The Five Phases of the Magickal Moon


Working with the phases of the moon is a great way to align with cosmic timing. It’s important to be in sync with the lunar cycles since the moon’s proximity to earth makes its impact felt on us more than any other celestial body, aside from the sun. Working with the moon phases is, moreover, simple to do because there are only five main phases that are important for spell work. You can use this primer to time anything from casting a manifestation spell to cleaning your house or planting a garden!

NEW MOON: in magical practices, the new moon is held to be that first sliver, that skinniest little fingernail crescent which shows up in the sky after a few days of darkness. It’s the beginning of the moon cycle and is the best time to welcome in a fresh start, set intentions, and plant seeds (literal or symbolic).

WAXING MOON: when the moon is said to be waxing, the visible part of the moon is growing in the sky. This is the best time for manifesting spells and drawing things to you—like that shiny new apartment for which you’ve just spotted a listing. Think of what you want more of in your life right now. The waxing moon is all about amplification, attraction, and expansion.

FULL MOON: the full moon is the time for welcoming any kind of positivity into your life. It is a time of celebration, completion, abundance, and gratitude. Not only is it a great time to appreciate all that was brought in during the waxing phase, but it’s a great time to feel your full power. Throw your housewarming party on the full moon for guaranteed high vibes.

WANING MOON: the moon is getting smaller in the sky, so this is a good time for letting go of what you want less of in your life. Now would be the time for decluttering and cleaning out closets (literally and symbolically). Have a yard sale or donate unused items to charity.

DARK MOON: for three days before the new moon, the moon is not visible in the sky. This is the perfect time for space clearing, banishing negative energies, and releasing what’s no longer serving you. Like, say, that piece of art your mother gave you that you secretly hate. The keywords here are “Let it go.” While it’s important to align with the moon phases, don’t feel discouraged if you are having trouble coordinating your intention-setting with the right moon phase; just try to frame your intention differently. If, for example, you want to do a manifesting spell but the moon is waning or dark, you can make it a spell about removing obstacles that stand in the way of getting what you want. And it can work both ways. If you want to release something while the moon is waxing, visualize what your life will look and feel like after you’ve released it and draw that energy in.

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