Every 28-30 days, we experience a new moon or a full moon. These moons occur at different times: moon phases begin with the new moon, a time for new beginnings, and end with the full moon, a time for endings and letting things go. Both of these astrological events contain energy that can help you to pause, reflect, and move forward in your life.
Creating a personal ritual that you practice on the night of a full or new moon can help you manifest your intentions, and release the things you no longer want in your life. Anyone can do a new/full moon ritual; you don’t need to be an expert on astrology or subscribe to any specific spiritual system. So how do you get started?
People sometimes mix up the energies of new and full moons, thinking that both are times to manifest. Since full moons are about endings, they may not be the time to start new projects or make any impulsive decisions. Instead, focus on cleansing.
On the night of a full moon, start your ritual by cleansing your body, mind and space. Take a nice, warm shower or a bath filled with whatever you’d like—water, milk, flowers, candles around your bathroom, etc. Pamper yourself.
To cleanse your space, use sage smudging or burn a different herb like lavender or frankincense & myrrh. Watch something relaxing or play calming music (your favorite Sade album or something like binaural beats could work). This will help to cleanse your mind as well. You can close your eyes and meditate while listening to music to further clear your headspace.
You can also use the light of the full moon to charge your healing crystals. You can go outside to do this or put the crystals on your windowsill. If you can’t access the moonlight, simply cleansing your crystals somewhere comfortable and sacred in your home can work. Burn sage, lavender or another herb over the crystals, and speak/think your intentions of cleansing and charging over the crystals. Express gratitude toward the crystals for helping you to raise your frequency, a desire to cleanse them of all negative energy, and your intentions for how you want the crystals to help you now that they’ve been cleansed.
Now that you’ve done this, you can meditate more. Let your thoughts come in freely. Don’t pressure your mind to be immediately empty. Meditate for as long as you can, or for however long you’re comfortable with.
Once you’re done meditating, you may identify some things that you now realize you need to let go of. These may be thoughts that came up over and over in your meditation.
From this point on, it’s time to release. The way you do this can be entirely up to you. Make your ritual yours! You can dance to release energy, do an intense workout, run really fast, go out into nature and scream, write a list of the things you want to let go of and burn the paper it was written on (this is a classic technique), record yourself saying the things you want to let go of and delete it afterward, or anything else. As long as it’s something that allows you to close a door and prepare to walk through new ones.
The new moon occurs when the moon is perfectly aligned with the sun and isn’t visible in the sky. This is a time to start new habits, make new decisions, and focus on manifesting! Start by setting an intention. This can be one general intention or many intentions you have for the next thirty days. Either way, focus on your intentions at the start of your ritual. Write them down or just clearly settle on them in your head. Be as specific and detailed as possible about what you want and how you want it to enter your life.
Next, start something new. This can be the launch of your new website, dying your hair a new color, applying for a job, confessing your feelings to someone, or anything else. It would be good to use the days leading up to the new moon to think about what it is you want to start and make sure you’re certain that you want to do it. The manifestation energy of the new moon will bless this new beginning.
If you wrote your intentions on a piece of paper, fold the paper, anoint it with your favorite sacred or essential oil, and place it somewhere safe. Unlike the full moon when you would burn or destroy a paper that you wrote your reflections on, you want to keep the paper with your intentions. If you have an ancestral altar, put the paper there, or otherwise keep it safe.
If you don’t have an ancestral altar, the night of a new moon is the perfect time to build one! The astrological energy makes it a fertile time for building a sacred space and beginning to cultivate a relationship with your ancestors and spirit guides.
A “new moon ritual” can be starting your own ritual in itself. This is the time to embark on new beginnings, so if this will be your first time doing a new moon ritual, maybe think of something you can do on every new moon that feels powerful, sacred and personal.
Spend time with a new friend or lover if you can. This is the time to make room for new people. It isn’t a time to end relationships or quit your job. Any new opportunities that arise on the night of a new moon should be accepted.
For both full moon and new moon rituals, you can apply the same logic used to build an altar: incorporate an element of air, earth, fire, and water. This can be water, a candle, crystals (or dirt if you want to bury the things you’re letting go of in the soil on a full moon night), and incense smoke. Personalize your rituals and make sure they work for you. You have complete freedom and there are no rules, other than keeping in mind that new moons are for beginnings and full moons are for endings.
Happy reflecting! The universe is on your side.