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Activities to Do During a Waning Moon

Lydia is a practicing Druid who has dipped her toes into various occult organizations over the years.

The waning moon phase is a time of letting go of negative influences.

The waning moon phase is a time of letting go of negative influences.

What Is the Waning Moon?

A lunar cycle is the path the Moon takes as it orbits the Earth, and a Waning Moon is a phase in this ongoing cycle. The Moon up high in the sky appears to be getting smaller at the Waning Moon phase, which occurs right after the Full Moon as we head toward the New Moon. Each lunar cycle takes about 29.5 days to complete. Different parts of the Moon are visible on Earth depending on what phase we are in.

The Waning Moon phase is a time for slowing down and letting go of the things that don't serve us. It is also time to make space for new things. Take a break from chasing your dreams or anything else you might be chasing. Take some time to get your life ready for when the magic happens. It's hard to enjoy positive new experiences if we have a bunch of clutter preventing its entry. It's as simple as cleaning off a spot on your bookshelf to make space for new reading material. It's like emptying your medicine cabinet of expired medications and beauty products so you can get new stuff in there. Out with the old so you can be ready for the new!

Waning Moon Activities

  • Clean your home
  • Reorganize your workspace
  • Edit
  • Refine
  • Let go
  • Sweep
  • Slow down
Practicing waning moon rituals attunes us to the natural cycles around us.

Practicing waning moon rituals attunes us to the natural cycles around us.

Detoxify Your Life and Your Body

Detoxifying your life and body is a good pursuit during this lunar phase. You could try a juice cleanse or eat a cleaner diet. Focusing on flushing things away rather than building muscle. Remember to go gentle with yourself! The Waning Moon is a time of slowing down.

You can also try to release stress with breathwork. Both ancient wisdom and scientific research agree that breathing techniques work to calm the mind. Both stress and breathing are linked to the autonomic nervous system. There are numerous breathing exercises out there with this aim in mind.

Practice Affirmations

We want to get into a healing state of mind to harness the power of this phase, and working with a mantra or affirmation is a powerful way to shift our mental state in a positive way. There are a few ways we can work with affirmations that cater to the waning lunar energy. We can work with affirmations that help us overcome our failures. For example, we could work on letting go of the need to be overly controlling. Affirmations that facilitate letting go of limiting beliefs can be powerful. You could also work with affirmations that show gratitude as it gets you into a frame of mind that isn't constantly striving for more so you can facilitate release.

Here are a few affirmations you could work with:

  • Everything happens for a higher purpose.
  • I accept responsibility for my words and actions.
  • I am grateful for everything in my life.
  • I am at peace with myself.
  • I accept others as they are.
  • I accept and embrace the past and what it taught me.
Practicing gratitude and forgiveness can help us let go.

Practicing gratitude and forgiveness can help us let go.

Journal to Let Go

Breaking out of our mold is no easy task. Many of us have circumstances in our lives that seem permanent and feel set in less than positive ways. Our struggles need not persist for the entirety of our lives. In order to shift our reality, we must release the things that have a hold on us and surrender to being the beautiful person we are capable of being.

Writing in our Moon journal or even a regular diary can be a great way of using the energy of the Waning Moon to make this happen. At this Moon phase, we simply focus on the things we wish to let go of and release. There are several questions we could ask ourselves as we write. Reflect on the tensions at the Full Moon. Are there energies that linger? What can we begin to let go of now? How can we release our emotions? What have we held onto that no longer serves us? What is our Waning Moon goal and how do we know we have achieved it?

Writing by the light of the Moon can be a great way of tapping into its energy. Sitting outside or by a window where you can watch the Moon can aid you in this pursuit.

A ritual to sweep away negative energy is a good one to perform at the waning moon.

A ritual to sweep away negative energy is a good one to perform at the waning moon.

Practice Forgiveness

Use the energy of the Waning Moon to practice forgiveness. It is a great feeling to allow your emotional wounds to heal, though sometimes it is easier said than done. Forgiving yourself for the mistakes of your past and releasing judgments is a good place to start. Once you begin forgiving yourself, it will become easier to forgive others.

Holding onto blame doesn't help. We sometimes carry wounds that have us acting very defensively. We may think holding on somehow protects us. What protects us is establishing boundaries and feeling comfortable enforcing them.

Our anger can keep us bonded to a bad situation for far too long. Instead of letting go of toxic people or bad situations, we often try to fix things or force someone to be held accountable. Often it is best to forgive both them and ourselves and just let go. This is easier to do if we work with the Waning Moon's energetic phase.

Smudging is a way of using smoke in a fumigation ritual.

Smudging is a way of using smoke in a fumigation ritual.

Give Your Home a Ritual Sweep

A broom isn't just for cleaning your house—there are many reasons this is an essential tool for a witch. It is a ritual tool that is called a besom when used for magickal purposes. We use it to create sacred space before spellcasting or a ritual. It is also good to do a general sweep during the Waning Moon.

Besoms can also be used to protect homes. They can be hung upside down near a doorway. Mostly they are a tool to rid your home of stale, stagnant, bad energy.

Sweep the broom westward towards the sunset and allow your problems to recede with the setting Sun. You are not sweeping away real dust. It is energetic dust you are sweeping away—the residual energy left by any arguments, resentments, negative thoughts, or counterproductive actions.

You can create your own besom from nature. All you need to do is find a branch and collect some tall grasses to dry and tie on. These will become the bristle. A nice besom that you craft yourself is a wonderful magical tool.

It's okay if you don't have a besom on hand and don't have time to buy or make one. You can just imagine you have a broom in your hand and do the motions of sweeping. Chant an affirmation as you do the sweep. Just a few simple words acknowledging that the negative energy is leaving your home and your life.

Another wonderful activity for a Waning Moon is conducting a smudging ritual. You can do it the traditional way with a sage wand. I often just use some sticks of incense. It really does make the room feel energetically different to work my way around it deosil (clockwise) with incense while blessing the space.

Exfoliating with sugar can sweeten your beauty rituals.

Exfoliating with sugar can sweeten your beauty rituals.

Perform Exfoliating Beauty Rituals

You can keep the Moon phase in mind and do a beauty ritual. The Waning Moon is a time of shedding our old skin. This makes it a great time to exfoliate, dry brush, and do any other routines to draw out impurities.

Exfoliating is a way of removing dead skin cells. You could make a skin exfoliant with sugar. Keep things simple. You can use brown sugar mixed together with olive oil. Just take stock of what you have on hand. White sugar works fine and so do many other oils. Add a skin-safe essential oil to the mix if you want to get fancy.

Salt preserves and protects. It is also used to absorb negative energy. This is why incorporating it into your beauty regimen during the Waning Moon phase is a good idea. Take a salt bath, swim in the ocean, or soak your feet in salt water.

You could also do a dry brush massage to detoxify. Buy a natural bristle body brush and use it to brush away dead skin cells before bathing. These bristles are somewhat soft and gentle on the skin, but be sure to be gentle and avoid using them on delicate skin. If you find dry brushing too harsh, you could always try using a loofah sponge.

Further Exploration

These are just a few ideas of activities to do at the time of the Waning Moon. There are many things you could do that I haven't listed. A good book to use as a resource for working with lunar cycles is Diana Alquist's The Moon and You. I have a copy of it and I just love it. I will say that this book tends to focus on ideas from Eastern culture rather than Western occult schools. It has lots of great ideas that you could include in your own ritual work.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.