How to Cast Spells Using the Magical Timing of Moon Phases
The image of the Witch in the moonlight may be stereotypical, but it's apt. Witches are intimately connected to the moon, and this is not just by coincidence. The moon is considered one of the most powerful forces to affect magical energy. The way the ebb and flow of the moon can affect the tides, our menstrual cycles, our moods, etc., it can also affect our magic.
Not all Witches bother with magical timing-- everyone develops their own methods and techniques and it's always trial and error to find out what works best for you. But those of us who use lunar timing do so by choosing the moon phase most conducive to our working in order to lend it an extra lunar energy boost. This is akin to swimming with the tide rather than against it.
Phases of the Moon
Overview of the Moon Phases
Approx. Rising Time
Approx Setting Time
Slim crescent (right side)
half full (right side)
3/4 full (right side)
wee hours of morning
3/4 full (left side)
half full (left side)
Slim crescent (left side)
wee hours of the morning
Dark Moon Magic
There are some who say that it is ill-advised to work magic at this time. I don't agree with that-- I think this is a potent time for your most powerful destructive magic. Note, destructive does not necessarily mean 'harmful'. You don't have to destroy a person; although if you were seeking to cast a curse, this would be the most opportune time for it.
Magical workings conducive to the dark moon include destroying or banishing very powerful things, such as unwanted entities, addictions or serious diseases. I would not use this time lightly-- it's got a little too much 'umph' behind it to just get rid of a whiny ex who still calls you once in a while, to break your habit of having a second cup of coffee in the morning, or if you have the sniffles. But if you were dealing with, say, a stalker, a drug addiction, cancer, etc.-- something that poses a serious threat -- then this is the best timing for it.
The Dark Moon is also a good time to go within for soul-searching and to perform divination.
Waxing Cresent Moon Magic
When the moon is "waxing" it appears to be growing, the period from the dark to full moon phases. It's magnetic energy assists with bringing things to out. This entire waxing period is the best time to work with constructive magic, or magic that builds things/brings things to us.
The waxing crescent is the best time for magic on yourself (or on the subject) pertaining to new beginnings, such as starting a new project or making plans for the future. If you're looking to conjure energies into your life such as a more positive attitude, more patience, more understanding in your relationship, this is the perfect timing for such goals. When you want to cast spells for self improvement, such as if you want to improve your psychic abilities, to absorb the information in a new class, or bring out your inner beauty, this is the time to do it. Artists or anyone artistic/creative will find this the best time to cast spells or perform meditations that will bring inspiration and passion into your work.
First Quarter Moon Magic
The First Quarter, or Waxing Half Moon, is the time when energies are most conducive to attraction. Unlike the Waxing Crescent, which is best for going within and bringing things out, this is the best time for magic that attempts to draw things outside of yourself to you.
Use this time for spells and meditations meant to attract things you want in your life, such as money, protection or success. It's also an ideal time for attracting people into your life, such as friends, lovers and clients. If you're looking for an animal companion or have one that you want to bond with, this is a good time to perform the workings.
If you're looking for a lost object, or house hunting, etc., this is a good time to perform spells for success in that area to help you bring that which you most desire into manifestation.
Waxing Gibbous Moon Magic
The Waxing Gibbous is still a time for constructive magic, best used towards 'reeling in' that which you've been working for already. If you started a project and it's floundering, stalled, if you're at the point when the thing you're working for is coming into the home stretch and you need some extra energy to bring it home, the Waxing Gibbous will give it a boost.
This phase is a great energy for renewing your strength, will and determination to see your efforts through. If you are giving in to temptation on your diet, working hard toward something and feeling burnt out or are at the point where you're getting lazy and distracted from completing your tasks, give yourself a power boost during the Waxing Gibbous.
"Moon Magick" Phase
Full Moon Moon Magic
When the Earth is caught between the moon and the sun, the result is the Full Moon bearing the most powerful energies of the lunar cycle. The Full Moon is often seen by people as 'all purpose'-- it's energies are prismatic in that it flows into all areas and needs, be it constructive or destructive.
Even more so than the Dark Moon, the Full Moon is a time you would utilize for extra power when you're facing very difficult challenges. This is not just for minor mundane tasks, such as looking for the energy to reorganize your closet or trying to clear negativity out of the house after an argument; this is a time to reserve for those important things in your life that need major changes or major boosts.
While you can plan spells for anything, utilize this energy for your priorities that really matter in your life. If you need to win a court case, or find a new job with better pay to prevent you from losing your home,
Magics and meditations revolving around spirituality, psychic development, dreams and divination are particularly well times for the Full Moon.
Waning Gibbous Moon Magic
After the Full Moon peaks, we enter the waning half of the lunar cycle. Waning energies repel rather than attract, so it's a good time to begin working on spells to get rid of things.
Minor banishings can begin with the Waning Gibbous. This is a good time for general cleansings to upkeep your home, office, garden or any of your personal spaces, etc., to keep things from mounting up. This is also a good time to cleanse any personal objects you may have, such as your jewelry or magical tools. Think of this more like routine dusting-- there's no major build-up, you're just trying to keep things clear to prevent problems.
If you have something for which you need closure, or if you're ready to end something in your life (such as an unfulfilling relationship or unsatisfying business venture), this is a good time for spells to bring things to their fruition.
As for meditations and divination, rather than looking to the future or on to new things, it's a good time for introspection. Where have your previous attitudes and actions brought you? What things in your life have been affecting you most? Are you happy with where you are? Do you need to make any attitude or behavior adjustments?
Third Quarter Moon Magic
The Third Quarter, or the Waning Half-Moon, is the perfect timing for dealing with obstacles or leaping over hurtles that might cause you to stumble on your way. Whenever you've been working toward something, and there's a road block in your path, the timing of this moon phase offers appropriate energies for helping you burst through it.
Temptations are the number one thing I like to deal with during the Third Quarter. If I'm finding that I often want to cheat on my diet, or lay in bed rather than get up and do my exercise, or watch TV and fool around on the internet rather than working, I banish that temptation with a spell.
Another good use of this moon phase's energy is in aiding with transitions, whether these are transitions that you have to make or simply want to make in your life. It can help smooth out any wrinkles that might cause snags as you go on your way.
Waning Crescent Moon Magic
if you need to clear your life and home of negativity, stress, strife, chaos, etc., now is the time to do it. The Waning Crescent, as it approaches the Dark Moon phase, it suitable for stronger banishing than at any other time of the waning moon phases. Get rid of whatever has been plaguing you-- anything you find to be seriously annoying, frustrating or concerning (save things that are serious threats for that Dark Moon).
If you need things to end-- not just to finish up and bring to a close, but things that no longer serve you that you need to just stop in their tracks-- this moon phase is a good time to do it. Dropping a hopeless project, relationship, friendship, etc. is best done at this time. This is a good time to cast a spell for anything for which you wish to bring about a swift and benign ending.
Learn About Moon Phases
How to Use Moon Phase Magic
Some would argue that your need may not always correspond with the best moon phases timing-- and that we don't always have 3 weeks to wait for the 'ideal timing'. I would say to these people: use your imagination!
For example, if you want to lose weight, look at the moon phases. If it's the Waxing Crescent, cast a spell to improve your energy or will power. If it's the Waxing Gibbous, cast it to triumph over cravings and urges to eat the wrong foods. If it's the Waning Half-Moon, cast the spell to destroy the tempting effects that bad foods hold over you. No matter what the moon phase, you can use it toward your goal.
Likewise, along the same line of thinking, some will also say that certain goals are best for certain moon timings-- for example, a lot of the guides will say divorce spells are best suited for the Third Quarter or Waning Crescent. I would say: consider what you are trying to accomplish.
If you are starting your divorce proceedings and want to conjure up your own strength and resolve to deal with it, use the Waxing Crescent. To find a great lawyer, the First Quarter. For an overall boost to have it turn out in your favor, go for the Full Moon. If the divorce is dragging on due to negotiations, scheduling, paperwork and red tape, use the Third Quarter. If you just want it over quickly and done with, use the Waning Crescent. If you're dealing with a particularly nasty divorce with a soon-to-be ex-spouse who is playing dirty, trying to slander you or bringing false accusations against you, etc., utilize the power of the Dark Moon to destroy these efforts and make them backfire on him or her.
There are other ways to fine tune your spell timing as well; you can also go by planetary hours, days of the week, or the Moon Sign (the astrological sign through which the moon is currently passing). To fine-tune your timing even more, trying using more than one-- the right phase, in the right planetary hour, on the right day of the week in the ideal moon phases would offer a huge boost to your efforts-- if it can happen. Unfortunately, all the elements don't always line up quite so neatly; but the more you can put to your advantage, the better.
One final thing to remember: magic isn't an exact science. Like cooking, there are basic techniques to learn, but you should practice, experiment, and adapt them to your own needs and uses. You might discover that certain types of spells are always more effective for you on the First Quarter-- don't worry if me or some other writer recommends doing them on the Third Quarter. Do what works for you. Witchcraft involves a lot of trial and error because no matter what information you can learn about the energies around you and their influences, your own personal energies are always going to bring a new twist to it. It's not about who's wrong and who's right, but finding what works for you.