The dark moon is one of my personal favorite times of the cycle. It’s the last few days of the waning time of the cycle, where the moon continues to shrink and eventually disappears from the sky.
Different traditions honor the dark moon at different times. Personally, I honor the dark moon when you can’t see the moon at all in the sky–which is technically the new moon. Others honor the dark moon the last few days before the new moon. I recommend using your intuition and noticing how you feel during these days to understand when to honor the dark moon versus new moon.
So what is the dark moon all about?
The dark moon is our time for radical rest, for deep clearing and releasing, and turning within. This is the time to cancel plans, to do shadow work, to go to sleep early and wake up late, and to pull tarot or oracle cards to tune in to your inner voice.
Keep scrolling for a few rituals to consider working with at this time.
WATER SPELL FOR CLEARING
One of my favorite spells to work during the dark moon is this simple water spell. Water is a helpful element for cleansing and purification, and this spell works especially well when the dark moon is in a water sign–Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio. You’ll need:
- A large glass of water
- A piece of paper and pen
To start, choose what you’re focusing on releasing. Maybe it’s blocks to self-expression, fear of being rejected, shame around your path, or blocks to abundance. Once you’ve decided what you’re ready to release (you’re welcome to spend some time journaling on this to get clear), start making a list of all the limiting beliefs and stories that you hold associated with this block.
For example, let’s say you’re working with clearing blocks to abundance. Your list might hold beliefs like:
- I can’t make money doing what I love
- People with money are jerks
- It’s wrong to have money when other people have so little, etc.
Keep letting the beliefs flow! I tend to fill up a whole page when I do this spell.
Once you have your list, it’s time to work the spell. Ground yourself, cast your circle, and pick up your list. You’re going to say the first belief out loud, starting with “I clear the belief that ________ from my body” and then taking a big sip of water. Pause and notice, feeling and visualizing the water moving through your body, cleansing this belief from your system on every level.
Repeat this for each belief on your list, taking your time and really feeling the beliefs move out of your body.
When you’re done, use the energy of your palms to charge your last sip of water with what you do want – abundance, healthy self-expression, creativity, etc. – and feel your whole body being charged with this intention by the power of the element of water.
Give thanks to water and the Universe for their help, ground yourself again and open your circle.
CANDLE MAGICK FOR RELEASING
For this spell, you’ll need:
- Black taper candle
- Carving tool like a sharp point crystal, toothpick, or athame
- Black tourmaline, smoky quartz, or petrified wood
- A simple oil like grapeseed or bergamot essential oil
Start by cleansing all of your items for the spell. This can be done by wafting rosemary smoke over them or visualizing light cleansing them.
For this spell, you’ll be carving what you’re releasing into your candle as well as the glyph for Pluto, the planet that helps things die and be transformed. For your words, keep them simple and powerful by carving the basics of what you’re releasing like “fear” or “self-doubt.”
Anoint your candle with your oil and roll it in your dried rosemary. As you carve and anoint your candle, visualize your all of whatever you’re releasing – your fear or your self-doubt as in the example above – pouring into the candle.
Place your crystal(s) and candle on your altar, light your candle, and start meditating on the flame. Continue to visualize all that you’re releasing pouring into the candle, and watch as it burns and turns to smoke. Stay with this meditation until you feel a shift in your energy – until you really feel a release.
Let the candle burn out if you can or snuff out the candle and continue the same spell each night until the candle has burned completely.
SHADOW WORK TAROT OR ORACLE SPREAD
The dark moon is a deep invitation into shadow work.
What is shadow work?
Simply put, it’s an intentional exploration of our shadow side – the parts of ourselves that we reject, that we’re ashamed of, that we stuff down and hide. Click here to learn more about shadow work if you’re new to it!
For this ritual, you’ll want to create a ritual space – whatever that means to you. For me, it usually means cleansing my space with smoke beforehand, lighting incense, and lighting candles. Maybe you also like to take an essential oil bath beforehand, or sprinkle herbs in a circle around you.
All you’ll need for this ritual is:
- A journal and pen
- Your tarot or oracle cards
Spend a few moments grounding yourself, then shuffle your cards and pull a card for each of these questions:
- What part of my shadow is rising to the surface to be worked with?
- How has rejecting this part of myself manifested in my life?
- How can I show this part of myself more love and integrate it into my whole self?
Give yourself the gift of sitting with your cards after you pull them. Spend time meditating on your cards, journaling about them, or even painting with them to process and understand what their messages are for you.
About Eryn Johnson
Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.