Three names, three things
You've certainly heard the term New Moon applied to that part of the Moon's cycle when a small sliver of light appears in the western sky at dusk ... and gradually begins filling in over the next two weeks to reach the glorious display of the Full Moon before diminishing down to nothing again. Moon-watchers of all ages -- and maybe you are one -- enjoy this free celestial show every month.
If you've hung around much in metaphysical circles, maybe you've come across a couple of other terms that seem somehow hooked up with the New Moon in people's minds. One of those is the term Black Moon and the other is the term Dark Moon. They sound intriguing and mysterious, don't they? Well, let's shine a little of that special moonlight their way.
It's easy ... kind of
The Black Moon is easy to deal with. Well, sort of. It's most common definition is -- the second New Moon in a calendar month. It's the counterpart to a Blue Moon, which is the common name for the second Full Moon in a calendar month.
In reality, things get a littler more complicated (Don't they always?) and you can learn more about the fine points, alternatives and distinctions of these by reading more here about the Black Moon and Blue Moon
For now, let's make this easy. The New Moon happens at least once a month. (Sometimes twice, but as I said ... let's keep this simple.) It forms when the Moon joins the Sun in the sky at the same degree and minute of arc in the Zodiac. This means there is a New Moon in every Zodiac sign throughout the year.
Here, defining a Black Moon gets a little tougher. If you go by the definition of a Black Moon being the second New Moon in a calendar month, you'll see one of those about every 29 months -- or roughly 2 1/2 years in between one and the next. (If you want to go by another definition, you're on your own. I'm not going to try to figure that out.)
This, however, means that about every 19 years there will be no New Moon in February -- since it's only 28 days long. When this happens, there will be a Black Moon (two New Moons) in both the January before and the March that follows.
The Dark Moon -- or the Dark of the Moon -- happens in the approximately 3 - 5 days surrounding every New Moon. Once it is Full, the Moon every month fades down to absolutely nothing. No light. No visible presence in the sky. Nothing. The very definition of nothing. (Of course, it's still up there -- and will reappear when the angle is right again ... but it's going to take a while for that to happen.) I've seen some writers refer to this interval as the "dead Moon" -- which sounds pretty awesome and terminal. Frankly, I try to avoid that.
About 2 1/2 days before the New Moon forms, the Moon enters the space of the Zodiac about 30° behind the Sun. As it moves through this 12th House location ... moving toward a conjunction with the Sun ... the Moon is invisible to us here on Earth. This is the Dark of the Moon phase.
Two views of it all
Some spiritual practitioners ... including some astrologers believe that the Dark of the Moon ends at the moment the New Moon forms -- the conjunction between the Moon and the Sun. Personally, I can go along with that.
Some, however, including the religions who base their calendar on the Lunar cycle instead of the Solar cycle, hold that the Dark of the Moon lasts until there is an actual visible sliver of light from the New Moon seen from Earth. (Yes, people literally watch the skies at dusk to mark the moment this happens.) This can take another day or so before the Dark of the Moon for that period is declared to be at an end.
Do it your way
Being one not to take any chances ... and besides, I can use the extra time off ... I always go with this last definition before starting anything new. You can make your own decisions, of course, but frankly, I recommend this one.
Give yourself time to do rituals, put your thoughts together, get in an extra nap or two ... and be ready to face the coming month's business aligned in body, mind and spirit. It's one of the best gifts you can give yourself -- and you know you're worth it!
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The Dark of the Moon
* Feeling and Healing -- in the Dark of the Moon ---> Welcome to The Dark of the Moon ---> We all know the shifting shapes and different phases of the Moon as it travels through the sky every month -- from the sickle-shape of the Crescent Moon to the full round dinner plate magnificence of the Full Moon.
* Wishin' and Dreamin' in the Dark of the Moon -- When the dark nights invite us to turn inward ---> Three nights of darkness ---> To Astrologers, Wiccans and others, the Dark of the Moon is the term describing the period of about three days just before and after the New Moon every month. It's the time when the final crescent of light fades on the left ... and before the thin crescent of the New Moon appears again on the right.
The Dark of the Moon
From the Blogs, Ezines & Elsewhere
From EDA: The Dark of the Moon ---> Everyday Astrology April 21, 2020 The Dark of the Moon ---> The Dark of the Moon is the 2 1/2 day period that comes every month before the arrival of the New Moon ... for that Zodiac sign. Some Astrologers call it the "dead" Moon. Ok, that may be descriptive, but it sure sounds ominous -- and hardly poetic. Whereas the Dark of the Moon sounds ... well, mysterious and intriguing.
The Moon in Astrology
What is a Blood Moon? ---> It's a total Lunar eclipse. That's it. ---> Every once in a while, weathermen on television and other media types get all hyped about something they call a Blood Moon. They act like it's something really rare and mysterious. It's not.
The Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The New Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The Full Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The Dark Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The Void-of-Course Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
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