New Moon, Black Moon

There was no New Moon this month, but there will be two in March – on the 1st and the 30th.

I have seen some websites call the New Moon a Black Moon. That is not an astronomical term but the name is understandable since the Moon is not normally visible at this phase (except when it is seen in silhouette during a solar eclipse).

To astronomers, the New Moon is the first phase of the Moon, when it lies closest to the Sun in the sky as seen from the Earth. If you want to be exact, it is the instant when the Moon and the Sun have the same elliptical longitude.

I was looking online for any Moon lore about this Black Moon. I found most references seem to be on Wicca websites.  It seems to be a reference to the New Moon as a time when black magic is practiced.

I also found that when there are two New Moons in a month, the second new moon is considered a Black Moon – which is similar to the second Full Moon of a month being a Blue Moon.

Wikipedia says that a Black Moon is a reference to one of four astronomical events. The first is the second occurrence of a new moon in a calendar month. This can’t occur in February.

It can also be the third new moon in a season that has four of them.   (The Farmers’ Almanac defines a Blue Moon similarly.)

A third possibility is when there is the absence of a full moon in a calendar month. This can occur in February when January and March will each have a second full moon.

The fourth condition is the absence of a new moon in a calendar month which can only occur in February. 2014 is a case of this when January and March will each have a second new moon.  I don’t what day in February you would mark as a Black Moon though, since there is no New Moon then.