Moon phases. We all know they exist. Most people ignore them, except for an occasional glance to the sky. Some people know some of the names. New Moon, Crescent Moon, Half Moon, Gibbous Moon, Full Moon. Some fewer of us even know what they mean and how they bring a kind of natural order and regulation to life on Earth. Others are just proud they know as much as they do and can rattle off some of those phases to make it sound like they know a whole lot more than they do.
Some cultures, religions and spiritual traditions follow the Moon and her activities a lot closer than most people in the U.S. who aren't farmers, fishermen, gardeners, astrologers or public health and safety workers. Looking at that list makes me think maybe there are quite a few folks hidden from prying eyes who might know more about the Moon than just the fact that it hangs out in the sky. Constantly.
Maybe you've heard of it
So, maybe you're one of those who know about the New Moon, the Full Moon and maybe a couple more ... and you're busy patting yourself on the back and taking a bow when suddenly you hear about something called the Dark of the Moon ... and you're all at once asking, "What on earth is that? It's like a movie or something?" But no, it's actually a real thing involving the Moon.
It's not exactly a phase, but it is a thing ... and some people make a really big deal of it. The Dark of the Moon happens every month right at the time of the New Moon. The Dark of the Moon lasts 3 - 3 1/2 days. It's that period in the Moon's cycle when it vanishes from our perspective on Earth. As the Moon moves to align with the Sun in the sky overhead, visually, it gets lost in the Sun's glare.
The Moon is still there in the sky, of course. It rises and sets with the Sun. You just can't see it. It's not positioned to reflect its usual sunlight, so these moonless nights are totally dark. Hence the description, the Dark of the Moon. Clever, huh?
night scene and building
It's really a thing
This part of the Moon's journey overlaps the last part of the Moon's Balsamic phase. Everyone agrees on that much. They don't agree though on how long the Dark Moon period lasts ... or when it actually ends. According to the principles of Astrology, the New Moon begins with the exact conjunction of the Sun and the Moon. That timing is exact, clean and predictable.
For Wiccans, however, and the Islamic cultures that time their societies on a lunar calendar, the New Moon begins -- and the Dark of the Moon ends, when the Moon is visible to the human eye -- that pale thin curve of light that appears right at dusk, once the Sun has slipped below the horizon and is out of the way, but the Moon, no longer directly aligned with the Sun, is positioned to reflect a tiny slice of sunlight.
When the New Moon arrives
Once the New Moon forms -- especially once it's visible, Life's rhythm picks up again. You can literally feel the difference. You can actually feel it once the conjunction occurs, but I'm inclined to go with the "wait until you see the New Moon" in practice. Just to be on the safe side, you know. And because you can squeeze an extra day or so of peace-&-quiet-&-rest-&-relaxation from it. Wow, sure, I vote for that!!
When I talk about "feeling the difference," I'm describing energy -- the "vibes" you get from your intuition and through your psychic senses ... and yes, you can feel it physically in your body and in the atmosphere around you. For some of us, this comes naturally. For others it takes a little awareness and practice. But it's easy to learn and it's worth the effort. Try it.
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The Dark of the Moon
Light Reading & Open Articles
Defining the Dark of the Moon ---> Around the time of the New Moon ... ---> People know the difference between the New Moon and the Full Moon. We get one of each every month. They are part of everyday life. Some know those funny in-between stages have names and meanings, too. Less well known is something known as the Dark Moon -- or the Dark of the Moon -- which also happens every month in the 3 1/2 days surrounding the New Moon.
The Mystery and Meaning of The Dark of the Moon 1 -- Short Essays on The Dark of the Moon -- Selection 1 ---> A time of closure ---> The Dark of the Moon in Astrology is the point of transition from the final phase of closing down the business of the Moon cycle that is ending to the beginning of the succeeding Moon cycle that about to get started. It lasts about 4 - 5 days and spans the time surrounding the New Moon each month.
The Mystery and Meaning of the Dark of the Moon 2 -- Short Essays on The Dark of the Moon -- Selection 2 ---> A moonless night -- and looking for mischief ---> A time of quiet ---> Intuition is stronger during the Dark Moon days. So is the need to rest and heal. Painful memories and unfinished business from the past -- perhaps the long ago past -- are more apt to come up ... and ask for attention.
More about the Dark of the Moon
Working with the Dark of the Moon -- Getting the most from this lunar phase ---> Turning inward ---> The Dark of the Moon. There's enough magic in each syllable that just the words conjure shadowy, mysterious pictures in the imagination of a world between worlds and extend shivery invitations to step out of this one into ... something else. A place where time itself is inconstant ... and possibilities not entirely rooted in this reality beckon like the scent of night-blooming jasmine. The Dark of the Moon. It sounds so delicious.
The Dark of the Moon -- and the Dark Side of the Moon -- Virtually the same words -- but two different things ---> Perspective ---> While making notes tonight for an article I'm writing about the New Moon in astrology, I was struck by how much our perspective always shapes our thoughts, ideas, perceptions & speech. (This is actually kind of a Mercury topic, seen from a Very Virgo angle. Perhaps it's also interesting that we're right in the middle of the New Moon in Virgo, which happened less than half an hour ago.)
More about the Moon
* Black Moon, Dark Moon, New Moon -- Ok, let's get this sorted out ---> 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.
* The Moon -- Ruler of Cancer ---> One of the most important components in your horoscope ---> The Moon, silvery, mysterious and reflective, is the astrological metaphor which symbolizes an individual's inner, feeling-based personality. Along with the Sun and the Ascendant (or Rising Sign -- the sign that was literally rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth, the Moon is one of the three most significant components in a horoscope ....
Learn more about The Moon in Astrology
These are the index pages to all our articles
on this topic.
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