THE DARK MOON CHALLENGE for the WITCH’S NEW YEAR
Congratulations on signing up for the Challenge! I’m so excited to have you on board!
I want you to get as much as you can out of this. As you know, what you get out of anything is in direct proportion to what you put into it. There are five parts to this document. 1) This intro 2) Energy Exercise P1 3) New Moon seed sowing explanation 4) Prep questionnaire 5) Optional short reading about the value of practice and preparation.
Take an imaginary journey with me through time and space. We can do this right now if you have a few minutes. If not, go ahead and read through the exercise, figure out when you can give it your full attention, and put it on your calendar.
Energy Exercise P1
Travel with me to a different time and place, where everyone knew that everything was alive, and that life began in
Let go of your focus on the here and now. Repeat the rhyme and engage your imagination. Let the words weave their magical spell around you like cartoon smoke, and whoosh you away from the mundane world you know into a time when Celtic clan chieftains and Druids ruled the British Isles.
I release and let go
In sweet surrender to the flow.
Moving through time
Moving through space
With a magical rhyme
To a mystical place
Picture you and your clan living in harmony with nature, camping out all summer. Danu, the Earth Mother, has been radiating energy and producing vegetation all summer, but now she gathers her life force back unto herself.
‘Liminal’, or in-between times, are golden. At summer’s end, or ‘Samhain’ in Gaelic, the Celts believed the old year dissolved to make way for the new. This ‘thinning of the veils’ gives you a powerful and amazing opportunity for a new beginning.
It’s the season of spirits, and modern Halloween celebrations prove that we still feel its spooky energy.
Tune into this vibration now. Spirit is the fifth dimension. See if you can feel a little something extra in the air at this time of year. As the forces of growth and expansion turn inward, another kind of energy seems to take their place. It’s almost like a low hum, too soft to be heard, but you can sense it.
Are you having memories of those who have crossed over? Can you feel them reaching out for you? Are you feeling your love and longing for them?
In nature we sense death and emptiness where there was form before. Can you sense the coalescing vibrations of future potentialities forming around the vacuum left by the dying vegetation? These sensations can be subtle, but once they touch you, you will begin to notice them more and more every year.
Feel free to journal about the exercise and/or repeat it as many times as you like.
Sow Seeds by the Dark of the Moon
Both of my grandfathers were farmers—good Christians who rejected anything to do with Witchcraft or magic. But there was one old tradition they honored, “Always plant by the dark of the moon.”
In October of 2022 the moon is new just six days prior to Halloween.This gives us an ideal opportunity to plant our own seeds of intention this new moon. What do you want to harvest in 2023?
You can plant seeds for anything, but don’t choose some worn our objective you think you should be running after. What makes your heart sing? Imagine yourself a year from now.You have had an incredible harvest, and you’re over the moon about what you’ve grown. What sparkles for you, lights you up? Magic is most powerful when tied to your emotions.
Your intentions can be specific, like, ‘An extra $3,000 a month in the bank before the end of 2023’ or general, like, ‘Harmonious and joyful time with friends and family.’
Brainstorm now. Plant your seeds on the dark moon. You can check the internet for the exact time in your area, but generally speaking, you can do your seed-planting any time on the 25th or 26th of October. It’s theoretically possible to plant seeds for as many things as you want, but in order to keep track or your results, I recommend between one and three.
Complete the following statements as honestly as you can.
1. I signed up for this challenge because _________I wanted to succeed at something and prove to myself that I could get people get people to participate.
2. I hope to ______________________________________________________________________
3. When I think of having a metaphorical harvest in the coming year, I picture _______________
4. What I want most to change in my life is__ ____________________________________________
5. I’m thinking of sowing seeds of intention for (Brainstorming, list as many as you can think of right now)_________
You will choose one, two, or three of these ‘seeds’ to plant on the new moon.
A Story About Preparation—well, about practicing, actually, but the principle applies.
Johnny and the Piccolo
Paraphrased from a story I heard as a child
Johnny was a little boy who wanted to play the piccolo in a marching band. His mother bought him an instrument and signed him up for lessons, but he never went. She told him he would need to practice, but he refused.
“Listen to that bird, Mother,” he said. “She sings a beautiful song, and never wastes her time with boring old practicing.”
The day came for Johnny to audition for the marching band. He had never taken his piccolo out of its case. It was lucky that he had a friend who played the flute.so somebody could show him how to put it together. Johnny put his piccolo to his lips, but couldn’t even make a sound. His friend taught him how to blow across the mouthpiece.
When Johnny went into the band room to try out, he thought of the bird’s song, and imagined nature’s own music flowing through him and his instrument. He blew into his piccolo, and sure enough, the sound that came out was closer to the tweeting of a bird than any song composed by a human,
“That’s a good trick,” said the band teacher. “Now, can you play this?” He handed Johnny a very simple piccolo part.
“I can’t read music,” said Johnny.
“I’m sorry, Johnny,” the teacher told him. “We have no need for a bird in the band. We only need students who can read and play music.”
The moral of the story? If you’re a wild creature, you don’t have to practice. But if you’re a human and you want to play in the band, you have to prepare. Some things are intuitive, and others are skills that take practice. Magic and music require both.