Your portal into the magical world that exists within the hustle and bustle of city life.

Dark Moon Spells and Rituals


The Dark Moon marks the end of one lunar cycle and the cusp of the next, occurring just before the New Moon. During this time, the moon is not visible in the sky, as it aligns between Earth and the Sun, with its dark side facing us. This absence of moonlight offers an opportunity for deep reflection, rest and the potential for transformation and renewal.

In many spiritual practices, including witchcraft and other pagan traditions, the Dark Moon is considered a powerful time for introspection and inner work. It’s a moment to turn away from the external world, to contemplate life’s deeper questions and to acknowledge our shadows and unconscious desires. This phase is also about letting go of what no longer serves us, banishing negative energies, clearing away obstacles and making space for new beginnings.

The energy of the Dark Moon is also seen as a void from which new possibilities can emerge. Witches can use this time to cleanse and recharge, carry out shadow work and divination, meditate on their goals and set intentions for the upcoming lunar cycle, and perform rituals focused on healing and personal growth.

Despite its name and the common associations with darkness, the Dark Moon is not something to be feared. Instead, it offers a quiet space before the rebirth of the new moon. It reminds us that darkness is a natural part of the cycle of life, necessary for rest and renewal. In a world that often values constant action, the Dark Moon reminds us of the importance of balance between activity and more restorative pursuits.

The difference between the Dark Moon and the New Moon

The terms “Dark Moon” and “New Moon” are sometimes used interchangeably and different witches use the terms in different ways. Our ancestors probably regarded the dark moon as the time when the moon was not visible at all in the sky and the new moon as when the first sliver appeared once more. Nowadays, most apps refer to the new moon as when the illumination of the moon is 0%.

I try not to worry too much about the details and celebrate the dark moon just before or on the day that my moon app states it is the new moon. I then celebrate the new moon on the day that the first sliver of moon is visible in the sky. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, though. Your practice is unique to you so do whatever feels right.

Celebrating the Dark Moon

During the Dark Moon, witches harness the energy of this lunar phase in a variety of ways.

Cleansing and banishing

Cleansing and banishing rituals help us to let go of what no longer serves us and prepare us for new beginnings.

We can begin by cleansing ourselves in body and spirit through ritual baths or showers. I like to infuse a ritual bath with herbs, salt or essential oils, to dispel negative energy and invite in positive vibes. As the water flows, I visualise stale energy and negativity being removed leaving me feeling cleansed, refreshed, emotionally balanced and rejuvenated.

In addition to personal cleansing, we can purify our sacred spaces. This creates a harmonious environment for ritual work. I like to use smoke or sound, burning incense or ringing a bell to clear away any lingering negativity. These practices prepare me for further dark moon work such as shadow work, divination and intention setting.

Shadow work

Shadow work is another popular practice during the Dark Moon. It helps us explore our unconscious and confront ignored or suppressed aspects of ourselves. This introspective process is essential for personal growth and self-awareness.

By shining a light on our shadows, we uncover hidden beliefs, traumas and patterns that influence our thoughts and behaviours. This exploration can be uncomfortable but is often necessary for healing and transformation.

Through journaling, meditation, or guided visualisation, we can confront our shadows with compassion and courage. By acknowledging and accepting these aspects of ourselves, we integrate them into our being, leading to greater wholeness and authenticity.


Divination is also commonly practised during this time, as the veil between worlds is believed to be thin, allowing for clearer insights and guidance from the spirit realm. We can use tools like tarot cards, scrying mirrors, or pendulums to gain deeper understanding and clarity about the path ahead.

A black candle spell for the Dark Moon

What You Need

  • Matches or a lighter
  • A black candle
  • A small piece of paper
  • A pen or marker

What to do

Begin by finding a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Set up a small altar or sacred space and place the black candle at its centre.

Take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and focus your intention on the spell work you’re about to perform. Feel the energy of the Dark Moon surrounding you, supporting your magical endeavours.

Take the piece of paper and write down any negative thoughts, habits, or energies that you wish to release. Be honest and specific, as this will help you to effectively banish them from your life.

Hold the piece of paper in your hands and visualise these negative energies leaving your body and being absorbed by the paper. Feel a sense of relief and lightness as you let go of these burdens.

Fold the paper carefully and place it underneath the black candle. Light the candle and recite a simple incantation or affirmation, such as: “By the power of the Dark Moon, I banish all that no longer serves. With this flame, I release and renew.” Focus on the flame and visualise it burning away the negativity and transforming it into positive energy.

Sit quietly and meditate on the flame for a few moments, feeling the cleansing energy of the Dark Moon washing over you. Visualise yourself stepping into a new cycle of growth, empowered by the release of what no longer serves you.

When you feel ready, extinguish the candle. Thank the Dark Moon for its guidance and support, and trust that your intentions have been heard and honoured. Dispose of the piece of paper in a way that feels appropriate to you, such as burying it in the earth or burning it in a safe place.

Intention setting ritual for the Dark Moon

The Dark Moon and the New Moon are both powerful times for setting intentions for the future. The following simple ritual can help you to set meaningful intentions for the month ahead and beyond.

Start by finding a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. You may like to light a candle or burn some incense. Take a few deep breaths to centre yourself and clear your mind.

Now, take your journal or piece of paper and write down what you want to manifest in the upcoming lunar cycle. Be specific and focus on what truly matters to you. For example, you might set intentions for personal growth, career success, or improved relationships.

Once you’ve written down your intentions, take a moment to visualise them as if they’ve already come true. You may like to repeat your intentions aloud or in your mind. Feel the energy building as you focus on your desires. Bask in the emotions associated with achieving your goals, whether it’s joy, gratitude, or fulfilment.

After visualising your intentions, express gratitude for them as if they’ve already manifested. This helps to solidify your intentions and align your energy with the universe.

Finally, release your intentions to the universe with trust and faith that they will manifest in divine timing. Let go of any attachment to the outcome and remain open to the magic and possibilities that lie ahead.

Hecate and the Dark Moon

Hecate is a Greek Goddess, often associated with magic, witchcraft, crossroads and the underworld. She serves as a guide and protector for those journeying through liminal spaces, both physical and metaphysical. You can find out more about her in my article Hecate: Goddess of Witches.

Hecate, with her association with magic and the underworld, is often invoked during Dark Moon rituals for guidance and protection during these liminal times.

The Deipnon occurs on the last day of the lunar month. To honour Hecate during this time, witches often prepare a sacred meal consisting of foods associated with the goddess, such as eggs, garlic and onions. You can find more suitable offerings at The Heathen Witch. Before setting the meal out, it’s customary to cleanse the home by sweeping away any negative energy and offering prayers to Hecate for protection and guidance.

Once the meal is prepared, a portion may placed at a crossroads or near a threshold, symbolising Hecate’s role as a liminal deity who traverses boundaries. Candles or lanterns may be lit to illuminate the offering and attract Hecate’s attention. We can also offer prayers, petitions and gratitude to Hecate, and seek her blessings for the coming month. After a period of reflection and meditation, the portion of food may be left out overnight as an offering to the goddess. The rest of the meal can be eaten or shared with friends and fellow worshippers.

Following the Deipnon, you may perform additional rituals or devotions to Hecate, such as divination, spellwork, or meditation, depending on your personal practice and spiritual goals. This sacred time offers an opportunity for introspection, purification and renewal allowing us to deepen our relationship with Hekate and align ourselves with her transformative energies.

If you have found this introduction to the Dark Moon useful, please consider sharing it with other like-minded folk.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

Eva May Baker
Eva May Baker
Hello, and welcome to The City Witch, your portal into the magical world that exists within the hustle and bustle of city life. My name is Eva Baker and I am an urban folk witch, author and your guide on this magical journey.


The power of black candle spells for protection, banishing and divination

Black candle spells can assist in breaking bad habits, enhancing shadow work, fostering a connection with spirit guides and as an aid to divination practices.

Working with the God Hermes

The God Hermes rules over boundaries, transitions and communication and is a prominent figure in Greek mythology. As the messenger of the gods, he...

Shadow work for beginners

This article on Shadow work for beginners provides a gentle introduction to the powerful transformative practice of shadow work.

Recent articles

More like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here