Bullet journaling seems to be tailor made for witches of all levels who are interested in tracking their practice. A sub-set of bullet journaling is graphic trackers, of which a moon wheel is about as perfect for witchcraft as you can get. Moon trackers can be used to keep track of the minutiae of the moon’s movement throughout the lunar cycle, thus helping witches move into advanced spell work and get to know themselves (and their craft) better. Getting into intermediate and advanced witchcraft requires more advanced lunar tracking techniques; whether you choose to use the information or not, it’s good to know where the moon’s at. While waiting until there is a waxing moon in Scorpio to do you body-positivity spell may sound fussy, it can give a much-needed boost to witches moving into a phase of more advanced spellwork. My disclaimer is that, if you’re a baby witch who is just starting out, don’t be bothered too much about moon times or signs. Full moon and new moon are the only dates you need to know, once you’re completely comfortable with that, then move on to more advanced tracking.
I recommend using the lunar tracking wheel (pictured above) made by Cheeky Magpie; I like a plain one, but she also created some with seasonal backgrounds that are very nice. Witches are not, by a big stretch of the imagination, the only people who track the moon. People plant by it, fish by it, breed animals by it, track their cycles by it, even use the moon to monitor their moods; just about anything you can think of people have used these moon charts for. Because they are so non-denominational, I’ll show you how to witch them up for your practice.
To start with, these charts are 28 ‘days’ long, which was a common way to measure time for quite a while. Because of this, thinking of moon tracking in terms of months has to be thrown out, at least in part. One reason is that there are occasionally 13 lunar cycles (new moon to full moon) in a 12 month year. Additionally, the chart doesn’t accommodate a calendar month with two full moons (Blue Moon) or two new moons (Black Moon). That being said, there will never be more than one new moon and one full moon in a 28 day long cycle.
I believe in trying things out before committing lock stock to one way of doing it, so here are a few ways you can start using a moon chart. First is by using the calendar month (to start out) just to get used to the system ie: August. You can see my draft chart for July 2017 to the left. The only issue is that you’ll be missing a couple of days from the chart. Another is to start with the new moon and fill in the chart accordingly; in this case the chart will almost always contain parts of two calendar months. For example, you would put the new moon at the top at the 12 o’clock position and start filling in dates clockwise. The full moon that follows that new moon would be at the 6 o’clock position, and the rest would be the two weeks that build up to the next new moon (which would be on its own, new chart). This makes magickal sense because the moon cycle starts at the new moon and ends on the full moon. The last way is to flip it and start the chart with the full moon at the top, this works for those more comfortable with full moon work, and the full moons all have names for easy labeling and organization. In any case, the dates should be filled in using the space directly below the moon icon (as pictured).
The once the lunar tracker has the dates filled in it’s time to fill in the rest of the wheel. The ‘wedges’ below the moon icon and date should be filled in using moon’s astrological movements. To put it very simply: every 28 days the moon moves through all 12 signs of the zodiac, generally spending a full 24 hour day in each. The time between the moon leaving the last aspect of the old sign, but before it has entered the first aspect of the new sign is called void-of-course. What course (astrological sign) is the moon in? None, it’s void. When the moon is void-of-course spellwork is not recommended, and it’s believed that spells done under a void moon generally fizzle because the moon rules over spellwork/witchcraft.
The information for the exact dates and times for moon phases can be found in a lot of places, I use Llewellyn’s Witches Calendar/Datebook because I know they’re reputable and trust their methodologies. To track the moon’s movement use the big ‘wedge’ of the tracker and write inside of it the sign that the moon is in for that date, and if it goes void for any amount of time. For example “v/c 2:05 AM; Leo 4:34 AM” let’s you know that, on that day, the moon goes void-of-course at 2:05 AM, then moves into Leo at 4:34 AM; since that is all you have noted it’s safe to assume the moon is in Leo for that whole day until at least midnight the next day. I prefer the zodiac symbols over writing them out; it saves space and looks nice.
Another way that non-magickal people use these trackers is to monitor their moods. Witches can absolutely use the lunar tracker to see what signs bring out the best or worst in them. I’ve found that Aries and Scorpio moon energy is just awful for me; I’d have a fight or some sort of spiral, and after it was over I’d look at my calendar, and sure enough the moon had changed signs shortly before the event. Finding out how you specifically react to certain lunar shifts is important because there is no ‘one size fits all’ option; witchcraft is largely about the individual and what works for them. If you have a really good day you could color the wedge with a color you associate with happiness and vice versa. You could use emoji stamps, colored stickers, or ‘icon’ stickers as well. Include a key at the bottom so you can come back to the chart later and still read it. Witches who menstruate can add this information to the chart via color as well, or any other information helpful to your magickal path.
It’s easy to want to add too much information to the lunar chart; if you decide you want to keep track of all planetary shifts, or the shifts of your sign’s ruling planet (for Cancer it’s the moon, so no double duty for you) you can have a separate chart for that. Try to keep the moon chart moon-ly and start just by tracking the moon’s movement, as you get comfortable add color coding, and pretty soon this seemingly complex thing called moon tracking starts to become logical.
Stock image by Mark Basarab