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Defining the Dark of the Moon

by Celeste L. Walker


dusk and trees

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.

New Moons form when the Moon and the Sun occupy the same degree and minute of arc in the circle of the Zodiac. At that phase of its cycle the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun. This is what it looks like to an Astrologer. The two most important celestial citizens in a horoscope are lined up together perfectly in the chart.


new moon astrology


The New Moon is characterized in everyday life as the thin sliver of light in the night sky that appears just after sunrise in the morning or just before sunset at night, when the Moon is virtually linked to the Sun as it crosses either horizon. The New Moon is able to display its trademark crescent of light because it has moved far enough away from the Sun to reflect some sunlight.

This is necessary for there to be any moonlight at all. The Moon itself does not generate light. It reflects sunlight. But when the Moon is still too close to the Sun, it's not in a position to do that and still be seen from our vantage point on earth. It will certainly be reflecting light on the other side of the Moon -- the side that faces the Sun ... the side that is always facing away from us. But that doesn't give us anything to look at at all -- obviously.

At that time, the Moon appears to be dark to us. There is no reflected light -- no moonlight ... nothing to see in the sky. For about 3 1/2 days every month, the Moon is so close to the Sun that it's lost in the Sun's glare in the daytime -- and it's not in a position to reflect anything from the Sun at night. Astrologers, pagans and others who care about the Moon in its various phases and what these mean refer to this time every month as the Dark of the Moon.


During the Dark of the Moon, to an Astrologer, the Moon would be somewhere in this area relative to the Sun ...

Astrology chart


Just as the different, more familiar moon phases highlight special moods and interests, the Dark of the Moon has its unique concerns, too. These deal with recuperation, rest, inner reflection, learning from the past and setting intentions for the future. The energy from the Dark Moon will facilitate this ... and add its own subtle dimensions to living a more conscious life.


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More About the Dark of the 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.

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 Sun & the Moon

* The Sun and Moon in Your Natal Chart -- Two powerful descriptions of you ---> Your two most important Inner Selves ---> Even in the more subtle, introverted signs, like Scorpio, Virgo and Pisces, The Sun's energy in your horoscope is considered powerful, masculine and demonstrative. Its expression can be overwhelmed and disguised by other factors or afflictions in the horoscope, but not easily.

* The Luminaries in Astrology -- The Sun and The Moon -- What are they ... and what's the difference? ---> The Light-givers ---> The Luminaries -- This term refers to The Sun and The Moon in a horoscope -- distinguishing them from the other common elements ... the eight known planets, excluding the Earth. The term luminary suggests The Sun and The Moon are both sources of light, and it's true they are both the brightest objects in the sky....

* You, Your Moon, Your Moon Sign -- in Natal Astrology ---> The Co-star in your horoscope ---> The Moon's Sign and House position give just as much valid information about a person's character as the Sun Sign. In fact, in some people, the Moon information is even more revealing and important. Pop culture relies on Sun Sign astrology though for its material because the Sun is the easiest point to determine in a person's individual constellations ....


More interesting folklore 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.

In the Dark of the Moon -- Where it all begins ---> Yeah, I know it's not the Dark of the Moon but do you know how boring those pictures are? ---> Make a note ---> The Dark of the Moon is the segment of time that covers the three days surrounding the monthly appearance of the New Moon. At the Dark of the Moon, the Moon has moved into a position so close to the Sun it's no longer able to reflect sunlight -- and the Moon appears to be totally gone from the sky.


Special Moons

So what IS a Black Moon? ---> A black moon. Ever hear of it? ---> Sure most people have heard of a "blue moon" ... as in "once in a blue moon." Not so many can give you even one of the several definitions for that, though. They know it means a long time -- except for those who think it means something that never comes along at all. There is such a thing as a Blue Moon, though.

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. Mostly they're capitalizing on the description, because that sounds strange and worrisome. And it does, doesn't it?

* What is a Blue Moon? ---> One term, three definitions ---> As if to prove something can never just be easy, there are three definitions of a Blue Moon. All describe an unusual type of Full Moon. Once upon a time -- as in "traditionally" -- a Blue Moon was the third Full Moon in a season. Weird, right? I mean, who on earth has time to figure that out. Somebody, apparently. 'Cause that definition lasted a while.


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.


Moon in Astrology
Light Reading & Open Articles


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


  moon  moon phases  500 Words or Less  The Starwalkers Weblog  dark moon  


Photo Credits

Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/ninepennies/4544325231/
Original images used under this Creative Commons license or this Creative Commons license and modified by added text.

Astrology Tarot New Age Enchanted Spirit Metaphysical Resource Center
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Copyright © 1999 - 2021 by Enchanted Spirit and Catweasel Ink.
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Last updated November 13th, 2020

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