This astronomical phenomenon takes place when there are two Dark Moons
(0% illumination) in a month - literally the opposite of a Blue Moon!
The term black moon is used to describe when there are two Dark Moons in one month.
This is unusual - as typically, a Dark Moon occurs every 29.5 days.
According to some opinions, "At its 'new moon' phase, the moon is always black.
As you can tell, there seems to be some confusion as to the term "New Moon".
While people tend to use the terms Dark Moon and New Moon interchangeably, they are two different phases of the orb!
Let's just take a minute and listen to the terms individually - Dark Moon - hmm, could it be this is when the Moon is dark? Yes! This is when the Moon has 0% illumination! Now you're getting it :^)
And now ... New Moon - could it be when the Moon begins it's new beginning, just beginning to glow visibly? Yes! Another name for the New Moon is First Crescent (meaning when you first see a crescent) - pretty simple really :^)
As a Black Moon only occurs when there are two Dark Moons (0% illumination) in the same calendar month, the unusual phenomenon only appears sometimes as frequently as every ~32 months, and has been known to be as rare as occurring only once in 15 years!
Depending on where you live in the world, the Black Moon can be witnessed at different times of the year.
The next one is due in 2019.
A Black Moon is considered to be the flip side of a Blue Moon.
As well as capturing the attention of astrologists, Pagans also consider a Black Moon an important event.
In some aspects of Paganism, especially Wicca, a Black Moon is considered a special time when spells and rituals are considered to be more powerful and effective. This is dependent upon the type of spell or ritual, as the energies must match those of the Black Moon.
However, in some belief systems, they think that rituals and other workings should not be carried out during this time. And this, obviously, is a choice that is personal.
The event of a Black Moon demonstrates how the Gregorian calendar, or the seasons, map onto a lunar month.
There is no physical difference between a Black Moon and other instances of a Dark Moon. This is more of an energetic change.
There have developed more than one definition of a Black Moon -
1. It can be the 3rd Dark Moon in an astronomical season with 4 Dark Moons or
2. The 2nd Dark Moon in the same calendar month.
When speaking on the 2nd Dark Moon in a calendar month - These Black Moons are the most common ones.
Because of time zone differences, the month they happen in can vary.
There was a Black Moon in September 2016 that occurred in the US, but didn't occur in the UK until October.
When speaking on the 3rd Dark Moon in a season of 4 Dark Moons - These Black Moons are more rare.
Astronomers divide the year into 4 seasons - Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall (Autumn).
Each season is designated having 3 months and 3 Dark Moons.
When a season has 4 Dark Moons, the 3rd Dark Moon is called a Black Moon - This is the exact counterpart to the original (traditional) definition of a Blue Moon.
3. A calendar month without a Dark Moon -
About once every 20 years, the month of February does not have a Dark Moon.
This can only happen in February, as this is the only month which is shorter than 1 lunation.
When this occurs, both January and March will have 2 Dark Moons, instead of the usual 1 - Making the 2nd Dark Moon a Black Moon.
The next Black Moon (by this definition) will occur in 2033, while the last one was in 2014.
Because of time zone differences, these Black Moons may not happen all over the world. For instance, there is a Black Moon to occur in the most western parts of the US in February 2022, but not in Europe or Australia.
4. A calendar month without a Full Moon -
About once every 20 years, February does not have a Full Moon. Instead, January and March have 2 Full Moons each - Making the 2nd Full Moon a Blue Moon.
The next Blue Moon (by this definition) will occur in 2018, while the last one was in 1999.
Because of time zone differences, these Blue Moons may not happen all over the world.
Black Moons hold special significance to people who practice certain forms of Pagan religions and who believe certain actions become more potent when performed on the night of a Black Moon.
The next Black Moon that I will be working with will be July 31, 2019.
Many believe that Dark Moons are a time when magickal workings should be avoided.
For me, the Dark Moon (and this goes double for the Black Moon) is a useful period for growth.
This will be an excellent time for a ceremony to charge talismans or to cut that from your life that is no longer needed, making room for the new to come.
Black Moon is not a well known astronomical term.
In recent years, the term has been made popular by social media, astrologers, and followers of the Wicca religion.
I hope as it becomes more well known, that the definition can become clearly understood by all.