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Things to Know About
The Dark Moon
Physics & astronomy
the technical stuff

by Rebecca Brents

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  dark moon  moon  

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When does The Dark of the Moon happen?
(Boring technical stuff)

* It happens "every month" -- at least once during every Zodiac sign.

* It's a time period tied to the arrival of the New Moon in every sign -- a time period that varies from 29.26 - 29.80 days. (People who work with these things consider this time interval an average of 29.5 days as a "ballpark figure." That's actually fine for most purposes. (For the Virgos among us, that works out to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds.)

* Occasionally -- every couple of years -- it will happen twice during either a calendar month or during a Zodiac sign. This can occur when a New Moon forms very early in the month (often on the first day of the month) and again near the very end (usually the last or next to last day of a 31-day month.)

Basic Stuff About the Dark of the Moon
(Related Open Article)

* Because February is only 28 days long, it can get left out of this process completely, but this is extremely rare. Obviously things have to line up "just right" in the sky between the Sun & Moon for this to happen ... & in real life, such things rarely do.

* There will always be a New Moon in a Zodiac sign ... because the Sun always travels through all 30° of each sign. (The Sun moves about 1° a day & actually lags a little during the Summer signs, giving the Moon some "extra time" to catch up & form a New Moon. So it's more common to see these "double New Moon" events occur during or close to Summer. The Summer Signs are Cancer, Leo & Virgo.)

Quick Notes on the Dark of the Moon
(Related Open Article)

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dark moon city scene river

What defines the Dark of the Moon?
(More boring, mostly technical stuff)

* The "Dark of the Moon" describes the 3 1/2 day period immediately before & after the arrival of each New Moon -- about 2 1/2 days before ... and 1 day after the formal alignment of the Moon with the Sun -- which is what defines a New Moon. (So technically, The Dark of the Moon straddles part of the Balsamic phase & part of the New Moon phase.)

* It's called The Dark of the Moon because during this time the Moon is lined up so close to the Sun in the sky that it seems to disappear. It doesn't, of course. It's simply lost in the blinding glare of the Sun -- so from our vantage point on earth we can't see it. But during these days the Moon basically tracks with the Sun & isn't visible at all at night.

* Because of this monthly alignment, during these days, the Moon is not physically positioned so as to reflect any sunlight back to Earth. (There's actually a "Full Moon" occurring on the other side of the Moon during these times -- what we call the dark side of the moon -- the side we can't see except in pictures taken from space ... on the other side of the Moon. These exist now because of ... well, "space travel.")

Defining the Dark of the Moon
(Related Open Article)

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mansion at night

Nights of no light

* During these days, because there is literally "no light" from the Moon, it is rightfully, logically considered "dark." Our language reflects this visual phenomenon. (In fact, the Moon is not a direct source of light in the first place. Moonlight is reflected light from the Sun. Without the Sun, the Moon is just a cold, gray enormous rock in the sky orbiting the Earth over & over. But without the Sun, we'd never see it anyway.)

* Some people consider that the Dark Moon period ends when the New Moon forms, when the Moon formally aligns in the same degree & minute of arc with the Sun. Others (including those cultures -- specifically some in the Middle East who base their measure of time on the Lunar calendar) actually watch the sky & mark this period from the time when there is no visible Moon at night through the time when the first sliver of curved light appears near sunset -- again, a span of about 3 days.)

* In practice, I mark the Dark of the Moon from the time the Moon is 30° behind the Sun (technically in a 12th House position relative to the Sun) until it moves more than 10° in front of the Sun following the New Moon. (This puts it beyond the technical "orb of aspect" with the Sun to be considered a legitimate conjunction.)

Working with the Dark of the Moon
(Related Open Article)

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DC at night

Final notes

* Note: My way "covers all bases" regarding when the special energy of the Dark Moon is available & ready to use. It may also give a few extra hours of "down time" every month -- which at my age, I consider a bonus!!

* Also Note: I have a computer program that will do all this calculation for me with just a few clicks. If you want to figure this stuff out "by hand," you're more of a bear for punishment than I am, believe me!!

* For all practical purposes, the time of the New Moon every month is easy to find online -- or with an astrological calendar. Start your Dark Moon window frame 2 1/2 days before & end it one full day beyond the exact time of the New Moon. With that, you're good to go. (As a practical matter, in real life, energy operates on a continuum. Things change gradually. It's not like flipping a switch. It's a matter of moving through a transition phase from one distinct place to another.)

Aligning Yourself with the Dark of the Moon
(Related Open Article)

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Dark of the Moon
Light Reading & Open Articles

Dark Moon / New Moon ---> Moon phases ---> 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 ....

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.)

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.

A Dark Moon Ritual -- A general outline for ceremonies & ideas to honor -- the power of the Dark of the Moon time each month ---> Dark of the Moon ---> The Dark of the Moon A time of release / an atmosphere of preparation ---> Darkness is mesmerizing ... & mysterious. Each month, as the night sky goes completely dark except for the familiar, tiny pinpoints of starlight, many of Earth's people, attuned -- naturally or by design -- to the special energy of the different moon phases, feel the call of the cosmos to close down, become still & reflective, to contemplate memories & the territory within ourselves.

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Still More on the Dark of the Moon
Light Reading & Open Articles
The Dark of the Moon
Members Content

* What is the Dark of the Moon? -- When the Night's Moon Fades to Black ---> When the night brings no moonlight at all ---> The Dark of the Moon refers to that phase in the Moon's monthly cycle when the Sun and Moon are so closely aligned there is no reflected light from the Sun available to shine from the Moon's surface. The Moon, if you can see it at all -- it's way too close to the Sun, appears black and dead in the sky, and, of course, the nights themselves, with no moonlight at all, are especially dark and still. The Dark Moon lasts about three days, from the time when the crescent of the old moon disappears ....

* The Dark of the Moon -- A time of magic and creation ---> A time of mystery and magic ---> The Dark of the Moon is considered an especially mysterious, fruitful, and flexible time of "molding" the creative experiences that will come forth in the weeks immediately ahead. It is said that wishes made as the last sliver of the Moon's light fades on the left, and affirmed through the Dark of the Moon period until the first sliver of new light appears again on the right, have special support -- special empowerment -- to come true. Affirming them again at the moment of the New Moon itself gives extra push to their ....

* Put Dark Moon Magic to Work -- For YOU!! ---> A time to restore and strengthen your spirit ---> The Dark of the Moon is considered an especially mysterious, fruitful, and flexible time of "molding" the creative experiences that will come forth in the weeks immediately ahead. It is said that wishes made as the last sliver of the Moon's light fades on the left, and affirmed through the Dark of the Moon until the first sliver of new light appears again on the right, have special support -- special empowerment -- to come true. Affirming them again at the moment of the New Moon itself gives extra push to their nourishment and initiative.

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More on the Dark of the Moon

* 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. Being so closely aligned with the Sun, the Moon is totally lost in the glare as these two primary celestial bodies travel across the sky together.

* 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. Those of us deeply aligned with the metaphysical world often wait deliberately for the arrival of the New Moon every month before we begin new projects -- to let the right kind of support and energy assemble.

* 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. It's what happens when The Moon is positioned so that from Earth we can see no reflected sunlight from it. The Moon generates no light of its own. Everything you see from it as it travels the night sky is a reflection of sunlight, and depending on it ...

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The Mystery & Meaning Series

The Mystery and Meaning of The Dark of the Moon -- 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. From the moment the last sliver of light fades on the left of the old Moon until the first sliver of light appears on the right of the New Moon for the month, we are technically in the Dark of the Moon.

The Mystery and Meaning of the Dark of the Moon -- 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. It's a time to meditate and listen -- to the whispers of your inner voices and the complex longings of your soul. Both have trouble getting past the raucous clamor of everyday life -- and in the silence of the Dark Moon they at least have a chance to break through.

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The Dark of the Moon
From the Blogs, Ezines & Elsewhere

The Dark of the Moon -- From Everyday Astrology ---> Everyday Astrology July 7, 2021 Dark of the Moon ---> About once a month, every month (month after month after month) as the mobile Moon moves into another alignment with the Sun, we get a New Moon in a new Zodiac sign. (Yes, occasionally we get a New Moon very close to the start of a sign & another very near the end, but go with me here. That's not important ATM. What is important is the arrival of a New Moon itself, every 29.5 days.) The 3 1/2 days that surround another New Moon -- for about 2 1/2 days before & 1 day after, is a time known as ....

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Today's Everyday Astrology

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Photo Credits

Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/yortw/5123062486/
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Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/rubychild/4233516905/
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
logo - river 2 Enchanted Spirit is a non-denominational spiritual center of healing, support, self-improvement, personal guidance, education and writing. We publish multi-media works of New Age thought and information to encourage serenity and growth in individual life choices, advance the universal search for life's meaning, and promote tolerance for positive ideas from all philosophies and religious traditions, believing as we do that truth is where you find it.

Copyright © 1999 - 2021 by Enchanted Spirit and Catweasel Ink.
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Unauthorized reproduction specifically prohibited.

Last updated September 7th, 2021


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