The Black Moon
If you’ve never heard of the Black Moon before, you’re not alone – it wasn’t a term I was familiar with until someone brought it up as a topic in one of the online witchcraft groups I participate in.
Of course, loving all things related to Sister Moon, I had to pick up the mantle of researching this topic to learn how the Black Moon’s energy may affect and assist with ritual work, especially since I have planned to embark upon some intense magickal workings to commence with the Dark Moon this Friday.
Black Moons & Blue Moons – What’s the Deal?
The Black Moon is not unlike the Blue Moon in that it is a lunar phase which occurs twice in any given month. While the Blue Moon pertains to 2 Full Moons in the same month, the Black Moon describes the occurrence of having 2 Dark Moons in the same month. Our last Dark Moon this month took place on September 1st, and our second Dark Moon – the Black Moon – will take place on Friday September 30th. Pretty cool that these Dark Moons are bookending the month of September so neatly.
Unlike the Blue Moon which has the clearly defined parameters of being 2 Full Moons occurring in the same calendar month, the Black Moon holds true to it’s Dark Moon roots of mystery and intrigue: the term “Black Moon” can also be defined as the third dark moon in an astronomical season having four Dark Moons, or a month that entirely lacks a Full or Dark Moon. For magickal purposes, the definition of the Black Moon being 2 Dark Moons in the same month makes most sense, as it not only pinpoints an exact celestial occurrence, but also mirrors the traditional definition of the Blue Moon.
Timing is everything!
Of course, celestial events being what they are, the upcoming Black Moon will only be experienced in the Western Hemisphere. This is due to the fact that the Dark Moon will occur at 8:11 pm EDT on September 30th, meaning that the event will officially take place *after* the calendar flips to October in the Eastern Hemisphere. The good news here is that the Eastern Hemisphere will not miss out on having a Black Moon for the calendar year of 2016, as another Dark Moon will occur at the end of the month, right around Hallowe’en. This makes the end of October an auspicious time for our witchy friends in Europe to plan some special Samhain magick!
Both Black Moons and Blue Moons occur approximately every 2.5 to 3 years. Time and Date is an excellent resource to find out the exact time and date of the Black Moon in your region.
The Black Moon in History
The Black Moon has long been an omen of change – this has been described as hidden truths being revealed, a shift in internal consciousness, or changes of external circumstances. In some facets of the Christian tradition, this concept has been linked to the “End Times” where those chosen few will rise to the glory of the promised land. Interestingly, there are factions of conspiracy theorists that hold a similar belief, advising that Black Moon signals the start of the apocalypse and global destruction. Pagan traditions generally herald this event as a time of increased focus and power rather than anything catastrophic, so depending on which pathway you follow, the change that the Black Moon heralds can be either a fearful curse or a welcome blessing!
Magick and the Black Moon
There isn’t a whole lot of information out there regarding the Black Moon and it’s magick – seeing how it is a special event, I choose to handle it as I would any Blue Moon workings: during a Blue Moon, it is commonly held that the energies that pertain to the Full Moon are increased and more powerful, so it makes sense to me that the Black Moon would offer us the same opportunity to work with intensified and focused Dark Moon energy.
The Dark Moon is a liminal lunar phase which applies to chthonic aspects, so themes such as stillness, grounding, meditation, and contemplation are all very apt; and any work involving ancestors, banishings, or bindings will have extra power at this time. In keeping with the traditional idea of the Black Moon being an omen of change, aligning one’s spiritual work towards heralding in and welcoming any changes that are being thrust upon us or that we are working to bring about ourselves would be most a most suitable way to tap into the Black Moon’s energetic support.
I personally like to view the Dark Moon as a void, and use this time of the lunar cycle to sweep out the cobwebs, clean the slate, and sketch up the blueprints for any manifestation work which will be taking place as the moon waxes towards full. Given that I am at a point in my life where I am invoking change and the closing of one chapter in order to open another, I can’t help but feel universally supported in my efforts by this timely arrival of the Black Moon.
However we choose to work with this week’s Black Moon, I hope it will serve us all well, and help give our ritual and magickal workings that little bit of extra oomph to assist us in our journey along the Spiral Path.