dark moon

The Cold Moon

December, 2017

So it’s that special, magical time when I’m awake at 2am. Ah, that good old full moon energy. It’s been a crazy week, in a crazy month, in a full on lunatic (pardon the pun) year. I know I’m not the only one who has felt it. By a long stretch. From one moon to the next there have been trials and tribulations, from joy to despair, in the full cycle of the wheel of life, throughout the larger wheel of the year. It’s been an effort to stay out from under the whirring spokes of the wheels that just keep spinning.

The Cold Moon sounds chilling and forbidding, but it’s also reminding us to rest, to recuperate; to take stock of what we have got and bring it close around us. It’s important to draw our energy inwards sometimes; just as traditionally we store food away for the winter, we need to store up our energy reserves sometimes, avoid stress, hardship, and take some time for ourselves.

The term Cold Moon is generally thought of as a Native American moniker, although different tribes also called it the Moon of Hard Times, or the Moon of the Dark Night, because of course we are now fast approaching the solstice.

In Britain we often refer to December’s full moon as the Oak Moon, which is possibly a throw back to the Celtic reverence for the Oak, and it’s symbolism of strength and steadfastness, which may be required to take on the coldest of the winter months.

The oak tree also reminds us of family (of blood and choice); though the branches may be spread wide indeed, the trunk remains rooted in the same earth.

May your hearth fires be warm this winter, gathering those you love, and may your festivities be as bright as the beautiful, cold, super December Full Moon.

Image credit: Another Full Moon, copyright Lachlan Donald 2005, via Wikimedia.



About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

For Amazon information, click images below.


Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

The Dark Moon

March, 2010

We honor the Goddess by honoring the Moon in her different aspects.
We work rituals by the phases of the moon.
However when it comes to the Dark Moon, I’ve heard opinions ranging from no magic should be performed to rituals honoring the Crone.
The Dark Moon is indeed a very powerful time. There really should be no “off limits” when it
comes to this phase. If these phases represent the Goddess and the life of women (and men) then
why should the Dark Moon be left out of magical workings?
I’ve known very active Crones including my grandmother, rest? I think not!
I can’t get the woman to sit down!

The actual Dark Moon is the time about 14 days after the Full Moon when the moon is between the sun and earth and is
invisible in the sky.
This phase lasts about three days before the appearance of the crescent.
To confuse matters, astronomers (and calendars) call this darkened phase the “New Moon” when this is really the Dark Moon.
The new moon originally referred to the new crescent on the first night of visibility.

Nineteenth century maritime records distinguished between the dark moon and the new moon which makes sense because they navigated by the sun and moon.
I would imagine a misreading would take them in a  different direction and could be disastrous.

Dark Moon magical workings
If you have a bad habit surrounding you the Dark Moon is a very powerful
time to banish them. It is also a good time for justice spells or just working with the Crone’s energies to explore
one’s inner darkness. I understand many people find the Dark Moon the best time for reflection and silence and the need for
a period of rest. As there are waxing and waning phases in the seasons and life I find some Dark Moon times to be restful
yet others, I feel the pull to work with the Crone’s energies.

I believe Crone energies don’t always have to be restful.
During my Crone years I don’t plan on resting in a rocker.
I’ll be the old lady in the black pointed hat and heels
wielding my wand and my opinion and continuing along the path of creating.
My restful time will come soon enough indeed.

I believe as witches, it would be better to use the term Dark Moon for the period the moon is dark and then New Moon for the new crescent.
Unsure? Go out and view the moon each night. Keep a “Moon Journal” and write down
her phases, how you are feeling and any thoughts.
Not only will this help you learn the phases of the moon but it will also bring you closer
to the Goddess and being closer to the Goddess brings one closer to themselves.