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Lunar Phases and Magical Workings

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For many Pagans and Wiccans, the cycles of the moon are important to magical workings. It's believed in some traditions that the waxing moon, the full moon, the waning moon and the new moon all have their own special magical properties, and so workings should be planned accordingly. If your tradition follows these guidelines -- or if you think you'd like to time your magic based upon the phase of the moon -- here are some tips on what sort of magic to perform during the various lunar stages:
 

The Waxing Moon

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The waxing moon is the period during which the moon grows from dark to full. It takes approximately fourteen days for this to happen. In many magical traditions, people use this time of the moon to perform "positive" magic -- in other words, magic that draws things to you, or increases things. Some examples would include:
 

The Full Moon

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The full moon is the point at which we can see an entire side of the moon. For magical purposes, most Wiccans and Pagans consider the full moon to include the day before and the day after a full moon, for a total of three days. If your tradition requires you to follow the phases of the moon for your magical workings, this is a good time to do rituals focused on personal growth and spiritual development. Some examples would include:
 

For many Wiccans and Pagans, this is also a time to celebrate with an Esbat ritual.

The New Moon

Image © Patti Wigington 2009

The new moon is sometimes tricky to work with because you can't always see it during this phase - it will appear as a very faint crescent of silver low on the horizon, if you can see it at all. For approximately three days during each lunar cycle, after the moon has waned, it goes dark before waxing again. In many magical traditions, this is considered a fallow time, in which one rests and rejuvenates before beginning more intense magical workings again. In other traditions, it's a time to do magic related to wish fulfillment. Some examples might include:
 

  • Cleansing and purifying of the body and mind
  • Rituals that designate sacred space
  • Any magic related to inner harmony and peace

The Waning Moon

Image © Getty Images

The waning moon is the period during which the moon goes from full to dark once again. Like the waxing moon phase, it lasts approximately two weeks. In many traditions of Wicca and Paganism, this time of the month is used to do "baneful" magic -- that which sends away, gets rid of or destroys things you no longer wish to be burdened by. Some examples would include:
 

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