I was lying down in the charred skeleton of the cast iron bed in what used to be my bedroom. There was no ceiling left, just a space opened to the stars and the sky. There was one wall left standing in the east. It was night, and on that remaining single wall, through a square that used to hold a window, the moon illuminated all that remained of our burned-down house.
I don’t know how I got there. I took the normal roads through the mountain to go to the temporary space we were living, but suddenly a song came on the radio that I was singing along with, and my mind got lost in the melody.
The moon was so bright, peeking through the mountains, that my instincts took the wheel and drove me to the place I knew as home.
The moon had just been full, three days prior, and she was on the wane, shrinking down in the sky. It was June, and the single wall left standing and the bones of our house were to be torn down in three days. So I sat in her structure, and watched the new fireflies of the early summer flicker on and off. The moon was a teacher for me that night, as I stayed there for hours in the stillness with the fireflies and the wilderness, my thoughts, and my own burned things. I watched her in the sky as she rose higher and started to slowly fall. She remained, this constant companion since I was small. Some of my earliest memories are of tiptoeing on my bed and clinging to the windowsill to watch her, and she watched me now, grown up and stretched on a floor in a burned-down house. She was my light in the darkness.
All things move and change. The moon herself can be a small light in the sky, grow to a luminous wild fullness, undergo a mysterious darkening, and then once again become a crescent sliver of light and a beacon in the sky.
It was appropriate that the bulldozer came three days later as the moon was disappearing in the sky. I felt my spirit disappearing in a moment of sadness, in a moment of uncertainty, in the loss of something that I was deeply connected to.
The land was cleared, and the moon went to dark, and as the tiny sliver of a new moon opened up in a dark sky, I knew I needed to follow her lead and begin again.
Now, after many moons, Curiosa Magic House stands on that land now, and it is a place of community, of family, of creativity, of love, and of magic. In fact, there is a window in the front of the house shaped like a crescent moon, and during the winter, when the moon is lowest in the sky, it glows perfectly through that window and then parades across to the west windows during the course of the night. I share this story because all of us, on this human journey, face the ups and downs of a true adventure. It wouldn’t be called an adventure if it was just one good thing after another. We brave through the good and bad times, and working with the magic of the moon, we can gain the beauty of strength and clarity throughout it all.
The moon is our nightly reminder of the sacred. She is the story of the mystery of life and all its journeys of wild fullness and quiet disappearing. She is our lighthouse in the celestial sky—a mother, a teacher, an ancient guide.
If you want to create a magical household of your own and tap into the powerful beauty of the moon, here are some of my favorite tips. I imagine us at this moment, you and I, on a blanket in a field under the stars, as we watch the cycles of the moon above us in time-lapse magic. Over the course of twenty-nine and a half days, the moon goes from new to new once again. I’m going to suggest magic for the four main cycles of the moon—new, waxing, full, and waning.
New Moon Magic
The new moon is the brand new beginning. It is the seeds that we wish to plant, the dreams that we want to start swirling around us.
The new moon is the beginning of the cycle and holds all the power of new beginnings. This is the time when you want to create intentions for the next month. Our home is our temple. What do you want to bring in for this month? What do you wish to focus on? Write down a sentence of something you want to magnetize to you. Our words are wands, and when we create an intention, it is its own magic spell.
Whatever your intention is—be it making your home a space for a community dinner with friends, a romantic temple for your love, or a creative nook that will inspire all your juicy ideas, or a mixture of all those things—here is what I suggest:
On the new moon or within three days of the new moon, ring a bell in all the rooms of your house. The bright sound of bells works wonders to break up stagnant energy and sing a song of a new beginning.
Light your favorite incense, or burn sweetgrass, sage, or palo santo to sweeten the air around you. As you waft the curls of scented smoke around your home, state your intention and your dreams for the next month. My Grandma Helen always believed the curls of smoke were like cursive sending a love letter up to the moon to hear. Planting a Seed This is the perfect time to plant in your garden or get a new succulent for
a windowsill. The energy of live plants thriving and growing and adding vital oxygen to your home is a beautiful new beginning.
Traditionally, the hearth fire was the heart of a home. It was where everyone gathered. Today, most houses don’t have that traditional hearth, but candle magic is a great way to honor this old tradition and bring the “light” into your home. During the new moon, I carve and start to burn seven-day pull-out candles. You can carve your own, or get a seven-day candle that has a picture on the front. State your intention to the candle, light the wick, and burn from new moon to the full moon. As the moon builds, the candle will burn down, putting your wish and intention out into the air.
Waxing Moon Magic
Waxing moon magic is all about energy and growth. Watch the moon as she continues to build in the sky and harness that power in your spirit. She rules the tides, and since we are made up of 65 percent water, it just makes sense that she also has a connection with us. This is the time to “build up” the beauty and energy of your home and intention.
Is there a color that makes your spirit sing? Studies have shown that colors around us can have a psychological effect on our mood. Take a look at the walls of your home: Do they reflect your favorite colors? How do the colors make you feel? A fresh coat of paint can be a powerful magic spell. If you do decide to paint, I love to add a few drops of lemon essential oil into the paint to bring the “sunshine” into my home. With the wooden stir stick, I like to trace a magic sigil or a special symbol into the open can of paint and then stir that good intention in! If painting walls isn’t your thing, try a new comforter on your bed or a pop of color in a poster or art on the walls. The golden sparkle pillows on my bed make my “dream caravan” truly enchanted.
During this growth period of the waxing moon, it’s time to bring the outside to the indoors. Bringing in small trees and green living plants to your space will active the growth that you are magnetizing. Use mirror magic by adding mirrors in rooms with windows to maximize the gorgeous sunlight and moonlight and bring the outdoors in! Invest in an oil diffuser and use drops of lemon, lime, lavender, or sandalwood to stimulate your senses with the aroma of the outdoors. Salt rock lamps are also a soothing way to tap into the magic of the earth.
Full Moon Magic
This is the time of full power, celebration, and reveling in all that you have cultivated for the month!
The full moon is the perfect time to invite friends to gather at your home, to cook together or create a potluck celebration while sharing stories and community. The full moon every month is the “harvest,” so this is the time to share the bounty of what has been brought in.
In the beginning of the celebration, give each of your friends a small emergency candle or “magic” candle. These candles are about three to four inches high and an inch thick. Find a flat fire-safe surface and have each person light a candle and make a wish. Once the wick is lit, you can turn it sideways to drip candle wax on one spot, and then, once there’s about a coin-size dollop of candle wax, you can press the base of the candle into it to hold it in place safely. The candles take about an hour to burn down, and this is a way to all make your wishes together and amplify your magic on the full moon in community.
The full moon is a perfect time for a bit of enchantment and glamour magic! This is when your home wants to be dressed up and dazzled. This is when I thread fairy lights through the white vintage dresses for the three muses at Curiosa Magic House and put candles on trays and sprinkle golden glitter over them all. This is when I dance in the glow of the moon for a moon bath and bring that full amplified power into my own spirit as well!
Waning Moon Magic
Waning moon magic is a time for reflection on all the things in your life. What do you want to move forward to and what do you want to let go? Now is the time to let go of the things that no longer serve you, and when the moon then goes back to its new cycle once again, focus on the things you want to bring in.
The snake sheds its old skin so that it can allow further growth. If a snake remained in its old skin, it would strangle itself. Snake magic has so much to teach us, as we have to let things go that don’t work for us anymore. What old ideas are you holding onto? What old stories about yourself are blocking your progress? Surprisingly, I found some of my major blocks in my closet at home. I was holding onto clothes that I hadn’t worn in years that were attached to memories—some sad, some happy. I realized that every time I was searching for something to wear, I was subliminally being affected by the memories of some of the clothes. I ended up doing a full closet clearing and donated or gave away 70 percent of my wardrobe. Now I have the space to bring in clothes that make me happy to create new memories in, and also, I can easily find everything I love in my closet. Are there things you are holding onto that aren’t you anymore? Look at the furniture, the clothes, the bedspread, the colors. Be brave and say goodbye to what doesn’t work and donate it so it can be a treasure for someone else. Declutter and create space for the new that awaits you in the next phase of the moon.
While the full moon is a time of celebration and gathering with friends, the waning moon wants you to focus on you. This is the time to set up sacred space in your own home. Turn a forgotten corner into a healing nook with a faux fur blanket, pillows, an oil diffuser, and a salt rock lamp. If you have a bathtub in your home, set candles around it and soak in sea salt and lavender oils. When you are finished, drain the tub while you are still in it and imagine everything that isn’t working going down the drain. Then take a shower afterward to rinse yourself clean to prepare for the new moon. I imagine what life was once like before the invention of electricity, and how our ancestors relied on the light of the moon. There is something ancient and legendary when we tap into that divine lunar power magic. Watch your world change with the luminous wild glow of the moon’s enchantment. She is always in the sky waiting for you … all you have to do is look up.