Since ancient times, the moon has symbolically incorporated the realm of the subconscious mind, emotions, intuition and the cycles of life and death.
When viewed through a symbolic, psycho-spiritual, archetypal or even from a purely energetic lens, the moon is a real presence in our lives and can help to guide us on our spiritual path. No matter where you live in the world, the moon is an omnipresent force in your life.
Why not use it in your spiritual practice?
You do not necessarily need to identify yourself as a pagan or practice other earth-centered spiritual paths to benefit from the power of a full moon ritual.
There are countless instructions for creating a full moon ritual – but the main problem with using someone else’s instructions is that they don’t have the same “impact” as the rituals you create for yourself. All rituals are deeply personal.
While there is nothing wrong with following a full moon ritual that someone else has detailed (especially if you have no ideas), I recommend trying to create one of your own. Then compare the two and see which benefits you benefit most from. In other words, don’t take my word for it, and try it yourself!
But first, let’s get to the basics …
What is a full moon ritual?
A full moon ritual is essentially an intentional ceremony or symbolic action that you perform on a full moon night. Full moon rituals are created to imbue your life with the symbolic and energetic qualities of the full moon – they include the elements of power, amplification, action and an increase in subconscious activity that produces enhanced intuition and insight.
The New Moon marks the beginning of new cycles, and this is a phase to establish intentions, we root the intentions set during the new moon during the Waxing Moon, the Full Moon is the time for manifestation, celebration, the release of energy and repressed blocks. And the Waning Moon is the time to release, to make space, and to forgiveness of self and others.
As a result, anything you are feeling or doing will be amplified by the energy of the Full Moon; be intentional about what you want to bring into your life!
The symbolic meaning of the Full Moon
To create a dynamic full moon ritual that resonates deeply with your subconscious mind, you need to learn about the symbolism of the full moon.
The full moon has been spoken and written for millennia in many cultures. The Chinese, for example, associate the full moon with the essence of yin (female energy). Buddhists, on the other hand, see the full moon as symbolizing spiritual power (as Buddha supposedly gained his enlightenment on a full moon night) and many sacred festivals are held during the full moon.
In secular folklore, the full moon has been associated with madness, insomnia, and psychological disorders – hence the term “lunatic” which derives from the Latin word “lunaticus”, that literally means moonstruck.
Astrologically, the full moon is a peak of energy that highlights opposite polarities and forces in your life. It is also a time of harvest of what you have planted.
And in paganism, the full moon is a time when psychic energy increases and powerful intentions, spells, and rituals can be practiced. The full moon also represents the mother aspect of the divine feminine.
When we summarize the symbolic meaning of the full moon, however, the themes of amplification, subconscious power and enlightenment continually arise, just as almost rituals I write here on Camomila.
Because the fundamental purpose of any ritual is to create a bridge between the conscient mind and the subconscious mind, between the ego and the collective unconscious.
Why should I care about creating a full moon ritual?
That’s a fair question, and if you really don’t feel called to do a full moon ritual, don’t! The world will not end. Your life will not explode. Creating a full moon ritual is simply one of the many empowering practices you can add to your spiritual toolkit and it is not necessarily for everyone.
With that said, I feel it is important to experience a full moon ritual at least once. Who knows what potentially transformative and paradigm-changing benefits you can receive from this practice?
The most important thing you need to know about the power of the full moon ritual is that it uses four essential elements of any transformative spiritual practice: willpower, intention, symbolism, and ritual. These four elements have a truly electric and intense impact on the subconscious mind. The purpose of a full moon ritual is to generate profound changes in the lower regions of your mind.
‘As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.’ Hermes Trismegistus
The subconscious mind is the realm of potential, the space in which your soul emerges and the gateway to Spirit (or the Collective Unconscious). When you do a full moon ritual, you enter your personal power and actively solicit and prepare your subconscious mind for transformation.
There is much more to full moon rituals than beautiful candles or crystals – their ultimate goal is genuine spiritual and psychological change.
How to Keep Track of Moon Phases?
If you are like most people, you will be quite disconnected from the moon’s cycles. Occasionally, you can look at the sky, but don’t think much about the moon phase and its meaning.
There are many websites out there that track the current moon phase. Or, you can buy an annual moon phase calendar at places like Amazon and hang it at your home. There are also many interesting phone apps out there that track the phases of the moon, such as the Simple Moon Phase Calendar, My Moon Phase, Moon Phases, etc.
Remember that if you live in the southern hemisphere, you will need to find a calendar, website or app that accurately records the phases of the moon according to your country, as most of the features of the moon phase are created for the northern hemisphere.
Creating Your Unique Full Moon ritual
The best thing about making your own full moon ritual 100% tailored is that it meets your needs, daily schedule, interests and the current objects you have at hand.
You don’t need to go out and buy a lot of metaphysical paraphernalia to stage a powerful full moon ritual, nor do you need to make it worthy of Instagram. In fact, I encourage you to try to leave social media out of the full moon ritual, as this will dilute your focus and intention.
To know, to dare, to will, to keep silent (The Great Secret)
You also don’t have to make your full moon ritual overly flowery, poetic, long, multilayered or esoteric – unless, of course, it works for you.
Essentially, there are no rules, just suggestions. Don’t feel pressured to make your rituals look like the ones you see in books, online…
Now that we’ve gone through these precautions, here are some tips that will help you create your own full moon ritual:
1 – Find out when the next full moon is
Check your moon app, your calendar, or even your local weather forecast website (which usually lists what stage the moon is currently on). The full moon occurs on average once every 29.5 days, so you can experience it once a month.
2 – Think about what you would like to be amplified or illuminated within you
What are you struggling with right now? What shadows need to come to light? What archetypes would you like to incorporate? What do you need to put aside? What internal skills or resources do you need to use? Reflect on these questions or journal them.
3 – Define your intention
After completing the previous steps, it is time to define an intention, goal or objective. What do you want to achieve? What will be the purpose of your full moon ritual? Write your full moon intention in your journal or on a piece of paper that you can keep in your sacred space/altar.
4 – Prepare some symbolic objects
Whether on the day/night of the full moon or beforehand, select some symbolic objects that may represent your problem, your desire as a whole, your current location in life, what you need to put aside, your strengths, weaknesses, that needs to be enlightened … you get the idea.
Basically, choose any object currently in your home that represents the part of you or your situation that needs to be amplified or illuminated. Examples of symbolic objects can include stones, feathers, flowers, dolls, crystals, cards, figures, herbs, stamps, antique jewelry – literally anything you feel that accurately represents your problem or desire.
5 – Create a sacred space
On the day/night of the full moon, dedicate a specific space to your ritual somewhere you will not be disturbed. You can already have an altar somewhere in your home, and if so, that’s perfect. If you don’t have an altar or sacred space, you can install a temporary one on the windowsill, balcony or even in the corner of your bedroom, kitchen or bathroom.
You can choose to “clean up” this space of energy debris by clapping your hands, using a toothpick, a corner bowl, visualizing a purified circle around you or anything that talks to you.
Whatever the case, it is important that your subconscious mind symbolically register that the space you are preparing is sacred and important.
6 – Perform Your Full Moon Ritual
You don’t have to spend hours doing an elaborate ritual. Just a few minutes can be enough to create and evoke a strong message within your subconscious mind.
With your symbolic objects in hand, organize them in a way that looks powerful to you. You can organize them according to your wishes, for example:
- Put two symbolic objects together, symbolizing a union;
- Organize your objects according to a symbol, for example, a circle representing the whole or complete.
- Burn one of the objects or dip it in a bowl of water, representing detachment.
- Place an object on your body and symbolically “inspire” it.
- You can consume one of the objects (if it is edible and non-toxic) to symbolize power, strength, and renewal.
Your imagination is the limit…
I recommend listening to your instincts and doing what seems most meaningful to you. Feel free to be totally unconventional, this is your ritual, after all.
7 – Symbolically close your ritual
No matter how you choose to design your ritual, always close/finish symbolically. Your unconscious mind needs to understand that the ritual is over (think of ending it as pressing the “submit” button).
Leaving the ritual open without closing intentionally sends mixed signals to your subconscious mind. Closing your ritual is simple. Again, close it as you intuitively find the right path. Examples may include ringing a bell, saying a prayer of thanks, viewing an “X”, saying a phrase like “so be it” and so on.
As you can see, there are no concrete rules here, just a basic structure that you may want to follow, if applicable.
I hope you’re feeling full of ideas right now!