Ra-Hoor-Khuit Network's
Magickal Library



The Waning Moon

Casting the Circle, Diane Stein

The last third of the lunar month is from Day 18 till Day 2, the end of the cycle. As the waxing Moon is the Maiden and the Full Moon the Mother, the Waning Moon completes the cycle with the Crone. The time in the cycle is that of aging and the positive darkness, ending with menstruation or menopause as aspects and validations of women's consequence. For too long has the patriarchy hidden away women's power in the dark, and then named the darkness evil. For too long has menstruation been "the curse," menopausal women "old bags," old women laughable or worse, and women of color subjected to every racist act men could think of. 
Women affirm the darkness, the inside of the Goddess's womb, the dark phase of the moon, as whole and powerful, and they honor and reclaim it at last.
The dark is the source of women's consequence and the light could not exist without it. It is the deepest feminine aspect, the labyrinth the spiral, the Goddess and Goddess-within, the place of emergends into 'Be-ing, the place of return at death. The darkness is the womb of women, the source of all life. 
Menstruation is women's power, women's ability to carry new life within their bodies, to bring it forth at term and nurture it until independence. Menopause is women's time of freedom from conception, the time of life of wisdom and experience, when blood not shed is power held within. Old women are the teachers and guidance of the world, the grandmothers who are the mainstay of every child's early days. Black women are beautiful and consequential sisters, strong in their suffering and fighting back, and with much to teach. Misogyny, ageism and racism have deprived women from each other, but no more. On the Waning Moon, women honor the positive darkness, and reclaim what has been lost.
The Mother peace tarot card for the Waning Moon is the Crone. 
She is a woman of power, holding a light to guide others on inner paths. The Crone has been there and she knows the way. Among the many Crone Goddesses are: Old Woman Who Never Dies (Native America), Hecate (Greece), Befana (Italy), Baubo (Greece), Mother Holle (Germany), Baba yaga (Russia ), Sedna (Inuit), Spider Woman or spider Grandmother (Native America), Nepthys (Egypt), Ceridwyn (Wales), Ama No Uzumi (Japan), Kali or Kali-Ma (India), Ala (Nigeria), and Obatalla (West Africa). Goddesses of transformation and change, and Goddesses of teh underworld (like Rhiannon of Wales, Inanna of Sumer and Oya of Yoruba Africa). 
are also Waning Moon Goddesses, as are karmic triple Goddesses like the Three Fates (Greeced) or teh Morrigan (Celticd).
On the Waning Moon, the candles for the altar are black for banishing negativity, white for new beginnings, and red for fulfillments. The Crone becomes the Maiden at the New moon, and the Mother, giving birth, stands in between. Black is for the Waning Moon, red for the Full, and white for the new Moon Maiden, soon to be reborn. White candles are also for pre-menarche, red for menstruation, and black for menopause.
The three-form Goddess appears in all her strength and beauty in this last moon phase. Flowers are not needed on the altar in this part of the cycle, as the Crone is done with blooming and conceptive sexuality. A sprig of evergreen or a single orchid are appropriate, however. Use a cauldron on the altar for rituals with the Crone, she is the womb of transformations, and emphasizes the element of spirit. The Crone's powers of death and reincarnation are total; her powers are of endings that change to new beginnings.
Women who ovulate on the Full Moon are premenstrual at this time in the lunar cycle, and menstruation at the very end. They are shedding the old lining of the uterus, refusing conception for this month; the egg is dead. Very few eggs are ever fertilized, of the 100,000 present in women's ovaries at birth. Women who have premenstrual syndrome find great comfort in affirming the Crone phase and honoring their wombs and moon times. Learning to value women's cycles is a beginning of releasing menstrual pain or premenstrual symptoms; the patriarchy has taken our bleeding from us by making menstruation into "the curse." Women reclaim it as positive and enjoy their blood.
Those women who have passed menopause or had hysterectomies no longer menstruate. They are free of the burdens and worries of possible conception and free of the role of taking care of children. They have time for themselves now, something to celebrate for sure. Their nurturing, if given, is no longer biological but a choice. Women who feel validated in society/community and have their own lives to live, are not bothered by the patriarchal hype about "worthless old women." In the days of the Delphic Oracle, only women after menopause could become a Pythia, a seer at the shrine. It was believed that the power of the Python Goddess was too intense for younger women to with stand. In some Native American cultures, women after menopause were eligible to become tribal elders. It was these women who chose the famous chiefs. In a menstruation ritual for the Waning Moon, Crone women celebrate their freedom from the other phase; they affirm their wisdom and their bodies.  Dreams and emotions are reflected in the Waning Moon cycle, as they are in other phases. At the Waning Moon, some women's psychic abilities are enhanced, for some women and some skills more so than at the Full. This is a good time for past-life regression work, meditation, healing, and for astral projection. Dreams are sometimes "flying dreams," astral projections with sexual over tones. Women's power is too full to go unnoticed at this time and dreams often reflect the pain of living in the patriarchy. There are dreams of crones and hags, angry dreams, dreams of power, and sometimes dreams of violence that seldom manifests, but can be disturbing to the dreamer). There is no safety in living in patriarchy, and no hiding from its realities and dangers in this psychically sensitive time. Divination is especially powerful at this time in the moon cycle, possibly going deeper into the psyche than Full Moon readings. The Waning Moon is a good time to do scrying with a crystal ball, in a pool or candle flame, or in a bowl of water with crystals. Use the information for a deeper understanding of one's Crone self.
Emotionally, the Waning Moon is a time for completions and a time for laying the roots of the next cycle's beginnings. It's a time for banishings and protections, letting go of negative habits and bad relationships, and releasing those who have passed out of one's life or passed over. The Waning Moon is also a time for healing women's rage. The positive rage that allows women to survive against all odds is something to validate, but the anger that holds women back, stuck in a place of pain and "spinning their wheels," is released in the Waning Moon. Women rest at the end of the lunar cycle, letting go of the past and making plans for things to come. They remember the moon huts of the Goddess matriarchies. On the New Moon to come, they begin again.

The Waning Moon - A Menstrual Ritual

This is a ritual to reclaim women's blood. It can be turned into a menopause ritual with more emphasis on the black than the red, or try the Croning ritual in the Rites of Passage section. 
Decorate the altar in red, with a red altar cloth, a red and a black taper candle, and a thicker white candle for the center. 
Place menstrual items on the altar, tampons, pads, sponges, blood prints. The women dress in red or are sky clad with red, or red and black, cords (belts) or necklaces. Wear necklaces that represent the moon. At the beginning of the ritual, light the white center candle only, the others are lit during the ritual itself. Having each woman bring her own red candle is a good addition to the ritual; or menstruating women can bring red candles and menopausal women black ones. When done as a menopause ritual, each women brings a black candle, and the color for the altar and ritual emphasizes the black.


Candles- A red taper, a black taper, and a white thicker candle for the center. Each woman brings her own red (or black) candle, if possible.
Incense - Sage, cedar, sweetgrass or frankincense. A sage/cedar smudge stick is suggested. These are incenses for healing, immortality, protection, unification. Or use a whisk broom to stroke auras.
menstrual items for altar.
menstrual Poem or Invocation - Read those that follow or pick others.
Bowl of red "gummy coins" (candy coins), available in the supermarket.
oils or menstrual blood for Self-blessing and mirror.
Optional - Drums or rattles.
Matches to light candles and incense, charcoal block, ritual wand.


Light candles - Light the center white candle only.
Purify - With incense or sprinkling. Try using a small broom as an alternative to incense and sweep auras. Brooms are symbols of the Crone.
Cast Circle/Invoke Crone Goddesses for the five elements.
Earth - Hecate (Greece), Crone of the underworld and waning Moon.
Air - Old Woman (Native American), Goddess of who we are and will be.
Fire - Amaterasu (japan), Goddess of women's power and blood.
Water - Tiamat ( Middle East), Old Woman of the Sea and women's wombs.
Spirit - Oya (W. Africa), Goddess of immortality and women's changes.
Another set of Goddesses to use is Earth, Spider Woman (Native American, Navaho), for women's strength; Air, Ceridwyn (Wales), for thoughts; Fire, Oya (W. Africa), for purification; Water, Sedna (Inuit), for peace; and Spirit, Hecate (Greece), for transformation.
menstrual poem or Invocation - see below or use others.

Menstrual poem
by Felicity Artemis Flowers
I bind myself to my Self.
I am Sacred Woman.
I bind myself to all who bleed
who have bled
and who will bleed to life.
Sacred Women
I bind myself with Life.
Blessed be. 

Menstual Invocation
by Lynn Andrews
We are born of the first words of the first mother. We are of  the void and we carry the void. our blood is her body. It is sacred. It is said she was born of the water and the earth, and that is why our blood shall return to the earth and our spirit to the waters of the sacred dream. Her power shall be honored over all the earth, and all shall know her as the beginning....

We have transformed our bodies into the womb time; take care that the blood seed of our first mother is welcomed in a sacred way, for it is of her body...bless her memory for she lives within us. 
When we eat, it is she who eats. When we offer smoke, it is she who takes our message to the faraway. When we bleed, it is she who bleeds. when we give our body to be divided in love, let all parts of us be in her name so that her love can be complete on this great earth.

For too long the memory of who gives us life has been hidden. We forget that our moon is our celebration time for her life within us. 
Women in their moon have set themselves aside because it is our power time, our time to look within and feed our inner strength. 
Women have certain ceremonies at this time because their power is so great ... In the old way there were special lodges for women in their moon, and most women of the camp would bleed near the same time. This is because our bodies adapt to the harmony of our sisters...
Dream to the great mother. Your laps are her altar. Put your essence into prayers, as we put our blood into her life and ask for balance and understanding in this life time. Give of your blood that she may hear us in our dreams and remember us when she wakes.

meditation- Do a mediation on the womb cycle which is the Waxing/Full/Waning Moon and the ages of women (menarche/menstruation/menopause and growth/ovulation/bleeding). 
Experience each age and cycle. Go within your womb and feel its power. Experience your womb power within and then know your power in the world. Come back to now.
Body of ritual - A bowl of red "gummy coins" is passed around. 
Each woman in her turn takes one and says:
" Here's how I've paid my dues as a woman..........." (She lights her red candle) "I am powerful as a woman because................"
(She places her lit red or black candle on the altar or in front of her after she speaks. If there is only one red candle, the high priestess lights it after all the women speak).
The high priesdtess lights the black candle and says:
"You have the power now; choose something unwanted to banish on the dark moon." (go around the circle for banishings, then blow out the black candle) "They are gone. Cycle endings are also cycle beginnings. Choose something begun within and nurture its growth." (Go around the circle again for the women to speak their beginnings to emerge on the New Moon.) "The new is begun."
Self-blessing - Use menstrual blood or oil, and pass around the mirror at the end. For the belly chakra say: "Bless my womb that bleeds in season, bears children, creates projects, stops bleeding at menopause for even greater power within."
Raise power - Use drums or humming to raise power for new projects, banishings and women's power within.
Open Circle/Hugs.
Blow out candles.

Suggested songs for this ritual include: 

We are the old women,
We are the new women,
We are the same women,
Stronger than before.

The earth is our mother,
We must take care of her;
The earth is our mother,
We must take care of her.

Hey and a ho, and a hey, ya ya.
Born of water,
cleansing, powerful,
Flowing, healing -
We are.

Validating women's bodies in ritual is a powerful way to celebrate them back into women's lives. For 5,000 to 20,000 years the patriarchal order, fearing women's womb and Goddess-within consequence, has devalued women and women's life-giving creativity. Women's Spirituality reclaims women as it does the Goddess, and reclaims the value and beauty of women's bodies. 
Women who ritualize the moon phases learn to appreciate and love their physical Be-ings. Whether their bodies are large or small, fat or thin, of whatever color, able or disabled, young or old, they are beautiful as all women are beautiful. Women and women's bodies are the Goddess. Knowing women's bleeding cycle for the power that it is begins the process of loving of women's physical selves and life giving Be-ing is an important part of Women's Spirituality and the Goddess.

This page last updated: 02/27/2018

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