Full moons, which happen approximately once a month, are potent opportunities for folks to look at the bright side, says astrologer Celeste Brooks. “A full moon is a time of reflection and of celebration,” she says, adding that this phase gives people the chance to look back at the previous 30-ish days and identify all that they've accomplished.
This is also a time when emotions may be running high, though, because there’s an essence of culmination to each full moon. For that reason, it’s a good idea to set intentions during the new moon and use the full moon to reflect on past seasons.
In addition to shifting through phases, the moon goes into a new zodiac sign every month. For instance, on March 31, April 1, and April 2, there will be a new moon in self-starting Aries, which may inspire people to tirelessly go after what they want. After that, there’s a Taurus new moon, which may bring up questions about values and resources. Becoming familiar with which sign the moon is in can help you figure out which personality traits you may need to tap into for a given full moon ritual.
“The cycle comes back again every month, but it has a different nature. It's evolving energy,” says Brooks. Since the moon goes through the same cycles each month, it stands to reason that there’s something to be learned when it’s shining the brightest—and there are expect-backed ways to do that.
Keep reading to learn Brooks’s nine tips for making a full moon ritual that’ll help you live your best life.
9 self-care practices to include in your full moon rituals
If you want to get the full benefits of having a full moon ritual, it might be wise to actually go outside and spend some time moonlight, says Brooks. If you can, try meditating outdoors—although a cozy, serene spot indoors near a window will work, too. If you have crystals, Brooks suggests bringing them with you to charge in the moonlight.
2. Celebrating any wins you’ve had in the last month
The sun represents ego, creative energy, and what we output—but the moon is about emotions, so taking space to be proud of yourself for all that you’ve accomplished is a good idea as far as full moon rituals go. “Celebrating wins really brings your conscious and subconscious minds together in a way that helps acknowledge the work you've done,” says Brooks, adding that it’s important to pat yourself on the back, because doing so might just motivate you to keep going.
3. Releasing what no longer serves you
“We set intentions at the new moon and have the best desires to move them forward, but as we go, we realize that we might have been too optimistic,” says Brooks. Unrealistic expectations are but one example of something that might no longer be serving you. “We release what we thought we could do…and get a sense of acceptance of what we can do,” Brooks adds.
You might also let go of “negative” emotions like jealousy, anger, fear, or anxiety. “Give them to the moon and, and try to intentionally go through, and work through, what the emotion is,” says Brooks.
“The full moon is the best time to practice self-reflection because there's 100 percent light and there's maximum exposure,” says Brooks, adding that we can see the entirety of the moon during this phase. “You can see the whole issue rather than just parts of it,” Brooks adds, which means that you might be able to see, more fully, what you’ve done right (or would like to keep doing) and what you wish you could’ve done differently (or would avoid doing in the future). “It's illuminating,” Brooks says.
5. Getting together with friends
The full moon might also spark a desire to connect with friends, so you can talk about what you’re working on and get feedback from other people about how you might best move forward. You don’t have to throw a Gatsby-esque gala, though. Simply getting together with friends at home would suffice, says Brooks, so long as you’re being intentional about the conversations.
6. Workinging on what you already started (not starting something new)
Because the full moon is a culmination and not a starting point, you should be continuing to work on what you started instead of looking to what else you may want to embark on, says Brooks. This can be relational (like if you recently started dating someone), but it can also extend to passion projects or self-care rituals. Instead of trying something new, consider how you might improve future processes by learning from the ones you’re currently engaged in.
7. Moving with caution
At the full moon, emotions run high, so you want to avoid acting impulsively. Try to give yourself some perspective before making any decisions, especially if they’re big ones, says Brooks. Without taking time to think things through, it’s possible the choices you make might be regrettable, Brooks adds.
8. Including the elements
In order to give your full moon ritual a well-rounded framework, Brooks encourages you to bring in the four elements: fire, Earth, air, and water. To tick the fire box, you might consider lighting a candle or incense. To get Earth in your full moon ritual, Brooks suggests setting crystals or flowers on the table or being barefoot on the grass. Because air rules intellectual processes, you could journal to hit that mark. And, as far as water goes, you can do something as simple as placing a bowl of H2O near you or taking a bath (extra points if you add Epsom salt).
9. Give yourself a tarot reading
To be sure, Brooks says that reading tarot during the full moon is a great addition to any ritual because it can bring up things you might not have thought of. During this lunar phase, she opts for a three-card spread and asks:
- What is being illuminated?
- What do I need to release?
- What should I share?
When there’s a new moon, it’s a perfect time to set intentions around how you want the month ahead to look. If the moon is full, though, see it as the universe’s way of telling you to recharge, reflect, and reconnect.
“When you create the space to do reflecting, rather than just moving through life without a ritual,” says Brooks, “it helps our conscious and subconscious minds connect and keep bringing forth creativity.”
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