What is a Dark Moon in Astrology?

It's a time for feeling rather than seeing.

Photo: mikroman6 | Getty

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Every 29 and a half days, the Moon makes her way around the Earth, dancing through the cosmos and shifting the Sun’s illumination on her as she waxes and wanes. The first half of the lunar cycle is the precursor to the full Moon, a time of building and an outward flow of energy. The second half, leading up to the new Moon, is when energy flows inward and the Moon begins to lose her light. We cannot see the new Moon as she has no light on her. The night before the new Moon brings us many stars but no Moon to light the way. These are the darkest hours of the lunar cycle—as well as the most powerful. This time is known as the dark Moon.

What is a Dark Moon in Astrology?

Darkness can be viewed in many ways. We often associate it with negativity or sadness, but it is inherently neither. We assign these attributes to it. A better description would be to associate darkness with an inward pull of energy. Darkness is what we see when our eyes are closed in meditation or before sleeping. It denotes a time when the light is shut out from our consciousness, along with other energies. When we are in darkness, we are with ourselves and our unique energy. It becomes a personal time to travel inward for answers rather than seek them in the external world.

The energy we hold is part of the energy of the cosmos. It all comes from the same source and has evolved into planets, stars, oceans, trees, animals, humans, and so much more. We are connected to everything we see and can’t see through the thread of energy. We are also connected to the past and the future, for energy knows no time. During the darkness of the dark Moon and the new Moon, we can feel into the void that began everything. We can feel the connection between us and the vast energy field that makes up everything. Through this connection, we can reprocess the past, see the future, and feel into our souls. We can gain knowledge about what our souls are here to accomplish and what we truly want for our lives.

The hours leading up to the new Moon draw our energy deeply inward. In the darkness before the new Moon, the veil between the subconscious and conscious is lowered. We gain greater access to our desires, our fears, and our intuition. We see the visions of our lives more clearly and understand our future paths. The darkness also softens us. With no light to shine on us, we can become more vulnerable and shed our armor. The dark Moon helps us drop our defenses and feel more deeply. In doing so, we can contact the part of ourselves connected to all knowledge.

From this place, we initiate new ideas. During the dark Moon and the new Moon, the Sun and the Moon are in the same zodiac sign. This conjunction provides a spark of energy that pushes us to create intentions and changes in our lives. The time leading up to it is a time to take stock of our existence and think about what is working and what is not. It’s a time to shed the things that are not aligned with our grand vision and take steps toward the things that are in alignment.

Illustration of astronomical and astrological terms and phases of the Moon
An artistic rendering of the lunar cycle, including the phases in which the Moon appears to be in total darkness. (Illustration: shoo_arts | Getty )

What a Dark Moon in Astrology Means for You

Before the advent of electricity and portable light, the Moon played a major role in humans’ activity at night. When it was waxing to full or waning from full, people could go out at night and still have sight. As the new Moon approached, sight was limited, and at night people chose to stay inside or near their camp, where there was fire for light. The natural cycle of the Moon lends to a natural cycle of behavior, with the new Moon providing a time to stay with oneself, contemplate questions, and formulate new ways of thinking alone.

Although we now have the convenience of electricity, the new Moon and dark Moon still energetically provide us with a period of contemplative darkness. We can more easily travel further inward to the depths of our subconscious during this time, allowing answers and ideas to float to the surface. Once they come to the surface, we can shed light on them and bring them to actuality.

During the dark Moon, you may feel both the craving to withdraw inward and the inspiration to send your energy outward. You could feel frustrated, depleted, even annoyed. At the same time, your energy may feel restless and diminished. By properly navigating the time leading up to the new Moon, you can yield to both feelings. You can go within to hear your deepest intuition and confront your limiting beliefs while creating intentions.

This period before the new Moon is a time of rest and inward contemplation. It is a time to do nothing and observe the subtle fluctuations of your energy. It’s also a time to feel and notice what emotions are needing your attention. It’s a time for sitting in the quiet morning stillness and feeling the power of your intuitive knowing. It’s a time to remember you already have the answers if you’re willing to receive them.

When you merge with the stillness of the darkest night before the new Moon, you can access your intuitive knowledge and hear whispers from your soul. You can learn about yourself and the ways in which you want to shift your life. You can understand yourself on a deeper level, and from this place of inner knowing, you can start to form your intentions for the new Moon.

Once full darkness takes over, the light begins to emerge once again, continuing the lunar cycle.

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The above is excerpted from recent New Moon Workbooks, which provide astrological insights and journaling prompts, published by Spirit Daughter. 

About Our Contributor

Jill Wintersteen is the founder of Spirit Daughter, a lifestyle brand devoted to helping you live your best life through understanding the energy of the Universe. She also writes workbooks on each full Moon as well as other astrological events. Follow her on Instagram @spiritdaughter.

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