Under the Moon

Pray to the moon when she is round,
Luck with you will then abound.
What you seek for shall be found,
On the sea or solid ground.

Since ancient times the moon, being the earth’s closest celestial body, has captured us in awe.  It circles our planet every 27.55 days (approximately) and as it does, it causes the ocean’s tides to ebb and flow, as well as the energies within us humans (as we are about 75% water).

Holding a mystical place within the human cultures, many myths and evolved about the effects that the moon has on us – from turning people into werewolves to induced lunacy to epileptic seizures.  “It must be a full moon,” is a phrase heard whenever crazy things happen and those working as psychiatry staff, emergency room personnel and even police on late shift.

Within Contemporary Wytchcraft the moon is perceived as a celestial representative of the Divine Feminine, the Goddess, as opposed to the sun as being the celestial representative of the Divine Masculine, the God.  This association of gender is not a recent idea, although it may vary throughout various cultures, for the Greek mathematician and philosopher, Pythagoras, (c.500 BCE) is believed to have attributed genders to the planets.  Older still is the 4,000 year old Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, the primary elements of the universe.  Here, yin (meaning “dark side of the mountain”) relates to the feminine, dark, closed, wet and cold, whereas yang (“light side of the mountain) relates to the masculine, light, open, dry and hot.

Working with the different phases on the moons forms part of the practices of Contemporary Wytchcraft.  The moon takes about 29.5 days to make a complete lunation cycle, that is from new moon to full moon and back to new moon again. There are generally considered to be some eight different phases that the moon passed through on its lunation cycle, each lasting approximately 3.7 days.  When covens gather under the moon, these gatherings are referred to as esbats, derived from the Old French s’esbattre (meaning “to frolic and amuse oneself, diversion”.

From time to time the Temple of the Dark Moon hosts open Full Moon Gatherings.  More details about these can be found here.  Bookings are essential as there are limited places available – priority given to those people who have already circled with the Temple of the Dark Moon.