The energy that accompanies every New Moon is the energy of beginning. The color, tone and shape of that beginning depends on a many things. If the New Moon conjoins a personal planet (natal Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) then something about you changes. If the Moon touches the social planets, Jupiter and Saturn, then the change impacts others and if she conjuncts the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto you're about to begin a new cycle of initiation with many other souls on a similar path.
The Sun and Moon hold hands on the New Moon in one sign. For example, a Cancer New Moon can only happen when the Sun is in Cancer. When the luminaries come together like this, they "light up" one sign and one house (in your birth chart) and all the themes and topics associated with that sign and house.
The lights that create and sustain life on our planet come together to conceive something new every month. I like to think of this as a conjugal visit of the Great Father and Great Mother. There is a fusion of solar and lunar energy. Sperm meets ovum. Heart meets Mind. Soul and Body conjoin.
The New Moon is our monthly reminder that we need both the Sun and Moon to live balanced lives. This reminder has never been more pertinent or important because we live in a world that favors the Solar principles of domination and achievement and frowns upon the lunar principles of intuition, creativity and reflection.
When we follow the lunar cycle we become co-creators. We realize that we are not entirely at the mercy of the gods but that - to a large degree - we have the power to direct our lives. The days leading up to the New Moon and up to three days after the New Moon are days of reflection, setting intentions and taking action.
The Moon is new when she comes between the Earth and the Sun. In other words she is in line with the Sun and is not visible to us.
The new Moon marks the beginning of a lunar cycle. This means that there’s a new Moon about once a month, because the Moon takes 29.5 days to orbit Earth.
As the Moon waxes and wanes, she mirrors the fluctuations of increase and decrease that take place in our bodies and psyche. Unsurprisingly, those of us with strongly positioned moons or many Cancer placements in our natal charts tend to feel depleted or tired just prior to the New Moon (ie. the Dark Moon phase).
About the Moon
The Moon does not concern herself with wants. Desire belongs to both Venus and Mars. The Moon is about needs. The difference between a "want" and a "need" is that a want is a nice-to-have like a diamond bracelet or a castle in the South of France and a need is a must-have like a qualification or a place to live.
Every New Moon you are given the opportunity to give voice to your needs and set in motion the wheels of change.
You will discover that your attention naturally gravitates towards the affairs of the house in which the New Moon lunation will fall. For example: If a New Moon is about to occur in Aries and Aries is your Second House then Second House themes like money, income and issues around self-worth hold your attention.
When a New Moon conjoins a planet in our natal chart, we BECOME that planetary energy. This happens only with the conjunction because this aspect awakens and energizes. It is seed energy.
We can change the way we approach New Moons (and Full Moons) by becoming aware of our natal placements and choosing instead to approach these upcoming lunations in a conscious and proactive manner instead of reacting to potential disturbances. For example: Uranus, the planet of surprises, can and almost always brings shocks and unexpected news and events. If you know an upcoming New Moon is going to conjunct your natal Uranus, you can prepare by asking yourself: Have I let the ball drop in any of my affairs highlighted by the house in which this lunation will occur? (The 4th House rules property for example. Check if you have your “house in order” at least a week before the lunation. Ask yourself: What needs fixing around the house?).
Aside: Please know there is a lot more to each house, including the psychological and spiritual components that I am not going to go into here.
How to harness New Moon energy
A New Moon conjunct a natal planet or angle (allow for a 3º orb) asks you to set an intention related to that planet or angle.
Some examples: New Moon conjunct Mercury asks you to set an intention around communication, writing, transport/short journeys. New Moon conjunct Sun asks you to change your identity (marriage or a new name are just two possibilities) children and creativity. New Moon conjunct Venus asks you to set intentions around beauty, love and friendship. New Moon conjunct your Ascendant asks you to set an intention around your appearance. New Moon on your Midheaven asks you to set an intention around career and reputation.
If the New Moon does not activate a natal planet, it will activate the themes of the house in which it falls in your natal chart. Let's say the New Moon occurs in Aries. If Aries is your 8th House, then a new beginning can be expected with regards to other people’s money (bank loan for example), inheritances, taxes, your partner’s finances.
How to set intentions
Here is a step-by-step process for intention setting during your New Moon ritual.
- Prepare for your intention setting ritual during the Moon's Dark phase (day before New Moon). Look at your birth chart and see if the New Moon will conjoin any of your planets or if she will aspect any of your planets. Follow the lunar cycle here. If you are an astrologer or a student of astrology I recommend Molly Astrology's calendars. Reflect on your goals and what you hope to achieve during that lunar cycle (New Moon to New Moon).
- Set the scene 12-24 hrs after the New Moon. Light a candle (preferably a white soy candle or beeswax candle). Bonus points if you carve out the Moon's glyph and sign of the zodiac she's in at the time of your ritual. Recite the Orphic hymn to Selene or call on your preferred Moon God/Goddess. If you have any Moon talismans then wear or apply that materia during your ritual. For exceptional materia check out Kaitlin Coppock's Sphere & Sundry offerings here.
- The Moon should - ideally - be in the same sign of her lunation. Write out your intentions during her hour . (Please do not stress if the Moon has moved on to the next sign. The New Moon energy is still in play). Do NOT write intentions during a void Moon. Make sure your intentions align with the house topics activated by the New Moon. If the New Moon occurred in your 1st House then you will write out intentions around 1st house (1H) topics like appearance and reinvention. It's important that there is some light visible when you begin writing intentions. Check this app to see if the moon is waxing and growing in light.
- Write out your intentions as follows:"I see myself starting a new routine that includes a 30 minute walk every morning." (6H, 1H)"I find myself studying X (subject) and I understand and retain the information with ease." (3H, 9H)"I see myself making new friends this month." (11H)"I easily create new opportunities for advancement." (10H)
- Complete your ritual by offering a prayer of thanks to your preferred Moon God/Goddess.
Bibliography and further reading:
Houlding, Deborah The Houses, Temples of the Sky
Marks, Tracy The Astrology of Self-Discovery
George, Demetra Mysteries of the Dark Moon