In astrology, the moon is a divine feminine archetype who emanates emotional, introspective, and empathic energy. Her phases affect our collective internal world on Earth, ruling over our instinctual thoughts, feelings, and emotions. During this year, especially, which is full of uncertainty and upheaval, the transformational energy of the balsamic moon (or dark moon) is key to harness. It can help us process, heal, and release the challenging emotions and situations that have developed in our lives.
The balsamic moon, also known as a waning crescent, is the final sliver of lunar light in the sky before the birth of the new moon. This occurs when the moon is less than 45 degrees behind the sun, and it visually looks like a crescent in the sky. Its name refers to the moon’s decreasing light before going into the complete darkness of the new moon.
This lunar event occurs once a month, and it spans three-and-a-half days before the new moon phase begins. Depending on your location, the next balsamic moon will begin on September 13th at 10:24 p.m. (ET) and last through September 17th at 7 a.m. (ET), when the new moon in Virgo begins. This is the ideal timeframe to do shadow work—by identifying emotional blockages, honoring them, and releasing tension, anxiety, or worry—and cleanse your energetic field as we head into the last quarter of this unprecedented year. You will then have the space to fill your cup with neutrality, understanding, gratitude, and deep self-reflection.
The dark energy of the balsamic moon can be harnessed to connect, heal, and nurture our emotional health in order to release what is no longer working in our lives.
When heavy topics arise—as many have this year—it’s extremely important to honor your emotions, and release them with the power of the balsamic moon phase. Its dark energy can be harnessed to connect, heal, and nurture our emotional health in order to release what is no longer working in our lives.
This is not the time to take dramatic action, make decisions, start initiatives, or experience major shifts in life. Rather, it’s a great opportunity to practice a ritual based on the moon. The energy of this moon phase is one of stagnation, quiet contemplation, and preparation for a new cycle.
Overall, you may find your energy during the balsamic moon’s window to feel low, so taking time to honor or focus on your own thoughts is key. Knowing this, plan your schedule around the balsamic moon accordingly, so you can start the new moon with a fresh outlook and crucial motivation.
To maximize the mystical energy of the balsamic moon, try the following 10-step ritual.
- Choose the last night of the balsamic moon for maximum energetic potency. This is the darkest time prior to the new moon and is the final stage before her release and re-birth. Essentially, it’s the perfect time for letting go of what doesn’t serve you.
- Create a dark oasis in your bathroom. Turn the lights low and cleanse the room energetically by burning palo santo. Draw a warm bath, incorporating activating herbs and roots. If you do not have a bath, take a shower and use an exfoliating soap infused with energetically cleansing activated charcoal. While you soak in the bath or cleanse yourself, mentally focus on the specific challenges, tense thoughts or feelings you’ve felt this year. Visually hold them in your mind for as long as you would like.
- Afterward, dry off, and find a cozy spot to sit and set up your ritual. Grab a blank sheet of paper, black pen, black obsidian crystal, and a plain black candle. Together, these items will help you complete the ritual to aid you in removing negative energies or blockages in your life.
- Light the black candle and sit down with your pen and paper. Write your sun, moon, and rising signs at the top (you can also use their corresponding astrological symbols if you are able to do so).
- Next, write down the following: “I am releasing what does not serve my highest good. I am entering this new cycle with a fresh, cleansed and healed perspective of my reality.” Below that statement, list exactly what you were thinking about in the bath. These are thoughts you are going to release.
- When you are done writing, put the paper down, with the black obsidian stone set on top. Stare into the candle flame and visualize everything leaving your energy field. Do this for as long as you would like.
- Take the paper, fold in half and then roll this in the direction away from you.
- Proceed with extreme caution by moving with the rolled paper to a sink with water or to a fireproof dish. Light this paper and burn it completely. If you do not feel comfortable burning the paper, dispose of it in a recycling receptacle away from your home.
- To wrap up the ritual, take a fresh piece of paper and write what you are grateful for in your life at this moment. Fold it in half and roll it toward you. Sleep with this under your pillow.
- Wake up on the new moon feeling refreshed, full of gratitude and engaged with this new energetic cycle.
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