5 BEST Waning Moon Rituals for 2024

Magical Woman in a Moon circle performing a waning Moon ritual

The waning Moon is a super-significant phase in astrology and spirituality, representing release, surrender, and eventually, endings. Yet without the promise of creativity, abundance, and manifestation (unlike the waxing Moon phase!) the waning Moon tends not be be as popular as other phases.

The energy of the waning Moon can be harnessed to make really positive changes in your life, and one of the best ways is through rituals.

In this article we’ll take a look at the meaning and significance of the three main waning Moon phases, how they affect us, and detail a few examples of rituals and Moon magic you can start performing straight away!

What is a waning Moon?

A waning Moon is a Moon phase that occurs after the full Moon and before the new Moon. During this phase, the illuminated portion of the Moon visible from Earth gradually decreases until it’s completely invisible. When this happens, la Luna has reached the dark Moon phase. This is the darkest portion of the Moon cycle, occurring just before the next new Moon.

In the northern hemisphere, the shadow side of the waning Moon appears on the right, and in the southern hemisphere, it appears on the left.

Comprised of three different phases, the energy of the waning Moon changes over the two weeks it takes, between the full Moon and new Moon. From the buoyant, residual full Moon energy, all the way to the dark void that arrives just before the next lunar cycle begins, let’s see how these phases stack up:

There are three phases of the waning Moon phase, these are:

  • Waning gibbous

  • Last quarter

  • Waning Crescent

The waning gibbous Moon

A waning gibbous Moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the illuminated portion of the Moon visible from Earth decreases from 99% to just over 50%. It happens right after the Full Moon and before the last quarter Moon, and lasts for around a week.

The waning gibbous Moon is often associated with completing projects, harvesting, and analysing details.

What do you do on a waning gibbous Moon?

Still so close to the full Moon, this lunar phase is best for seeking clarity and illumination, getting to the root of problems, and celebrating wins. It’s recommended to start to retreat from the outer world and spend more time in self-reflection. To analyse and learn from the accomplishments of the lunar cycle, and reflect on what could have been done differently.

The last-quarter Moon

A third-quarter Moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the illuminated portion of the Moon visible from Earth is approximately 50%, and the Moon is 270º from the Sun. This lunar phase lasts for around a day and happens between the waning gibbous and waning crescent Moon phases.

What do you do on a last-quarter Moon?

The last quarter Moon is often associated with inner reflection, and it calls for us to look honestly and deeply within, and reflect on our habits, patterns and behaviours. Exactly halfway between the current cycle’s full Moon, and the beginning of the next Moon cycle, the last quarter is a tipping point. It’s an invitation to make a change.

The waning crescent Moon

A waning crescent Moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the illuminated portion of the Moon visible from Earth decreases from 49% to just over 1%. Also known as a balsamic Moon, it happens between the last quarter and the dark Moon and lasts for around a week.

What do you do on a last-quarter Moon?

The waning crescent Moon invites us to surrender, release, and let go of the past, in order to embrace the new beginnings of the upcoming New Moon.

This darkening Moon phase is for resting, reflecting, and consciously releasing what no longer serves you. It’s great for Moon magick which involves banishment rituals. The waning crescent Moon calls for deep inner reflection, and trusting your intuition. The focus is on spiritual growth, through facing the shadow.

Crescent Moon symbol in purple sky

What energy does the waning moon give off spiritually?

The waning Moon phase is associated with inner reflection, and surrendering old habits, patterns, and emotions. Spiritually, it is a time to reflect on what’s no longer serving us and to release it, to make space for new growth and opportunities.

The waning lunar phases are also a time for self-care, and healing, as well as for completing unfinished projects or tasks, in preparation for the fresh energy that will come with the new lunar cycle.

How does a waning Moon make you feel?

The way a waning Moon makes an individual feel can vary, but it is generally associated with introspection, release, and letting go of old patterns or emotions. It can be a time for reflection, healing, and completing unfinished tasks.

Some people may feel a sense of sadness or nostalgia during this phase, while others can feel a renewed sense of energy and motivation as they prepare for the new beginnings ushered in by the upcoming New Moon.

However you feel at the waning Moon, it is a lunar phase that supports us to turn inward and evaluate our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Many people use this phase to examine their lives and identify areas where they need to let go or make changes.

Gemini Moon woman under pink sky with crescent Moon

Is the waning Moon good for manifesting?

The waning Moon is generally not considered the best time for manifesting as it is associated with release and letting go. However, it’s a really potent time to release old patterns and beliefs that could be preventing you from manifesting what you desire.

By using the energy of the waning Moon, you can more effectively let go of what no longer serves you. This will create space for the brand-new opportunities and growth that will come during the waxing Moon phases of the next Moon cycle. Without consciously releasing, you’re more likely to simply perpetuate old habits and behaviours, and have to deal with the same old stagnant energy and unhealthy patterns you did, during the past cycle.

So while the waning Moon is not ideal for manifesting, it’s a useful time for clearing the path towards our goals, so that by the time the waxing crescent Moon arrives, your slate is clean. Don’t skip your Moon phase rituals under a waning Moon! This time is a valuable step in the journey of conscious manifestation!

Waning moon rituals are practices performed during the waning moon phase to support the process of letting go and surrendering what no longer serves. These rituals can take many forms, from simple meditations to more elaborate ceremonies.

Here are a few examples of some waning moon rituals for you to try at home –

Woman writing intentions in journal

5 Waning Moon Rituals

  1. Journal and release
  2. Declutter
  3. Waning Moon bath
  4. Dreamwork divination
  5. Shadow work

Waning moon rituals can be performed alone or in a group. Many people find it helpful to create a sacred space for their ritual, such as lighting candles or burning incense. It’s also important to set a clear intention for your ritual and approach it with an open heart and mind.

Waning moon phase rituals can be SUCH a powerful tool for personal growth. By letting go of what no longer serves you during this phase, you can create space for new beginnings and growth.

1. Journal and release

Journaling is a great way to reflect on the lunar cycle, and get all of the doubts, criticism, realizations, and home truths down on paper so they can be fully seen. Once you have written them down, read them out loud and then burn the paper as a symbol of release.

Here is a step-by-step guide for journaling at the waning Moon:

  1. Set up your space: Find a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed. Light candles and play a little music if you like.
  2. Reflect on the past month: Think back over the last lunar cycle since the new Moon. What have you experienced or accomplished? What areas have you struggled in?
  3. Identify what to release: Make a list of anything you want to let go of, such as negative thoughts, unhealthy behaviours, limiting beliefs, unresolved emotions, etc. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Write it down: Write each item onto a piece of paper, in sentence or paragraph form. Pour your emotions into the page, as it’s the emotion that holds the power.
  5. Read it aloud: Read each item you’ve written out loud to yourself. Hearing it can help with the release.
  6. Burn the list: Lightly burn the pages in a fire-safe tray or small bowl. Or if you cna’t use fire, you can rip or shred the paper as a symbolic release.
  7. Invite something new: Send out a wish, prayer, or invitation for something new to enter into your life. This is really important, as the ritual has created a space in your field, so you must fill it. You could invite in love, truth, or beauty (this isn’t the same as setting a New Moon intention).
  8. Close your ritual: Extinguish any candles and thank Grandmother Moon for her support.

2. Declutter

Use the waning Moon as an opportunity to declutter your physical space.

Go through your possessions and donate or discard anything that no longer serves you.

You can make the process of decluttering into a ritual act, by:

  • Stating your intentions of releasing energy, clearing space, and making room for new opportunities.

  • Working in one room or section at a time and fully focussing your energy in that space to clear it out completely.

  • Playing music: Chants or nature sounds work well.

  • Energetically cleanse as you go: Use local herbs for smudging or saining your spaces and belongings. Or sprinkle salt or baking soda on surfaces.

  • Visualize energy being released: As you touch or let go of each item, envision any or negative energy being cleansed away.

  • Make an offering: All homes have Spirits, so make offerings to yours.

  • Ritually burn certain items: Symbolically burn old paperwork, letters or small trinkets you no longer need, to fully release their energy.

  • Give thanks: When you’ve finished, express gratitude for the space you get to call home.

Close up of ritual moon bath with orange slices in water

3. Waning Moon bath

A Moon bath is a wonderful deep-cleaning ritual for the waning moon phase. As the Moon’s energy helps release what is no longer serving you, a Moon bath allows you to literally wash away negativity and clear your auric field. By soaking in water infused with cleansing herbs, Epsom salts and essential oils, a Moon bath is a really potent way to cleanse your body and energy in preparation for the new cycle beginning at the new Moon.

As you soak, visualize any negative emotions or energy being released from your body and mind, carried away by the natural ebb of retreating Moon energy.

When you drain the water, imagine all of that negative energy being washed away.

Get the full guide to Moon bathing

Read this post next – Sacred Art of the Moon Bath: Cleanse and Clarify with Lunar Energy

Woman wrapped up in duvet

 4. Dreamwork divination

Dreamwork is a beautiful ritual to do under the waning Moon as this lunar phase supports diving into the unconscious and unseen realms. Analyzing dreams from the past Moon cycle through journaling or interpretation can help illuminate unconscious patterns and symbolic messages that you may need to hear.

The waning Moon is also an ideal time to practice intentional dreaming. Do this by setting an intention before you fall asleep, to receive a dream about something you want clarity on.

As soon as you wake up, write down what you remember of your dream, and ponder the symbolism and associations it holds for you.

hands reaching up to waning crescent Moon

5. Shadow work

Shadow work can be a really impactful thing to practice as a waning Moon ritual. THis is because waning lunar energy can deeply support your personal journey into the underworld. 

By using journaling, meditation, dreamwork, and somatic movement, you can explore your shadow self and gain huge insights into your unconscious patterns when the Moon is waning.

Need to track down your shadow?

Read this post next – 6 Simple Ways to Identify Your Shadow Traits

Though it’s not always the most popular of phases in the Moon cycle, the waning moon is a rich source of symbolism and can be a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual practices.

By incorporating the deep, surrendering, truth-giving waning moon symbolism into our rituals and Moon magic (and our lives!) we can effectively release what no longer serves us and create space for new opportunities and growth.

All phases of the Moon have real value, and working with the Moon cycles is a profound way to create. SO while the waning moon may not be optimal for manifesting new goals, its energy supports the important work of transformation and inner cleansing, which is imperative, for new beginnings to emerge. Doing this through a Moon ritual amplifies that support.

May you find renewal, healing, and empowerment through consciously working with the waning moon’s transformative energy.

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