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In Memoriam

THE ESBATS 
 
To honor the Moon is to honor the Goddess.  The God should also be remembered during Moon rituals, for without the Sun reflecting his light on the Moon we wouldn't be able to see her.  (This again shows the balance of masculine and feminine.)  The Moon is so important to Witches.  It changes the tides, not only in the seas, but also in our bodies. . . our Souls.  The Moon represents the Goddess in so many traditions around the world.  She is revered and honored in rituals of all kinds.  Her magick is ever changing, like the tides, shifting smoothly from one phase to another, unnoticed by some and anticipated by others.  For those of you who revere Her, you might find the information listed here helpful.  For those who would like to learn more, it's a place to start. 

The Phases

     The phases of the moon have an effect on your magick.  They can take away from or add to your doings, so knowing when to do what can increase your work's outcome tremendously.  Listed below are the magickal properties of the Phases of our great Goddess.
Waxing Phase  Also known as the Maiden phase of the Triple Goddess.  This is the time between the New Moon (or no Moon) and the Full Moon.  Magick performed during this phase should be of attraction, increasing, growth, and new projects. 
Full Phase 
Also known as the Mother phase of the Triple Goddess.  Some traditions believe this Moon phase lasts three days before, the day of and three days after the actual date of the Full Moon with the date of the Full Moon being the strongest.  Magick performed during the Full Moon should be increasing, growth, healing and empowerment.  The Full Moon is called an Esbat.  There are thirteen Esbats in a year.  Below is a listing of the Esbats for  this year.
Waning Phase  Also known as the Crone phase of the Triple Goddess.  This Moon phase is the time between the Full Moon and the New Moon.  Magick performed during this phase should be of decreasing, releasing, banishing and cleansing.  With the strongest time being the night before the New Moon.

New Phase  Or no Moon, is traditionally the time when no magick is performed.   It is a time of rest and relaxation.  Divination and meditation can be done, but usually not for a specific reason.  Some traditions believe this phase lasts three days before, the day of, and three days after the New Moon.  If it is absolutely necessary to perform magick, Hecate can be called upon for help.  For this is her time to rule.  (Hecate is the Crone Goddess of Greek tradition.)

 A New Moon rises with the Sun,
Her waxing half at midday shows,
The Full Moon climbs at sunset hour,
And the waning half the midnight knows.

To each Lunar month the ancients assigned a name in accordance with the nature of the activity that took place at that time.

January

Wolf Moon - The moon in deepest of Winter. In earlier times a time when the wolf came close to the villages to seek food.
Celtic - Alder - Masculine Moon of Completeness Exorcism; Prosperity; Banishing; Healing
Ritual - January is the time to conserve energy by working on personal problems that involve no one else. It is also a time for protection rites and reversing spells. During this month the energy flow is sluggish and below the surface.

February

Storm Moon - The storms come in silence. They blanket the world in coldness.
Celtic - Willow - Feminine The Witches' Moon; Moon of Balance Romantic Love; Healing; Protection; Fertility; Magick for Women
Ritual - February is the time for loving the self, accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. At this time the energy flow is working toward the surface; good for purification, growth, and healing. 

March

Chaste Moon - Like Diana, all of Nature at this moment is pure potential waiting fo be fulfilled.
Celtic - Ash Feminine Moon of Waters  Prosperity; Protection; Healing
Ritual - March is the time for new beginnings, breaking illusions, and seeing the truth in your life however much it may hurt. The energy flow breaks into the open, a good time for growing, prospering, and exploring. Light and Dark are in balance now.

April

Hare Moon - Rabbits leap and play care-free in their mating and joyful in their games.
Celtic - Hawthorn Masculine  Moon of Restraint; Moonof Hindrance; Summer Moon  Fertility; Peace; Prosperity; Binding 
Ritual - April is the time for working on your temper, emotional flare-ups, and selfishness. The energy is flowing into creating and producing; a good time for change, self-confidence issues, taking advantage of opportunities, and realizing self-reliance.

May

Dyad Moon - Sacred Marriage of the God and Goddess. When all meet their opposites in perfect balance and in perfect harmony. Let there be beauty strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence, within you."
Celtic - Oak Masculine  Moon of Strength; Moon of Security; Bear Moon  All positive purposes; Magick for Men; Fidelity
Ritual - May is the time for strengthening the connections with supernatural protectors and beings around you. The energy is in full flow making this a good time for intuition, propagating, and connecting with faeries and nature spirits.

June

Mead Moon - After the bees have gathered their pollen and nectar the hives are filled with honey that is waiting to be gathered.
Celtic - Holly Feminine  Moon of Encirclement; Moon of Polarity  Protection; Prophecy; Magick for Animals; Sex Magick 
Ritual - June is the time for decision making, taking responsibility for present happenings, working on personal inconsistencies, and for strengthening and rewarding yourself for your positive traits. The energy is in full, but restive, flow, the Earth tides are turning making this a good time for protection, strengthening, and prevention spells.

July

Wort Moon - gathering of herbs, the word wort is old Anglo Saxon for "herb".
Celtic - Hazel Feminine  Moon of the Wise; Crone Moon  Manifestiation; Spirit Contact; Protection; Fertility
Ritual - July is the time for dream-work, divination, and meditation on spiritual goals and plans. The energy is slower and more relaxed, proper for success and prosperity spells. This month is the time to start preparing for the colder and darker months ahead.

August

Barley Moon - A time to contemplate the eternalness of life. The grain in the bread we eat are descended from the first grain ever gathered.
Celtic - Vine Androgynous  Moon of Celebration  (Property dependent on the type of vine)
Blackberry - Prosperity; Protection; Sacred to Brid Blueberry - Spirituality; Dream Magick
Grape - Fertility; Inspiration; Prosperity; Binding
Thistle - Courage; Protection; Strength 
Ritual - August is the time for harvesting, gathering, and appreciating. The energy flow is slowing more and now is the time of vitality, health, and friendships.

September

Wine Moon or Harvest Moon. A time of true spiritual initiation. Since wine was, and is, such a sacred fluid, the Pagans of old named this Lunar month the Wine Moon.
Celtic - Ivy Masculine  Moon of Buoyancy; Moon of Resilience  Healing; Protection; Cooperation; Exorcism
Ritual - September is the time for organizing and straightening up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter. The energy flow is resting and Light and Dark are in balance.

October

Blood Moon - In days past a time for gathering food for the winter. The harvest supplemented by hunting wild animals or by slaughtering domestic ones.
Celtic - Reed Feminine  Moon of the Home; Hearth Moon; Winter Moon; Moon which Manifests Truth  Fertility; Protection; Love; Family Concerns
Ritual - October is the time for inner cleansing. Meditate on the laws of Karma and thoughts of reincarnation. This is the time of letting go, justice, balance, and inner harmony.

November

Snow Moon - Ahead are the dark months of winter. The Spirit is most active when the body is still.
Celtic - Birch Feminine - Moon of Inception; Moon of Beginning, Protection of children; purification; creativity
Ritual - November is the month of transformation. It is time to prepare for the coming winter and a time to strengthen communication with the god or goddess closest to you. The energy flow is taking root and preparing to flow once more.

December

Oak Moon - The moon nearest the Winter Solstice. Like the Divine Child who is born to die and dies to be reborn anew, the ancient Oak has its trunk and branches in the material world of the living, while its roots, the branches in reverse, reach deep into the Underworld, symbolic land of the Spirit.
Celtic -  Rowan Masculine Moon of Vision; Spirit Moon; Astral Travel Moon, Healing; Personal Empowerment; Divination  
Ritual December is the time of Spiritual Paths. The Earth tides are turning and it is time to reach out to friends and family, the lonely, and the needy. This is the month of death and renewal. Spells should should be aimed at endurance and provision.

Blue Moon Comes but once a year. The moon that occurs second in a one month period.

NEW MOON PHASE

   Used for personal growth, healing, the blessing of a new project or venture, etc. If done correctly, success should be obtained by the first Full Moon. The Crone is transformed into the Maiden. It is a time of renewal and new beginnings. The Maiden is the continuation of all life; her color is white, denoting innocence and newness. She is the springtime, the dawn, eternal youth and vigor, enchantment and seduction, the new and waxing moons.

DARK MOON PHASE 

   The three days before the New Moon is the time called the dark of the moon. This is when you can't see the moon in the heavens. Traditionally, this is a time when no magick is performed. It is a period to give yourself rest. Meditation and vision questing can be performed now, but without a specific magickal purpose. However, The Crone, or the Dark Mother, rules this time, and if her magick is needed, now is the time when you should use it.

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