A new moon teaches gradualnessand deliberation and how one gives birthto oneself slowly. Patience with small detailsmakes perfect a large work, like the universe. – RumiSince I seem to be on a roll with astrological posts, I thought I would write about the upcoming New Moon, which is in the early morning hours on Monday, July 8th at 3:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time. The month of July is an extroverted time with the Sun’s energies so strong, but the introverted energy of the New Moon provides an opportunity to go within and integrate the momentous events of the summer. It is a pause in a hectic schedule, an idyllic afternoon in a spate of busyness.For me it is important to understand what is physically, tangibly happening during an astrological event in order to grasp its metaphysical implications. The light of the Moon is a reflection of sunlight off the Moon’s surface as it orbits around the Earth. When the Moon is positioned away from the Sun we experience the fully illuminated Full Moon. When the Moon is positioned between the Sun and the Earth, we experience the New Moon, which is completely dark. We are confronted with what we don’t know.When I was working on my book, Invoking Animal Magic, I found that the words flowed easily during the Full Moon, while during the New Moon I worked many hours with little to show for it. I did not find this time unproductive however – quite the contrary. This was a time when I tended to make breakthroughs and work through blocks in my understanding. As long as I was content to work without feeling pressure to produce, I felt satisfied. Since I am more of a process than a goal oriented person this was not particularly difficult. If I had been setting small steady quotas, as some people prescribe, I think I would have been feeling frustrated.For spell work, the twenty-four hours up to the actual turning of the Moon are considered the best for banishing or getting free of something. The seventy-two hours following the New Moon are auspicious for growth or increase. Usually this is also a time for beginning new projects, but with Mercury retrograde this particular New Moon is not conducive for this. At the New Moon, more than any other time, it is important to step away from the mind’s dictates of “should’s” and “have-to’s” and tune into what feels right. It might be journaling, meditation, ritual, fun reading, play or simply rest.Give birth to yourself, slowly.