The Moon and the Wiccan
In most Wiccan and pagan paths the moon plays an important part of the rituals. Certain rituals and spells work best during specific moon phases.
It takes is approximately 28 ½ to 29 days, waxing from the new moon to the full moon, and then waning from full moon back to new moon. This is broken into quarters or phases and each is significant. The full eight phases are as follows: New Moon to Crescent to First Quarter to Gibbous to Full Moon to Disseminating to Last Quarter to Balsamic
There are actually eight distinct moon phases, but many Wiccans often work only with the four quarters.They are New Moon, Waxing (increasing) Moon, Full Moon, and Waning (decreasing) Moon.
To correspond the eight phases with the four quarters, the First Quarter equates to the Waxing Moon and the Last Quarter equates to the Waning Moon.
The New MoonThe new moon occurs when the sun and moon are in the same conjunct. When the moon is new, it is not visible in the sky because it rises at the same time as the sun. The new moon is a time of newness and beginnings. Spell work involving the start of something new or projects that favor growth are best performed under a new moon.
Spell work can effectively be worked for 3 days before and 3 days after the new moon. This is called the Dark Moon period, and is seen as a time of endings and letting go.
The Waxing MoonThe waxing moon is the period from the new moon to the full moon. This is a good time for spells that attract or bring positive change, such as spells for love, luck, wealth, or anything else positive you like to come to you. It is considered a time of growth, development, and articulation of things that already exist.
The Full MoonThe full moon occurs when the sun and moon are exactly opposite one another in the sky. The full moon is associated with the Goddess in her Mother aspect and the energy generated by the full moon is very powerful and is usually used for fertility spells and spells that can transform. It can also be used to increase psychic ability. The full moon is considered a time of achieving goals.
There are 13 full moons per year, one each month. Every year, one month will have two full moons. The second full moon is called Blue Moon and it varies from year to year.
The 12 full moons in each of the twelve months have fixed names:
January -- Storm Moon
February -- Chaste Moon
March -- Seed Moon
April -- Hare Moon
May -- Dyad Moon
June -- Mead Moon
July -- Wort Moon
August -- Barley Moon
September -- Blood Moon
October -- Snow Moon
November -- Oak Moon
December -- Wolf Moon
The Waning MoonThe waning moon is the period from the full moon to the new moon. During this time, the moon begins to decrease in size as it starts its journey back towards the Sun.
The waning moon is a period of banishment, release, and completion. Spell work designed to break bad habits, end a bad relationship, or release something old is best performed during this phase. It's also a time for introspection, reflection, and intuition.
So, as you can see, the moon is an important aspect to the Wiccan.