The 13th Moon Crucible

A Witch’s Homebrewed Antidote to Holiday Poison

BY Danielle Dulsky


rewed within the fertile darkness of these longest nights is the most potent medicine for the wild soul. Late Autumn is the annual witching hour, and the primal feminine in all of us longs for stillness, for solitude, and for the particular sustenance found only within the depths of the 13th Moon void.

While we over-tamed humans rarely take our collective lessons from nature any longer, willing our worlds to somehow transcend the spiral dance of time, all we need know right now is there for us, outside the walls of our well-heated homes and beyond the borders of our manicured lawns. Our task now is to rest and rest radically, to sink back into the sweet and sultry source, and to resist, with all that we are, the social lures that would pull us away from this, the Holy Dark, the most magickal time of year.

This is the yearly Dark Moon phase where the great purge of early Autumn is ending and the youthful stirrings of mid-Winter have yet to begin. The banishment, the letting go, and the active shedding of skins have ceased; what is left behind is sheer, primordial grace and infinite possibility. Here, the wild one sits and surrenders. Here, she can hear the voices of her ancestors and open herself to all that may come once the Solstice passes, once the long, cold Winter begins and her nest and her dreams are all she has.

Our hyper-speed, time-impoverished lives are woefully exiled from the void. Society has written us a dangerous prescription of heavy material consumption to help us cope with the impatience, the seeming dis-ease of non-doing and deep uncertainty that pervades our worlds now. What if this stillness was not a sickness but an elixir? What if this not-knowing was healing salve and not a wound?

We are urged to fill this time with food, parties, alcohol, shopping, and all manner of distractions that grant us the illusion of control over the inevitable, perfect nothingness of now, that permit us escape from our most dependable rescue. The antidote to this heavy, sugary, social cocktail is intentional rest, micro-rituals of embodied stillness amidst the chaos, prayerful cat-naps, soup-pot divination, and much, much fireplace pyromancy. Grant yourself permission to stay still and not know, to stare long at the grey horizon and leave a few boxes unchecked, to let the grandest plans and most elaborate ceremonies wait until we hear the call to come out of the dark, not from our phones but from deep within our bones and bowels.

Our magick, our sacred work, our storytelling, and our art are far stronger when granted the required silent hours spent in the 13th Moon crucible. Let yourself simmer and bubble now, slowly witching your way to done, not rushing to build another vision board or attend another gathering, living the way the lone Crone lives, in infinite communion with the subtle vibrations of the natural world that tell her when she must run and when she must rest. These are the oldest and truest primal feminine ways, and our most ancient and cell-deep memories are of this dark and holy time when the pomp and circumstance fall away and all we are left with is the raw and the real.

Blessed be the Mystery, blessed be the wild void.

Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within

Danielle Dulsky

Danielle Dulsky

Danielle Dulsky, author of Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within, is an artist, yoga teacher, energy worker, and founder of Living Mandala Yoga teacher training programs. She leads women’s circles, Witchcraft workshops, and energy healing trainings and lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Find her online at

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