Cycle of the Full and Dark Moons
The esbats (dark and full moons) are particularly powerful times for magic, because they signify a change in the flow of the moon's energies. Many people follow the three day cycle, which consists of the day before-, the day of-, and the day after-, both the full and dark moons. Each of these days hold special significance, as the energy ebbs and flows through the elliptic.
The first day is known as the "old moon", the waning crescent at its extreme level of attrition. Also called the "Composting Moon", or the "Pruning Moon", it is the best day of the lunar cycle to do banishing work for bad habits or diseases, end relationships, bury resentments, discard items of ancestors, or pay respect to an old person or tradition. A poor time to begin a relationship or business deal, to find a house, buy anything of value, or begin school or magical training.
The second day is the Dark Moon, or See Moon, and its energy is focused on inception, inner work, and the process of renewal. Not a good day to make decisions or begin or end things in mundane reality. Magical things which work well on this day are personal divination, creating charms of protection, and choice of a magical name. Past life regressions are likely to be very powerful on the Dark Moon.
The third day is the New Moon. A day of sprouting, new beginnings, and prophetic work. A good day to plant seeds, start a magical working, dedicate or initiate, hand fast or get pregnant, or begin a new job or relationship. Doing divination for others is likely to be successful today. It is a powerful time to begin any long term spellwork like a job search, healing work, or searching for a mate or magical partner.
The first day is called the "Bursting Moon", or "Right Hand Moon". The time of potential, just before things come to fruition, the moment before success or completion. The time when we can best assess our own potential. This is the time of the lunar cycle to create future plans, including doing guided meditation to answer questions, or astral travel to consult with spirit guides or avatars. Mundanely, it is a good day to finish "beginning processes" like signing a contract for an ongoing business deal, making an offer on a house, applying for a job, or taking an exam. Also the time when our memories are apt to be the most acute. Since this phase deals with what is almost there, it is a good time to find lost objects, or recall and make contact with forgotten friends.
The day of the Full Moon represents blossoming, coming to full completeness or awareness. The best day of the cycle for guided meditations, lucid dreaming, and rites of passage. Celebrations and parties will be easier to produce and more successful now. Projects planned to end on a Full Moon are always successful.
The third day of the cycle is the "Disseminating Moon", or "Left Hand Moon". Represents the beginning of the process of harvesting, synthesis, coming to understanding. A good day to honor all types of continuity and wisdom, including handing down coven lore, visiting with elders, honoring your ancestors, and teaching your children. Rituals done to access ancient wisdom are particularly successful on this moon, especially those done in groups. The best day of the month to write in your Book of Shadows, to record rituals or lore, or to analyze a magical process you have completed.