Jennifer has been a practicing Witch and Priestess of the Goddess for over 20 years.
Dark Moon vs. New Moon
While it is common to see the terms Dark Moon and New Moon used interchangeably, they are not the same thing and hold different energy for many magickal practitioners. The Dark Moon refers to the three days in which no moon can be seen, while the New Moon is the first three days that the waxing crescent moon is visible. Each moon carries its own magick. The Dark Moon is a clean slate—a place to cleanse, release, and rest. With the New Moon, we focus on new beginnings. It starts the process of rebuilding as the moon again waxes to full, and the cycle continues.
Dark Moon Workings & Rites
What follows are some examples of workings and rites than can be done for both the Dark and the New Moon. The options below require few to no tools—often just yourself and perhaps a common household item or two. Magick need not be expensive or require elaborate tools. Remember you are always the greatest and most powerful magickal tool you’ll ever have.
Releasing is another way of letting go—specifically of that which no longer serves you. This can take many forms. It can be as big as releasing a relationship or job from your life, to as simple as releasing clothes from your closet or clutter from your home. Releasing is about reflecting on what is and is not working in your life. If something isn’t working for you, no longer serves you, and/or is holding you back from reaching your goals and living a happy life, then it might be time to release it. The Dark Moon is an excellent time to do just that.
- Take a few moments to settle yourself. You may wish to light a candle, turn on some relaxing witchy music, light incense or use your favorite magickal spray— though this is not necessary.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably and that your posture is straight, making it easier to take full breaths. Breathe in and out deeply several times. As you exhale, release any and all tension in your body, mind, and spirit. Allow yourself to relax fully.
- When you feel relaxed and present, ask yourself what it is you need to release. Ask yourself what is no longer serving you in your life? Sometimes the answers may be clear and immediate. Other times you may not get an answer right away. If that happens then spend some time sitting and looking at each area of your life. Ask yourself if your habits, relationships, work, car, clothes, home, etc. are serving your highest good? Do they support the life your trying to create? Do you feel happy and fulfilled when you think of them?
- Once you get your answer, take a few last minutes to draw in the energy and power of the Dark Moon and ask Her to help you let go.
- Then—act on it. Most of the time something physical is required for releasing. Throw out or donate those items, have that conversation, leave that situation, give notice, decide to quit that habit, etc. Those acts alone can be your Dark Moon Ritual. Release them with love and thank the Dark Moon for Her guidance and assistance.
Black is an ideal candle color for this ritual. However, white can be substituted for any candle color, if you don't have black.
Banishing is a bit stronger in its intention than releasing is. It’s about actively sending something away—often with the intention that it never return. You can banish a habit, a person, or a situation.
This can be done a number of different ways.
- To begin, get clear in your mind who or what it is you wish to banish. See if you can simplify it down to a name or just a few words which evoke what it is you are banishing. You can then write that name or words.
- Write it out on a piece of paper and burn it or bury it, carve it into a candle and burn the candle all the way down, or you can even write it on a piece of toilet paper and flush that shit away.
- As it’s burning, being buried, or flushing, repeat the following words three times. The last time you say the last line, say it LOUD! And truly feel the energy of the this person, habit, or situation leave you.
Your influence is leaving me, Your influence is leaving me, Your influence is gone!
You can also charge up some ground, dried, or powdered herbs and/or a crystal with the energy of the person, habit or situation. You can either pick an herb or stone that you associate with that person, habit or situation, or you can simply use any banishing herb or stone. You can even use any rock or stone you find that feels right for this purpose.
- Hold the stone in your hands—if using powdered herbs, hold your hands above it and send the energy of the person, situation, or habit into the herb or stone. Focus intently as you do this and continue until you feel every last drop of their/its energy leave you and enter the herbs or stone.
- Once you feel complete, you can burn the herbs on charcoal, release them to the wind, or bury them (they don’t need to be ground, dried, or powered if your going to bury them but they can be). If you used a stone, you can also bury it or release it to water (e.g., river, stream, or the ocean), or simply throw it as far away from you as possible.
- Use the above chant as you do this. Again, feel the energy of what your are banishing leave you. Turn around and walk away. Don't look back.
Read More From Exemplore
|Some Banishing Herbs||Some Banishing Crystals|
Peppers - the hotter the better
3. Rest, Renew, and Restore
This is an important part of living a magickal life that is often overlooked. Both the lunar and solar cycles have periods designed for rest and reflection. For the solar cycle this is winter, and for the Lunar cycle it is the Dark Moon. We often feel we have to do something during a Dark or Full Moon, but if we’re always doing then when do we get a change to reflect, assimilate, and restore? Part of living a magickal life is following the rhythms of nature and the cosmos. So use the Dark Moon to rest, renew, and restore your energy.
Sometimes renewing your energy looks like taking a nap, reading, binge watching televesion, gaming, catching up with friends, soaking in the bath/talking a long hot shower, going for a walk or run, eating your favorite foods, being in nature, or just spending some time with the people (and/or fur babies) you love and care about. Let yourself enjoy some down time and renew your soul and your energy. Rather than simply indulging mindlessly though, turn it into a Dark Moon working simply by setting your intention.
- Just take a few moments before your favorite activity(s) to connect with the energy of the Dark Moon and say to yourself that the time you are about to spend will renew your energy and spirit (if you’re feeling particularly low on energy you can add “times three” to the end).
- Give yourself permission to take this time to recharge your battery and acknowledge it as a gift to yourself and an offering to the Lady of the Dark Moon. Allow your energy to pull inward. Do something frivolous with your time knowing you are still working magick.
- As you do, feel your energy rebuilding and restoring, feel yourself receive this gift of permission to relax and enjoy yourself.
New Moon Workings & Rites
New Moons are a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Now that we are rested and restored from the Dark Moon, we can use the energy of the New Moon to work on setting new goals and getting clear on what we want to manifest in the coming Full Moon. Once you see the first sliver of the waxing crescent moon in the evening sky, you can begin your New Moon workings.
1. Set Intentions
What will you accomplish during this next moon cycle? If you use a Moon Journal, then New Moon intentions are an excellent journal practice. Even if you don’t keep a Moon Journal, you can still write down your New Moon intentions on literally any paper you have available—you can even use a torn off piece of a paper bag. The item doesn’t matter as much as your focused will and intention.
- Take a few moments to settle yourself. You may wish to light a candle of any color, turn on some relaxing witchy music, light incense or use your favorite magickal spray—though it’s not necessary.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably and that your posture is straight, making it easier to take full breaths. Breathe in and out deeply several times. As you exhale, release any and all tension in your body, mind, and spirit. Allow yourself to relax fully. When you feel relaxed and present, ask yourself what it is you wish to bring into your life. What do you wish do accomplish? What are your current goals and aspirations? What do you want to work on within yourself or you life in general? Take some time to allow the answers to come.
- Write down anything that comes to you. If you’re feeling stuck, try asking yourself what makes you happy? What do you most enjoy doing? What are you good at? If failure wasn’t possible what might you try? In your deepest heart what is it you desire most?
- Ask the power and energy of the waning New Moon to give you the clarity, focus, and energy to accomplish your goals and intentions.
- Once you have your answers, write them down clearly and boldly. Decorate them so that they jump out and call to you.
2. Plan & Prepare
Now that you know what you want to accomplish, how will you accomplish your intention? Look at your list and ask yourself what actions you need to take in order to achieve your goals. What kind of new mindset do you need to adopt to get where you want to go? What beliefs about yourself do you need to release or include? Get clear on a few different ideas and make a plan to make it happen.
- Put your list somewhere you will see it all the time, like your bathroom mirror or your phone.
- Look at the list every day and take some action toward achieving it as often as is reasonably possible. You can even turn your list into a sigil or magickal symbol and place it anywhere you'll see it often.
- Be sure to look up into the evening sky and see if you can catch a glimpse of the waxing crescent moon. As the moon continues to grow, watch Her, knowing your intention is continuing to grow more and more solid and real.
- Thank the Moon for Her energy and magick and know that as you begin to take action, magick will begin to happen to you in the form of new opportunities, new support, new ideas, and new pathways opening.
- You may wish to anoint your third eye with a favorite oil and ask the power of the New Moon to bring you clear sight so that you may be open to and see the new opportunities, pathways and support being sent your way.
Bonus Idea: Moon Water Ritual
Moon Water: Moon water doesn't have to made only on a Full Moon. Every phase of the moon holds magick, and you can capture some of it for your own use by making Moon Water during any phase that speaks to you.
- Dark Moon water is useful for releasing, banishing, protection, endings, completions, connecting with crone energy, etc.
- New Moon water is useful for new beginnings, rejuvenation, clear focus, fresh starts, new opportunities, etc.
All you need for this one is a jar, bottle, jug, etc. and some water. Tap water is fine. Fill the jar with water and set it on your altar or window sill. You can set it outside if you wish, but keep in mind that the Dark Moon will not be visible, though Her power and energy are still present and available. It's best to try to keep your Dark Moon Water out of light to keep the energy as dark as possible. With the New Moon, feel free to set your water out in the evening as soon as the crescent moon is visible to you. It's fine if the sun is still setting at the time, but do try to retrieve your water before the sun rises again.
As you can see, you need not spend a ton of money or have the latest fancy witch tools in order to weave Magick on the Dark and New Moon. Nor do you need to spend a lot of time on an elaborate ritual—though you certainly can, and that's lovely too. You can even combine the ideas to create a more involved ritual.
I hope these Moon Musings have inspired you to create your own Dark and New Moon workings and rituals. May your Dark and New Moon be a Magickal!
Further Reading About Moon Rituals
- 13 Cheap and Easy Ways to Celebrate the Full Moon
Looking for ideas and inspiration for celebrating the Full Moon? Find ideas and inspiration for your Full Moon rituals.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.