Are curious about starting a full moon ritual, but aren’t sure how? Or maybe you’re afraid there’s only one “right” way to do it and you’ll get something wrong?
First, I want to say that you do not have to be a witch or believe in magick to celebrate the full moon (or any phase of the moon). You can absolutely perform magickal rituals and cast spells at the full moon if that’s your thing, but it’s totally okay if it’s not.
Setting up a full moon ritual and practice based on the phases of the moon can help you feel connected to nature and the natural rhythms of the Universe.
My intent here is to help you think about full moon rituals from the standpoint of self-love and self-care, in whatever way that looks like for you. I believe that developing a cycle of self-care, setting goals, reflections, gratitude, and releasing that which no longer serves you is beneficial for everyone.
I’m super excited to say that this post will be the first in a series that I will be doing on celebrating the phases of the moon.
Creating your own full moon rituals can feel daunting at first, but after reading this post you’ll feel fully prepared for the next full moon.
Even if you don’t believe that the phases of the moon have any affect on your life, you can still develop monthly practices that help you to feel renewed.
This post includes affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission on purchases made through links at no additional cost to you.
What is the Full Moon?
I know you know what a full moon is, but do you really? We’re going to have a mini science lesson.
What the moon looks like to us changes every night based on its position relative to the Earth and the Sun.
During the full moon, the moon is completely illuminated by the Sun. Generally, we get about 12 to 13 full moons every year because the lunar cycle is 27 days.
If you’re a planner, this may be helpful for you to know when to plan for your full moon rituals. Here are some full moon dates for late 2020 and 2021:
Full moons for 2020:
- October 1, 2020
- October 31, 2020
- November 30, 2020
- December 29, 2020
Full moon dates for 2021:
- January 28, 2021
- February 27, 2021
- March 28, 2021
- April 26, 2021
- May 26, 2021
- June 24, 2021
- July 23, 2021
- August 22, 2021
- September 20, 2021
- October 20, 2021
- November 19, 2021
- December 18, 2021
For the most accurate full moon dates and times, be sure to check the full moon calendar for your state or province.
The Energy of the Full Moon
People have been turning to the cycles of the moon and the energy that the moon provides for thousands of years. The moon is said to have an affect on our emotions and the full moon in particular is a powerful time of the month.
This is because (and you probably guessed it), the moon is at its fullest and therefore able to provide us with more lunar energy.
We all know that having enough sun is important for our mental well-being. And I bet you remember learning in school about how the moon affects the tides of the ocean.
If the moon can do that to something so big and with so much depth, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the moon affects us too.
The best things to do when the moon is full is to reflect, release, and celebrate. If there was something that happened to you over this past month that you haven’t quite let go of yet, a full moon ritual can help you let go and move forward.
The full moon also symbolizes the Divine Feminine energy that we all possess.
The Divine Feminine, or “Greater Yin,” refers to the feminine energies in the universe – not to the female gender. (By the way, men naturally have a natural Divine Feminine energy, too. Unfortunately, they’re frequently conditioned by society to repress it and to embrace only their Divine Masculine energies.)
What is a Full Moon Ritual?
A full moon ritual is a set of practices that you do to enhance your well-being during the time when the moon is at its fullest energy and illumination. You can think of it as the moon shining a light on everything that has happened in the past month.
If you’d like, you can do a full moon ritual for every full moon or only at times when you’re feeling particularly reflective. Either way, full moon rituals can help support you in your wellness, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Keep track of your full moon ritual plans, manifestations, and full moon dates in this beautiful printable moon manifestation planner and journal. If features 22 pages to help you track the moon’s phases, plan your moon rituals, keep track of your progress, even if you’ve never been able to keep track of the moon’s cycles before:
How to Do A Full Moon Ritual
First, just a reminder that these are only suggestions and to do what feels right for you.
There is no such thing as the “perfect” full moon ritual. You don’t need to buy a witchy subscription box, make an Instagram post, or even perform a full moon ritual at all if you’re not feeling it.
Your full moon ritual also doesn’t have to be lengthy or elaborate – it can simply be a few minutes spend in reflection and celebration. Do what feels right to you.
- Set up your space: This could mean anything from setting up a sacred space (more about this later!) to clearing out your dining room table. The important thing about this is that you’re finding a space that will help to keep you focused on your ritual. If you live with other people, you may want to let them know to give you some time alone.
- Write and reflect: Think about what happened over the last month, both the good and the bad. Have you achieved the intentions you set at the New Moon? What successes have you experienced? What difficulties and setbacks have come up? It may be helpful to write down anything that comes up. Don’t hold yourself back – write down your feelings, even the “bad” ones. These negative feelings need to be acknowledged and released.
- Release and forgive: Your process of releasing and forgiveness can take many different forms. Some people like to burn the paper they wrote on, or tear it up and let it soak in moon water. Others like to speak a prayer like the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono Prayer.
- Celebrate! The Full Moon is a fantastic time for gratitude and celebrations. Write down things you are grateful for, celebrate your accomplishments, and feel the power of appreciation amplified by the moon.
- Closing it out: Symbolically close your ritual in some way to let your unconscious mind know that you’re finished. This could look like blowing out the candle that you set at the beginning of your ritual, closing the notebook that you’ve been using, or taking a few deep breaths.
These are just a few simple steps that you can follow for your full moon ritual, but it can be even more simple or more elaborate than this. It truly is yours to customize.
Full Moon Ritual Ideas
So now that you have an idea of how to frame your full moon ritual, here are some ideas of what you can do inside the ritual itself.
Set up an altar or sacred space
Your altar or sacred space can be anything that you want it to be.
Your altar/sacred space might include objects like:
- An altar cloth
- A crystal grid
- Pictures or artwork
- A selenite wand
If you have the space, you could have a permanent sacred space or altar. If not, gather all of the things that you will need before doing your ritual so you don’t feel rushed or flustered before beginning. Here are some other things you may want to include in your altar or sacred space:
- Lighter (I love this electric one)
- A blanket
- A journal with writing utensils
- Aromatherapy diffuser (like this one)
- Greenery like succulents
- Yoga cushion (this one is super cute)
When people are interested in crystals, they often wonder which crystals are “right” for a situation. I’ll give you the best advice I was ever given: start with whatever speaks to you. If you feel attracted to a particular crystal, it’s letting you know you need its energies.
Don’t agonize over picking the “perfect” crystal – start with what feels right, then learn about it and what it’s telling you.
Many people like to clear the energy in their space before beginning a full moon ritual.
Some people do this by burning sage or palo santo, but I don’t personally advocate for either unless it is culturally appropriate for you. There are many resources available if you want to know more about why these practices are problematic. I write about this in greater depth in my post on creating an aura cleansing spray.
If you want to do a smoke cleansing, try to grow your own herbs or purchase them from a small, local supplier. Instead of white sage, palo santo, and cedar, try:
- European sage
- Flowers like rose or calendula
Sage-Free Smoke Cleansing Sticks
There are many lovely handmade smoke cleansing sticks available online if you don't have any local vendors. There's no need to shop at big chain retailers who have commodified other culture's sacred practices and plants!
Try one of these white sage and palo santo free smoke cleaning sticks:
HARVEST sage alternative smudge stick
This beautiful white sage-free wand is perfect for autumn cleansing rituals. It contains apple, green sage, wormwood, and yarrow for a sweet, fall scent.
Lavender Burn Bundle Herb Wand
Lavender bundles smell fantastic and offer their calming properties burned or used as part of your altar space. If you decide to keep your bundle instead of burning it, you can rub it gently between your palms from time to time to reinvigorate the scent.
Rosemary Smudge Stick
Rosemary is a wonderful cleansing and protective herb that's frequently used to create a fresh start or symbolize a new beginning. If you have something big you're ready to release this month, rosemary may be the right herb for your smoke cleanse.
Rosemary Rose & Calendula Cleansing Wand
This rosemary, rose, and calendula cleansing smoke wand comes with a raw clear quartz crystal.
Cinnamon Citrus Smudge Stick
This lovely wand has cinnamon, citrus, and green sage. It is perfect for cleansing negative energy and inviting bounty and protection.
If growing herbs yourself doesn’t work for you or if you just don’t want to burn anything, try out this diy aura cleansing spray. It also works to remove negative energy using water (use the following moon water for an extra boost), essential oils, and a few other ingredients.
Full moon affirmations for gratitude and manifestation
The full moon is a wonderful time for celebrations and gratitude. The full moon is frequently seen as a powerful time for manifestation. Expressing your gratitude during the full moon can amplify your positive feelings and raise your vibration so you can attract what you desire.
You can also use affirmations as you’re setting up your space. Your affirmations will likely be unique to your situation and intentions but here are a few to help get you in the right mindset.
- The moon is full tonight and so am I
- I am ready to release beliefs that no longer serve me
- The next month will be full of light just like the moon
- I release what happened to me in the past and look forward to the future
- I am co-creating the life of my dreams
- The Universe is on my side
- I am in alignment with my higher purpose
- I accept myself
- It is safe to say I want to fulfill my dreams
- I love myself
If you’d like more affirmations, visit this post with ideas for free self-care ideas and grab some lovely watercolor affirmation cards.
Releasing what no longer serves you
There are many ways that you can release things that no longer serve you. One of my favorite ways to release things that no longer serve me is to write them down, thank them for their part in my life, and then burn the paper.
Word to the wise: make sure to have a bowl of water handy or do this near the sink if you decide to burn your pages. Fire spreads quickly on paper and you do not want to drop the flaming page on your rug.
Other ways that you can release things that do not serve you is setting an intention to remove toxic people from your life, deleting apps that you no longer use (if you’d like to bring your phone to your space), or decluttering spaces in your home.
Once you release something that no longer serves you, you make space (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically) for new things to be brought into your life.
Gratitude, celebration, and appreciation
Journaling can be a powerful tool for personal development. It is helpful in understanding yourself, goal setting, and obviously, expressing gratitude. Expressing gratitude can be a difficult thing to do, especially when things seem tough. Developing a monthly ritual of gratitude journaling can help boost your mood and show you how great the small things in life can be, even in the face of bad events.
Here are a few gratitude journaling prompts to get you started:
- What was the best thing that happened to me this month?
- What is making me feel loved right now?
- Who am I grateful to have in my life?
- What do I have now that I didn’t have a month ago?
- What was I grateful to learn about yourself this month?
The full moon will amplify your feelings of gratitude and abundance. This will raise your vibration and help you manifest/attract more good things into your life.
Making moon water
The process of making moon water is very simple. First, fill a jar with distilled or tap water. Place the lid on the jar and put the jar outside in the direct line of the moonlight. Feel free to spend a few minutes outside to create and set your intention. Leave the jar out overnight and get it in the morning.
After that, your water is fully charged with the power of your intentions and the moonlight.
You can use this moon water in multiple ways, such as adding it to your baths over the next month or using it to cleanse your crystals or other ritual tools.
Some people say to take sips of it over the next month, but for health and safety reasons it’s best to drink it within a couple of days if that’s what you want to do.
You can also use this moon water in your aura cleansing spray.
Charging your ritual tools or crystals
The full moon is a traditional time for charging crystals and wands.
I recommend laying your tools out on a cloth (such as your altar cloth) or in a box if you’d like them to be a bit more protected. Just like with the moon water, leave them in direct moonlight overnight.
Taking a bath
Taking a bath is a popular way to celebrate the full moon. You can add sea salt, epsom salts, or your favorite bath soak to your bath for added relaxation. You can even add botanicals and crystals, if you’d like.
This rosemary epsom salt foot soak works well as a bath soak. Rosemary has protective and cleansing properties that go well with releasing things during the full moon. I love the combination of soothing, detoxing epsom salts and the scent of rosemary.
Even though you’ll see many people online recommending it, please do not put drops of essential oils directly into your bath water. This isn’t safe.
Instead, try using a bath bomb like these detox activated charcoal bath bombs or read this post from the Tisserand Institute on how to use essential oils in a bath safely. It can be as simple as adding the oils to your bubble bath instead of plain water.
I personally love taking a very hot bath – as hot as I can stand – and soaking for at least 10 minutes. I spend a few minutes sitting up as the water drains, then I take a cold shower. It may sound wacky, but it feels amazing and always leaves me feeling both calm and invigorated.
Meditating on while you create or set your intentions is a great way to do a full moon ritual. As mentioned the time of the full moon is a particularly poignant time to reflect.
Meditation doesn’t mean that you have to sit still and clear it of all thoughts. Meditation can be saying your affirmations repetitively for a set period of time, light body movements, or focusing on a candle.
Guided meditations are a great way to meditate, too. I recorded this guided meditation to raise your vibration that’s a fantastic fit for a full moon ritual:
You made it through another month. Whether it seems like it or not, that’s still a huge accomplishment. Celebrate that accomplishment in a way that feels authentic to you. You might want to sing, dance, or enjoy your favorite cup of tea. It’s your celebration.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to have your own full moon ritual.
What do you like to do as part of your full moon ritual?
Please Pin this post and check back again soon for more posts in this series on celebrating the moon!
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