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Esbats are festivals of the Goddess based around the phases or cycles of the Moon. They are generally more personal in nature than celebrations of the Sabbats (although Sabbats can be celebrated in a personal way, and Esbats could be commemorated by a larger group of people - its up to the individual). Also, the Sabbats each have a well known and fairly rigid interpretation and mythology, whereas within limits the Esbats can be used for whichever magick you feel appropriate.

One of the most significant factors in an Esbat is the current phase of the Moon. Esbats occur on the full and new Moons, and sometimes at the various stages in between. Tradition dictates that ceremonies, though should fall on the 'correct Moon', can take place up to three days either way of this night.

Lunar eclipses represent the perfect union of the Sun and Moon. Any type of magick is acceptable at this time, and both types of eclipse (partial and penumbral) are valid. The Moon is said to be void of course before it enters a new sign; this is a form of 'inactive' period. Avoid doing magick during this time, even if it is only completing some spellcasting you started when the moon was in a sign.

Full Moon Magick
New Moon Magick
Subdivision Of The Moon Phases
Moon Signs According To Silver RavenWolf
Moon Signs According To Llewellyn's Magick Almanac

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Full Moon Magick

"When the moon rides at her peak,"
"Then your heart's desire seek."

Because the Moon energy is at its peak at the full Moon, so we celebrate things that are peaking in our lives; the full Moon is the time to honor things that have come into fruition.

At the full Moon there is alot of lunar energy present around us. We utilise this abundance in blessing, charging and cleansing both our lives, selves and 'people', and our ritual tools that are sacred to the Goddess. The full Moon Esbat is a time to be grateful for the good fortune that has befallen us. Midnight is the best time to perform rituals.

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New Moon Magick

"When the Lady's moon is new,"
"Kiss the hand to her, times two."

New Moon rituals should be performed once the Moon has started to wax, else the Moon will actually be dark (which is suitable for a different type of magick).

This time is suitable for beginning new things and working magick for new processes. An example would be a blessing for a new car. New Moon is the period when we can begin to work in new directions. For best use, spells should be perfored between dawn and sunset.

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Subdivision Of The Moon Phases

Generally, Witches and Pagans perform magic during the waxing Moon (positive 'new beginning' magic), waning Moon ('negative' - banishing magick, study and meditation), full Moon (time of greatest positive power), dark Moon (powerful time for banishing magick) and new Moon (the most powerful time for 'new beginning' magick). However, many others use more complicated sub-divisions of the phases. For the duration column below, I have used the day of the new moon as day 0. Much (but not all) of the detail here is from Silver RavenWolf's text 'To Stir A Magick Couldron'.

PhaseDuration (days)Best Time For SpellcastingConjuring
New Moon0 - 3.5Between dawn and sunsetStarting new venture, new beginnings, love & romance, health, job hunting, beauty, self-improvement, farms & gardens, networking
Crescent Moon3.5 - 7Mid-morning or after sunsetAnimals, wealth, business, success, change, emotions, matriachal strength
First Quarter7 - 10SunsetCourage, elemental magick, friends, luck, motivation
Gibbous Moon10 - 1310 - 11pmPatience
Full Moon14 - 17MidnightProphecy, divination, protection, love, knowledge, legal business, dreams, money, artistic endeavors, beauty, health, change & decisions, children, competition, families, motivation, psychism, self improvement, and any magick that needs extra energy (eg healing serious illness, finding a new job)
Disseminating Moon17 - 213amAddictions, divorce, decisions, emotions, stress, protection
Last Quarter21 - 24Midnight to noonAddictions, divorce, stress, protection, health and healing (banishing illness)
Dark Moon25 - 2810amAddictions, change divorce, ememies, justice, obstacles, quarrels, removal, separation, stopping stalkers and theft, understanding our angers and passions

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Moon Signs According To Silver RavenWolf

From "To Stir A Magick Couldron"

Moon SignConjuring
AriesBeginning of things, matters of self and your personality
TaurusFinancial matters of personal nature, vehicles, benefits, possessions
GeminiRelatives, communication, studies, writing, street smarts
CancerHome environment, mothers, end of life, family
LeoPleasures, hobbies, love affairs, entertainment, sports, pets
VirgoWorking environment, health, service extended, clothing
LibraMarriage, partnerships, legal matters, small animals
ScorpioDeath, sex, taxes, inheritances, transformation
SagittariusReligion, metaphysics, long-distance travel, in-laws, higher learning
CapricornBusiness, career, reputation, fathers, honor
AquariusFriendship, acquaintances, aspirations, groups and organizations
PiscesInner development, karma, restrictions, secrets revealed

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Moon Signs According To Llewellyn's Magick Almanac

Moon SignConjuring
AriesGood for starting things, but lacks staying power. Things occur rapidly, but quickly pass.
TaurusThings begun now last the longest, tend to increase in value, and become harder to alter.
GeminiThings begun now are easily changed by outside influence.
CancerPinpoints need, supports growth and nurturance.
LeoShowmanship, favors being seen, drama, recreation and happy pursuits.
VirgoFavors accomplishment of details and commands.
LibraIncrease self-awareness, favors self-examination and interaction with others.
ScorpioIncreases awareness of psychic power. Ends connections.
SagittariusEncourages flights of imagination and confidence.
CapricornIncreases awareness of the need for structure, discipline.
AquariusFavors activities that are unique and individualistic.
PiscesEnergy withdraws from the surface of life, hibernates within, secretly reorganizing and realigning.

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