Moon phases including the Dark or New Moon

Continuing in our series of collecting superstitions, folk traditions and other Moon lore, here is a third collection that focuses on New Moons.

In astronomical terminology, the new moon is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon lies between Earth and the Sun, and is therefore in conjunction with the Sun as seen from Earth. At this time, the dark (unilluminated) portion of the Moon faces almost directly toward Earth, so that the Moon is not visible to the naked eye.

The original meaning of the phrase new moon was the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the Sun. This takes place over the western horizon in a brief period between sunset and moonset, and therefore the precise time and even the date of the appearance of the new moon by this definition will be influenced by the geographical location of the observer.

The astronomical new moon is sometimes known as the Dark Moon occurs at the moment of conjunction when the Moon is invisible from the Earth.

Here is a collection of New Moon lore:

If the New Moon is seen for the first time straight ahead, it predicts good fortune until the next New Moon.

If there are two Moons (two New or two Full) in the same month, the weather will be unfavorable and unsettled until the next New Moon.

Wood cut at the New Moon is hard to split. If it is cut at the Full Moon it is easy to split.

Looking for love? When the Moon is New, braid your hair or some kind of string while saying: I braid this knot, this knot I braid, To know the thing I know not yet, That while I sleep I plain may see. The man (woman) that my husband (wife) shall be. Not in his (her) best but worst array, Just what he (she) weareth every day. That I tomorrow may him (her) ken, From among all other men (woman).

Look at the New Moon and say: New Moon, New Moon, do tell me, Who my own true lover is to be. The color of his (her) hair, The clothes that he (she) will wear, On what day he (she) will appear.

If the New Moon is seen for the first time straight ahead, it predicts good fortune until the next New Moon.

The English had a saying: that if a member of the family died at the time of the New Moon, three deaths would follow.

Any New Moon on a Saturday or Sunday was said to predict rain and general bad luck.

Good luck will come your way if you first see the New Moon outside and over your right shoulder. You can make a wish that will be granted. The best luck came from looking at the Moon straight on.

Upon seeing the New Moon, bow to your mate or significant other and turn over the coins in your pocket. This will bring you luck in your relationship.

The Irish say never cut your hair, begin a journey, move into a new house, start a business, or cut out a dress on a Friday in particular, and especially if a New or Full Moon falls on a Friday.

Two New Moon spells to find your true love:

When the Moon is New, braid your hair or some kind of string while saying:  “I braid this knot, this knot I braid, To know the thing I know not yet, That while I sleep I plain may see. The man (woman) that my husband (wife) shall be. Not in his (her) best but worst array, Just what he (she) weareth every day. That I tomorrow may him (her) ken, From among all other men (woman).

Look at the New Moon and say:  “New Moon, New Moon, do tell me, Who my own true lover is to be. The colour of his (her) hair, The clothes that he (she) will wear, On what day he (she) will appear.”

The English had a saying: that if a member of the family died at the time of the New Moon, three deaths would follow.

Although the Koran expressly forbids worshiping the Sun or Moon, many Moslems still clasp their hands at the sight of a New Moon and offer a prayer.

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