A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, so roughly every month. As well as controlling the tides here on earth, the moon can have an effect on many people. Both spiritually and physically. You might find it harder to sleep during a full moon, this is due to the effect it has on REM sleep. Scientists are also researching the effects a full moon can have on our cardiovascular system.
It’s no wonder then that many cultures and peoples throughout the centuries have adopted ways of tapping into the energy the full moon offers every month.
History of Full Moon Rituals
Before practising any sort of ritual, it’s important to know the history of said ritual in order to conduct it in a respectful and safe manner. According to The Conscious Club “In ancient indigenous cultures, the moon has always held a special place and was worshipped for its rhythms of life and the universe.” From moon dances in Mexico, to the burning of White Sage by indigenous Americans, many cultures across the globe have a connection to the full moon. Our own pagan ancestors in Ireland worshipped the moon.
Ways To Practice A Full Moon Ritual
Here are some things you can do if you would like to partake in the full moon ritual. Don’t worry if you miss the first night of a full moon, it usually shines for 1-2 days after, so you can still harness it’s energy and spirituality.
Burn Negative Thoughts
Write down any negative thoughts you’ve been having, or a negative experience that might be effecting your life on a piece of paper. To release the negativity into the universe, burn the piece of paper (taking all necessary precautions first), under the light of the full moon.
Set Your Intentions
A full moon usually falls at the end of the month, so it’s a great marker to set your intentions for the month ahead. Write out a list of your intentions or things you would like to manifest, and leave it under the moonlight over night (this can be done through a window).
Make Moon Water
This is probably the easiest one as it takes very little effort. Simply fill a bottle with water, and leave it to soak up the moon’s energy overnight. You can place the bottle outside or in the window. The next day you can drink the water (maybe make your morning cup of tea or coffee with it), or use it in a bath.
Sustainably Cleanse Your Space
Cleansing is a big part of many people’s full moon rituals. It involves a process often referred to as ‘smudging’. Whilst burning white sage is probably the most popular form of cleansing a space, it’s important to note that the act of smudging with White Sage is specific to prayer, originating from the indigenous peoples of America. White sage is also now at risk due to over harvesting in the wild to meet the demand non-indigenous Americans have created. You can use alternatives such as growing your own sage at home, black sage, rosemary or mint.
Palo Santo is also a popular choice for cleansing, however this isn’t the most sustainable option and has heavy links to indigenous cultures in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. ‘Palo Santo’ means ‘Holy Stick’ in Spanish, and is often used to ward of spirits as well as for medicinal and healing purposes. The Palo Santo tree is now endangered and has been added to a watch list, according to Forage and Sustain . They also state that it is the indigenous people’s belief that “in order to gain the actual benefit of the tree, a Palo Santo tree should never be cut down, and it should not be sold as a commodity.”
Good Witch Kitchen offers an alternative to cleansing your space using a floral cleansing bowl. Add dried lavender thyme and salt to a heat-proof bowl. Add in hot water, open your windows and let the water steam in the air, and cool down. You can also add fresh lemon juice and some lavender oil. Bring the bowl around the house, cleansing each room.
I used to burn sage as part of a full moon ritual, not realising that it was a big part of indigenous American’s culture or the impact harvesting the plant has had on supplies, I will now be using this cleansing bowl as a more sustainable alternative.
Do A Tarot or Angel Card Reading
If you have a tarot card, or angel card deck, a reading can be a really nice way to round off your full moon ritual. You can simply pull three cards to represent your past, present and future, or find more intricate spreads online.
Will you be doing a full moon ritual?