A NEW MOON is the lunar phase when it is in conjunction with the Sun and nearly invisible from the Earth. It symbolizes alignment with our inner truth, a time of manifestation by calling in dreams and new beginnings.
A FULL MOON is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is illuminated from the Earth and in opposition with the Sun. It symbolizes illumination of the shadow, a time of purification by releasing all that no longer serves us.
Below is a basic Moon Ceremony to create sacred space, honor the world of Spirit and expand our awareness through intention and ritual. It is important to partake in a ritual that resonates deeply with you as this will have the most profound transmutation. Keep in mind you may always modify steps and great importance lies in following your intuition. This is a beautiful ceremony to share with loved ones and very special to include children.
- palo santo, or sacred herb of choice
- candle, with matches
- stones, crystals, feathers, herbs, flowers
- three small strips of paper (per person)
- instrument (flute, rattle, drum, bells)
- large shell, or stoneware bowl
(1) Gather your sacred elements, perhaps you would like to add something essential for you - an item from your travels, a gift from a beloved, pieces that represent the universal elements (fire, water, air, earth, ether) and plants or flowers of the season to use in creating a Mandala, as an offering to the Earth and the Spirit world.
(2) Chose a sacred place in nature, or in your home preferably on the ground, where you can quiet yourself and enter into a state of meditation and relaxation.
(3) Play soothing music and as you wish to, arrange the elements you collected and gently light the candle.
(4) Ignite the palo santo or herb of choice from the candle's flame and use it to cleanse the energy field of your body and the space you have chosen. If you are with others, one person will hold the burning herb and purify the other beings. You may enjoy using a feather too. At this time open sacred space, with instruments in hand you may sing a song or recite a prayer. One of my favorite prayers is from the Lakota Sioux Tribe called, Aho Mitakuye Oyasin:
"All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer. To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you. To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you. To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you. To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you. To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you. To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages, I thank you. To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you. You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery. Thank you for this Life."
(5) Sit or lay upon the Earth, or ground, to root yourself and connect to the nourishing vibration of Mother Earth. Slow your breathing and take a moment to tap into this connection of oneness. Feel your heart beating in union with all of life.
(6) As you feel relaxed, write in words your three intentions on the strips of paper. (Noting that if it is a New Moon you are calling in your deepest dreams and if it is a Full Moon you are releasing what no longer serves you).
(7) When you finish, choose the intention you would like to begin with. Holding it in both hands, repeat the intention three times and with the third repetition inhale and direct your breath out and into the paper.
(8) Carefully hold your paper into the flame and allow the fire element to burn it completely until turning into ash. Then gently place the ash into the shell or stoneware bowl. Be mindful of the element fire and its power, if there are children in ceremony assist them with this step.
(9) Repeat the process for all three pieces of paper. If you are among a small group of people, form a circle and allow each person to individually go through this process. During this time, the others will remain quiet while holding space for the one connecting. It is nice to drum or rattle during this time as these vibrations create a nest of support.
(10) When everyone has completed, take a moment to express your gratitude to Mama Killa, Grandmother Moon, Mama Nina, Mother Fire, and the nature spirits. Relight a piece of palo santo, as a closing, and place it in the middle of the circle on a stone. With both hands bring the smoke into your heart space, then bring your hands together over your heart.
(11) At this time, close sacred space by thanking the spirit world and releasing the elementals. If you created a mandala, you may offer this again and leave it gently on the Earth. At last, individually place the ash onto Pachamama, Mother Earth, expressing your gratitude for her healing. You may also leave an additional offering such as grains or herbs.