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A Day Without a Moon Set : Magic Moon Days

There is one day a month without a moonrise and one day a month without a moon set.

There is one day during the waxing moon when there is only a moonrise.

There is one day during the waning moon when there is only a moon set.

There is no ‘moonrise only’ during a waning moon and no ‘moon set only’ during a waxing moon.

These are the magic moon days. During these times the “expel”(decrease) and “excel” (increase) energies are at their heights. Whatever rituals or meditations practiced during these days are heightened and perpetuated for the complete cycle of the moon; 29.53 days.

New Moon

It is important to understand that when the moon is growing, on the day of a “moonrise only” is the day to set your intention/focus/ritual only on things that you want increased in your reality. For example, if you are mistakenly focusing on what you don’t want, you will generate more of what you don’t want for the next 29 days so be careful! Your focus must be on the things you intend to have. Please note it cannot be on wanting more because you will only find that “want” increasing; i.e. if you want more money because you feel you do not have enough, more things will happen to make you need more of the money you want–but if you visualize having everything you want, those items will begin to show up.

The opposite is true for the waning moon on the day of the “moon set only.” This is the day to focus on all the things you want out of your life. Your banish rituals and meditations will be enhanced on this day, therefore it is important that you do not focus on those things you want more of.

The moonrise/moon set only days usually occur 4 to 8 days after the new/full moons.

Why this happens (scientifically)

The objects that are important in this analysis are the moon (obviously), the sun, and the earth. When the moon is at the same RA (right ascension) as the sun we have a new moon and from our point of view on earth we don’t see any illuminated part of the moon. RA is the coordinate system in the sky that corresponds to east/west. Declination is the measure of the distance of an object from the equator, so it measures distance north/south.

If the new moon happens to be at the same RA and the same declination as the sun, we have a solar eclipse.

When the moon’s RA is 12 hours different from the sun’s RA, we have a full moon. The earth time from new moon to new moon is 29.53 days (29 days, 12 hours, 43 minutes). This time takes into account the apparent movement of the sun over that time.

These numbers get modified because the moon’s orbit is not circular, it’s elliptical, and keen-eyed observers of the moon will be able to see the difference between the moon at apogee (farthest from earth) and the moon at perigee (closest to earth). This is in part why some solar eclipses are annular and some are total.

We know enough to figure out why there’s no moonrise on one day per lunar cycle and why there’s no moon set on one day per lunar cycle. Because the moon makes one trip around the earth (relative to the sun) in 29.53 days, we can say that the average angular distance traveled per cycle is 360 (re the sun) 29.53 which equals 12.2 degrees. (Strictly speaking there’s another one-degree due to the movement of the earth on its orbit, but we’re close enough.) Since the earth rotates 15 degrees per hour (360/24) we can easily ask how much later, per day, are lunar events (moonrise and moon set). The answer is (12.2/15) * 60 = 48.8 clock minutes. This is certainly in the “ballpark.” Some references say the difference is about 49 minutes per day and others say it’s about 50 minutes per day. To keep it easy, let’s go with a 49 minute per day difference.

If the moon set on any particular day is more than 49 minutes before midnight, the next moon set will occur on the next day. However, if the moon set on our first day of interest is less than 49 minutes before midnight, there will be no moon set on the next day; the next moon set will be just after midnight on the third day.

This is what a professional astronomer would call a back-of-the-envelope calculation. It doesn’t take into account a lot of details that would be important if an exact determination of the timing of this phenomenon is needed. I can think of several considerations that were left out; angle of the moon to the horizon, apogee and perigee of the moon, latitude of the observer, and probably a few other things that don’t occur to me.

How does this fit with real data? To see, I analyzed data from the Naval Observatory moonrise / moon set chart for all of 2012. Based on this calculation I’d expect that the time between successive moon sets is 24 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds. I looked at the data for 2012 for my hometown (Houston, TX) and found that the average time between moon sets for over 300 moon sets was 24 hours + 50.4 minutes. I’m in the right ballpark. The actual difference in moon set time on any given day can vary quite a bit. At my location the minimum difference in 2012 is 35 minutes and the maximum is 68 minutes.

If you look at a moonrise / moon set calendar you’ll see that the day with no moon set is near the first quarter and the day of no moonrise is near the last quarter. If you think about the geometry of this, it makes sense.

To see when you’ll have a day without a moon set or a moonrise get a moonrise chart here:

Enter the year, specify that the Type of Table; is moonrise/moonset, enter your location, and click [compute table] and you’ll get a table of all moonrise and moon set events for your location. For locations outside the US, you can enter the latitude and longitude of the location. Note that the table does not take into account daylight saving time. So, if you observe daylight saving time, or the equivalent, be sure to compensate for that.

If you would like more information on the “Magic” aspect of these moon days please let me know and feel free to leave a comment, and share how you engage the magic moons.

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