A Moon is a natural satellite that orbits a planet. Our moon orbits the Earth from about 238,856 miles (384,402km) away. It is among the largest moons in our solar system, relative to the size of the planet it orbits and its gravitational force can be felt here on Earth, affecting ocean tides, and according to many folkways, the body systems of plants and animals as well. The moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth every 27.3 days and because it rotates on its axis at about the same speed it orbits the Earth, the same part of the moon is always visible to us.
The different phases that we see are due to the angle at which the Sun illuminates the Moon. When the moon is dark, the Sun is illuminating the “dark side” of the moon and the side facing us is dark. When the moon is full, the sun is on the opposite side of the Earth from the moon. If the Earth gets between the moon and sun during this time, we have a lunar eclipse. Although the Sun is roughly 400x bigger than the Moon, they appear to be about the same size in the sky because the Sun is also 400x farther away; this makes it possible for the moon to almost entirely obscure the sun during a solar eclipse.
The Moon in Mythology
Most Lunar deities in Western Tradition are female, though male lunar deities are found throughout the world as well.
Lunar deities are often associated with Motherhood or the Sea.
Check out this article about lunar folklore over at ThoughtCo https://www.thoughtco.com/lunar-folklore-2562381
The Moon in Astrology
As the moon moves across the sky, it passes through the zodiac and its influence is believed to primarily affect our moods and reactions. Those who have a sun sign align to the water element will feel this effect most strongly. The moon travels through each sign every month, staying in each sign for up to three days before moving on. At the New Moon, she will be in the same sign as the Sun and at the Full Moon, she will be in the opposite sign.
The moon rules the sign of Cancer.
The moon sign in your natal chart reveals your feminine side. It governs your deepest fears, your emotional needs and your intuition.
The Phases of the Moon
The lunar month begins with the new moon when the first sliver of the moon can be seen in the sky. This is noumenia in Hellenic Pagan tradition. Over the course of the next 14 days, or so, the moon seems to grow in the sky during its waxing period. When the moon waxes to full, many witches consider this a sacred time and celebrate it as an esbat. The moon then grows smaller during its waning period. On the 28th (ish) day, no moon can be seen. This is marked on many modern calendars as the new moon, but many witches call this the dark moon. Witches may or may not celebrate the new moon or dark moon depending upon their tradition.
The Moon in Magic
Spell Timing by the Moon
Many witches choose to time their spells based on moon phase. Generally, spells for gain or increase are done during the waxing moon while spells for banishing or decrease are done during the waning moon.
Some witches also choose to cast their spells based on the zodiac sign through which the moon is traveling. One might choose to do a spell associated with lunar energy when the moon was in the zodiac sign ruled by the moon, Cancer.
See Spell Timing for more information.
Monday is the day of the Moon.
Planetary Correspondences of the Moon
The energy of the moon is tidal and watery, bringing to mind our deepest dreams, thoughts and emotions and its cyclical nature honors the cycles of our lives and our bodies. The moon shines its light through the darkness to reveal secrets, even those we keep from ourselves.
Lunar energy is great for divination and dream work and to counteract Mars and Sun influences.
Many people correspond the moon’s cycles to menstrual cycles unique to women and use lunar energy for all things related to femininity, but some prefer Venus for these things.
The moon the lymphatic and endocrine systems.
The moon’s metal is silver.
Lunar herbs tend to be juicy and lightly sweet and with a sweet (sometimes cloying) fragrance. Either they produce watery fruits, or they have succulent leaves or both. Many moon herbs help to balance hormones, relieve mild pain and/or gently induce sleep. Many moon plants open at night and close during the day or release their scent at night to attract nocturnal pollinators. Moon plants often grow near water. White or silvery plants tend to correspond to lunar energy and sometimes these plants bear the mark of the moon even more strongly (see the doctrine of signatures).
moonflower, lotus, Evening Primrose, Night Jasmine, cucumber, melon, bitter melon, almond, agave, moonwort, milkweed, passionflower(sedative), mallow, Willow(pain), poppy (sedative, pain relief), Gooseberry, Goat’s beard, Mugwort, Wild Yam(hormones), Iris
Lunar Fragrances- Incense, Oils and Fumigation Herbs
Almond, clary sage, Orris root
Other Lunar Symbols
Cycles, emotions, secrets, divination, divine feminine, your feminine side, the subconscious, dreams and dreamwork, finding a path, hidden intentions