Why do Ritual during Waning and Dark Moon Phases?
Aligning our energies and magic with lunar cycles is as old as time. While there are infinite cycles we can align with, the twenty-eight-day lunar cycle is visible to the eye no matter where we are. It aligns with our own menstrual cycles if we are people who bleed. And, it’s a generous enough time-frame to track our results.
When we commit to partnering with the waxing-full-waning-dark moon, we become more cognizant of how our own moods and motivations wax and wane. We are reminded that parts of our lives are in phases of increase and manifestation, while others are in gratitude, decline, release, grief. The Moon reminds us that balance is dynamic, not static.
We do Rituals of Release during the waning/dark phase of the lunar cycle. This enables us to clarify our desire, so we can start calling that in during the New and Waxing Moon phases. When we cycle back around to the Waning time, we’re ready to release, again–not because we failed last round–but because the art of manifestation is cyclical.
Traditionally, lunar phases are associated with the seasons of our lives: New/Child, Waxing/Maiden, Full/Mother, Waning/Crone, Dark/Death-Birth (the liminal space between death of the old and birth of the new).
I suspect another reason why we forgo Rituals of Release is because they are associated, magically, with the Crone, with decline. We fear letting go. We fear decline. We fear we’ll be emptied out and disintegrate into nothingness–like the Crone, like the waning/dark moon. It’s unfortunate that ageism plays a role in recognizing and participating in the full lunar (and life) cycle.