June’s New Moon in Cancer occurs at 10:31 PM EST on Friday the 23rd, and you can do your New Moon ritual on either the night of Thursday the 22nd, Friday the 23rd, or Saturday the 24th at any time. Compared to other New Moons this year, we have a ton of time this go round. 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, July 9th 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 2nd 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 thing I’d like to let go of (or stop doing), so that’s step one.
Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac, a cardinal sign, a Water sign, and ruled by the Moon. Cancer is very centered in the home and on family. Being ruled by the Moon it’s not surprising that Cancer is a very emotional sign and they are very open emotionally; they can also hold on to slights because of this or retreat into themselves. As a cardinal sign, Cancer is good at getting stuff moving. A Cancer can be moody, and would often rather go around than through, but they are also affectionate and loving. They tend to be homebodies, but are attracted to big personalities.
Because of these traits, consider focusing your intentions for the next six month cycle on things like family, home improvement, or getting in touch with your emotions. 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 like a project around the house, writing in your journal, or organizing a monthly family dinner. Cardinal signs are great for getting things started, and you can definitely take advantage of that energy to make something happen. You can also work on doing protection magick for your home of family, or work with the Moon since it rules Cancer (read my article for tracking the moon in your grimoire here).
The Ritual Process
With the Cancer 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. I sell candles in my shop specifically designed for Esbats if you’re looking for some (shameless plug alert!).
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 got back and forth on anointing, sometimes it feels just a little too theatrical for me, so sometimes I just raise or diminish the power through visualization. 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 Beginner Tarot Spread: 1 Card
Cancer’s are naturally intuitive, being ruled by the Moon, which makes this an especially great New Moon for divination. For a beginner-level tarot reading I suggest harnessing the Cancer New Moon’s intuitive capacity to ask for advice. The simplest question is something like “How best should I direct my energy during this 6 month Cancer Moon cycle?” but you can also switch it up and ask for advice on a more specific topic. Just remember to ask for advice and don’t come to the cards with an agenda.
Suggested Intermediate Tarot Spread: 3 Cards
Card #1: What emotion am I avoiding? – or – What unhealthy emotion/relationship am I holding on to?
Card #2: How do I process that emotion/relationship in a healthy way?
Card #3: What will the result of that process be?
There’s no advanced tarot suggestion because I don’t think you advanced readers need or want advice! You already know.
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 July 9th 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!
“Cancer” on Astrology.com
“Cosmic Sway (Midsummer)” by April Elliott Kent in Llewellyn’s 2017 Sabbats Almanac
“Cancer,” Plate 19 from Urania’s Mirror, Sidney Hall, 1825, restored by Adam Cuerden