Moon in ritual timing
Moon in ritual timing

Moon in ritual timing

The Moon is one of the most important planets for magic acting as a transformer for supernal and planetary powers. This makes the Moon’s position of the Moon and its phase a critical timing feature in ritual or talisman consecration.

Talisman lore requires the planet or zodiacal force is in a good position. We are told that the ritual performed during the correct planetary hour, but the books generally ignore the Moon.

The moon gods, such as Thoth and Hekate, are often magical gods, and this hints that while the planets might represent the ritual or talisman’s purpose, the Moon is its magical power. So if the Moon is off or weakened, you might have a perfect intention but lack the magic power. You might have the best PC with the latest AMD chip and top of the range GPU but if you do not switch it on you have an expensive pile of scrap metal.

The Moon is not just the magic but that all critical timing element of how long it will take the magic to happen or the process of the rite.


  1. Follow the phases

Traditionally the Moon had to be waxing when you wanted to do magic to gain something or waning when you wanted something to go away.  This made the New Moon and the Full Moon the most important. The New Moon (minutes after the moment of its dark) is the magic at its highest potential for growth.  The dark of the Moon is when the Moon is at her weakest, and it is a period where her power over the invoked forces is negligible. Most magic should be avoided during this time unless you wanted to experience some supernal energy without any safety net. Such a magician is the type who thinks it is safe to use a power drill outside just by using a power chord. If you were making an abundance talisman the most potent time is closest to the dark of Moon (without being the moment of darkness itself).

Full Moon is the most potent lunar force, particularly in the hour before she completes. However, any energy or intention invoked afterwards will decrease in nature. A protection talisman which weakens a magical assault would be better made after the full Moon.


  1. Your ritual or talisman should not conflict with the Moon.

This happens when the Moon is forming an opposition or square to the planet ruling your intention. So if the Moon is opposite to mars when you make a sporting talisman, she is effectively saying no to that planetary energy (opposition) or has some difficulty in letting it happen (square).   Ideally, the Moon should form a conjunction or sextile to the planet.  When you are looking at the aspects for your ritual, it might be a good idea to see the other planets that the Moon is making an aspect. While they might be unimportant, you might find that the Moon transforms those powers at the same time. You might have a moon conjunct Jupiter for a wealth talisman, but if you have a Saturn conjunct moon at the same time the force will be limited, or you will have to work for it.

  1. Beware void-of-course

The void-of-course period of the Moon is the period the Moon makes the last contact with any planet in its current Sign of the Zodiac, and until it enters the next sign. It can rarely last up to two days (generally though they are a few hours). Since the Moon is the magical power and how the ritual will get its result, we borrow an idea from Horary Astrology.  You look at the aspects which the Moon is going to make before it leaves its current sign. Those aspects will tell us what is going to happen about the situation in question. But if the Moon is void-of-course, it isn’t going to contact any planets before it leaves the sign of the Zodiac and nothing is going to happen.

While this is subject to experiment, void-of-course could have some uses if you want to do magic to help you avoid consequences of actions which you do not want to stain your life story. According to Lunarium  Ronald Reagan used to make his less popular announcements when the Moon was void of course because no one would ever blame him for them. Theoretically, you could make a protection talisman when the Moon is void of course because you do not want anything to happen.

Also borrowing from Horary astrology planets which the Moon makes an aspect to after the ritual will show how the magical power of the ritual will play out. So if you do a wealth ritual and the Moon quickly forms unfortunate aspect or encounters a malefic, your magic will face some issues which may kill it off. Positive aspects will strengthen it. Traditional talisman making instructions don’t tend to mention void-of-course or consider it important.  To be honest, I can’t see why.

    4. Note the decan and the zodiacal sign that the Moon visiting

The decans and zodiacal signs can provide the Moon with strength and character.  It can also weaken it. The Moon is not so happy in Scorpio, which is ruled by the more active Mars. This might give any ritual an “edge” which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you want. It would be great for curses, but for ordinary rituals, the results may come about through means you might not be happy. Still, it would be an excellent time to get rid of stuff quickly.  Moon in Capricorn might slow down the magic, making it smaller but more stable. The Moon rules Cancer and exalted in Taurus and is much happier and more energetic when in these houses. Moon in Taurus is like a new crescent moon and good for magic for new beginnings. Moon in Cancer provides a striking depth of feeling and power to the magic.

Decans provide additional planetary flavourings to the Moon and should be looked at to determine strength or weakness.


Medieval magical handbook the Picatrix says that you should also not make a talisman (or do a ritual) when the Moon is on the ascendant.  This is because “the moon is the enemy of the ascendant.”  Based on what it says later about the sun it is because the Moon has the opposite action to the sun which brings everything out (thanks Nabil Almahroos)

One comment

  1. David R Jones

    Nice survey of the principles of Lunar magical theory. Void of course isn’t completely undiscussed, but modern astrologers tend not to focus on the active actional aspects of astrology and (in my experience) are often horrified by ‘exploiting’ astrology magically. William Lilly does discuss Void of Course Moon and it has also had a traditional relationship to the nodes. In my experience it is a weakening factor, but far the most important consideration.

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