, and taking time to acknowledge our connection with the ebb and flow of all living things. Honoring the moon cycle is a way of aligning ourselves to the energetic forces that are always around us.
New Moon Yoga Traditions
A new moon is considered a time to let go. It’s a time for turning inward and planting the seeds for new beginnings.
Some of ways you can celebrate the new moon include:
Making space for new things. Find a cozy spot and sit with your thoughts. Then make a list of all the things you are ready to let go of: guilt, toxic relationships, negative self-talk. Burn or tear up this list once you are truly ready to let it go.
Now that you’ve symbolically created space in your life for new things, it’s time to set goals. Check-in with some goals you already have, or take the time to create some new ones. Be gentle with yourself, without feeling guilt for not achieving them sooner. Write these goals down with a renewed energy and inspiration for the month ahead.
Rest and renew. Allow yourself to sleep in, eat comfort food that’s easy to digest, read an inspirational book, practice restorative yoga and take it easy.
Find a comfortable spot and close your eyes. Allow your thoughts to drift in and out of your mind, without becoming attached or fixated on any one thing. Allow yourself to rest in quiet awakefulness. Once finished, bow to yourself and the new moon above in gratitude.
Full Moon Yoga Traditions
Between a new moon and a full moon, the energy builds and builds. The full moon is a powerful time to release this energy, unburden yourself and purge. It’s a time to take action on the intentions you set yourself during the new moon; to celebrate your emergence by stepping out of an old skin, a negative behavior, relationship or attitude, and cleansing yourself. Some of the ways you can celebrate the full moon include:
- Taking some time to reflect. Write down what you’re releasing, then light a candle and burn it. The flame of the candle is a purifier and symbolizes the sparks of inspiration.
- Sit under the full moon and feel it’s energy above you. Walk around barefoot outdoors to feel your connection to the earth.
- Practice an energetic yoga class, like Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga. Embrace your masculine energy.
- Eat a full, hearty meal without guilt!
- Take a long bath or shower to cleanse your body.
- Celebrate the Moon
There’s no time like the present to start a moon ritual, adn wheterever phase the moon is in, simply observiving the moon in he night sky can be a reminder to pause, to create quiet space for yourself for contemplation and self-reflection.
Chandra Namaskara is a sequence which reveres and honors the energy of the moon. The name is derived from the Sanskrit, chandra, meaning “moon,” and “namaskara,” meaning “salutation.”
Although they are less well known than the Surya Namaskara practice, they complement it perfectly, as they embrace the opposite, interconnected energy. (And is my personal favourite salutation!) Chandra Namaskara is a more cooling, meditative sequence of postures, which is ideally to be practiced in the evening. These postures can also be used in the same practice as Surya Namaskara in order to balance their dynamic energy. The sequence of asanas for Chandra Namaskara has many variations, but will often involve moving to the right and left. The side stretches and circular movements of the sequence can represent the phases of the moon as it waxes and wanes.
In practicing Chandra Namaskara, it is helpful to take the focus inward and to reflect on the meaning and significance of the moon and its energy for Earth and oneself. The practice can then be one of gratitude for the moon and all it offers. Chandra Namaskara is also beneficial for:
- Strengthening all major muscle groups
- Improving flexibility
- Calming the mind
- Grounding and focusing the body and mind
Like many yoga asana, Chandra Namaskara is a recent yogic creation, but practices of worshipping the moon are ancient. Just as witchcraft techniques and practices may have changed in modern times - but it all started with an awe and respect for the heavenly bodies above us... yogis and witches have both gazed up at moonbeams and felt magic in their hearts. Drawing on moon energy can help illuminate a path of comfort and joy, to help you find your way on the darkest of nights.
From our perspective, the three objects that have the greatest impact on our lives are the Earth, Sun, and Moon. The Earth, of course, is the planet beneath our feet. Without it, well, we wouldn’t have anything at all. The Sun warms our planet, and with the Moon, creates the tides. These celestial bodies are our largest and strongest foundations for magic. These are the asanas for the Yoga Moon Salutation:
- Prayer Pose - palms together overhead
- Crescent Moon Pose - arching to the left
- Goddess Pose - A wide squat stance, arms like cactus, palms forward (A similar power stance to the Haka!)
- Transition Pose - Star pose, the body is like a 5-pointed star
- Triangle Pose - Extending to the left, right arm up
- Pyramid Pose - to Left leg
- Lunge to the left
- Forward Facing Lunge - right leg extended
- Squat Pose - Malasana, hands in prayer position
- Forward Facing Lunge - left leg extended
- Lunge to the right
- Head to Knee - right leg
- Triangle Pose - extending to the right, left arm up
- Transition Pose - star pose
- Goddess Pose
- Crescent Moon Pose - arching to the right
- Return to Prayer Pose - palms together overhead
Moon Goddesses to channel
Channelling goddess energy can be of powerful use to witches and yogis alike. Taking time to acknowledge or reflect on the moon, is an acknowledgement of the cycles we embody and live within. Connecting to the moon can help you to acknowledge and recognise your own cycles and changing needs, a lunar reminder to listen to your intuition. Honour your sensitivity, rather than seeing it as a weakness, this is how you can find balance and harmony. The Goddesses can guide us through dark days, with their lanterns filled with soft moonlight. They can help us find joy, inspiration, direction and comfort in the ever-spinning wheel of the year.
- Arianrhod (Celtic mythology) Goddess of the moon and stars. Her name means 'silver- wheel' and the spinning wheel weaving the tapestry of our lives. What small threads can you weave today to create a beautiful tapestry for your day, week or year? Take time to journal about your goals and dreams or create a vision board (learn more about journaling in Chapter 8).
- Kerridwen (Celtic mythology). Kerridwen and her cauldron symbolise the transformative power of magic, wisdom and rebirth.You can use Kerridwen’s cauldron to let go of what may be holding you back. Write down fears, anxieties, jealousies, grudges or anything you wish to let go of, on piece of paper. Scrunch up the paper and throw them into a pot or cauldron and burn them! (you can do this in real life – use care! Or in a meditation)
- Chandi (Hindu mythology). The female counterpart to Chandra; lord of the Moon. Chandi is fierce and powerful, known by many names; “Great Magic” and “She Who Is Without Fear”. There are many stories around this goddess with varying personifications. My favourite is that Chandi and Chandra took turns in being the moon. One month, Chandi would become the moon and the next month Chandra fulfil the role. So even this fearsome and powerful goddess saw the value in taking time to rest and sharing the role of moon-being. Because, to ask for help is not weakness, but strength. It takes strength to release ownerships and to take time for yourself. So, what tasks can you let go of? What tasks can you delegate to others? What activities are no longer serving you?
- Kuan Yin (Chinese mythology) A Buddhist Goddess and protectress, Goddess of the moon, compassion, and healing, she is the embodiment of love and kindness. It is said that she hears the cries of all the beings of the earth.Can you listen to what you need today? A nourishing meal? A walk-in nature or a good chat with a friend? Think about how you can you treat yourself with compassion today. Kuan Yin suggests that the way to release suffering is through compassion for ourselves and others, so try to release judgement or criticism of how the day went, and send love to yourself for making it through the day!
- Hina (Hawaiian). Hina started life as a mortal woman but grew weary of the noises and stresses of the earth. She retreated to the moon to find peace and calm (I think we can all relate to that!) and from her moon perch she helps guide sailors across the ocean. You may not be able to retreat to the moon, but find a retreat space today, even if it is just for 10 minutes. A yoga class, a meditation in a quiet room, a cup of tea in a cosy chair. Channel Hina as you take time for yourself, so that you can help others when they need you.
- Xochhiquetzal (Aztec). This powerful Goddess is connected with concepts of beauty, fertility, crafts, dance, music and magic. She is a protector of women and a dual Goddess of sun and moon.Channel Xochhiquetzal and take joy in creating your own little magic with love today. Dance or chant to your own rhythm, or create a story, song or poem to tell your loved ones before bed.
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