There is something so intriguing, inspiring, and influential about lunar energies—if you're anything like me, you may find yourself to be more reflective and slow around new moons, or invigorated, stimulated, and largely sleepless around full moons, ebbing and flowing like ocean tides according to the light at night.
The moon’s movement through the 12 zodiacal constellations also influences the particular quality of energy being stirred up; within this lies the potential for deep reflection, contemplation, and growth. Rituals can offer a wonderful way to work in tandem with the power of the moon, whether they involve invocations under the dark skies of the new moon, or cathartic releasing under the swell of the full moon.
Cycles of the Moon
If you are at all familiar with the tarot card-reading system (the intuitive arts are also closely linked with the moon), you may know that the aces represent new beginnings, offerings, opportunities, and sparks of insight and inspiration, while the 10s bookend each suit by representing endings, culminations, completion, or the closing out of a cycle. We can understand the strength of the new moon as aligning with the aces, so rituals around this time are most fruitful if they focus on what new energies, opportunities, or beginnings we would like to manifest.
Full moon time aligns with the 10 cards, it is the time in the month where we have had our fill, and can best reflect on what needs to be released, on what’s nearing the end of a cycle, on letting go of our attachments to people, situations, or energies that no longer serve us. The new moon is opening a door, whereas the full moon is about using the wisdom we’ve gained to understand which doors we now need to close.
What is so beautiful about tuning in to the cycles of the moon is that we are offered an opportunity to become conscious of what we really want or where we want to go, and also of what we no longer need. You might choose to work in a ritual around journaling, or writing down your clear manifestations on a small piece of paper and either burying them (new moon) or burning them (full moon). Or you might consider following a moon bathing ritual, which is a way to work with the cleansing water element (ruled by the moon!) to set intentions, contemplate, and reflect upon your life each month.
Since this may be a new concept for a lot of you, we’ve put together a guide on how to create your own moon bath ritual. These are guidelines only, please feel free to adapt or modify your personal rituals in whichever ways are most meaningful to you. If you're not one to follow the cycles of the moon closely, the Farmer's Almanac Moon Phase Calendar is a great tool to follow in planning your rituals.
Creating a Moon Bath Ritual
For any moon related ritual, I like to incorporate the elemental powers of water, air, earth, and fire together. If you want to work with the new moon, or new beginning “aces” power, the number one is very powerful. Light one candle, choose one crystal, and add one scent to your bath to enliven the air. If you are focusing on the releasing potential of the full moon, think abundance and feel free to add more of everything when setting the stage.
Set an Intention
It’s very important in any manifesting/releasing ritual to get clear on what you’re doing and why. Some of you may want to sit beside the tub as if fills and write down what you are hoping to manifest in a journal, while others may choose to mentally set their intention, or even speak it aloud. Add in 1 cup of Epsom salts or a few handfuls of Himalayan pink salts if you have it, as salt has long been used in rituals for its ability to balance and cleanse energy. As the water runs, consider what you are invoking or releasing:
For the new moon: What doors would you like to open? What obstacles are you hoping to move past? What would you like more of in your life? What seeds are you planting? What are you hoping to grow? Envision this or reflect upon it in your journal as your bath is running.
For the full moon: What needs to be released? What heavy burden is no longer yours to carry? Who or what needs to be let go of in order to welcome in fresh, new potential? What cycle has come to a close that you would like to honor with a ritual of completion?
The fire element is an essential part of any ritual, whether it is focusing on manifestation or release, as it represents the power of initiation and action. If there are things you would like to welcome into your life, there will need to be motion and motivation in the real world behind it. Set a candle, or a group of candles, by your bath and turn out the lights.
For the new moon: As you light your candle, ask for a door to be opened; envision movement and action surrounding your intention.
For the full moon: As you light your candle(s), ask for release from any ties that bind you, envision heavy cords being cut, and focus on releasing past or old, stagnant energies so that you can make room for beautiful new blessings.
Incorporating the vibration of earth helps to ground our intentions and offers them a solid foundation. Choose a crystal that aligns well with what you’re looking to manifest/release, and if the mineral/stone is hard enough (ie. if it has a Mohs scale hardness of over 6—you’ll need to look this up), you can add your crystal(s) directly into your bath water. If it’s not hard enough to withstand being submerged in water, you can set it near your bath.
For the new moon: As you add/set your crystals, ask for your visions to be grounded in the element of earth, supported and rooted with the strength and stability they need in order to grow.
For the full moon: Tune into your crystals and ask them to absorb the energies you are carrying that you no longer need or that burden you or keep you down. If your crystals are in the bath with you, you might also envision them taking on whatever heavy/negative vibrations you are hoping to release. It’s a good idea to cleanse and charge your crystals after they have done any heavy lifting, so if you’re putting a lot into them, consider that in the days following.
Note: If you don’t have any crystals to use for this ritual, you can bring in the grounding energy of earth in other ways. You could add flowers or herbs to your bath. A stem of eucalyptus is wonderful if you have it, but flower petals, or herb bundles work very well (put them in a small mesh bag to keep pieces out of your drain if they are small). I fully support this idea of working with what you have, so if that means a small stone from your garden, then so be it! Set your intention as you would when working with the crystals.
The air element governs the realm of the breath, the mind, and communication. Enlivening the air with scent or sound is a great way to stimulate clarity of consciousness when setting intentions. Choose an essential oil that aligns well with what you are calling in or closing out—love/relationships work with florals such as rose, jasmine, or geranium oil, whereas career/material realm works better with strong tree oils such as cedar or pine. Citrus is great for calling in anything playful or uplifting, whereas lavender, ylang ylang, or clary sage is best for releasing, for emotional healing and support.
If you would like to add in sound, I suggest choosing something with a singular, clear vibration such as crystal bowls, or Tibetan singing bowls; the choice of music should support your ability to get into alignment, rather than act as a distraction. Silent rituals are also beautiful.
For the new moon: Add a few drops of essential oil into your bath water. Inhale deeply—inhalations are vibrant and uplifting—tuning in to the mental energy surrounding your manifestation; ask for the ability to think clearly, to be able to communicate with kindness, openness, and compassion.
For the full moon: As you add a few drops of your essential oil (or blend of a few complimentary oils (to align with the abundance of this moon), breathe deeply and focus on your exhalations, which is the body’s way of releasing tension. Bring to mind what you are working to release, and visualize this energy getting smaller and smaller with every out-breath.
Since the moon is most closely aligned with water, the bath itself is the main event. Now that you’ve set the stage with the other elements in support of your vision, it’s time to submerge yourself. Water is often used in sacred rituals to symbolize purification and transformation. It not only literally washes away the dirt that we carry, it energetically cleanses as well.
Relax into the water and clear your mind. You have embedded your intention with the energies of the elements, and now it is time to surrender, to trust in the seeds that you’ve planted, in your ability to heal, transform, and to shed the proverbial skins of the past. Give yourself at least 20 minutes in your bath, as you'll need some time to fully settle into the charge of what you've created.
I believe that one of the most powerful offerings that we can put behind our manifestations is gratitude. Being thankful and aware of our blessings sets us in a vibration that aligns with abundance, and also keeps us elevated above petty attachments that keep us stuck in the past.
As you drain your bath and watch the water flow away, take a moment to offer gratitude for all of the goodness you have in your life, for what lessons your challenges have taught you, and for the strength and vision that has carried you this far in life. Visualize the draining water washing away all that you have released, or carrying all that you have planted outward to manifest. After you've dried off, in gratitude, blow out your candles, and put your crystals away or return your earth elements outside.
Whether you decide to practice with the new moon, the full moon, or both, taking some special time out to reflect, to get clear, and turn inward on a monthly basis is a way to stay aligned with the life you envision for yourself.4