Once upon a time, ritual was integrated into daily life. Women held ceremony around their moon cycles (menstruation), birth and death were held sacred and entire communities would gather to acknowledge and honorthe new and full moon in their own unique ways.
In some parts of the world this still happens, but in North America we’re lucky if we slow down enough to even look at the moon, let alone have ceremony around it. Bringing ritual back feels important for a few reasons. Slowing down is a much needed shift into the feminine energy we can all benefit from. Also, ritual brings a deeper sense of meaning to our lives, offering an opportunityto slow down and sync in with the subtleties of our own hearts and minds. Ritual is a beautiful way to create emotional balance and strengthenour connection to spirit, however that looks.
We engage in rituals with the intention to examine our lives and emotional landscapes. Questions to ask: what’s working and what’s not? Am I repeating a pattern that is no longer healthy for me?
Simply pausing to ask these questions on a regular basis provide more clarity. After performing a few new and full moon ceremonies, you may find a deeper sense of trust develops between your head and your heart, allowing you to make healthier decisions in all aspects of your life.
How to Create a New Moon Ritual At Home
Each month a new moon occurs and offers us a chance to invite in new beginnings, set intentions and create space for growth in our lives. The new moon represents manifestation, cultivation,rest and preparation. In ancient cultures, the moon was a guiding influence for midwives, menstruating women, and time keepers.Waxing and wanting from full to new, the moon represents the continuous cycle of death, renewal and rebirth.
During the new moon, you can create an at home ritual for yourself that includes a ceremony with an altar displaying objects which are sacred or special to you. You may choose to perform this new ritual alone, or invite friends over to sit in a circle with you and share an evening of setting intentions, making declarations and infusing energy into your dreams for the future. I’m a solo creature and adore my time alone, and thus, I tend to lean more towards solo-ceremony or bathing rituals. However, when the new or full moon lands on a Monday when I run my women’s group, we invite all of the women to partake in a group ceremony that adds a sweetness toenergy and creates a space for deep friendship and bonding to occur.
1. Beautify Your Space
Before performing your ritual or ceremony, take some time to clear your space. Now is a good time to purge anything you don’t want hanging around the house anymore, perhaps old clothing, decor items that don’t bring you joy anymore and can be re-homed, and even taking out the garbage! Clearing out your physical spacein preparation to clear your inner space is also a ceremonial act – listen to music you love and enjoy the act of de-cluttering.
2. Setup youraltar
Now it’s time to set up your altar. You can source objects around your home, from the land you live on, or at local shops. Feathers, crystals, a bowl of water, some sage or cedar, and a few other objects sacred or meaningful to you may be placed on the alar. Forfull instructions on how to build a sacred altar, click here. Onthe new moon, you may consider objects that represent rebirth or renewal. I have a beautiful fertility statue that was gifted to me after I attended my first birth as a doula, and I like to place it on my altar during the new moon to represent fertility and my work in the world with women.
3. Grounding Ritual
A grounding ritual can be integrated into every ceremony you do and you may even like to make it a daily practice. On a new or full moon, to perform a grounding ritual, it’s ideal for you to be outside near a body of water. Barefoot, make your way into water up to your knees (or go in all the way!) and allow the cool water and soft or rocky ground beneath your feet become an anchor for you to your body, and the material and spiritual realms. Breathe deeply, allowing your breath to energize your body and give you access to any messages that may need to come in. It could be something as clear as “you need to drink more water this month”, or “give yourself a bit more time to slow down and enjoy life”.
4. Writing Ritual
Writing rituals can be wonderful ways to do ceremony with a group. Make sure you have a pen and paper, and focus on writing downyour intentions for the month. Affirmation statements are a beautiful way to invite new beginnings, such as “I am open to receiving support in these areas of my life right now” and “I am willing to put in the work to achieve the abundance I deserve”. When you have finished writing out your intentions for the month, you can fold up the piece of paper and place it in a bowl of water, light them on fire (safely of course!) or bury them in your garden. It’s important to remember that when we’re setting intentions, we also must let go of what we think “should” happen, and create space for what spirit has in store for us. This means while we’re also setting intentions, we’re letting go at the same time.
5.Igniting Your Intentions
Burning sage, cedar or palo santo can be offered in closing of your new moon ritual to clarify and cleanse the space in which you set intentions. Spirituality and Health wrote a piece on smudging and honoring the traditional Native American practice here, so give it a read if you’ve never smudged before and would like to learn more in depth.
6. Bathing Ritual
I love baths. To me, they’re sucha feminine way to practice self-care and get into my body. Preparing a hot bath with salts, essential oils (be careful you don’t use essential oils that can burn your yoni) and fresh flowers or herbs can be a ritual all in itself. After you’ve performed a new moon ceremony, or if you’ve simply written down or meditated with your intentions, you can clarify these by immersing yourself in water and washing your hair. Symbolically, this act of cleansing and purifying your body is a statement that you’re beginning anew. I sometimes like to put fresh flower petals in the bath or dried herbs such as chamomile and ladies mantle.
Honoring the cycles of the moon goes hand in hand with being in flow with nature as a woman. Your menstrual cycle and hormonal cycle are intrinsically linked with the moon. To learn more about how your body is interconnected with the moon cycle and begin tracking your cycle, check out the Mystic Moon Calendar my co-facilitator Heather, created here.
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Rituals and their Importance
Rituals have historically been integrated into daily life, with communities gathering to acknowledge and honor significant events such as the new and full moon, birth, and death. However, in North America, the practice of ritual has become less common. Bringing ritual back into our lives can have several benefits. It allows us to slow down and tap into feminine energy, brings deeper meaning to our lives, and helps create emotional balance and strengthen our connection to spirit [].
New Moon Rituals
The new moon offers an opportunity for new beginnings, setting intentions, and creating space for growth in our lives. In ancient cultures, the moon played a guiding role for midwives, menstruating women, and timekeepers. During the new moon, you can create a ritual at home that involves setting up an altar with sacred or meaningful objects. This ritual can be performed alone or with friends, where you can sit in a circle, set intentions, make declarations, and infuse energy into your dreams for the future [].
Creating a New Moon Ritual at Home
To create a new moon ritual at home, you can follow these steps:
Beautify Your Space: Before performing the ritual, take some time to clear your physical space. This can involve decluttering, getting rid of items that no longer bring you joy, and creating a clean and inviting environment [].
Set up Your Altar: Choose objects that are sacred or meaningful to you and place them on your altar. Feathers, crystals, a bowl of water, sage or cedar, and other objects can be used. On the new moon, you may consider objects that represent rebirth or renewal [].
Grounding Ritual: A grounding ritual can be integrated into every ceremony. Ideally, perform this ritual outside near a body of water. Breathe deeply, allowing the water and the ground beneath your feet to anchor you to your body and the material and spiritual realms. This can help you access any messages that may need to come in [].
Writing Ritual: Writing rituals can be done individually or in a group. Write down your intentions for the month, using affirmation statements to invite new beginnings. After writing, you can fold up the paper and place it in a bowl of water, burn it safely, or bury it in your garden. Remember to let go of expectations and create space for what the universe has in store for you [].
Igniting Your Intentions: Burning sage, cedar, or palo santo can be done to clarify and cleanse the space after setting intentions. This practice is known as smudging and is a traditional Native American practice [].
Bathing Ritual: Taking a bath can be a feminine way to practice self-care and get in touch with your body. Prepare a hot bath with salts, essential oils (be cautious with oils that can cause irritation), and fresh flowers or herbs. After performing a new moon ceremony or meditating with your intentions, immerse yourself in the water and wash your hair. Symbolically, this act represents cleansing and purifying your body as you begin anew [].
Honoring the cycles of the moon is closely linked to being in flow with nature as a woman. Your menstrual cycle and hormonal cycle are intrinsically connected to the moon. If you're interested in learning more about this connection and tracking your cycle, you can check out the Mystic Moon Calendar created by Heather, a co-facilitator [].
I hope this information helps you understand the concepts mentioned in the article. If you have any further questions or need clarification, feel free to ask!