November’s New Moon in Sagittarius occurs at 7:18 AM EST on Tuesday the 29th, and you have plenty of time to observe the New Moon in that sign, unlike October’s full moon, which required a little planning. The Moon enters Sagittarius at 3:46 PM on Monday the 28th, and stays there until 11:08 PM on Wednesday the 30th, when it goes void of course. In simple terms, you have the nights of the 28th, 29th, and the early evening of the 30th to perform your New Moon ritual. Huzzah! Our busy schedules thank you.
Sagittarius is my rising sign and I definitely have some strong Sag traits (teacher, anyone?) so this is great energy to harness. I’m especially excited about this lunar cycle because December 1st is the last day of classes for the semester, which marks my first complete semester teaching college. It also marks the beginning of a month long chunk of time I plan on devoting to writing. I have big plans!
What is New Moon Magick?
New moons are used for setting intentions with a manifestation point at the next full moon (in about two weeks, December 13th for this new moon) and, way more importantly, a second, larger manifestation at the full moon at the six month mark (for this new moon it will happen on June 9th 2017). I always feel that it’s a good idea to dream big on the new moons, to set intentions and put into action things that really matter, and that I truly feel are beneficial to me as a person. It’s a private ritual, so it gets real, but that’s because I’m really willing to push myself to be better all the time (in a healthy, positive, loving way, of course). Also, because the guidance goes so far out, I believe it’s important to do a little divination as well. While some people are drawn to pendulums, scrying, or runes, I always go for tarot, but you can use any form of divination that you feel comfortable with.
The process of intention setting varies for everyone, so adjust what you find here to suit your needs and comfort zones. An important thing about magick is that you should only do what you feel comfortable doing. I start by figuring out, within the context of the current astrological sign, what it is that I really want to work on about myself, and what corresponding thing I’d like to let go of (or stop doing), so that’s step one.
Sagittarius is the philosopher of the zodiac, the truth seeker, and the traveler. Sagittarians want to learn and have a depth of knowledge, and they like to wander while doing so. It’s a friendly and social sign that’s lucky and charming because it’s ruled by Jupiter. A Sagittarius looks at the big picture. Because of these traits, consider focusing your intentions on what you want to learn in this lunar cycle or a “grand scheme of things” type question. Sagittarius is the sign of the scholar, so this might be just the bump you need to learn more about your religion, philosophy, or spiritual path. Be watchful not to give in to the Sagittarian temptation to be distracted by many projects (my life) and not go into depth on anything. A two week course, even if it’s self-guided, might be just the trick. Sagittarius is also outgoing and optimistic, so this is a great time to find a teacher, be it a new book or in person, or to start teaching something yourself. Many new age spirituality shops offer free or inexpensive classes, and many metaphysical websites have free e-courses. This is a great time to try these things out and discover what you connect with.
The Ritual Process
With the Sagittarius new moon in mind, the next step is to gather supplies, if you choose to use any (that’s why this was posted in advance). Even though the new moon technically occurs at 7:18 AM EST on November 29th, I will be waiting until the evening to do my ritual. The supplies I use are: two candles (one black and one white) with holders, a lighter, essential oil (optional), a candle snuffer, my handheld magickal diary, a pen, my tarot deck, and my phone for looking up tarot card meanings (optional, a book would be better). If you are new to setting intentions or magick in general it’s good to have a little checklist handy.
2. Set the Intentions
Once I’ve figured out what I want my intentions to be (and their exact phrasing), I say them out loud, starting with what I want to release. I use a dab of essential oil and anoint the black candle from top to bottom (representing diminishing power) and say what I would like to let go of or stop doing. I then light the candle and meditate on that intention for a moment. I repeat the process with the white candle, except that I say what I want my positive intention to be, then anoint the candle with oil from the bottom moving up. This works to “raise” the power for your positive intention. I got back and forth on anointing, sometimes it feels just a little too theatrical for me, so sometimes I just raise or diminish the power through visualization. After meditating on my positive intention I will record both in my little hand held diary, which I will later type into my computer in longer form. It’s important, for me, to not bring a laptop into the ceremony. I’d love to leave my phone out, but I use it for the next step, which is divination.
Divination, in my case, means tarot, though you may have to experiment to find out what resonates with you the best. I’d like to say that I’m a tarot whiz and don’t need the help, but that would be a flat out lie. While I am getting better and learning, I still need the resource of the Biddy Tarot to help me interpret my moon-ly tarot spread. The only modification I make to the Biddy Tarot advice is that I don’t usually do “reversed” readings unless it feels necessary. I just don’t believe in inviting in that negativity; like magick, divination is all about going with your gut and making your own path.
Suggested Tarot Spread: 3 cards
Card #1: What should I try to learn more about in this new moon cycle?
Card #2: What is the best path toward achieving this learning goal?
Card #3: What is the best way to harness the Moon’s Sagittarian energy?
Note that The Wheel and Temperance are the cards most closely associated with Sagittarius and Jupiter, so it’s very appropriate if they show up in your reading.
When doing a tarot spread, I shuffle my cards, lay them face down, and then ask a specific question about my positive intention. You can use my suggested spread above, or come up with your own. Just remember to ask questions that allow for advice to be given; I always avoid yes/no questions as a general rule. Another good three card spread is what you should do, what obstacles will there be, and how can you overcome those obstacles. If you’re just starting out with tarot I advise a single card spread.
Once you know what you’re asking, focus your energy, and then choose a card. Again, go with your gut. Some people do a shuffle and random pull, I spread out the cards and move my hand over them until I feel warmth or a “tingle” that makes me choose. I do feel that it’s best not to pull cards again and again if you don’t “like” the answer you’ve gotten; the universe (or what ever you like to say) seems to get a bit “testy” if you don’t accept it’s advice. Once you have your card(s), record them in your diary, and look up the meanings. That’s where the phone comes in for me, but you can also invest in a tarot book if you so choose. I take notes and jot down my thoughts on the cards before wrapping up.
4. Wrap Up
To finish the new moon ritual, use a candle snuffer to extinguish your new moon candles. Magickally speaking, you’re not “supposed” to blow out candles because it’s seen as the element of Air figuratively defeating the element of Fire. Since you just took time to anoint you candles, give them a proper send off. Some people let candles burn down completely, but never leave them unattended. I snuff them out and use them for several moon cycles.
With your intentions set and advice in mind, now you can go into the new moon cycle and put your intentions to work with actions! The full moon on December 13th 2016 is a good time to check in and review your notes, then in June 2017 we’ll meet again to see how we’ve done. It’s pretty much impossible to remember something like a six month old intention, our lives are just so busy, so remember to write it all down. I think you’ll find that checking in with yourself in six month is surprisingly rewarding.
I hope you all found this guide helpful, I’ll be back at the next new moon and we can go through the steps together again. Please feel to share any (positive/constructive) thoughts that you have in the comments. Have a beautiful lunar cycle my friends!
“Sagittarius” on Astrology.com
Image by Oriol Angrill Jordà