July’s New Moon in Leo occurs at 5:46 AM EST on Sunday July 23rd, and your New Moon ritual can be done anytime after 5:46 AM on the 23rd and all day Monday the 24th.
On Sunday the 25th the Moon goes void-of-course at 2:44 PM then enters Leo at 6:06 PM, but your New Moon ritual should be performed before then, ideally. A lot of other planets are in Cancer for this Moon as well, so expect a big wave a Cancer energy coming.
What is New Moon Magick?
New Moons are used for setting intentions with a manifestation point at the next Full Moon which happens in about two weeks, August 7th for this New Moon. Also, and way more importantly, there is a second, larger manifestation at the Full Moon that happens around six months later in the same sign. For this New Moon its six month Full Moon will happen on January 31st 2018. I always feel that it’s a good idea to dream big on the New Moons, to set intentions and put into action things that really matter, and that I truly feel are beneficial to me as a person. Also, because the guidance goes so far out, I believe it’s important to do a little divination as well. While some people are drawn to pendulums, scrying, or runes, I generally go for tarot, but you can use any form of divination that you feel comfortable with. Most importantly, however, is to write down your intention and divination so that you can review it later.
The process of intention setting varies for everyone, so adjust what you find here to suit your needs and comfort zones. An important thing about magick is that you should only do what you feel comfortable doing. I start by figuring out, within the context of the current astrological sign, what it is that I really want to work on about myself, and what corresponding emotion I’d like to let go of (or habit I’d like to stop doing), so that’s step one.
Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac, a fixed sign, a fire sign, and ruled by the Sun. Leo is the boss of the zodiac, a sign that gets things done, pushing them forward to completion. The steady energy of a fixed sign contributes largely to this, just as the Sun gives Leo a warm, joyous, and radiant personality. A Leo is a natural leader, earning their trademark egotism with a big dash of charm. Like all fixed signs these charmers are set in their ways, but a Leo is right so often there’s no use in arguing with them anyway.
Because of these traits, consider focusing your intentions for the next six month cycle on completing a project that is already in progress. The theme for the end of the year is harvest, and Leo’s the sign to help you get it done. Remember that this cycle ends in January 2018, so there’s no rush, it’s just something you’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. Leo is also able to push through chaos, so this is excellent power to call upon if this is a stressful time in your life. If you’re life isn’t stressful at the moment, remember that there’s a Mercury Retrograde right around the corner …
The Ritual Process
With the Leo New Moon in mind, the next step is to gather supplies, if you choose to use any. The supplies I use are: two candles (one black and one white) with holders, a lighter, essential oil (optional), a candle snuffer, my handheld magickal diary, a pen, my tarot deck, and my phone for looking up tarot card meanings (optional, a book would be better). If you are new to setting intentions or magick in general it’s good to have a little checklist handy.
2. Set the Intentions
Once I’ve figured out what I want my intentions to be (and their exact phrasing), I say them out loud, starting with what I want to release. I use a dab of essential oil and anoint the black candle from top to bottom (representing diminishing power) and say what I would like to let go of or stop doing. I then light the candle and meditate on that intention for a moment. I repeat the process with the white candle, except that I say what I want my positive intention to be, then anoint the candle with oil from the bottom moving up. This works to ‘raise’ the power for your positive intention. I After meditating on my positive intention I will record both in my little hand held diary, which I will later type into my computer in longer form. It’s important, for me, to not bring a laptop into the ceremony. I’d love to leave my phone out, but I use it for the next step, which is divination.
Divination, in my case, means tarot, though you may have to experiment to find out what resonates with you the best. I’d like to say that I’m a tarot whiz and don’t need the help, but that would be a flat out lie. While I am getting better and learning, I still need the resource of the Biddy Tarot to help me interpret my moon-ly tarot spread. The only modification I make to the Biddy Tarot advice is that I don’t usually do reversed readings unless it feels necessary. I just don’t believe in inviting in that negativity; like magick, divination is all about going with your gut and making your own path.
Suggested Tarot Spread: 4 Cards
To get guidance on how to steer your project or goal through August’s Mercury Retrograde and to successful completion by January 2018, use the following tarot spread. The wording should be changed depending on what type of project or goal you’re working on completing. Cards should be laid out clockwise forming a wheel. Additionally, you can add additional cards to the “positive direction” and “hold back” sections if you need more guidance.
Card #1: What is the current state of the project?
Card #2: What will the outcome of the project be without any changes?
Card #3: What will push the project in a positive direction?
Card #4: What will hold the project back?
When doing a tarot spread, I shuffle my cards, lay them face down, and then ask a specific question about my positive intention. You can use my suggested spread above, or come up with your own. Just remember to ask questions that allow for advice to be given; I always avoid yes/no questions as a general rule. If you’re just starting out with tarot I advise a single card spread. The reason that time frames are included in the card direction above is that the tarot does not concern itself with time. If you don’t add in that extra information your reading could pertain to the next two weeks or the next two years. Time specifics are always good unless you’re just not concerned about it.
Once you know what you’re asking and how you’re asking it, focus your energy, and then choose a card. Again, go with your gut. Some people do a shuffle and random pull, I spread out the cards and move my hand over them until I feel warmth or a ‘tingle’ that makes me choose. I do feel that it’s best not to pull cards again and again if you don’t ‘like’ the answer you’ve gotten; the Universe (or whatever you like to say) seems to get a bit irked if you don’t accept its advice. Once you have your card(s), record them in your diary/Book of Shadows, and look up the meanings. That’s where the phone comes in for me, but you can also invest in a tarot book if you so choose. I take notes and jot down my thoughts on the cards before wrapping up.
4. Wrap Up
To finish the New Moon ritual, use a candle snuffer to extinguish your New Moon candles. Magickally speaking, you’re not supposed to blow out candles because it’s seen as the element of Air figuratively defeating the element of Fire. Since you just took time to anoint your candles, give them a proper send off. Some people let candles burn down completely, but never leave them unattended. I snuff them out with a rather inexpensive candle snuffer and use them for several cycles.
With your intentions set and advice in mind, now you can go into the New Moon cycle and put your intentions to work with actions! The Full Moon on August 7th 2017 is a good time to check in and review your notes, then in January 2018 we’ll meet again to see how we’ve done. It’s pretty much impossible to remember something like a six month old intention, our lives are just so busy, so remember to write it all down. I think you’ll find that checking in with yourself in six month is surprisingly rewarding.
I hope you all found this guide helpful, I’ll be back at the next New Moon and we can go through the steps together again. Please feel to share any (positive/constructive) thoughts that you have in the comments. Have a beautiful lunar cycle my friends!
“Leo” on Astrology.com
“Cosmic Sway (Midsummer)” by April Elliott Kent in Llewellyn’s 2017 Sabbats Almanac
“Leo,” Plate 20 from Urania’s Mirror, Sidney Hall, 1825, restored by Adam Cuerden