There can sometimes be a little confusion around the use of the terms ‘Dark Moon’ and ‘New Moon’. Many people use them interchangeably to refer to the start of the lunar cycle, when the Moon is invisible to us. But for me the two terms have a very different energy. Astronomers (and some Astrologers) call the moment when the Sun and Moon are exactly aligned at the same point in the Zodiac (known astrologically as a conjunction) the New Moon . I prefer to call this the Dark Moon, as at this phase of the lunar cycle the Moon is invisible. She is hidden and private.
The Dark Moon is a time of stillness - the pause between breaths. It is a liminal time, both Life and Death, a split second of neither waxing nor waning. In the days preceding the Dark Moon, as the waning half of the lunar cycle nears its completion, we are called to release what no longer serves us. We shed our old skin, prune the dead wood, let go. In this way we prepare for a new cycle to begin at the exact moment of the Dark Moon. We are like a seed underground, full of potential, but latent. At the moment of the Dark Moon we begin to activate, but that first shoot has not pushed forth. We need to be patient to witness the signs of new growth.
For me, as for many Witches, the term ‘New Moon’ is reserved for the moment when the lovely slender new crescent is first visible in the Western sky just after sunset, a day or two after the Dark Moon. It's as though that latent seed of the Dark Moon has broken through the Earth's surface and revealed its first shoot. This the perfect time for new beginnings. The Moon carries with her a sense of hope and rebirth. And like the Goddess Artemis, with her bow drawn and ready for action, we can send forth our arrows of intention at this time, with the waxing energy helping us to manifest our goals.
So, at this time, a day before this year's Aquarius Dark Moon, I wish you a deep and sacred Dark Moon, followed by a vibrant and joyous New Moon in a few days.
Love and Magic