I have a confession.
I've never been very good at keeping track of the moon cycles.
*I know, Bad Witch*
It's one of the things that's encouraged if you're trying to live a magical life. There's so much energy attached to the phases of the moon.
It can get pretty complicated depending on what astrological sign the moon happens to be sitting in; each sign influences the moons energy in its own way.
The idea is to work your intentions and magic in line with the energy of the moon.
New moons are for new beginnings. Setting Intentions and beginning new projects
Waxing moons are for growing, gaining, bringing things into fruition.
The Full moon is for gratitude and since She's at her fullest point, requesting Her energy to add a little "umph" to your greatest need, if your feeling it.
Waning moons are for decreasing, diminishing and fininshing things
Dark moon phase is for protection, reflection and banishing.
Then there's the highly controversial arguments on when the phases are actually occurring; like when does the dark moon energy move into the new moon energy* and why you cant do magic when the moon is void of course (in between astrological signs)
*for the record, I finally decided for my own practice that Dark Moon Work would be done during the 2 days leading up to the new moon and New Moon work would be done on the day of and the day after the New Moon.
This is MY practice. You get to decide your practice. Isn't that awesome!
Needless to say, it can get kind of complicated and when you try to add this new practice into an already busy life......let's just say it's human to drop the ball.
*I may being trying to let myself off the hook here*
Besides, I've always believed that my intuition trumps any kind of rule book.
So... the point of this rambling is actually to encourage you to follow moon phases, because I have been for the last couple months and I had a revelation yesterday!
*patience, I'll get to it*
The key to sticking with anything is to have an accountability partner or group.
Back at the beginning of the year, Lyn asked if we'd be interested in joining her as she made a practice of following the Moon.
*Hell ya, I would!* Instant accountability.
I've been following along, working the workbook, setting new moon intentions, sitting in gratitude for an hour or so during the full moon.....well...probably closer to 15 minutes....
(And also, I should confess that its usually a surprise, as in...."oh shit! Today's the New Moon!"...because, you know...Life)
An amazing thing happened yesterday. I'm sitting here, procaffienating, while I enjoy my second cup and scan through Facebook, when a random though popped in my head.
I need to make this.
So I did. (I've been working really hard to follow those inspired ideas)
I collected my smudge pots, some Himalayan salt, my mortar and pestle and a mesh strainer
(don't tell The Renaissance Man that I'm using his kitchen utensils for witchy things.)
I spread a black altar cloth across half of my kitchen table while the little guy played on the laptop at the other end
*threatening him with all that is holy if he even thinks of touching my witch magic*
I sifted the ash from my smudge pots, grinding up the bigger pieces in the mortar and added it to the ground up salt.
I like using my smudging ash because it's the remnants of protective herbs and still holds some great energy.
I smudge with wands made from sage, copal, lavender, and sweet grass.
I also burn charcoal discs and add loose herbs and resins such as frankincense, dragons blood, pine needles, sage leaves, bay leaves and others various other things.
Most of the time, I choose herbs on a whim.
I keep the ashes in the pot until they're almost full and traditionally I'd bury them in the garden. This is the first time I've made black salt with it.
I really like the energy of the herbs in this salt but it's also been suggested that you can used black scrapings from the bottom of a cast iron pan, ground black peppercorn or ground up charcoal.
Don't eat it though! It's not the gourmet black salt of culinary fame.
I had to supplement my Himalayan salt with table salt because I didn't have very much. The ratio is 3:1 salt to ash. The ash gets dusty so be careful. Once I had the salt and the ash in the jar. I put the lid on then proceeded to ShakeShakeShake and Rooooollllllll.
It's more gray than black.
Black Salt or Witch's Salt is for protection.
It absorbs negative energy and can block negative people from your personal space.
It's used in Crone rituals, banishing rituals and dark moon rituals.
It can be sprinkled around a space or added to cleaning water.
It can be added to other herbs to give a kick to its energies.