This is the moon as it appeared in the early morning sky two days ago. A waning crescent. This morning you would see nothing because today, at 06:30, there is a new moon. The new moon is not visible. It is the time when the sun and moon are aligned, with the sun and the earth on opposite sides of the moon.
The Greeks called this dark time, the Old Moon and it was associated with Hecate, the Goddess of the witches. In India it is associated with Kali. In Celtic mythology, Cerridwen. In many mythologies, the moon is claimed by the divine feminine, the darker aspects of the Goddess, associated with the dark time of the moon. The Greek Goddess, Artemis was a Lunar Goddess, as were Carthaginian Tanit and her Phoenician sister, Astarte/Ishtar. All are shown with the crescent moon.
Most people think of the waxing crescent as the new moon, the first sliver of silver visible after the astronomical new moon has taken place. The changing cycle of the moon has to be our oldest measure of time, along with the changing seasons and the movement of the sun across the sky. The appearance of the crescent moon in the sky is still highly significant for many religions and cultures. It defines the beginning of each month in the Islamic Calendar. In the Hindu Calendar, people begin new projects at the new moon. It marks the beginning of the month in the Chinese Calendar. In the Hebrew Calendar, it marks Rosh Chodesh or Rosh Hodesh, the beginning or head of the month.
Across the world, in different cultures and belief systems, from the distant past to the present day, the new moon was and is considered a propitious time.
“The new moon is the beginning phase of the lunar cycle, when seeds are planted and intentions set.
The new moon carries a fresh energy and potency, one that may spark a clarity of purpose and being within us. This sky is darker at this time, turning us inward to our own creative light.
Darkness is associated with the divine feminine, with seeing the unseen, and heightened psychic ability. The new moon is a time to tune into your inner messages and the frequencies that want to connect with you. To cultivate these manifestations, set aside time for an intention-setting and a new moon ritual to honor your intentions for this new lunar cycle.”
Can the moon influence human beings? Can it affect our behaviour? We all know the origin of the term 'lunatic' and the full moon was the time when werewolves (and other were creatures) transformed from human to beast. The scientific community says a definite 'no', particularly to werewolves, but the moon is powerful. It controls the tides, it even moves the continents. Many marine animals exhibit moon or tide related behaviours even when they are kept in aquaria. Can it affect us? Despite the scientists, there is anecdotal evidence. Medical staff in hospitals and teachers in schools have reported behaviour changes at certain times of the month and some police forces draft in extra officers when the moon is full.
I don't know if we are affected by the moon's cycle, but this new moon, coming so close to the winter solstice, seems as good time as any to make affirmations and set intentions in preparation for the time of renewal and re-birth that marks the year's turning from darkness to the light.