Spiritual Health

Everything You Need to Know About New Moon Rituals

Photo: Getty Images / wenben
You've seen them referenced on social media. You may have even been invited to one. But what, exactly, is a new moon ritual—and why should you try one?

"In astrology, the moon represents our emotions," explains Ruby Warrington, the founder of the esoteric online magazine The Numinous and author of Material Girl, Mystical World, The Numinous Astrodeck, and other books. The new moon, as she explains, "is an invitation to go inward and be with our emotions [and] our inner-voice to find what our truth is in this moment, so that we can plant the seeds for what we want to create and manifest and bring out at the new full moon."

Nikki Novo, a spiritual teacher and medium, adds that the new moon, being the lunar cycle’s first phase, serves as a monthly reminder for us to think about what we desire, set inventions for those desires, and then ask the universe to support us in bringing them to fruition—hence, why the new moon is referred to as the wish-setting phase. The new moon is a gentle reminder of what you are trying to create,” Novo says. “It provides a time in the month for reflection on your creation powers. If we’re consistent with following the new moon phase, the moon becomes our accountability partner in reminding us to look at the things we are trying to manifest and tweak as needed every month.”

In other words, think of new moon rituals as vision-boarding, only supercharged with astrological energy. And no, you definitely shouldn't feel intimidated. "You say the word 'ritual' and instantly images come up of, like, an altar and candles and special chanting that we all need to know—but actually, I see a ritual as any sort of practice that's designed to help bring forth an intention that you're setting," says Warrington. Whether it's lighting a candle or practicing a little bit of self-care, "any of those things become rituals when there's some kind of conscious intention behind them."

So what exactly should you do as the moon disappears in the sky?

How to prepare for new moon rituals

To prepare for a new moon ritual, first decide on a space you’ll do your ritual. Novo recommends doing it either by a window or outside, if possible, to soak up the moon’s energy. Then start gathering all the necessary spiritual tools.

In particular, Novo recommends having a notebook and pen to write down your intentions (and/or sticky notes—more on this in a bit), a few candles (new moon rituals are best done in the dark with moonlight, she says), a deck of tarot or oracle cards, and a small “wishing box” where you can place your written intentions.

You can also go all out and create circles out of flowers and crystals or bring other elements that relate to the current season or the sign the moon is in such as leaves for fall or a bowl of water for Cancer season.

All that said, if you don’t have some of these items or you just don’t resonate with using them, that’s totally cool. Adjust the new moon ritual according to your preferences and make it your own.

Ritual basics: what to include in your new moon rituals

As with many spiritual practices, Novo emphasizes that there is no one right or wrong way to perform a new moon ritual.. What’s most important for reaping the rewards (i.e. manifesting your wishes) is that you actually do the ritual and do so consistently for every new moon.

While the core parts of a new moon ritual—the beginning and end, in particular—can stay the same month after month, Novo adds that depending on the moon’s astrology that month, meaning what sign the new moon is taking place in, you can also infuse that new moon’s theme into your ritual. For example, if the new moon is in Aries, you can work on journal prompts that relate to Aries-themed topics.

New moon ritual beginning

1. Put away your phone

Set aside 20-30 minutes where you know you can reflect and—yes, this is crucial—not be checking your phone. "Choose a time of day when you can actually really be quiet with yourself," says Warrington. "Maybe meditate for a few minutes before you begin just to clear out the chatter."

2. Connect with your divine team

To spiritually prepare yourself for the new moon ritual, Novo recommends starting by calling in and connecting with your divine team to support you through the ritual and to ensure that it’s done with love and light and for the highest good for you and the collective. Your divine team, she says, could be ancestors, spirit guides, or natural elements.

3. Thank the moon

Novo also advises thanking the moon as well for support in manifesting your intentions. “You can do this with a poem written about the moon, a crystal grid in the shape of the moon, a moon prayer, singing, or a dance under the sky,” she says.

New moon ritual middle

This is the part of the new moon ritual where you can do whatever you feel called to do and that may change from month to month. Here are some ideas to get you going.

1. Pick a crystal

No need to surround yourself with a garden of shiny rocks or obsess over meaning—just reach for one that's calling you at that very moment. "It's not like, 'Oh, it's the new moon so it has to be this crystal,'" Warrington notes.

2. Light a candle

"Fire is actually very symbolic for the new moon because fire is like a cleansing," says Warrington. "It allows us to burn off anything that has to go before we start the new month."

3. Pull a card

Whether it's from a tarot deck, an animal spirit deck, or whatever option you're feeling, Warrington recommends selecting just one card that will be your symbolic visual aid throughout the next 14 days.

Or, alternatively, Novo suggests pulling cards and asking for guidance in regards to what intentions you should set and how to bring them to reality.

New moon ritual ending

While you have creative freedom to switch things up during the middle part of your new moon ritual, the key part of the ritual is, of course, setting your intentions for the lunar cycle ahead so that’s what the finale of the ritual should focus on.

1. Write out your intentions

Nothing fancy, just spend a few moments journaling about what you want to bring in that month. "It's really quite simple," Warrington promises. “Your intentions are like offerings that you’re presenting to the moon, which is why I like to have individual papers [like sticky notes] during the ritual,” Novo adds. “But, I also like to keep them in a journal so I don’t forget my wishes.”

2. Put them somewhere special

To wrap up your new moon ritual, Novo recommends placing the intentions you wrote down on sticky notes and either burying them in the dirt outside or placing them in a special wishing box. “Connect to your heart and place them there with a lot of gratitude,” she says. Then, “repeat the phrase ‘and it is done’ reminding you that your wishes are fulfilled.”

3. Thank the moon

Lastly, Novo instructs thanking the moon, similar to how you did in the beginning, in whatever way resonates with you. And if you're compelled to finish off the ritual with a bit of sacred chanting, well, more power to you.

Optional new moon ritual add-ons

Hands down, the beauty of new moon rituals is that they can be as minimal or as extra as your mystical heart sees fit. If you’re craving to dive a bit deeper, here are some optional new moon ritual add-ons you can try.

Look at your natal chart: If you’re astrologically savvy and know your way around your birth chart, Novo recommends pulling up your chart along with the moon’s chart to see what areas of your life the new moon may trigger.

Create an altar: To keep the high-vibes going all month long, consider creating a new moon altar filled with things that tap into the energy you want to call in. "Creating a New Moon ritual is about creating a place where you dedicate yourself to your own healing work, a shrine to all that you have created and are creating, and an affirmation of all that you are dedicating yourself to,” astrologer and moon expert Chani Nicholas previously told Well + Good.

Invite your friends: While new moon rituals can definitely be done solo, there’s something quite magical about throwing a new moon party and gathering your friends and setting intentions together. Sipping rosé is encouraged.

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