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I am so happy to be kicking off the very first Unity North Full Moon Ceremony this Halloween (or for many of us, Samhain). Now, many of you may be wondering: what exactly is a Full Moon Ceremony?
As I am sure most of us are aware, our moon has been celebrated in the past by a myriad of cultures around the world. Moon worship was an important part of culture. Before electric or gas lighting, moonlight was the only way people could safely travel at night with their path illuminated. With the light of the full moon literally lighting your way, you could see that fallen limb which could have tipped your cart on the way home from your neighbor’s house.
The cycles of the moon were also commonly tracked by ancient cultures and how they related the passage of time. It’s even what our own monthly calendar cycle is based on! And I’m sure we all know which day of the week is the moon’s day… (It’s Monday, just in case you forgot).
In modern times, where we are always rushing and disconnected from the earth, moon ceremonies or rituals can act as a bridge to reconnect us to our physical world. We can use the cycles of the moon as an outline to manifestation. By observing and celebrating the cycles of our moon, we can learn to live more in sync with our physical and energetic environments.
There are eight phases of the moon: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter, Waning Crescent. This cycle takes 29.5 days and involves three celestial bodies: the earth, the sun, and of course our moon. Now, many people celebrate and have rituals for every phase of the moon. But for the purposes of brevity, I am going to only discuss celebrating the New and Full moons.
Many people believe the New Moon is a time to reflect on your desires and plant seeds of intention. At this time, the moon is directly in between us and the sun, and so we get no redirected sunlight. The earth is dark. This is a time to look within and see what is illuminated by your heart. Personally, the darkness of the new moon is when I spend lots of time journaling and meditating on what I truly want – my spiritual self and not my ego self. Now is the time to plant those seeds. Have you ever seen the meme on Facebook:
This period of darkness where no nighttime sunlight is reflected onto Earth is not a time for despair! It’s a necessary time of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation! It is teaching us to see what is there when there is no light to illuminate it. To see what is so important we don’t NEED to see it, simply FEEL it. Know it. BE it.
I keep both a regular journal and a Moon Ritual journal. In my Moon Ritual journal, as I practice my New Moon ritual, I write what I am intending to manifest. I also like to write (or sometimes draw) a few simple steps I can take to start me on my way. Sometimes it may be all the steps I need. For example, I might write:
“Be healthier and lose 10 pounds” –> eat mindfully & count calories, begin exercising more.
It’s important to remember that the energy of the moon is like a wave, but if you don’t move your feet to walk into it, if you don’t use your arms to guide your direction, it’s not going to lead you where you want it to. And this is why I personally advocate for adding a few concrete steps when writing down seeds of intention. Think of it as fertilizer! If you were planting a garden, would you simply push the bean seeds into the soil without adding fertilizer or water? Sure, you could, but you’ll have a greater chance of germination if you add those supporting players.
As Rev. Richard likes to say, “You have to move your feet!”. But I think so many of us like to forget that – because it is SO HARD. It takes so much effort! Why can’t I just light my candle, say my prayer, and get all my hearts desires!!!! And, I don’t simply mean moving your physical feet. You have to move your energetic feet. Your God feet. You have to believe it. At first it takes a lot of effort, but the more you flex those muscles, the easier it becomes, I promise. I mean. I think. Ask me in 50 years.
So, if the New Moon is the time to plant seeds of intention, the Full Moon is the time to go celebrate and check out the status of your garden. What’s sprouted? What’s still germinating? Are there some weeds you need to pull?
Think about this: remember when I said that in ancient times, people would save their nighttime traveling for around the full moon? This is because the moon is in direct opposition to our sun and the whole surface reflects all that beautiful energetic sunlight down to us. This light both physically and energetically lights up our paths to illuminate the roadblocks that may be there – if we choose to look. Full moons, then, are the perfect time to reflect on the intentions we set for ourselves at the new moon. We can take stock of which seeds have begun to sprout and which ones are being hindered. By reflecting on what is and isn’t working, we can course-correct and place ourselves back on the path to receiving our hearts desires! It can be a time of gratitude for what’s been successful and a time of appreciation for the illumination and realization of what was encumbering us. Be thankful rather than sorrowful to the moon for showing you your blocks – because nothing speeds up manifestation quite like gratitude energy.
As it is with the New Moon, contemplation and journaling are both important aspects of a Full Moon ritual. And with the potent energy from all that moonlight, I personally love to have a bit of fire ceremony with my Full Moon ritual (and this is what we will have at our Full Moon Ceremony tomorrow). I love to write down what roadblocks I wish to release on a scrap of paper, burn it, and imagine it floating away with the smoke. Using my example from earlier, this could look like:
Addiction to sugar.
Perhaps during my contemplation I journaled the realization that I haven’t lost any weight because even though I’m exercising daily and keeping my daily calories under 1500, I’m using way too many of those calories for sweets instead of healthy foods. Now, simply acknowledging and writing down this realization is helpful. But burning it is a tool that adds an extra layer and helps my body really feel itself releasing my addiction to sugar – I burnt it up! I can also now add another step to my goal: cut back on sugar.
Like most things, the moon cycle is simply a tool we can choose to use as we move our feet, working at accomplishing our dreams. The moon ritual is simply here to help us harness that moon energy. It acts as an energetic net for us to scoop up that momentum and apply it to our human lives. Enjoy this time to give your overworked rational brain a break and spend a few hours allowing yourself to simply sink into your feelings and intuition.
There is no right or wrong way to practice your moon ritual – full or new. The components I like in my Full Moon Ceremonies are as follows: start in gratitude, cleanse with smoke, ground, meditate, journal, release, end with gratitude. Your moon ritual can be as simple or as complicated as you feel led to make it. It could simply be standing at your bedroom window for 60 seconds, expressing gratitude to the moon for reflecting the light of the sun down upon us. Or it might be a long evening that starts with a ritual bath and ends with you dancing outside under the moon! The only important aspect of your moon ritual is that it feels good to you and it gets you back in touch with your inner guidance and the rhythm of the earth.
If you feel led to begin your own routine of moon ritual, a quick Google search will give you some good jumping off ideas or pre-planned rituals. Whatever you feel led to do, starting your own moon ritual routine will enrich your life in countless ways!
Join us at our monthly Full Moon Ceremony. We would love to share the energy of the moon with you!