A moon cycle begins with the New Moon. The Moon sits proudly between the earth and the sun, hiding in the shadows, invisible to the Moon Gazer. Then the Moon begins her waxing phase, growing out of her shadow every night until she is full again. Once the Full Moon phase is complete, the moon begins to wane back to her New Moon phase, and the cycle starts again.
Celebrating the Moon
The Moon’s consistency has given us structure, patterns, and predictability throughout our existence. The rhythmic life in the heavens has governed change in nature, the individual, and the collective. We are at the mercy of the Moon, and she continues to offer insight into our existence. It’s no wonder that cultures have been celebrating the Moon for thousands of years.
The Moon’s Symbolism
The waxing and waning process of the Moon has influenced many cultures to consider the Moon a representation of life and death. Whether in human or harvest, there is a correlation in her phases: birth, death, and rebirth.
For some, The Moon represents the phases of life. For example, the Triple Moon Goddess in Pagan belief is Maiden, Mother, and Crone. She journeys through life just as the Moon completes her cycle. And in Native American cultures, she is called Grandmother Moon, a wise feminine symbol to guide and nurture.
It is believed that in some primitive hunting cultures, the Moon is thought of as representing the masculine. Considered a hostile energy and particularly dangerous to women. Perhaps these beliefs compare the Moon’s monthly cycles to women’s monthly cycles.
But for agrarian societies, the Moon is a female force. It is the benevolent ruler of the land and vegetation. She directs the planting and harvesting process and the fertility of the seasons.
For astrologists, the Moon is a feminine energy placement that holds two functions, the “being” and the “doing.” During the Full Moon, the doing or active state of the energy is heightened as the sun shines brightly onto the Moon. On the other hand, the New Moon offers the being or passive energy, sitting in the shadow exploring intentions or desires.
Historically, the Moon has played an essential role in developing cultures and civilizations. Celebrated, worshipped, and revered, the Moon has been a mysterious life force offering guidance and explanation for cultures. Many of us are still enamored by the Moon’s power and celebrate her energy.
Moon Worship, Rituals, and Celebrations
The sacredness of the Moon has no cultural boundaries. Societies all over the world throughout centuries have had adoration, veneration, and sometimes fear for the power of the Moon.
Most cultures gather(ed) for collective worship and rituals, though some prefer to practice their Moon Gazing and celebration as solo practitioners. Either way, the energy of the Moon works through nature and becomes a powerfully unified force that, when harnessed, becomes a tool for magick.
Our fascination with the Moon has endured millennia. Lunar deities, gods or goddesses, have been symbols of the power of the Moon. Today, we find religious, spiritual, and non-secular groups practicing traditional Moon Rituals or curating their own that are rooted in ancestral celebrations.
Drawing Down the Moon
In some Pagan traditions, the Full Moon is an opportunity to connect with the power of the Moon’s divine energy and wisdom. The practitioners ceremoniously draw the Moon Goddess directly into themselves. If there is a leader in the ritual (High Priestess), they may enter a trance while becoming the embodiment of the Moon Goddess. They can then communicate to the gathering the words of the Goddess.
In the inclusive Circle Full Moon Ritual, all participants draw the Moon Goddess into themselves. The deity moves through each practitioner simultaneously, sharing her wisdom and enlightenment. The power of the Moon’s energy is felt in the collective and in the individual.
If you are a solo practitioner or find yourself needing to be selfish with the Full Moon, a Personal Drawing Down the Moon can be an intensely sacred experience. Let your intuition guide you on how to receive her energy. Maybe reach out arms above your head, and feel the Moon’s light entering your fingertips, radiating through your body. Receive the beauty of the Moon’s power, reflect on the experience, and find bottomless gratitude for her generosity.
In the ancient sister science to yoga, Ayurveda teaches the importance of moonlight. Just as the sun offers physical and mental benefits, the Moon is integral to health and wellness. For example, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend moonbathing between the waxing moon and the Full Moon to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase fertility.
To Draw a Moon Bath, simply find a quiet space, preferably outdoors, without any electric lights or false illumination, and with the Full Moon in your line of sight. Sit, stand, or lie down and meditate on the Moonlight filling your body like a cup. See yourself glowing and illuminating as one with the Moon. Feel your heart rate slow and your mind clear as your cup of Moonlight runneth over. Then head to bed for an incredible night of sleep.
Full Moon Water Charge
Symbolically, this is one of the most magickal gifts the Full Moon can give us. Her energy’s effects on the oceans have been documented for centuries. The Moon’s relationship to water is mysterious and bold, so it’s intuitive to ask her to bless the water we consume with her divine energy.
With a vessel of your choice (large mason jars work great), filled with either spring water or fresh water from a clean source (well water), set the vessel out under the Full Moon and ask the Full Moon to energize the water with her wisdom and guidance. If possible, leave the water out overnight. Retrieve in the morning and give thanks, then take a healthy drink from the Moon Charged Water. Some suggest using the remaining Moon Water in your plants or refilling your pets’ water bowls. But it is also a good idea to keep it until the next Full Moon, sipping from it daily over the next 28 days.
If you are a rock lover, the Ful Moon is your resource for clearing and charging your crystals. It’s a simple practice, just gather all your crystals and stones, place them on a tray or plate, and leave them either outside or on a windowsill in the moonlight. Placing your Moon Water vessel next to the crystals is a nice two-for!
In the morning, give thanks and put the crystals back in their place after you have cleaned and tidied up their space. This is also an excellent opportunity to clear your altar for a month of new intentions.
Working with the Moon
The Moon offers itself as a tool for inner work and self-actualization. You realize the depths of your potential by noting how your Moon work begins to influence your dreams, decisions, and actions.
Planting seeds for goals or desires during the New Moon and revisiting those intentions on the Full Moon serves as personal prompts to acknowledge the signs the Universe has offered. In addition, the Moon encourages us to release the things, thoughts, and patterns that keep us from connecting with our higher self.
There is no right ritual or ceremony. Tap into your connection with the Moon and let her guide you to your union. Discover what works best for you. Maybe you choose to journal during specific phases of the Moon. A Moon Bath and Mediation during the New Moon and Full Moon can work wonders for your mind, body, and spirit.
Whatever you choose, be consistent and grateful, and watch how the Moon fills you with her magickal energy and wisdom.
*If you are in or near Georgetown, Texas, join Spell Caster Ghost Tours for our Full Moon Supper to celebrate the glorious Moon in a safe and compassionate collective.