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Full moons are known to make people act a little crazy. The word "lunatic," actually stems from the word "luna," meaning moon. When the moon is full, its energy is at its peak and this can have a lot of fascinating effects on humans. The moon is the fastest celestial body and its cycle controls tides, menstruation, migratory patterns, and time. The full moon occurs when the moon is directly opposite the sun in its orbit around Earth, which is spiritually significant as the balance point between light and dark.
The effects have been clear to me personally. Before I started practicing witchcraft, I noticed I almost never was able to sleep soundly on a full moon, my body buzzing and alive with celestial energy. A lot of pagans will harness this energy for their work by performing full moon ceremonies or by leaving sanctified items or crystals out to charge in the rays of the moon.
What is a Full Moon Ceremony?
A full moon ceremony is a set of rituals grounded in spiritual or religious intention. How you decide to use the energy of the full moon is up to your discretion. Some may use the energy of the full moon to do a manifestation or intention-setting ceremony. I personally like to use the full moon to release things that are no longer serving me, while saving my intention setting for the new moon. I typically do this release with an effigy burn and will explain my process in detail below. I choose to release on the full moon because analogous to the life-death-life cycle, the moon represents death. This encompasses all kinds of metaphorical deaths, like the ending of relationships, cycles, or habits. This makes the intense and powerful energy of the full moon exceptional for practicing releasing ceremonies. Full moon ceremonies are best done in the three days leading up to or following a full moon.
Remember, there are no rules in spirituality and I urge you to take what resonates with you in this blog post and leave the rest!
Why is the Moon's Astrology Significant?
I like to prepare for my full and new moon ceremonies by reading a bit about the astrological significance of the sign the moon is passing through.
Astrologically, the moon affects our emotions, intuition, feelings of security, maternal energy, creativity, and potential. When the moon is full, we potentially will have things come up ontologically around these topics, so it's helpful to have some context that includes traits of the astrological sign the moon is moving through.
Materials to have on Hand:
• A candle
• A lighter
• A fireproof bowl
• A journal or piece of paper
• A pen
• Something to cleanse the space
• A comfortable and sacred space
• Any spiritually significant items
(i.e. crystals, sigals or talismans.)
How to Perform a Full Moon Ceremony
Start by gathering some information about the moon's current astrology. I really love this website, though I am sure there is a lot of wonderful information out there.
Find a quiet and sacred space where you will not be disturbed. Consider practicing outside under the light of the full moon. Cleanse the space using whatever method you desire. I have an article that could help you choose a cleansing method that is right for you. Step 3:
Once your space and your person are thoroughly cleansed, proceed to open and protect the ceremony space. This can be done in a number of ways, like casting a circle or wearing an amulet of protection. At this step, I also like to thank the ancestors and guides or myself and any participants and banish any negative energies or entities from penetrating the ceremony space. Protecting yourself metaphysically and psychically is incredibly important, especially for beginners. I would end with a prayer along the lines of, "May the ceremony space be open and the circle (if you chose to cast a circle) be cast and forever unbroken. So mote it be, so mote it be, so mote it be."
The next step is to light your candle and begin meditation. I like to use this meditation to gain clarity on what needs to be released. A silent or guided meditation is sufficient, whatever works best for you. I highly recommend the full and new moon meditations by Gypsian Moon Tarot.
After meditation, take your journal and free-write anything that came up during the meditation. We will be burning this in our effigy burn. If you like to keep records, like me, you can journal and then on a separate sheet of paper summarise then things that came up to be burned later in a few keywords. At this time, if I am with a coven or a friend, I would open the floor for sharing. I find that this can be an incredibly powerful bonding experience.
Step 6: Next, get your fireproof bowl and prepare for the effigy burn. An effigy burn is a ritual in which a symbol or item is burned, in order to promote and symbolize release. While the effigy burn takes place I like to say a prayer along the lines of: "As this effigy burns I ask that my higher power please remove these obstacles from my life and replace them with lessons that will nourish me. So mote it be, so mote it be, so mote it be."
Finally, end the ceremony by closing the space. I would do this by thanking the guides and ancestors of myself and my companions and cleaning up my materials. I might close the space with a prayer like, "May the ceremony space be closed and (if a circle was cast,) the circle is forever unbroken. So mote it be, so mote it be, so mote it be." Love and light to you all!