Phases of the Moon: Not Just for Wiccans!

I’ve heard complaints from recons that full moon celebrations are a manifestation of Wiccanate privilege. Now, here’s the thing: Wiccan privilege is definitely a thing that exists in the pagan community, but marking observances by the phase of the moon is not necessarily Wiccanate. I can say this with confidence, as I am not Wiccan, and I just realized that I need to check the phase of the moon so I can plan my ritual calendar.

Why am I so confident? Because I’m not Wiccan; I’m Buddhist. Historically, most of Asia used a lunisolar calendar. Time was measured with both the moon and the sun. Festivals were often calculated by the moon phase. In Buddhism and Hinduism, they still are. It is considered auspicious to perform prayers to certain deities and buddhas/bodhisattvas on certain phases of the moon. The 15th day (full moon) for Amitabha, the dark of the moon for certain “wrathful” protector deities, and so on.

In addition, as someone who has taken special vows, I must actually abstain from certain activities on some days of the lunar month. (In my tradition, the 8th and the 15th.) On these special days I must avoid meat and sexual activity, and many practitioners also take the additional “bodhisattva vows” that include wearing only plain clothes, not listening to music, no food after midday, etc.

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