I've read a lot out there about moon ceremonies, and I've written a number of articles about how to perform them. But it's really easy to get this sh*t twisted.
In fact, just this weekend I overheard someone talking about doing a manifesting ritual with the full moon on June 9, when in fact the full moon isn't even the right time to do a manifesting ritual.
So? Who cares?
Well, the rituals of the lunar calendar are linked to the symbolic fullness of the moon and to all the stages in-between, including a new moon, a waxing moon, and a waning moon.
If you are going to use the lunar calendar to guide your life, you should think of these moon phases the same way a farmer thinks of the seasons; each phase represents an opportunity for growth in a specific area alone.
Doing a manifesting ritual on the full moon is about as useful as harvesting strawberries in October.
So, to correct any misunderstandings around the stages of the lunar cycle, what they represent, and how to use them to your advantage, I've cleared some of this up and included some fun tips for how to celebrate every full moon.
Hint: It involves presents!
The new moon is for manifesting new intentions.
The new moon is actually the time for manifesting. Because the moon is new, it represents a fresh slate, a new beginning, a time to consider what you hope to achieve.
A manifestation ritual can involve either writing down what you hope to achieve or what you hope to let go of over the next six months.
You can do this any number of ways: by crafting a vision board on your own (or with friends), by envisioning your goals in a meditation and imagining what it would actually feel like to achieve them, or even by getting together with people who have already achieved what you hope to.
By hanging with people who have what you want and observing their attitudes and outlooks, you're given a chance to see what you might need to change about your own.
You might feel like you're visiting a human zoo and taking anthropological notes, but whatever. As long as can use these to set your intentions, you've done a good job.
If your intention is to let go of old habits or beliefs, write those down on a piece of paper and find a safe place to burn them. As you burn them, focus on what it feels like to let these things go.
Surround yourself with crystals that will support you in your efforts, like Citrine for developing a more positive attitude, or Smoky Quartz, for letting go of old beliefs that prevent you from reaching your fullest potential.
The waxing moon is for taking action.
After the new moon, the moon enters its waxing phase, where it begins to grow in fullness. This affects those of us on earth by endowing us with a little more extroverted, action-oriented energy.
Think of the waxing moon as phase two of your manifesting ritual by taking actions toward the goals you set at the new moon. Adding action to your intentions is what brings your goals to life.
Think of it this way: as the moon ripens, so do your personal goals.
The full moon is a time of ripening and gratitude.
The full moon is a time of fullness; I like to think of it as a time of everything coming full circle.
Even when I don't have time to do a full moon ceremony or ritual, I will always mark down the full moon in my calendar and write down all the cool things that come to fruition at that time. Then I'll check back to the new moon intentions I'd set six months earlier and see which of those came full circle.
Committing to a monthly full moon ritual can be tough, and coming up with your own can be time-consuming.
One thing I found to be a fun reminder and helpful in developing my own ritual was signing up for Moon Box, a "Witchcraft Subscription Box" that comes with a bunch of spiritual tools.
This month's box came with crystals, aromatherapy oils, a lucid dreaming elixir (we tend to sleep a lot during times when the moon is full), and ideas for rituals to perform.
The waning moon is for slowing down and reflecting.
The full moon ritual gives us time to be thankful for everything we have, but we may find that we're coming up short for sh*t we are grateful for, because sometimes life sucks.
Luckily, the waning phase that comes after the full moon is the perfect time to slow down and start thinking about what it is we can do to change.
Now is not the time to necessarily do anything, so much as the time to start thinking about what it is we want to do next.
It's a time for reviewing and revising the way we have been talking to ourselves, to learn what we can from our mistakes, and it's usually the most difficult period of the lunar cycle for those of us who are used to a fast-paced world.
If you make this period of rest productive by giving into it, by journaling, meditating, and spending some time in deep thought, you'll be ready by the next new moon to set an intention and to leap into action in the next waxing period.