The new moon is the first phase of the moon. Traditionally, it occurs when the first waxing crescent of the moon in visible 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.
The new moon always occurs in the sign the sun is in, though it may remain there for just a few moments. For example, a new moon that occurs in late May or early June, when the Sun is in Gemini will be in Gemini.
Magick by The New Moon
Magic appropriate to the new moon period includes anything related to new beginnings, drawing magic of all sorts and anything related to growth and increase. It is also a good time to dedicate or re-dedicate tools and altars and for rites of passage.
The New Moon is a great time for cleaning and ritual purification of the home, your altar or yourself, to wash away the old to make way for the now and to set intentions for the coming month.
The Gods and the New Moon
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.
Some Hellenic Traditions assign each new moon of the year to one of the 12 Gods of Olympus to celebrate them each in turn. Some Goddess-centered traditions honor the Goddess in her Maiden aspect at this time.
Gardening by the Moon
If you are gardening according 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 seeds.
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