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How to Work Magic Spells by the Moon
and How to Know The Phases of the Moon

by catherine yronwode

Magic spells and rootwork that are worked to increase or expand something -- love spells to draw someone to you, money spells to attract wealth, Crown of Success spells to advance a career and bring you the most recognition on the job or in school, spells to increase business or draw customers to your shop, and honey jar spells to sweeten someone to you -- are often begun or worked entirely while the moon is waxing or growing bigger in apparent size. Folks who want their hair to grow thick and fast cut their hair when the moon is waxing. People plant crops that are grown for their leaves, flowers, or seeds during the waxing moon.

Magic spells and conjure jobs that are worked to decrease or diminish something -- separation spells and Break Up spells to end a love affair, Hot Foot spells to drive away an unwanted neighbor, Uncrossing spells to take off crossed conditions, and spells for the removal of disease -- are often begun or worked entirely when the moon is waning or growing smaller in apparent size. Folks who want to keep a hairdo and slow down their hair growth cut their hair when the moon is waning. People plant crops that are grown for their roots during the waning moon.

Not everyone times their magic spells or takes their hoodoo ritual baths or plants their garden by the moon, but if you want to do so, you not only nned to know how to work with the moon's influences, you need to know the cycles of the moon itself. The Moon goes through an entire cycle of waxing and waning about every 29 days. This is called a Lunar Month or Lunation. There are about 13 Lunar Months in a calendar (or Solar) year.

Current phase
of the moon
Courtesy of the
US Naval Observatory


waxing-crescent-moon Let's start with a Waxing Crescent Moon, the kind that looks like a Man in a Moon drawing or a cute Christmas tree ornament with a smiling face and a long white beard. When the Moon is a Waxing Crescent; the dark side is to your left, more or less, and the bright Crescent is to your right. (Sometimes the Moon is tipped a little, so it may not be exactly right or left, but you will know what i mean if you go outside and look at it.) You can use this time to perform waxing, drawing, increasing, or growth spells.

                      The Waxing Crescent Moon
                      rises after sunrise and sets after sunset --
                      it is only seen in the night sky for a short time after the sun goes down.

first-quarter-moon Every night the Moon rises in the East a little later and the thickness of the Waxing Crescent gets fatter, until the shape of the Moon is half a circle. This is the First Quarter, also called by some people the Waxing Half Moon. It is dark on the left and bright on the right. You can continue to do waxing, drawing, increasing, or growth spells.

                      The Waxing First Quarter Moon
                      rises about at noon
                      and sets about at midnight.

waxing-gibbous-moon After that, the Moon starts to look like it is pregnant -- it is perfectly round on the right side, but bulged out past half-way on the left. This is the Waxing Gibbous Moon. You can continue to do waxing, drawing, increasing, or growth spells.

                      The Waxing Gibbous Moon
                      rises in the middle of the afternoon
                      and sets before well before sunrise.


full-moon It takes about 14 days of growing bigger for the moon to grow or wax completely full -- that night you will see the Full Moon rise as a perfect circular disk. This is the Light of the Moon, and it is reserved for light works and dedications to benevolent lunar deities. It is used for celebrations and prayers for peace.

                      The Full Moon
                      rises almost exactly at sunset
                      and sets almost exactly at the next sunrise.


waning-gibbous-moon After its 14 days of waxing, culminating with the Full Moon, the entire process is reversed and the Moon decreases in apparent size. After about 3 days of appearing to be more or less full, the moon slowly begins to visibly go dark on the right side, while the left side stays the same disk-shape as it had when it was Full. This is the Waning Gibbous Moon -- it looks perfectly round on the left side, but bulged out past half-way on the right. This is the time to begin waning, repelling, decreasing, or reversing spells.

                      The Waning Gibbous Moon
                      rises in the early evening
                      and sets some time after sunrise.

last-quarter-moon Every night the Moon rises in the East a little later and the thickness of the Waning Gibbous gets thinner, until the shape of the Moon is half a circle. This is the Last Quarter, also called by some people the Third Quarter or Waning Half Moon. It is dark on the right and bright on the left. You can continue to do waning, repelling, decreasing, or reversing spells.

                      The Waning Last Quarter Moon
                      rises about at midnight
                      and sets about at noon.

waning-crescent-moon As the shape continues to shrink, night by night, the Moon becomes a Waning Crescent; the dark side is to your right, more or less, and the bright Crescent is to your left. You can continue to do waning, repelling, decreasing, or reversing spells. This is a powerful time to take off curses or to send evil back to the one who sent it to you.

                      The Waning Crescent Moon
                      rises between midnight and dawn,
                      but fades out when the Sun comes up.


new-moon Finally, growing smaller still, the moon has waned completely and it vanishes. This is called the Dark of the Moon or New Moon -- and it is reserved for dark works and dedications to dark deities. On the night of the New Moon you will see no Moon at all, no matter how long you stay up and watch, because...

                      The New Moon (Dark Moon)
                      rises at sunrise
                      and sets at sunset.


waxing-crescent-moon About 3-4 days after the true Dark of the Moon you will see a tiny sliver of a Moon like a fingernail paring appear in the sky at sunset near where the Sun has gone down. Some people call this the First Crescent. Others call it the Siva Moon, because the Hindu god Siva is shown with a thin crescent moon in his hair. This is the time to begin waxing, drawing, attracting or growth spells.

                      The First Crescent
                      rises a little bit after sunrise
                      and sets a little bit after sunset.

After that, the Moon grows (or waxes) to a nice, "Man in the Moon" type Crescent Moon. You can continue to do waxing, drawing, increasing, or growth spells. And that's where we started out, with the Waxing Crescent Moon.


To tell whether the Moon is waxing or waning is fairly simple. Basically, all you have to do is go outside at sundown and take a look -- if you don't see the moon then, you will have to go outside later at night and check again, or check during the day:

If the Moon is already up in the sky in the evening, when the Sun goes down, then the Moon is waxing. Every night it will rise a little later in the day and look a little fuller. At Full Moon it will rise almost exactly when the Sun sets.

If the Moon is not already up in the sky when night falls, but instead rises long after sunset, or if you see it faintly during the day, then the Moon is waning. Every day it will rise a little later and look a little thinner. At New Moon it will rise almost exactly when the Sun does, but you won't be able to see it at all.  



Note:   In the output table, the code-letters d, h, m
indicate day, hour, and minute, respectively, in Universal Time.
This Moon Phases Calculator calculates in Universal Time.
Please be sure to adjust the time for your local time zone.


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