Our world, our cosmos, is full of splendor. It’s both beautiful and terrifying and I’m completely in love with it, but few things compare to the power, allure, and magic of a full moon.
At its core, Witchcraft is a natural path of magic. It relies upon a deep love for and understanding of nature, in all its cycles. It also focuses on the central truism that everything in existence is a reflection, either stronger or weaker, of everything else. Witches come to understand this as a Microcosm–or little universe & Macrocosm–or big universe pairing.
The moon is a central focus for lots of things in Witchcraft. It is a divine symbol (usually feminine in representation, but not always), a meter out of time, a reminder of sacred cycles, and a source of holy power.
Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches.
— From The Charge of The Goddess
Witches often learn to watch the cycles of the moon as it waxes and wanes, using these phases to time our magic and sometimes plan for events in our lives that we seek to experience. Humans are deeply connected to the pull of the moon, especially women. Our menstrual cycles operate on a calendar of 28 days, which happens to be the same length of time the moon requires to go from new through full and back to new again. Mankind’s earliest calendars are believed to be tic or tally marks that tracked the growth and disappearance of the moon. Witches keep ahold of this ancient knowledge and continue to put it to use in our own lives.
The moon experiences eight phases in growing from New through Full and returning to New again. The Witch’s yearly calendar mirrors this on a larger scale, marking these eight points as Sabbats (holidays) along the Wheel of the Year.
It’s another example of the Microcosm/Macrocosm duality.
This graphic illustrates the lunar cycles paired up with the solar sabbats in terms of energy and function. This does NOT mean that the lunar phases only or always occur at these times of the year. The moon is monthly– the origin of the word, in fact, is ‘moonth’, which was a calculation of the moon’s cycle. I present this graphic to explain the rises and falls of energy, the focus for spells and magic, and how these two things, Solar and Lunar calendars, coincide with each other.
Many cultures throughout history, and into the present Neopagan paths have adopted the practice of naming the full moons for each month.
Here is a document I share with my students when teaching them lunar lore.
Go out and look at the moon sometimes, no matter the phase. Enjoy it!