Today I wanna discuss the erasure of the Dark Moon. The key point to recognize this erasure is the thought whenever a Dark Moon is mentioned:
“Don’t you mean the New Moon?”
This isn’t me saying that what I’m discussing here is 100% truth and fact. Some things are but this is also from my own experience, interpretation, research and study under experienced witches and astrologers. We can not think all sources are 100% accurate, but we can take inspiration from them to shape our own point of view.
If you want to learn about the moon phase influences read my post The Moon – What and when.
While I have noticed a slight growth in the acknowledgement of the Dark Moon the majority of people either doesn’t know about it or denies its existence. I’m actually shocked to see how many experienced witches that work closely with the Moon deny its existence or simply have never heard of it!
I do however have respect for those who acknowledge it but see it differently. Some people chose to combine the Dark and New Moon energy on the same day because that works for them.
In calendars, the Dark Moon is often marked as a New Moon and I have yet to find one that marks both or the Dark Moon correctly. Same goes with apps, and from my own experience, they seem to be even more confusing.
Astrologers tend to either acknowledge it or deny it as well. I’ll go over the astrological side of it in the next bit. In my own Moon Report for 2019, I put a note that the Dark Moon would be marked as New Moon for the fact they fall within 24 hours after each other. I also included a description for the Dark Moon in the information pages. However, writing this post makes me aware of how I’m now both breaking and continuing this erasure in a way, and I’ll make adjustments to this according to my vision.
The Dark vs New Moon
Now I want to address the astrological side to Dark and New Moon positions as well as the energy difference.
The Dark Moon
The Dark Moon is the point of 0% illumination. It is literally dark, no light. In astrology, this happens when the Sun and Moon are conjunct (in the same degrees/position of a sign).
The energy that goes with this great for shadow work, honouring ancestors, past life journeys, scrying and trance meditation. It is a time of going within to find the answers, to change, to uncover. It’s the ultimate time to face your own demons and get rid of them.
It is the strongest Waning Moon energy, one of rest and release, to get rid of what no longer serves you so you can start again fresh the next day during the New Moon.
You could say the Full Moon is the intense power of manifesting what you start, and the Dark moon is the intense power of releasing what holds you back.
Because of this deep and perhaps intense nature of this phase, it’s often considered next level stuff to work with as a witch. In that sense, I can understand people not necessarily knowing about it or working with it. But not mentioning or including it for that reason feels wrong to me. Even if this is next level energy to work with we should allow ourselves to be educated on it. Even knowing what this time does best could be a valuable step. The next would be to practice things in relation to it, like say, scrying.
This post I wrote for the Mercury retrograde could be a great Dark Moon ritual as well.
The New Moon
The New Moon is considered to be the first sliver of light in the sky which is generally considered the next day. The illumination has thus started at this point and will fill up anew. In astrology, this happens when the Moon is around 10 degrees ahead of the Sun.
The energy is great for inviting new things into your life. To start anew yourself. It’s also a time of wishes, ideas and making plans. These things will be “sown” during the New Moon in the hope to be “reaped” during the Full Moon.
In my personal opinion, we need the ultimate release of the Dark Moon to truly be able to start something during the New Moon.
Dark Moon in relation to Eclipses
This may seem like nothing, but this actually is related to Eclipses in a way. A Solar Eclipse happens during a conjunction of the Sun and Moon and the Lunar Nodes. A Solar Eclipse thus happens during a Dark Moon if at the exact degrees, or perhaps in the in-between stage. I say in-between because the Moon travels quite quickly, and an Eclipse has a duration of some time. This could mean during the Eclipse it has either Dark Moon energy in its mix or both Dark and New Moon energy.
Why does that matter?
A Solar Eclipse is a time where bigger events will release and start. These events will build up and reach a climax or release point around the matching Lunar Eclipse. (These eclipses happen in the same signs). The start of the Solar Eclipse thus holds the energy of the Dark Moon, of release, going within. The end of the Solar eclipse could hold more New Moon energy, where the release transforms into starting anew.
Here you can read my post on the influence of Eclipses.
What can we do about this erasure?
I’m not saying you have to work with the Dark Moon themes or energy. Actually, if you’re new to working with the Moon, I encourage you to explore this in your practice last.
We can actively ask those around us about their views on the Dark Moon, creators of tools why they don’t include the Dark Moon etc. But changing this erasure into inclusion is a difficult thing to influence as long as people are unaware of it altogether.
What I do encourage you to do is research, look into what different people have to say about it. What it may have meant in different cultural practices. Think of what it could possibly mean to you or help you with.
And then, when you feel you’re ready, step into that Dark Moon energy, face the shadow side of yourself, and embrace it. What we see in the mirror is our illuminated self. What we see in the dark is a different truth hiding inside of you, and I think it has wonderful empowering things to teach you.
In old practices
Of course, we weren’t there in the old days so regarding some cultures we can’t say for sure what was the case. Of some cultures, we have more information that survived through time. I want to share what I’ve come across here.
In several old cultures, they would use a lunar calendar or at least track time according to the moon. This is because it’s visible in the sky each day (except for the Dark Moon of course) so it was much easier to use than say the Sun. We can, therefore, assume that in a religious context the phases of the moon would likely have greater significance. These cultures often also had a deity for different areas in life, though not all, and so if the Moon had such great influence in their lives it would definitely be honoured.
In Hellenic practices, the Dark Moon is the celebration of the Deipnon, a day in honour of the goddess Hekate, while Noumenia is the celebration of the New Moon. Ariana, from the Witches Circle Amino, wrote some great content on this and I wanted to include this here because it shows that Dark and New Moon distinction isn’t a new modern thing.