The Moon is waning (decreasing in light) and 75% to 0% illuminated. This phase begins the 10th or 11th day after Full Moon, and continues until New Moon. It is about 3.5 days until New Moon (at the beginning of this phase). This is the 7th in the 8 phases of the Lunar month. The Balsamic Phase begins when the Sun/Moon angle reaches 315º, and continues until the angle reaches 0º (when the New Moon Phase will begin). This phase is the second half of the 3rd Quarter (when the cycle is divided into 4 quarters rather than 8 phases). The Balsamic Moon rises is early morning, before dawn and sets in late afternoon. Early in this phase is visible in pre-dawn twilight; a thin silver crescent softly growing in the eastern sky. By the end of this phase she has disappeared from sight, as we approach the next lunar cycle. This phase is called Balsamic, Dark Moon, and Waning Crescent. In astrology/magick the term waning crescent is rarely used; it is by far the most common astronomical name. Dark Moon and Balsamic are commonly used in astrology/magick.


The darkness is nearly complete. We begin the Balsamic Phase with just a thin sliver of light - you may catch a glimpse in early morning - and by the end of the phase, darkness is complete. We are approaching New Moon; this is the last waning phase. She has withdrawn into the darkness, leaving the night wrapped in shadows. Disappearing from sight, she is resting, preparing for the next Lunar Cycle. As we follow her example, follow her path, we do the same.

This is a time of quiet contemplation. We withdraw into the shadowy depths of thought and emotion, resting, reflecting, thinking, feeling, dreaming, and preparing. To a great degree we exist in the 'invisible worlds' of subconscious, spiritual realms, daydreaming, and our own inner depths. We are often consciously unaware - much is happening, yet it seems that nothing is happening. The past slips away, quietly into the night as the future slips in. While the Moon releases her current cycle, extinguishing the light and preparing for the next cycle, we to are releasing extinguishing and preparing; even if we don't know it on a conscious level.


This is a time to notice the subtle, especially within yourself. It's not a time of dramatic changes and hectic action. Yet it's a time of chaos, in it's own way. There is often an uneasy, restlessness about the Balsamic Phase. This isn't (typically) chaos in the external sense, of noticeable disorder and confusion. This is a deeper, more subtle more meaningful type of chaos. The Lunar cycle is ending, with it our cycle of progress and action is ending. Yet a new cycle has not begun. There is a sense of void, but it's not a void. It's filled with the past, the future, hopes and fears. Externally this should be a calm, quiet time. Allow yourself opportunity to think, feel and experience.

The Balsamic Moon Phase is a time of release. The growing and building of the waxing phase have passes. The actively analyzing, correcting, and changing of the waning phase up to this point has passes. Now is the time for acceptance and release. What has gone too far to be repairable, we must let go of. Perhaps it will be re-started in the next, or a future Lunar Cycle. Maybe it won't. But if it's time has come, we must now let go. We must have faith in ourselves, and the natural cycle, knowing what we let go of now will be reborn, the resources will be reused, we are making way for something new, releasing emotions and beginning healing…

Balsamic Moon is also a time of preparation. New Moon is approaching; we are on the verge of the next Lunar Cycle. We are on the verge, but not there yet. Gather your strength and resources; let your mind and body relax. Let your spirit and soul play. Let your imagination run wild. We are following the natural cycle. The Moon is now retreating into the shadows, withdrawing into herself, resting and preparing to come back strong and vibrant in the next cycle. This is the time we should be preparing ourselves to be refreshed and ready for great momentum and new growth to come.


One of the best uses for the Balsamic Phase is rest. If you've been pushing yourself too hard, feeling used up and burnt out, the most important thing to do right now is give yourself a break. It's also a time to get in touch either yourself and nature. This is the time to stop and smell the roses, enjoy the moment. It's also a good time for mundane, routine tasks - the kind of thing you do automatically without having to give it much though. Try to avoid strenuous activities, especially mentally strenuous. This is the time for your mind to relax, and let your subconscious, your soul, and your imagination flow. Don't fill your head with a bunch of fact and figures, that won't let the subtle flow through.

In terms of more 'practical' activities, remember we are in the final days of the waning moon. It won't be favorable time for breaking habits, endings, or eliminating until the next phase. If you have things of this nature you need to do, now is the time. This phase of the waning Moon is particularly good for final endings. Anything you don't want to return, or want it to at least be slower than typical - now is the time. For example, if you pull weeds they don't grow back as quickly, if you clean out the junk drawer, it will fill up slower, if you plug a leak it's more likely to hold and so on.


This is not the time to begin anything. It is an excellent time for endings. If you need to end a difficult relationship, break a contract, stop a really tough habit, etc. this is your best time. In difficult situations, see if anything needs to be ended and if not this isn't the time to address the problem. In long-term projects, the Balsamic Phase usually seems to be a time of stalled progress. Don't push for something to happen, wait until New Moon. However, this phase can be an excellent time of inspiration and creativity. The logical and forward moving part of things may be stalled, but often what we really need is a break from the activity and some objective, unusual thoughts on the matter.