New Moon Rituals: Candle Magic for the New Year

New moon with ladder and photo of Deborah Roth

Whether you’re a big fan of astrology or not, there’s no denying the influence that the moon has on our world. While the most obvious effect is on the tides, there are so many other examples. Hospital delivery rooms gear up for a baby boom when the moon is at its fullest, and savvy farmers follow its rhythms to plot the best times for sowing and reaping. 

And is it any wonder since human bodies are made up of 80 percent water that you\’re inexorably tied to her rhythms as well?

I’ve been facilitating Moon Circles for over 25 years, and while the Full Moon may have more romantic lore woven around it, I’ve gravitated toward the deep, dark time of the New Moon when we’re naturally drawn to go within, to focus on what we’re leaving behind and begin to plant seeds for the ideas, plans, and actions we want to grow over the coming weeks as the Moon itself waxes towards full again.

What a powerful gift that we get to move through that powerful release and renew cycle every month!

Capricorn New Moon Qualities

Every zodiac sign has its positive traits and not-so-positive traits. While it\’s true that one of the challenging aspects of Capricorn energy is a tendency to lean toward over-working and being super-serious, these traits can also show up as being disciplined and dedicated.

If you have some serious, hardworking Capricorn friends (or maybe you’re one yourself), you may be wondering how that lunar energy fits with the party-hardy holiday vibe. But step back a minute and think about the other big focus at this time of year — looking back at what you’ve accomplished over the past 12 months, making New Year\’s resolutions, and plotting your goals and intentions for the year ahead.

Capricorn is all about that!

So, how can you use all that complex energy to conjure up some powerful Capricorn New Moon magic on January 2nd?

The first step is to gather a toolkit full of items associated with Capricorn energy, including the following:

  • Elemental energy: Earth
  • Colors: strong neutral colors, grays, and browns
  • Gemstones: amber, onyx
  • Flowers: carnation, cyclamen, geranium
  • Essential Oils: Eucalyptus, tea tree, chamomile, patchouli, sandalwood
  • Music: Chicago-style jazz (the hurtin’ kind); classical opera
  • Food and Drink: traditional, home-cooked food; bitter or solid full-bodied food or wine (dark chocolate, Manhattan cocktail)

Setting up your New Moon ritual space

Whenever I teach or speak about the power of ritual in our lives (the subject of my Masters’ thesis many years ago), I talk about the four basic elements that must be present to ensure that it’s truly transformative: 

1) declare a clear intention – that’s our theme, Setting Intentions for the New Year with Candle Magic

2) activate all your senses – those associations in your toolkit will help here

3) use meaningful symbols – also in your toolkit

4) create sacred space and time – this is where we set up your special ritual space!

Whether you’re creating this sacred lunar space for yourself or with a partner or group, be sure to follow a few basic ground rules: find a private space where you won’t be interrupted, turn off your phone (and any other nearby screens), and make sure you have all of your props and tools before you start. Believe me, it’s definitely annoying to build that powerful New Moon energy then discover you have to run out and grab a missing component.

The idea is to create an environment that feels nurturing, safe, and inviting.

Conjuring up playful or powerful Capricorn activities

OK, now we get to pull together all of the pieces and create a little Capricorn lunar magic!

But first, a caveat: don’t worry about doing it right on the date of the New Moon – you’ll get maximum New Moon energy for 3 days before and after, but the Sun is in Capricorn for a whole month, from December 21-January 19, so you can tap into it to a lesser degree during that period, too. Just remember, if you really want to work with the intention-setting, “planting seeds” energy of the New Moon itself, it’s best to do it on or after the actual date, in this case, on January 2nd. (You can explore more lunar magic details in my New Moon energy article on my website.)

Capricorn New Moon ritual — Candle Magic for the New Year

This is one of my favorite ways to set intentions for the New Year, one that I’ve done in circles, in public First Night celebrations, and in my own quiet sacred space.

You’ll need a 3″ or 6″ pillar (fat) candle and a pen or big nail. Snuggling up on a soft earth-tone blanket (a nice towel will do, too), you’ll first want to contemplate the year ahead. What are the things you’d like to manifest or create more of? What qualities do you want to bring to your life, your work, relationships, fun, adventure, honesty, patience, etc.?

Then using the pen or nail, carve those intentions and requests into the candle, be sure to have a paper plate handy to catch the shavings. If you really want to take it to the next level, you can anoint it with yummy oils (check your Capricorn toolkit for some great ones) and even glitter! Every time you light the candle, you’ll be re-igniting those visions and commitments, and sending a message to the Universe to help you bring them to fruition.


There are so many directions to go when you’re playing with New Moon energy. It definitely takes some preparation – I always joke about the “schlep” factor involved when I’m carting all those things from my ritual toolbox to a workshop or New Moon circle! But creating symbolic actions with a clear intention in sacred space is a powerful addition to some of the more “traditional” goal-setting practices you might have. And frankly, it’s just more fun. Can you see why I call it “sacred play”?

I hope you’ll join me next month as we tap into the energy of the Aquarius New Moon on February 1st!

Connect with Deborah Roth on The Wellness Universe and walk away feeling better!

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