There is a centuries-old tradition called “Moon bathing” that very few people still practice in this busy Western world. Yet could the perceived health and spiritual benefits be the perfect antidote to the fast-paced modern lives that many of us lead…?
Moon bathing involves exposing your naked body to the light of the full moon to absorb its healing energy. It’s a beautifully simple practice, yet can be profoundly healing.
Moon bathing has roots in ancient practices from cultures around the world. From the ancient Greeks to the Cherokee, and the people of Africa and Asia, Moon worship has been a mainstay of countless spiritual traditions.
Bathing in moonlight has been a way to not only deepen this devotion, but reduce stress, boost energy levels, improve sleep, balance emotions and even clear skin conditions!
Today, moon bathing is making a comeback as celebrities like Kate Moss advocate its benefits.
In this article, we will explore just a little of the history and origins of moonbathing across different cultures, examine some of the benefits, and then learn about how to moonbath safely and effectively. Before long, you’ll be able to incorporate this calming practice into your life, to enhance your own well-being.
History and origins of Moon bathing
It’s thought that Moon bathing has roots in spiritual traditions spanning millennia and continents. In ancient Greece, the Moon was worshipped as a lunar deity of great power. It’s believed by some scholars that Greek temples like the Sanctuary of Artemis held moonlight bathing rituals, possibly to cure illnesses, ease childbirth and stimulate dreaming for initiates.
In the traditional Yoruba religion in Africa, moonlight rituals are performed, such as dancing under moonlight to absorb the Moon’s nurturing powers.
Asian cultures from India to Japan also incorporated moon worship and lunar energy practices into spiritual traditions like shamanism, Taoism and Buddhism. In Ayurveda, moonbathing is recommended by people with too much pitta (fire) energy, as a way to cool and subdue heat.
It’s important to realise, that as a personal practice, and something that was often performed in conjunction with other magical and spiritual rites, instances of moon bathing are rarely documented. So much of the history of moon bathing has been pieced together, based on supposition and a little guesswork.
If you’re curious, I suggest you do some of your own research!
What are the benefits of Moon bathing?
Moon bathing is a spiritual practice and a profound way to reduce stress and promote wellness. Benefits include deep relaxation, emotional calm, peace and balance, and improved sleep patterns, as well as facilitating a more profound connection to the great mystery of nature and the divine feminine.
Here are some of the top benefits you can expect once you start a regular practice of Moon bathing, according to ancient traditions and modern practitioners:
Reduces stress and anxiety naturally: Absorbing the Moon’s calming rays is a soothing self-care practice. Its soft light stimulates the parasympathetic “rest and digest” response in the nervous system, for relaxation.
Increases energy levels and vitality: The Moon’s regenerative energy nourishes at a subtle energetic level, leaving one feeling recharged according to moon bathing believers. It’s a natural energy booster without caffeine’s crash.
Improves quality of sleep: Exposure to moonlight helps entrain our circadian rhythms, making it easier to fall asleep and sleep more soundly according to naturopaths. This can leave you feeling well-rested.
Balances emotions: Bathing in the moonlight connects one to the lunar-linked tides of emotions, promoting greater equilibrium and self-regulation of feelings like anxiety and depression.
Clears skin naturally: Some naturopaths claim the moon’s antimicrobial light can help treat skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis by purifying and detoxifying at a cellular level when skin is exposed over consecutive full moons.
What are the spiritual benefits of Moon bathing?
The spiritual benefits of moon bathing include feeling a sense of connection to the lunar cycles and greater energies of the cosmos. Moon bathing is also believed to purify the subtle body and aura, boost intuition, promote inner peace and calmness, and enhance feminine energy and fertility according to some spiritual traditions.
Connection to lunar energies/cycles: The moon is seen as a spiritual symbol, and bathing in its light can help one feel connected to natural rhythms and the cosmos.
Energetic purification: Moonlight is believed to cleanse on a subtle energetic level, washing away negativity and clearing one’s spiritual aura.
Boost to intuition/inspiration: Basking in the moon may heighten intuitive/creative faculties as it did for mystics and artists historically.
Sense of calm/inner peace: The serene light can induce relaxation and stillness, facilitating reflection or a meditative state of mind.
Boost to fertility/birth magic: In pagan traditions, it enhances feminine energy, fertility and childbirth according to folklore.
Communication with divinity: Some moonlight rituals aim to connect to goddesses like Artemis or Selene for spiritual blessings, guidance or healing.
Balance of emotions: It’s thought to help regulate moods and the subtle energy body, promoting inner equilibrium and self-awareness.
Part of a spiritual practice: Moon bathing has been incorporated into traditions like Wicca, shamanism and Moon worship as a ritual or offering to deities.
So in many ways, moonlight bathing is considered a means to experience spiritual renewal, enlightenment, or divine connection.
Are there any benefits of moonlight on skin?
Some people do believe moonlight may provide benefits for the skin. Yet as with many traditional folk remedies, scientific evidence is still limited on the true cosmetic effects of moonlight on skin.
Some dermatologists remain sceptical without double-blind clinical studies.
However, anecdotal reports from moon bathing practitioners indicate the gentle light may help soothe irritated skin and promote an overall glow. There’s also research showing certain wavelengths of light can stimulate collagen production and have antimicrobial properties when used in concentrated doses.
While not a replacement for proven skincare, moonlight appears relatively harmless and its mystical history inspires some to continue incorporating it into natural beauty routines.
More scientific inquiry could help determine if this ancient practice holds any real benefits, and to validate any true cosmetic effects from moonlight exposure.
How to do Moon bathing (in simple steps)
Now that you understand the proposed benefits of moon bathing, you may want to try this calming self-care practice for yourself. Here are some tips to help you set up your own moon bathing practice:
Choose a clear night with a visible full Moon
The full moon provides the maximum exposure to its healing energy. Make sure the night sky is clear of clouds for the experience.
Find a private outdoor space
Moon bathe somewhere secluded like your backyard for privacy and comfort. Avoid public areas for the sake of modesty.
Spend 15-30 minutes absorbing moonlight
Remove your clothing and stand, sit or lay under the moonlight. Set a timer so you fully soak in its relaxing glow.
Focus on your breathing
Deep breaths help you feel present. Imagine you are inhaling the Moon’s energy and exhaling stress and tension.
Remain still and contemplate nature
Take in your surroundings mindfully. Let any thoughts drift away as you receive the moon’s gifts of calm and renewal.
Cleanse yourself afterwards
Rinse off if desired, once complete. Some like to shower afterwards for freshness.
Those are the basic steps to properly moon bathe according to naturopaths and healers. With practice, its stress-relieving effects may enhance your overall well-being naturally.
How long does it take to moonbathe?
The recommended length of time to moonbathe for maximum benefits typically ranges from 15-30 minutes per session. Experts note that this 15-30 minute window provides enough exposure for the meditative effects to take hold, as your body absorbs the light.
For beginners, aiming for 15-20 minutes is a good starting point, especially when the full moon is brightest. More experienced moonbathers may gradually increase their time up to 30-45 minutes to deepen the experience.
However, it’s generally not necessary to moonbathe for hours. Even just 10 minutes can still offer benefits if that’s all the available time. The most important thing is to listen to your body and don’t overextend the session if you start to feel uncomfortable.
Short, regular moonbathing sessions may prove as effective as longer, less frequent ones.
Setting a timer allows you to fully relax and soak in the soothing moonlight without distraction.
Safety considerations when you are Moon bathing
While moon bathing can be a relaxing experience, there are some safety factors to keep in mind:
Privacy: Only practice in a secluded outdoor space where you won’t be seen without permission for reasons of modesty.
Weather: Avoid moon bathing in extreme temperatures or weather conditions like rain to prevent illness or hypothermia.
Health issues: Those with certain medical conditions should check with their doctor first, as exposure may not be advisable.
Trespassing: Respect private property boundaries and do not enter areas marked “no trespassing.”
Protection: Consider any security risks and protect yourself as needed, especially alone at night. Inform others of your plans.
Cleansing: For some traditions, it’s inadvisable during menstruation due to purification beliefs.
Moderation: Like with any new activity, start slow, listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself.
Safety should always be the top priority in any spiritual or wellness practice. Use common sense precautions to safely enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of moon bathing.
Whether you view it as a spiritual ritual or an all-natural wellness practice, moon bathing has endured for millennia across cultures as a way to experience the calming effects of the Moon’s healing light. With its simple yet powerful method, moon bathing allows you to slow down, unwind and feel recharged through this serene full-body exposure!