We’ve all heard stories and folklore about the full moon... people start acting bizarre, have sleep troubles, and emergency rooms are in overdrive. But, moon-related insomnia (read more on our blog Does the Moon Affect Your Sleep) isn’t the only side-effect of the moon’s power! By aligning with the moon's phases, you can feel more aligned and even manifest your greatest desires.
The moon is said to have feminine or yin energy which involves both receiving and surrendering. Throughout history, cultures and religions have practiced various rituals aligning with the moon’s phases. Today more people are practicing their own modern moon rituals and spiritual and metaphysical shops are selling a range of books, candles, and crystals to channel this lunar energy.
Although it has played a prominent role in Wicca, moon magic isn’t a form of witchcraft. Lunar energy is something we witness every day. The moon moderates our climate and stabilizes our planet. It causes tides and is considered a natural satellite. Earth’s rotation is in sync with the moon, and we rely on its lunar energy for survival.
Experts say that if the moon were to disappear, we would face dire consequences. The tides would get smaller and smaller, which would be detrimental to many marine wildlife such as crabs, snails, and mussels. Further, nocturnal animals would lose the moon’s light they rely on to eat and could become extinct. Our climate would also suffer. Tidal movements create ocean currents that move warm water around the globe. Without them, some areas would become much too warm.
Last but not least, we would lose our seasons. We experience seasons because of Earth’s rotation and tilt. This tilt of 23.4 degrees is caused by the moon’s gravitational pull, holding Earth in place. Without this tilt, the Earth could tilt any way it wanted, meaning we could experience extreme changes in tilt and even an ice age!
The importance of the moon’s energy goes beyond space and science. It is also spiritual. The moon cycle helps many keep an earthly rhythm and connection. By tapping into the moon’s phases, you can connect with something more profound.
When you look at the night’s sky, night after night, you will see the moon change in appearance. Sometimes it is just a sliver in the sky, and other times it is full and bright. These are the moon’s phases, and there are eight in total. During these phases the moon isn’t changing, but our view of it and the sun’s reflection is.
The new moon phase is when we can’t see the moon. This is what we call a new moon. Next is waxing crescent. The northern hemisphere sees this phase as a thin crescent on the right. The first quarter moon appears as a half moon where the right is visible. Waxing gibbous is a bit bigger than a half moon, gradually getting bigger and brighter. The full moon is easily recognized and occurs when the moon is entirely illuminated by the sun. After the full moon comes waning gibbous, which is between a half moon and full moon, and from the Northern hemisphere, the left is illuminated. The third quarter moon is another half moon, illuminated on the left, and finally, there is the waning crescent moon. This is when we see a sliver of crescent light on the left. The cycle will then repeat, going back to the new moon.
Each phase has its own spiritual meaning. You can use these meanings to create personalized rituals to feel more balanced and connected with lunar energy. For example, the new moon is said to be a time to pause and reflect. This is because the nights are darker, and this darkness is believed to be the optimal time for reflection. Use this time for journaling, internal exploration, and shadow work. For example, sit on your meditation cushion and meditate. This will clear your mind and get you ready for journaling. Reflect on questions like “what do I want from this life?” Or “how can I be better in my relationships?” The answers to these questions will guide your rituals through the moon’s cycle.
New Moon Ritual
Here is an example of a new moon ritual from Ruby Warrington, founder of The Numinous and author of several spiritual books and decks. You can customize the ritual below to fit your personal preferences or keep reading for some new moon affirmations.
- The first step is to put away your phone. You want to quiet the outside voices so you can get in touch with your own. Meditation will also help quiet the internal chatter, even if just for 5 minutes.
- Connect with a spiritual element. It could be ancestors, spirit guides, or natural elements. These spiritual beings will help guide you in your time of reflection.
- Take a crystal and hold it in your hand. Pick the one calling you at that moment.
- Light a candle. Fire is considered cleansing and symbolic of the new moon.
- Pull a tarot card for a message from the Universe or spirit guides.
- Journal and write out your intentions and goals. By writing them down, you are presenting them to the moon.
- Thank the moon for its magic and energy.
While the new moon requests stillness, the waxing moon is a time for movement. This is when you take action towards your goals and becoming the person you want to be. It is believed that the lunar energy of the waxing moon is energizing. So, review your intentions or journal entries before going to bed, and track the actions you are taking.
Waxing Moon Ritual
Here is an excellent example of a waxing moon ritual from Goop.
- Pick up an oracle deck. Ideally, one that is centered on the moon cycle (but it doesn’t have to be).
- Shuffle the deck and take several deep breaths before thinking of the intentions you set during the new moon ritual.
- Spread the cards in front of you and wave your left hand over them. Wait for a feeling like a magnetic pull drawing you to a specific card.
- Draw two cards. The first will bring clarity to your actions, and the second will present the action you must take. Sit with these for a moment.
As you can imagine, the full moon is extra powerful. It is a time for gratitude and appreciating life and all its gifts. Full moon rituals are very personal and can be customized to your needs and desires. For example, you may sit in gratitude on your meditation pillow outside under the full moon’s light, or you may charge your crystals with the moon's energy, setting intentions for each one.
The full moon can be intense and bring about strong emotions, so be aware of this. Although this can lead to feelings of overwhelm, experts recommend channeling these emotions into gratitude. Think of the actions taken during the waxing moon and be grateful for your efforts.
Full Moon Ritual
The Farmers Almanac has several examples of full moon rituals that will help you reconnect, reflect and recharge. You can make everyday tasks like going for a walk or making dinner a ritual when you set intention behind it. Alternatively, if you prefer something a little more elaborate, try the following full moon rituals from Mind Body Green:
- Set your meditation pillow somewhere where the moonlight is visible. If you can’t go outside, look for a big window.
- Close your eyes and imagine the moon’s beams filling the room and surrounding your body.
- Focus on your breath and the intentions you have set while visualizing the moonlight purifying your mind, body, and spirit.
You can repeat this as many times as you like or take it a step further with a manifestation ritual. In front of your zafu meditation pillow, set up an altar. This altar can be a small gathering of inspirational objects on the floor or set upon a small table or tray. Fill it with items that make you happy and inspire you, like crystals, books, photos, or items from a nature walk. In front of your altar, you will practice the meditation above in addition to visualizing having precisely what you want in life. It may be a relationship, career, state of health, or material objects. Visualize your life exactly as you want it.
If you want to keep things simple but are still interested in moon magic, simply find an affirmation that aligns with the moon's phase and repeat this to yourself or read it before going to bed. For example, for a new moon, you could use the affirmations, “I have the power to change my life” or “I raise myself to a higher level of being.”
Anyone can harness the moon’s magic if they want to. By creating your own moon rituals that align with the phases of the moon, you can better your mind, body, and spirit. Moon rituals are known to be powerful tools for manifestation and self-reflection and are an element of crystal work. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, having a routine practice to slow down, disconnect from your phone and connect with nature can do wonders for your well-being.