Hi! I’m Amy Cesari, author and illustrator of the Coloring Book of Shadows.
I recently created this Moon Magic page set, (yours free with sign-up!) and it gave me the idea to share a bit deeper into how I like to work with the moon in my own practice, specifically on big projects that take several moon cycles to complete.
Sometimes I’ll cast a spell or ritual at an appropriate moon-phase and then let that incident of magic work in the long-term. But with my larger projects like making a book, I’ll start it off with a spell or ritual, and then try to work in-synch with the moon’s phases for several cycles.
Of course, there are infinite ways to practice witchcraft, and the “best” way is to follow your own path and intuition to what feels powerful and true to you. And this example is about me doing what I do—creating a book or some kind of project. However, you could apply it (or not!) to anything you desire or are working towards.
So phase-by-phase, here’s what I like to do.
Waning & Dark Moon
As I write this, we’re in the Dark Moon phase. I’ve been finishing up loose ends on everything I can think of, paying bills, going through papers, tidying up. I deep-cleaned and reorganized my office, cleared out the old stuff and made space to start a new project.
Tomorrow is the new moon, and, it corresponds perfectly with me starting a new book project! Yay! I’m super excited.
And I’m planning to do a new moon spell of sorts to kick it off, something simple early in the morning, likely with just a few pieces of paper that I’ve written on, some candles, and maybe a splash of rain from the Spring Equinox that I collected last year. I often put my sketchbook into the spell for a new project, especially if I have notes or beginnings of things in it already.
After my New Moon spell, (on the same day!) I’m going to get to work on my project, acting in accord, and following what feels inspired. I usually keep going (within reason) for the waxing phase and through the full moon. I love this part, and I really get drawn into the creative process. During this phase of the moon, I typically don’t self-censor or worry too much about “what makes sense.” I don’t finalize anything, I just create. I follow the muse and draw, write, sketch, and let all the ideas out.
If I’ve reached a crossroads where I need decide to go one way or another, I often feel it strongly at the full moon and am compelled to shift or decide. If that’s the case, I make that decision and move forward with it.
If I’m not feeling that tension of things needing to shift, I’m typically more consumed with creativity during the full moon and for a few days after, so I likely won’t stop!
Of course, see how you feel and do what feels right for you. It’s a powerful time, so use the full moon as you see fit. But in this example, I’m going to ride the full moon’s energy into the waning phase, because that’s what often happens to me unless I’m feeling some type of frustration.
Even though the moon’s energy is shifting and decreasing, I’m not done with my project and I’m not going to stop working on it in this phase.
What I might start to do is think more critically about how it fits together, what’s working, what’s not working. In the previous waxing phase, I was “just” creating. Here in the waning phase, I may do further cutting of ideas, or identify what I want to change. I get things ready for the next phase by finishing up loose ends and readying to move to “what’s next,”whatever that is. I’m still creating, but I’m a bit more analytical and practical about what I’m doing.
Durning the waning phase, I take more afternoons off to rest or get things tidy and in order. If I have new ideas or things I want to start, I write them down and plan to start them later.
If there’s something I’m still not sure about, I use this phase to do a lot of thinking, reflecting, tarot card reading to try to move that forward and figure out what’s next. It’s a different kind of shifting and reflecting energy from the gut-level of the full moon. It’s quieter for me—so make sure to be still and listen carefully if you’re not sure if you feel the energy here. Or, just rest! It’s a good time for that, too.
New Moon (again!)
When the new moon comes back around, I take my insights (hopefully) and take my project to the next phase. I ramp up my creative energy again and create for two weeks while the moon is waxing.
When to Finish a Longer-Term Project.
Sometimes I work to finish, complete, or “launch” things at the New Moon, and sometimes I do it at the Full Moon. For me, the Full Moon has a more powerful energy of culmination that happens all at once, and the New Moon has more like a slower, seed-planting feel to it. So if you want a bigger “bang” of finishing energy, try the Full Moon, if you want to finish slowly, try for the New Moon.
This again is really a matter of personal choice. I used to favor the Full Moon for things like releasing a book or finishing a project, but I’m beginning to feel the fresh energy of the New Moon more, so I’ve been experimenting with that, too—and I think I might prefer it!
As you can tell, there are various interpretations and ways you can use the energy, it really depends on how you feel during the moon phases and what works best for you at that time.
And of course, I’m not always in synch with the moon with my projects! Life happens. Things get delayed and don’t always go to plan. But I try to be aware of the energy of the moon and how can work with it in the things that matter to me.
Hope this is helpful, and thanks for taking a peek into my personal witchcraft.