Many of us are familiar with what the Full Moon and New Moon represent but what about the Dark Moon – what is it and why should you care?
Many religions, cultures and spiritual belief systems from around the world and throughout history work in one way or another with the moon.
And it’s easy to see how it became so significant when so much of nature works not only in tune with the seasons, but the moon’s 28-day cycle too. The tides, animal migrations and breeding cycles and even the way plants grow – all linked to the phases of the moon.
It’s easy to see how ancient civilisations would have revered the moon for its powers of transformation, but what does that mean for us in modern times?
Ok, let’s get into the sciency bit before we bring in the woo. Over the course of the lunar cycle, we see the moon go from a tiny silver sliver to bright fullness and back again over those 29.5 days. The New Moon is the first phase of the moon when it is showing just a tiny fingernail of light and the Full Moon is when it is fully lit and it takes roughly 2 weeks to go from phase to the other.
Spiritually, these two phases represent the energy of new beginnings and setting intentions (New Moon - the start of the lunar phase) and completion and celebration (Full Moon - the mid point) with the phases in-between representing the cycle of energy waxing and waning as the moon grows and shrinks in the sky.
But there is often a stage of the cycle that seems to get skipped over and that’s the Dark Moon phase. This is the last day or so of each lunar cycle when the moon has no light from the sun reflected off its surface so it is cloaked in darkness. At this point, even on the clearest of nights, the moon would appear to have gone from the sky as it is shrouded in shadow.
What does the Dark Moon represent? (here comes the woo).
This final phase of the lunar cycle, as you may expect represents endings.
It is an opportunity to turn inward and reflect on what needs to be released ahead of the coming New Moon that welcomes fresh beginnings.
This dark moon phase invites inward contemplation. Like the depths of winter as the days are at their shortest, the darkness of this phase invites us not to shy away from the dark, but to look deeper into it and connect with whatever looks back at us.
If the New Moon is the first hint of green in Spring, and the Full Moon is the full bloom of Summer, the Dark Moon is the quiet, still depth of winter when the seed waits in the quiet deep darkness of the soil.
This is a time for deep inner work, for releasing old stories and unhelpful believes; for grieving what we have lost, letting go of what no longer serves us and in doing so make space for what is to come next.
I feel we often prefer to bounce merrily from the opportunity and potential of the New Moon to the bright high energy of the Full Moon, skipping over this part about honouring endings as it can feel quite melancholy and uncomfortable, and yet this is where the richest and truest parts of yourself can be found and understood.
This is the time when the seed is drawing richness from the dark soil it waits it, readying itself to grow up and out of the shadows. This is when we can alchemise the dark truths we find in our own shadow and convert them into strength and growth.
Working With The Dark Moon
Spending time in self connection practices each month, as the dark moon holds the sky creates a deep sense of self connection that opens up ways to release emotions as well as support you tap into deep personal power and forgotten truths.
The dark moon is the perfect time for inner contemplation so restful meditation, candle lit baths or showers, taking time to journal and reflect etc are all great ways to work with that energy.
Practices that invite stillness such as yin yoga, yoga nidra and body scans are also perfect for this time as whilst evoking stillness, they also allow for you to travel inward.
The Dark Moon also represents clearing and cleaning, so you may feel called to do activities such as unsubscribe from emails you no longer need or want; clear out a room; cleanse your space with incense or burning herbs, treat y
ourself to a spa like experience at home – anything that feels like it will support you clear away stagnant energy and make space in your life for fresh starts and growth.
With the theme of darkness, this is also a good time for shadow work - the practice of spending time with the parts of yourself that you usually hide, reject and deny. What would it feel like to pend time asking your inner critic what they fear, or asking the part of you that judges others what it really wants?
We typically avoid this deep inner work as it can be confronting and uncomfortable, but I promise you – gently exploring the dark stuff is where you find the best gold! It’s where you can some back to the trueness of who you really are and find ways to integrate and embrace the parts of you that are normally hidden.
The Dark Moon is an invitation to turn inward and connect with deep inner truths that are often hidden. Adding a Dark Moon practice to your regular routine could be the space you need to take your self connection to the next level.