The Moon , that Mystical Force
Why do peple perform full moon rituals?
The moon, that wondrous orb in our night sky, is the very thing that influences how we live life. Despite being a quarter of Earth’s size, the moon quietly pulls Earth’s strings by controlling the ocean tides, influencing how we track time and affecting our moods and behaviors.
The moon has been gazed upon and revered for centuries by women who recognize it as a mystical force that connects our spiritual feminine selves. For many people Indigenous to North America, the moon represents divine feminine energy and is known as Grandmother moon. The moon cycle—which is roughly the same length of time as a woman’s menstrual cycle—is seen as a sacred gift to women, often referred to as their moontime. It is a time to cleanse herself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The moontime is considered a time of power, second only to the ability of the Great Spirit to give life.
While new moons are associated with new beginnings, full moons represent the culmination of energy: fruition, completion and celebration, as well as releasing and shedding of the old to make way for a whole new cycle. It is also a time to celebrate your growth, take note of what progress you have made and to reflect on how far you have come.
Sadly, in more recent times women have become out of sync with the natural rhythms of the universe. One way to bring back this synchronicity is to be mindful of the seasonal changes and lunar cycles.
The Moon in Traditional Herbalism
In traditional herbalism, the phases of the moon are carefully observed while planting, harvesting, or collecting plants. Many herbailsts believe that planting and harvesting during certain moon phases directly impacts the quality of the plants. It was believed that the best phase to harvest was just after the full moon, when its pull on the earth and the plants is greatest and forces the fluids in the plants to its roots, thus making it more amenable to drying.
Many herbalists who practice the “old ways” preferred to prepare their medicines during the full moon phase as they believed this passed on a potency to their medicines not easily achieved during other times.
As we are nearing another full moon on February 27, this moon, also known as the Snow Moon or Hunger Moon to many Indigenous peoples, I am reminded of the importance of remembering that we are not separate from these celestial wonders, but a part of them.
For centuries among every culture there have been full moon rituals, and yet they seem to be dying out. Herbalists, however, are great keepers of rituals, and most of us have our own celebrations to honor another month around the sun.
Full Moon Rituals
Developing and practicing full moon rituals is one way to reconnect with the natural rhythms of the universe.
Here are six full moon rituals to embrace the many gifts of this blessed time every month and to restore your sacred femininity and connection to Mother Earth. I recommend choosing the one that speaks to you. If several seem like something worth trying, save one for the next month. Better yet, try them all within the next several months. Experiment with whatever you feel guided to. It’s a full moon after all, so trust your intuition!
According to renowned American herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, “Our inner balance comes to us from our relationship to the moon,” so developing a full moon ritual, if nothing else, can be a gentle reminder to slow down and take care of yourself. With each new or full moon, consider taking it as an opportunity to center yourself, reflect, and restore a sense of calm.
Full Moon Rituals to Try on the Next Full Moon
1. Take a moon bath
One of the easiest full moon rituals you could do is to take a moon bath.
- Creating a sacred spacefor full moon rituals. I recommend burning sage (smudging), Palo Santo, or cedar to cleanse your space. I typically use sage, cedar or sweetgrass as they are indegenous to where I live. I find that the potency of the herbs is elevated if they are harvested within your region and especially by yourself.
- Prepare your bath. I have a favorite bath tea that I prepare ahead of time. It is a heady combination of lavender, calendula, pink sea salt, Epsom salt, dead sea salt, and essential oils. Use 3 to 4 ounces of herb per bath. I like to make my herbal tea in unbleached muslin bags and tie it directly onto the tub nozzle. I run hot water through it until the tub is half-filled. Then I toss the bag directly into the water until the bath is filled. You can find the exact recipe below.
- Write down that which you are releasing. During the full moon phase we are focused on letting go. Write down all that you wish to release into the ether.
- Enter the bath. As you lower yorself into the warm water, reflect on the past month.
- End your bath and release or let go of all that is no longer serving you. Whatever regrets you have or fellings of negetivity…let them go and set your positive intentions for the coming month
Check out 12 more easy bath tea recipes that you can use to elevate your bath to therapeudic heights.
2. Moon Wishes Manifestation Ritual
Tools: Paper, pen or pencil, matches, glass jar or bowl
This is one of the most rewarding full moon rituals you could perform. It’s highly symbolic and lends itself to lasting feelings of acomplishment since it lasts all month long.
What to do: List your desires and what you would like to manefest in your life. Feel the possibilities swirl around you. Believe in the outcome and think of ways in the coming month that you can help your desires to become reality. Think of ways you can take action.
Start by lighting a candle, focus on getting present and letting go of everything spinning through your mind.
Spend a few moments thinking about what no longer serves you and what you want to release,
Take the paper and one by one jot down the things you’d like to have show up into your life over the next month – these are your full moon wishes.
Place the wish list someplace special: in a special box or jar, for example – and then set it outside to soak up the moonlight.
In the morning bring the wishes back inside and place them somewhere you will see it daily. It’s a great idea to createa sacred space for keeping your wishes, but make sure it’s somewhere that you can gaze on it daily. Each evening before you go to sleep, take a look at your list and think about those desires.
3. Cleanse Your Space
To cleanse your space for full moon rituals, you’ll want to use some kind of cleansing herb bundled into a “smudge” stick. Some suggestions are sage, cedar or Palo Santo.
You’ll want to light your smudge stick and then extinguish the flame so that it’s just billowing smoke, but no flame. First use your hand to push the smoke up and over your own body.
Then, starting at the front door of the home, begin to move around the home mindfully and with care. Walk clockwise around the entire perimeter of the home. Be sure to allow the smoke to drift into even the hidden spaces, like inside closets, basements and dark corners.
While you do this ask Mother Earth to clear your home of stagnant and negetive energy. Whe you are finished, offer a word of gratitude and thanks.
4. Meditation Full Moon Rituals
Because of our monthly cycles, women have always had a very intimate and special connection with the moon and that’s why, as stated earlieer, women’s monthy cycle is often referred to as their moontime..
Now is the time to sit in quiet reflection and to ask Grandmother Moon to sit with you and to invite her blessings upon you.
Pay attention to your intuitive senses*, which are clairaudience (clear healing), clairsentience (clear feeling), claircognizence (clear knowing) and clairvoyance (clear seeing). Depending on which sense is stronger for you, you may hear, feel, know or see their guidance, presence and love.
5. Write a Letter of Release and then Burn It
If you love working outside under the full moon, you can create an altar in your backyard. You can bring various candles, stones, feathers… whatever calls to be part of the experience. There are no wrong answers here. If it’s not practical to this, simply set up near a window where the moon is visible.
- Gather your focus and write down your intentions and all that you wish to release from your life, what limiting beliefs do you want to be free from, what no longer serves you or what you want to let go of?
- When you have finished your list, sign and date the page.
- If a letter to the universe feels more you, then write out your list in prose (or poem!). Just be sure to be honest, open and sincere with what you’re releasing.
- When your list has been created, it’s time to burn it. As you do this, be sure to send your intention out to the universe.
- Breathe deep into your heart and declare “I now let this go. And it is so.”
6. Count Your Blessings
This is one of the simplest full moon rituals you could do and does not require any special tools other than paper and pen.
For this ritual you simply write down all your blessings and that for which you are grateful.
There is something deeply magical and more permanant about recording your blessings in ceremony on a full moon’s night.
Full Moon Bath Tea
- Small Bowl for Mixing Ingredients
- Unbleached Muslin Bag or Coffee Filter (filled and tied into a pouch)
- 1 oz. Epsom Salts
- 1 oz. Himalayan Sea Salt pink
- 1 oz. Dead sea salt this salt is very mineral rich
- 1-2 Tbsp Lavender Buds
- 1-2 Tbsp Calendula Petals
- 10 Drops Essential Oils consider lavendar, jasmine or rose
- 1 Tbsp Carrier oil I like fractionated coconut oil
- Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl
- Mix ten drops of essential oil with your carrier oil
- Add the oils to your dry mixture and blend well
- Spoon into your muslin bag or coffee filter
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