As the new moon approaches I find myself wondering if any of our members practice ritual or acknowledge the new moon in some way.
Or if we have someone knowledgeable about the astrology of the new moon.
What does this new moon mean to you, if anything?
The following were lovingly stolen without permission from About.com
By Phylameana lila Desy, About.com Guide
By Molly Hall, About.com Guide
Rituals are a way to mark turning points in your life. They can be used to symbolically welcome changes in your life. They can be simple rituals or elaborate ones. The most important thing is your full presence in the moment.
The new Moon is a magical time of beginnings, when you can recharg
e goals, or set new ones.
Rituals bring meaning to our lives by "charging" an intention with power. We're always setting intentions, and this is a way to do it in a more conscious way. There is power in coming up with visions for your life, and keeping them in your sights as they come into being. But even as you fully commit to those visions, stay flexible, since new doors may open that you didn't expect. At the new Moon, goals and wishes take root, as you reach out for spiritual wisdom, draw on unseen allies and open the door to magical change. You might get what you ask for, or something even better that you can't imagine yet.
It's important to come up with a ritual that has meaning for you, instead of trying to follow any set guidelines (unless you're part of an established ritual group). You're the one that knows your personal story best, and what to lift out of that narrative, what will infuse your ritual with power. Here are some general guidelines to shape your rituals using the unique symbols and totems from your life.
Gathering your Sacred Supplies Your altar is where you collect your sacred objects -- pictures, found objects and the like. Using herbs with healing or symbolic properties adds to your ritual. Stones and crystals are another powerful ally. Candles are magical, and in its form contains all four of the elements. A small journal on hand allows you to keep a record of your intentions.
Preparing for the Ritual This is the most important part of ritual, since your commitment is the key. Take a ritual bath with sea salt to clear your field of any negative energies. Sage
is an herb used by the Native Americans to clear a space, and make it sacred for ritual. It's available in most health food stores these days, and easiest to use in its wand form. Light the end and blow on it until there is a smoldering glow. Use it around your own body, and in the space of your ritual. Clear your mind with meditation, using music or just quieting down in your cleared, sacred area.
Grounding This is something that's important anytime, for staying connected to earth energy. Signs that you're not grounded are mania, nervousness, racing thoughts and the like. Too often we forget to feel the earth under our feet. I've mentioned Starhawk a few times on the site, and her tree grounding excercise is one of my own daily rituals. In a nutshell, it's visualizing the roots going down into the Earth, through the layers, into the core, and then drawing that energy back up through your feet again. It moves through each chakra, coming out the top and down around you. Try this or another variation of grounding before you set new Moon intentions.
Your New Moon Wishes After you've cleared a sacred space and settled your energy, you're ready to set your intentions. Make a list of what you'd like to draw into your life, and Dream Big! The new Moon is a moment to conjure what seems out of reach, and creating the vision is the first step to making it a reality. But these are not just words on paper. As you write them down as intentions, you are committing to doing your part to make them real. Some call it co-creating, since you're opening to universal energies to set dreams in motion.
Dreams of the Soul Your intentions come from the longings that keep coming up. In the days leading up to the new Moon, giv
e some thought to those longings, and see what images, dreams and streams of thought come up. Use symbolic associations to go along with your intentions. Weave in the element for the new Moon, and think about the houses and planets that are affected by it. For an earth new Moon, for example, you might plant seeds that represent your intention. Rituals are a way to work with universal energies, and draw attention to the particular life lessons, or arena (house, planet, etc) that it illuminates for you.
Symbolic Acts Here's where you get to be creative. If your intentions are to write a book, or broadcast your ideas out to the world, tie them to a helium balloon and send them off. Write them on a stick and offer it to the fire. To open to love, put lavender and a rose quartz in a small pouch, along with the qualities you're seeking. If you're inspired, add a symbolic act to your intention-setting ritual.
Keep them Alive A big part of success with new Moon intentions is what comes after. Find ways to keep them in the front of your awareness. Put them in a visible spot, or keep them in your wallet. Make notes in your journal about your progress. At the full Moon , find ways to take action on those intentions, and celebrate any signs of change.
By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
In early societies, the reappearance of the moon was often a cause for celebration -- after all, it meant that the dark had passed, and the full moon was on its way back. The Carmina Gadelica offers some beautiful prayers for the night of the New Moon. They're Christian in the original context, but can be adapted nicely for a Pagan ceremony.
The following rite is one which welcomes the moon back at the beginning of her cycle. If you're raising children in a Pagan or Wiccan tradition, this can be a lot of fun. It's also a simple ritual that can be performed by a solitary practitioner.
First, if your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so at this time. If you don't normally cast a circle, take the time to ritually purify the area by smudging or asperging. This will establish the space as sacred.
Perform this ceremony outside if at all possible -- it's the best way to get a good look at the sliver of new moon. You'll need a moon candle, wrapped in a black cloth, to place on your altar. This is traditionally a white unscented pillar-style candle. You'll also need a hand-held mirror. Tie some silver and white ribbons on it if you wish. Finally, have a small bowl of Blessing Oil handy.
Hold this ceremony at sunset if you can. Turn to the west, and watch as the sun goes down (without looking directly at it). Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, you'll be able to see where the new moon is rising. If the sun sets before you began, you'll need to look a bit higher in the sky, but you should still be able to find it as long as the night is a clear one.If you're doing this rite with children, have them each try to be the first one to spot the new moon.
Once you see the moon in the sky, unwrap the candle. Hold it up high and say:
Welcome back, Moon!
We're glad to see you again.
Another cycle has passed
another month gone by
and our lives have moved forward.
Place the candle on the altar and light it, still facing the moon. Say:
Today is a new day,
and a new month begins.
As the tides flow, and the moon rises above,
we are thankful that She has returned.
She watches over us, ever constant,
yet always changing,
and we are thankful for her light.
If you have children present, have them wave to the moon and thank her for returning -- you'd be amazed how silly and fun this simple task can become!
Next, turn to face east, where the sun will rise in the morning. Pick up the mirror and hold it so you can see the new moon behind you. Say:
Bring us your wisdom, your guidance,
your protection, in the coming month.
You are behind me at every step,
watching and guiding me,
and I am thankful.
Place the mirror back on the altar, beside the moon candle. Take a moment to reflect on your goals. After all, this is a time of new beginnings, and a good time for new commitments and vows.
Warm the Blessing Oil over the candle for just a moment, and then anoint each others' foreheads. As you do so, say:
May the blessings of the moon be with you.
If you are working alone, anoint your own forehead, and grant yourself the blessings of the moon.
When you are ready, close the circle and end the ritual. If you choose, you can move into healing rites or magical workings, or a Cakes & Ale ceremony.
If you're doing this rite as a family, the eldest female present should light the moon candle.
Decorate your altar with silvers and whites to celebrate the return of the moon.