The Waning Crescent phase, which directly follows the Last Quarter, is where, what we see, is just a small sliver of the Moon. That little piece of the Moon that is visible to the human eye is now on the left side, as opposed to the Waxing Crescent, where it is on the right. This is the phase that precedes the New Moon, as this is when the Moon continues to visually become smaller and smaller in size, and thus shifting from the Waning Crescent to the New Moon.
During the Waning Crescent Moon, it is ideal to work on the removal of any sort of negativity, tempestuous, and/or highly stressful items, or aspects, from your life. Likewise, now is also a great time to work on stronger banishment spells, as well as taking time to focus and work through the more significant issues or concerns one may have. One may choose to focus on internal and/or external issues at this time, but a focus we highly recommended for this time is shadow work.
Why focus on banishment? From the end of the Full Moon until now, the Moon has visually become smaller and smaller each night. This is, for many practitioners who follow the Moon’s cycle, symbolic of items being removed from one’s life. It is the epitome of an item, or even a person being cast away, thus no longer causing issues or creating unnecessary havoc. The primary focus of banishment spells is the removal of these things in particular. Additionally, they can provide the practitioner with a feeling, or sense of relief, as one is closing the door on what no longer serves him/her.
Why is shadow work an ideal area of focus? Well, this is quite literally the last phase before the Moon is completely dark, and the Moon is also representative of one’s intuition and subconscious/unconscious. Shadow work brings forward what may reside in one’s subconscious; this can include feelings of fear, self-doubt, or even self-loathing on some level. Shadow work assists with one finding the root causes of these particular feelings and allows the practitioner to effectively work through them.
Starting the process of shadow work and self acceptance during the Waning Crescent is ideal due to the nature of the following phase: the New Moon. During the New Moon is the perfect time for one to focus magickal workings on acceptance and growth, which is imperative during and following the completion of shadow work. Think of it as a means of paving the way for a new beginning. As they say, when one door closes, another door opens.
Below you will find the instructions for a Purification Bath and Protection Oil, as well as a Shadow Work Ritual, for which these are required.
- 2 tablespoons of sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon of charcoal
- ¼ teaspoon mugwort
- ¼ teaspoon Rosemary
- 2 drops frankincense oil
- 1 drop lemon oil
All of the materials listed above are to be mixed together in a small dish and then added to bathwater prior to one bathing. While in the bath, the lights should be dimmed. Candles can be used, if so desired. While bathing, one should relax and clear the mind.
- 2 drops petitgrain
- 2 drops black paper
- 1 drop basil
- 2 drops geranium
- 1 drop pine
- 1 drop vetiver
Mix all of the ingredients listed above together, and place in a small glass jar. While mixing one, should be focused on, or thinking of the intent, which is protection from all things causing harm.
Shadow Work Ritual
- White candle
- Black candle
- Protection oil
- Small fire-proof bowl
The shadow self is the part that one may not share with the rest of the world. Often times, the shadow self is what is kept hidden, and is comprised of what one may dislike, or not accept about oneself. For example, there may have been an undesirable event, or series of events, or perhaps aspects, or traits that one had developed that causes one to feel ashamed, or even angry. These are often the very parts of oneself that are buried deep beneath the surface. The problem with this is that it prevents one from accepting his or her true self. As such, these darker aspects, or darker parts often take a significant amount of time to work through. Shadow work is what brings these darker aspects into the light, it unites one’s ego with the shadow. Only when one accepts the true self, can one have full control over one’s desires, thoughts, and magickal workings.
Prior to performing this ritual, you should have taken a purification bath (see above), and have prepared the protection oil that will be used. You will want to ensure that all required items are within reach of where you will be working. Working outside is optimal, but if that is not an option, simply find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. As you begin, you will want to cast a circle.
After you’ve cast your circle, you will take your protection oil and anoint both the black and the white candles. The white candle will symbolize your ego, the part of yourself that you show the world, and the black will symbolize your shadow, the part of yourself that you keep hidden from the eyes of others.
After you have anointed each candle, you will then light both of the candles, and pick up the piece of paper. On one side of the paper, you write down all of the parts of yourself that you show to the world, what you allow others to see. One the other side, you will write the aspects of yourself that you keep hidden.
When you have finished, you will fold the piece of paper (it is okay if you need more than one piece of paper), and place it in your fireproof bowl. You will then spend a few moments clearing your mind and focusing on both sides of yourself (the ego and the shadow). You must focus on how you can unite the two selves, and becoming your one true self. Focus on understanding and accepting everything that makes you who you are: the aspects you like and dislike. Be sure to take your time, do not rush through this process.
When you truly feel that you have completed this, you will light the paper on fire. As it burns, you will picture both sides of yourself becoming one. Words are not important for this ritual, but if you wish to say something, you may do so.
When you are finished, you should feel at peace with yourself. When you are certain that you have reached this point, you can snuff the candles if they are not out already, and open your circle.
* A Note to Our Readers: You are more than welcome to use the above ritual as you desire, just be sure to give proper credit when sharing.
We have discussed how this phase is important for focusing on the removal of the more difficult or unwanted items in your life. However, this is also a time to give gratitude for what you have and/or desire to have in your life. With that said, what is something you are grateful for? Conversely, what is that one door that you have been hesitant to open?
Now would be the perfect time to plant the seeds for future endeavors.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the articles published in the Moon Magick series thus far. Stay tuned for the next article in the series! And as always, be blessed upon your magickal journey.
~ Sara Lynn & Tora Athene
Next post in this series:
Dark Moon Magick