Tropical and Sidereal
Lunar Magic Through The Zodiac
When it comes to astrology there are different options that make it more flexible for use in a magical system than it is usually given credit for. Tropical astrology is normally used in the United States, although the Hindu Sidereal system is becoming more widely known and is popular in Europe. Tropical relates the Sun’s passage from the perspective of the earth, while Sidereal relates the Sun’s passage from the perspective of space. Additionally, the actual astronomical solar perspective differs from traditional astrology due to the movement of the stars, and the major stars also contribute a general influence to the moon sign. Different astrological systems can mean a difference of sign, be it for a natal chart or lunar mansion, so it is up to you to decide when the timing is right. Heeding your intuition and not trying to second-guess yourself is the key to any magical practice, so you can choose what astrological system resonates with you at any given time. The very act of deciding is part of the magical process through which you harness the energy associated with the sign and the placement of the Moon within that sign.
For informational purposes only, the progress of the Moon is Full Moon to Waning Gibbous Moon (swollen on left side), to Last Quarter Moon to Waning Crescent Moon, to New (Dark) Moon, and then to Waxing Crescent Moon, First Quarter Moon, Waxing Gibbous Moon (swollen on right side) and back to Full Moon. But even these terms have overlapping degrees with the Full Moon at 0.00 degrees, the Waning Gibbous at 0.00 to 0.25 degrees. The Last Quarter shares the 0.25-degree position with both the Waning Gibbous and the Waning Crescent, with the latter moving from 0.25 to 0.50 degrees. The New Moon is at 0.50 degrees, and the Waxing Crescent goes from 0.50 to 0.75 degrees, with the First Quarter at 0.75 degrees. From 0.75 to 1.00 is the Waxing Gibbous Moon, and at 1.00 is the Full Moon once more. My point with these details is that when making distinctions on the phases of the Moon, there are blurred borders, and this is okay in magical work as long as you understand what energy you want to utilize in these fuzzy areas.
In planning magical work for various spells, charms, talismans, candle spells, sachets, blended oils or incenses, and such, you can wait for the mansion that will give the most energy to augment that of the Moon, choosing the phase of the Moon coupled with the sign the Moon is in, and the mansion within the sign. Or you could simply go with the phase of the Moon at the time you are ready to do your magical work, knowing what energies are brushing up against the Moon so you work around them or utilize them as you create your spells.