As well as the months, the phases of the Moon offer scope for different kinds of magick during the individual monthly moon cycles. However, problems in interpretation of these energies can arise because astronomy and astrology are no longer regarded as the same thing. For example, to our ancestors, the astrological Dark of the Moon was the same as the astronomical dark – the first two and a half days of the cycle when the Moon is not visible at any hour of the day or night.

To this were added the preceding three days of the old moon, when it did not rise until the early hours of the morning. So when books of magick speak of the new moon, they may mean the time when the crescent first appears in the sky. But if you prefer, you can, as some modern practitioners do, count the Dark of the Moon only as those three last waning days and start new moon magick from the literal
calendar day. It’s a bit like deciding exactly when a chicken comes to life: you don’t actually see it until the chicken pops out of the egg but you know it’s alive even when it’s invisible, inside the shell.