We all hear about the New Moon, but what is the Dark Moon?
I've heard New Moon being used in place of the Dark Moon, however they have two completely different energies. The Dark Moon is the time when the moon has zero illumination from the sun. This period of true darkness lasts from 21 hours to 26 hours. The New Moon is that first sliver of a crescent moon that starts to show.
Why was the Dark Moon taken off the calendar? Some say it was a way to "Christianize" the calendars because Dark Moon sounded too pagan. Whatever the reason, if you work with the moon's phases and energy, it's important to know the difference.
"Your invitation is to rest and connect fully to your intuitive power. Then declare with certainty the seeds you will plant." -Renee Starr
Dark Moon Energy
During the Dark Moon, the Moon is "hiding" herself from the world or retreating in some way. This is a time of gestating, rest, introspection, and self-care. Trying to manifest or do spell-work during this time would be going against the natural energy of the moon, so it may not work or do the opposite effect of what you wanted. Instead, try doing a ritual to honor the darkness within, try meditating on aspects of yourself you may not have worked with before, or take a candle-lit herbal salt bath to help re-charge your spirit.
If you are certain you want to do magic during this phase, focus on the "seeds" you want to plant, take inventory in your life of what you need to adjust for these seeds to grow and flourish. You can take a physical seed and infuse it with your intention, and plant it in a pot during the dark moon. Then you will have to water it and care for it and watch your seed bloom. As this seed grows and flourishes, so will your intention and whatever it is you wanted to manifest or make happen, as long as it is in line with your soul-purpose and for the good of all.
New Moon Energy
At the first sight of the moon's silver crescent, is when you can begin New Moon magic. This is a time of manifesting, productivity, re-birth, motivation, and spell-work for drawing in money and prosperity. The moon is "increasing" so what ever you want to increase in your life, this is the perfect time to do so. The moon will be increasing until it reaches the Full Moon, which is a time of completion.
By aligning yourself and your life with the natural cycles of the moon, you connect to your own rhythm and things will just start to fall into place. The waning and waxing cycles of life will make sense, and instead of fighting it, you will go along with it. I recommend getting a planner with moon cycles on it or you can make your own. You will start to notice when you plan things in alignment with the phases, everything starts to move much more smoothly.