Technically, today -- 11 July 2018 -- we are under the Dark Moon, a time when no visible lunar light is being reflected. This is a period that can last from 1.5 to as much as 3.5 nights, depending on where the Moon is in its orbit around the earth. It is the interval between the slightest waning crescent and the barely seen waxing crescent of the lunar silhouette.
Astrologically there may be no specific position of the Moon in relation to the Sun that is agreed by most astrologers to be the Dark Moon degrees. I use an orb of about 10 degrees, because the Moon moves quite rapidly and 10 degrees is a distance that is closed in just hours. That may be too minimal.
Dark Moon Magick
The Dark Moon can be an awesome period of psychic reception and insight into the great mysteries of life. It's a perfect time for soul-searching, for recognizing the deepest of soul truths, for standing naked and alone in the transformation of your unvoiced fears and finding your authentic power within.
Some of us notice feeling extra tired, or in need of more alone time during a Dark Moon. Some might feel a triggering of deep grief, or a profound yearning for something indefinable and out of reach. The Dark Moon can be disturbing in generating uncharacteristic hours of overwhelming depression or confusion, or a sense of unending angst of the Soul.
This should NOT be taken as a problem, but as the natural energies of the Spirit preparing for the coming New Moon's shift of focus into new beginnings. It is a chance to be fully awake to unknowing as well as to coming possibilities.
As an aside, the term waxing indicates the period between New and Full Moon, while the term waning indicates the period after the Full Moon until the Dark Moon. You can tell by observing which Lunar phase we are in by noting which direction the Moon's crescent is pointing. When the points are pointing to your left or maybe more pointing up, or when the missing part of the approaching full roundness is on the left, it's a waxing phase. Vice versa for the waning phase.
During the Dark Moon it's a good time to practice more gratitude affirmations and very consciously work on flipping negative thoughts to their positive counterpart. There is a simple psychotherapy trick for this:
Acknowledge the negative
Immediately in the same sentence state the word "AND"
Assert the positive
What that sounds like in practice is something like this:
I'm so depressed today,
I'm grateful to know it's only temporary.
Or, like this:
I worry that I'll repeat cycles of abuse from my family AND I'm grateful to see how they operate and to be getting help to change them.
The Dark Moon and early New Moon period is also a great time to connect with ancestors if you are doing genealogy. Meditate for a while on a relative in your distant past and how their strengths, interests, or talents have threaded through time to become part of you.
New Moon Magick
The New Moon astrologically arrives on Thurs., July 12 at 7:48 pm Pacific time when the Sun and Moon are both at 20 degrees 41 minutes of Cancer -- although skywatchers may not yet see evidence of the waxing crescent. We may feel more empathetic and empathic, or more moody and overly-sensitive tomorrow and a day or two after.
Obviously, New Moon's signal new beginnings. But more than that, they are almost a big flashing neon sign of encouragement to know that we always, or at least monthly, have the opportunity to correct mistakes and start over, that no condition or attitude has to be interminable. That's pretty big magick right there.
And doing a gratitude ritual -- as opposed to an abundance ritual -- for that regular opportunity to begin again is a wonderful way to stay in alignment with your soul's purpose.
One New Moon ritual that can be quite illuminating is to do a tarot reading for yourself. Use three cards. It doesn't matter how you lay them out really, although some might suggest a specific horizontal or vertical pattern. To me a horizontal pattern can yield a kind of past /present/ future timeline, while a vertical arrangement suggests a building or stepping stone pattern asking what's my first step, what will be needed along the way, and what do I need to complete my goal.
It can also be a good time to reconstruct any crystal grids you have, fresh any home altars, or write out your month's intentions then put them in a prayer tie that you can hang from a deck railing or tree branch until the Full Moon.
Because the Dark and New Moons are in Cancer, this is a particularly useful energy for working on family harmony, including the giving or accepting of forgiveness of the overt and unintentional emotional injuries caused by your children or parents. Don't forget to include forgiveness of yourself if needed, and letting go of any lingering feelings of guilt and shame in preparation for that New Moon chance of making amends and moving forward with a clean slate.