I have written before about New Moon Ceremonies, but not yet about holding rituals to honour the Full Moon.
Full Moons are times of illumination and clarity, of culmination and of the powerful reversal of energies, so they always brings potent opportunities to harness and use this momentary surge.
There’s no one way in which to do this, and no right or wrong way, but there are two significant and quite different types of ceremony that I love to perform. Each serves a very different purpose, so which one I use (or whether I incorporate elements of both!) depends on the circumstances of the cycle, and how my intuition guides me.
The first is beautifully simple, and involves marking the peak in the rise in lunar tide by giving gratitude. That is the one I’ll describe here, today.
The second is a ceremony of release, and commits to harnessing Luna’s waning light to release and purify over the second half of the cycle. That one, I will describe for the next Full Moon.
Before starting either of these (or any other Moon ritual) you need to ground yourself, by connecting to Mother Earth, and you need to ask her permission to perform this ritual on her sacred land. Do this in whichever way feels right for you (there is so much guidance out there if you need pointers).
I use my breath, focusing on deepening and slowing it down.
I feel the love in my heart, which I have for the Earth, grow and grow, until it is strong. Then I send it down, down into her core, through my root chakra.
Before very long at all, I feel her send it back.
And our connection is formed and made conscious.
She will grant you permission for this work. Her response, and flow of love to you are an expression of this, but if this isn’t the case, you will know.
Full Moon Ceremony of Gratitude
1. Before starting the ceremony, spend a little time with a pen and some paper, listing the things in your life you are grateful for. They maybe qualities in yourself, they may be the people in your life. They may be achievements or attainments connected to your New Moon intentions for this lunar cycle; they may be levels of awareness or material security and abundance you have manifested over a much longer timeframe.
Or, if you have been faced with a lot of resistance, and have been struggling through life, then don’t forget that this too has big purpose. The opportunities for growth and change are enormous during times of contraction and difficulties, so if you can, express your acknowledgement (and appreciation) of this.
The point is, you don’t need to create any restrictions on what goes onto your list. Be free.
2. If possible, go outside and sit under the Full Moon. (It may not be visible in your part of the world at the actual point of Fullness, but this doesn’t matter. You can perform this ritual up to a couple of days, either side).
3. Light a candle.
Light some incense.
You may want to use white sage or Paulo Santo to cleanse the space you are in, and your own energy field. Those coming from the Wiccan tradition may call in the directions, but you must do what feel right for you. These are such simple and uncomplicated rituals, I don’t usually feel it is necessary for me.
4. Sit on the ground (or a chair) and connect with the Moon. Imagine your crown chakra opening up like a flower, and the light of the Moon streaming down and through it, filling up your body with a silvery, white light. Let this light go wherever it needs to go – in your physical body, your emotional body, your light body…
5. Read through, and ponder your gratitude list. You may want to read it out loud, or silently inside of your heart, but take your time and allow appreciation for anything else to rise within you too. Your words may be as simple as
“I thank you Grandmother Moon, for enabling / supporting / showing me……”
Or you may want to thank the Mother Earth, Great Spirit, or yourself! Thanking and feeling proud of yourself is definitely something great to practice and if you feel uncomfortable doing this, then all the more reason for you to try!
The key to this part of the ritual is to feel the gratitude. The words are simply the framework to hold together the energy created and contained in the ceremony, and to allow the mind to focus. Really, it is conjuring the feelings of appreciation, and making them present and real, which are what creates the magic, and the lasting effect.
By expressing genuine gratitude, we are opening up the energetic channels for more movement through our lives. It is impossible to generate or manifest positive change, if we’re stuck in the mentality of lack, so giving gratitude is one of the most powerful agents for change. And it feels so good!
Stay there for as long as you like, sitting, lying, or dancing in the moonlight if the mood takes you! This need not be a somber or serious occasion – you can let the spirit of celebration move through you!
7. To complete the ceremony, I always like to set the intention to hold this vibration of gratitude and joy in my heart, to stay there and be there whenever I need to find it again.
8. Don’t forget to blow out your candle and incense.
If you have friends, the DO THIS TOGETHER! Take it in turns to talk about what you give gratitude for. Speaking your words out loud, in the company of others is incredibly powerful as it manifests your feelings about them more clearly and directly, giving them form beyond only your reality.
And, do this with your children. In a much simplified, and fun-filled form, it is a really wonderful exercise to connect them to their own hearts, realize what they have, and to the larger cycles of nature.
I hope you have fun with this. It is such a simple and fluid ceremony, so include more or less elements, as you like.
But I would strongly suggest that you take the time to keep a regular practice. Marking the cycles through simple repetition can be incredibly enlightening, as well as deepening our connection to our own cyclic nature, so intimately connected to those of nature. There is hardly anything more beautiful.