Do you know what the dark Moon phase is? It arrives the three days (or so) before the new Moon when the sky is dark and the air feels hushed. It’s invisible (hence also being known as the black Moon) but if you tune in, you can sense the stillness.
This inky, mystical, and ancient lunar phase holds a potent energetic charge. It’s different from any other time in the cycle, YET the dark Moon is perhaps the most misunderstood of all.
Why is this?
Because the dark Moon is not bright, creative, productive, fertile, or dynamic in any sense.
This Moon phase doesn’t encourage or support ‘growth’.
It’s not an active, directional, or exciting time. No, the dark Moon is a time of retreating into the void, the mystery, and the discomfort of not knowing quite what’s going on…
What’s the meaning of the dark Moon phase?
The dark Moon phase is a time of rest, retreat, and contemplation. It’s a time to connect to the great mystery and the deep feminine. This lunar phase calls for stillness and time, not dynamic action or ‘manifesting’ of any kind.
The very nature of the dark Moon phase seems to be at odds with the core values of our modern world – a world that wants us to be more, do more and achieve more, all of the time!
So to truly embrace the energy of the dark Moon, we’re required to turn our backs on the relentless pace of society, if only for a few days. And this is really difficult to do.
So the meaning of the dark Moon is an initiation into a new way of being, an ancient way of bring, a deeply feminine way of being.
The dark Moon and the suppression of the dark feminine
Are you aware of how dark feminine energy has been suppressed? This suppression goes hand in hand with the loss of knowledge around the dark Moon.
Yet when things get suppressed, they don’t disappear (as we know from practicing shadow work). Suppressed things simply get squeezed and contained, distorted and damaged, misrepresented and misunderstood.
So over many generations, just as the dark feminine has become vilified, twisted, and turned into something dirty, wrong, shameful and taboo, so have the rituals of the dark Moon.
What do you do on the Dark Moon?
You should spend time at the dark Moon resting, relaxing, and connecting with the whispers of your inner world. The dark Moon phase is a time to surrender to the mysteries of the divine feminine, and embrace your inner wisdom, rather than looking outwards for answers.
Some people choose to meditate, journal, or simply rest. Others engage in divination practices like tarot or runes.
The very essence of the dark Moon is difficult to describe in words. Her energy defies definitions and her power is intangible and hard to hold.
Yet once you come into contact with the dark Moon for yourself and begin to perform dark Moon rituals, you’ll discover her magic.
It’s ancient, powerful, and untamable.
It’s all the things patriarchy tried to take away from women (and the world) because it could not be controlled, and was therefore feared.
I know this may be kind of cryptic to read. And it’s part of the reason that so many generations of women have turned away from this flavor of feminine power.
Dark Moon rituals can’t be met through the mind, and the realms of logic and reason that humans are so quick to cultivate in children. Instead, to be able to connect to her energy, you need to open up your body, heart, and realms of imagination, and dive deep into those places.
That’s where the magic of the dark Moon lives. If you’re brave enough to go there, here are some rituals to mark the path…
5 Rituals for the dark Moon
- Slow down with intention
- A pleasure ritual
- Turn off the outside world and regenerate
- A womb ritual
These dark Moon rituals may seem too ordinary and not especially “ritualistic” to you.
But the truth is, to be able to embrace the energy of the dark Moon, we need to rewire ourselves internally, first. We need to lean BACK into ourselves and our experience of the moment, rather than cling onto this belief that the connection is ”out there somewhere.
So these 5 rituals are actually deceptively powerful dark Moon practices, to enable you to perceive and feel the mystery of this incredible lunar phase.
1. Slow down
The dark Moon invites deep intimacy with life.
But this doesn’t mean seeking more, to connect with more.
This ritual asks for less.
So ask yourself, when everything in life falls away, what’s left?
What’s the nugget of truth that’s left behind when all the tasks, obligations, demands, routines, and busyness fall away? When the distractions are gone, what is left in this single present moment, to become intimate with?
For most people, this kind of approach is a totally unfamiliar concept – they rarely get to the point where all these extraneous activities end.
The Dark Moon offers you a time to try.
The dark Moon invites you to put all of those things down, and rest in the stillness and emptiness of the moment… And get really intimate with what it feels like. Because it’s in that quiet pause that the Dark Moon will rise to meet you. It’s there that She’ll offer you new sensations, and realizations of truth and one-ness with life itself.
You don’t have to create a sacred space (all spaces are sacred under the dark Moon!)
This ritual is a stolen moment, wherever and whenever you are.
Simply create an opportunity to stop, slow down into pure presence, and experience time.
2. A pleasure ritual
Yet the dark Feminine (who, as we know, closely aligns with this Moon phase) is a true Mistress of the body. And she can teach us to be mistresses of ours. (Don’t be put off if you have a male body reading this – it applies to you too. Men also have been conditioned by patriarchy to view their bodies in very specific ways).
The Dark Moon teaches us about body sovereignty, boundaries, and the wildness of sensation. She invites us into the spaces where pleasure lives for us, VERSUS what society tells us we should like.
The Dark Moon phase is a quiet, stolen monthly invitation to come home to the body and touch her, listen to her, coax her from her slumber, and ride the waves of her OWN pleasure.
This can be anything from walking barefoot on the grass, to gorging on fruit until the juice is dripping down to your toes, to a full body massage to sex with a stranger…
Your body knows what she wants. Let her show it.
3. Turn OFF the outside world and regenerate
The Dark Moon holds ancient teachings of death and rebirth.
Linear ways of living life lead us (falsely) to believe that we are moving in one direction – ahead. YET the feminine lives cyclically. And at this point on her spiralling path, in this place embraced by the Dark Moon, we’re being plunged into a uniquely liminal space that sits between death and rebirth.
Like the forest floor, we are decaying. But we’re not being destroyed.
This time is inactive, yet holds a latent potential.
Wholly necessary, yet intangible.
The momentary metanoia…
But the dark Moon can’t become the dark Moon within, if you keep on adding more. If the mind and body are stuck processing, filtering, shuffling information around, and not allowed to join in her state of stillness, you will not meet her.
Turning off the noise is an essential practice of mine, for meeting the Dark Moon and tuning into the medicine she brings.
This means NOT scrolling social media. NOT creating anything new. And not attempting to share what I’m experiencing. It’s important for me, to be held completely in the pool of this Dark time.
4. Womb ritual
A daily practice. But one that really comes into its own at the Dark Moon.
- Close your eyes and melt into the dark.
- Drop the center of your awareness from the head (where most often usually sits) down through the body like a falling drop of honey until it lands in the dark secret space of the womb.
- Silently ask a question – what do you yearn to know? What do you need clarity, insight or guidance on?
- Listen. The womb is the seat of feminine wisdom and power, and she expresses this in a language that doesn’t use words, but images, stories, knowings, and the memories of the ancestors.
- Take your time, be with whatever arises, and trust your inner knowing.
- Give thanks to your sacred womb, and gently open your eyes.
Learning her vocabulary, by becoming familiar with what consciousness feels like in this place, deepens and cultivates not only a closeness to Dark Moon energy, but trust in her too.
At the dark Moon phase, the Moon is very close to rising with the Sun. This means la Luna is in the sky when the Sun is – She’s there with you during the daytime, even though you can’t see her. Then at night time, She has dropped below the horizon, which is why the sky is SO dark.
Energetically, her tidal draw is pulling you down too. Down below the horizon, down into the Earth, the dark soil, the belly of the Mother.
This dark Moon ritual calles for you to lie down on the ground at night during the Dark Moon phase. Look up and see the stars above you, and simultaneously feel all three celestial bodies beneath you (Sun, Moon, and Earth).
This ritual offers a profound, embodied experience of the concept of dropping.
Sensing, truly both the chthonic power of Earth, and the stellar magic of the stars…
A few more dark Moon rituals for you to try…
The dark Moon phase is a time to connect deeply to your inner world, look into the darkness, and discover what fertile ground lies within.
Here are a few more dark Moon rituals, practices, and activities you could try during this lunar phase –
- Do some journaling to heal the feminine
- Take a ritual Moon bath
- Explore the crone archetype
- Perform a banishing ritual
- Connect with the Dark Goddess
What’s your relationship with the dark Moon? Share with me in the comments below…