New Moon - The Moon's unilluminated side is facing the Earth.
December 18th in Sagittarius
In early societies, the reappearance of the moon was often a cause for celebration -- after all, it meant that the dark had passed, and the full moon was on its way back.
The new moon is the first phase of the moon. Traditionally, it occurs when the first waxing crescent of the moon invisible in the sky. Astronomically, it occurs when the moon is the closest to the sun as seen from the Earth. This takes place right in the middle of the dark moon period so the moon is not visible at this time unless there is a solar eclipse when its shadow is visible against the sun.
Gardening by the MoonIf you are gardening according to the lunar cycles, shortly after the new moon is a good time to plant leafy greens and cabbages. The waxing moon draws water upward and stimulates growth, so this is a good time to plant just about any and all annual seeds. Perennial seeds should be planted near the full moon as it encourages strong root growth.
Magick by The New MoonMagic appropriate to the new moon period includes anything related to new beginnings, drawing magic of all sorts and anything related to growth and increase.
The first appearance of the new moon begins the first day of the lunar month (noumenia). This night is often considered sacred to Selene, Artemis and/or Diana. The prior night, the night of the dark moon is sacred to Hecate and is designated as Hecate's Supper.
Goddess-centered traditions honor the Goddess in her Maiden aspect at this time.
Selene (suh LEE nee) is the ancient Greek Titan Goddess and personification of the Moon. Selene drives her chariot silver drawn by two white-winged horses or bulls across the sky each night. Sometimes she is riding a bull or a horse.
Selene is generally described as having bright and beautiful hair, the Homeric Hymn to Selene describes her as "long-winged" (though this may mean something more like "far flying") and wearing a golden crown. Orphic Hymn to Selene calls her "bull horned" riding with her torch extended before her. In Pausanias Description of Greece, he describes a statue of Selene, saying she has horns.
According to Hesiod's Theogany (371-374), Selene is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, along with her brother Helios and sister Eos. Pseudo-Apollodorus agrees with this account in his Bibliotheca 1.2.2. Homer's Hymn to Helios names their mother Euryphaessa ("wide shining"), (probably an epithet for Theia) but his Hymn to Hermes (94) mentions Selene as the daughter of Pallas, son of Megamedes specifically. (There is a GodPallas as well.) Euripides (Phoenician Women(170)) and Nonnus (Dionysiaca 44) however, calls Selene the daughter of Helios. Nonnus also refers to her as "motherless".
Selene and Endymion by Victor Florence Pollett.
There are various stories as to how this came about, whether it was his choice or her request. The story that had passed to me orally was that Selene, having learned from Eos's mistake in wishing her love eternal life, but not eternal youth, asked Zeus to grant that her lover always be as he was. As he was sleeping when she said that, so he remained. Psuedo-Apollodorus (Bibliotheca 1.7.5) says that it was Endymion who made the request of Zeus. Either way, Selene's love for Endymion features in many works of art and serves as motivation for many of her actions. Because of her great, and aching love, she is known to take pity on lovers and give them aid, assuming they have been respectful of her in the past. To Endymion, Selene is said to have born 50 daughters; The Menae, the 50 months of the Olympiad, the four-year Olympic cycle.
Selene had other children including Pandeia and Ersa (whom some scholars believe to be different names for the same being), ostensibly by Zeus.
The bard Musaeus claimed Selene as his mother.
By Helios, Selene is the mother of the The Horae, the seasons.
Selene is also the mother of the Nemean Lion. The father is unknown, though Aelian (On Animals) says she brought it forth at the bidding of Hera.
A SIMPLE RITUAL
Perform this ceremony outside if at all possible -- it's the best way to get a good look at the sliver of new moon. You'll need a moon candle, wrapped in a black cloth, to place on your altar. This is traditionally a white unscented pillar-style candle. You'll also need a hand-held mirror. Tie some silver and white ribbons on it if you wish. Finally, have a small bowl of Blessing Oil handy.
Hold this ceremony at sunset if you can. Turn to the west, and watch as the sun goes down (without looking directly at it). Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, you'll be able to see where the new moon is rising - and the location is going to vary from month to month, depending on the time of year and where you live.
If the sun sets before you began, you'll need to look a bit higher in the sky, but you should still be able to find it as long as the night is a clear one.
If you're doing this rite with children, have them each try to be the first one to spot the new moon.
Once you see the moon in the sky, unwrap the candle.
Hold it up high and say:
Welcome back, Moon!
We're glad to see you again.
Another cycle has passed
another month gone by
and our lives have moved forward.
Place the candle on the altar and light it, still facing the moon. Say:
Today is a new day,
and a new month begins.
As the tides flow, and the moon rises above,
we are thankful that She has returned.
She watches over us, ever constant,
yet always changing,
and we are thankful for her light.
If you have children present, have them wave to the moon and thank her for returning -- you'd be amazed how silly and fun this simple task can become!
Next, turn to face east, where the sun will rise in the morning. Pick up the mirror and hold it so you can see the new moon behind you. Say:
Bring us your wisdom, your guidance,
your protection, in the coming month.
You are behind me at every step,
watching and guiding me,
and I am thankful.
Place the mirror back on the altar, beside the moon candle. Take a moment to reflect on your goals. After all, this is a time of new beginnings and a good time for new commitments and vows.
Warm the Blessing Oil over the candle for just a moment, and then anoint each others' foreheads. As you do so, say:
May the blessings of the moon be with you.
If you are working alone, anoint your own forehead, and grant yourself the blessings of the moon.
When you are ready, close the circle and end the ritual.
Love and light,