Being aware of the moon’s phases is a great way to start building magical habits and getting familiar with different types of intentions and actions. Think of the moon as a beginner’s weekly planner, separating every month into four sections. This ‘planner’ will help us become more mindful of not just ourselves at different times of the month, but of the universe, the energies around us, what pushes and pulls may be at play, how we feed into them, and how we can use them.
Full Moon & A Ritual Guide
Fully illuminated, brightening the sky, forceful, 100% visible, and beautiful, the full moon is a time to step into your own light, your own power. It is likely you are most powerful in your practice during this time of the month. This is another great time to manifest– to fully believe that in your practice, in your magic, in yourself, and in this universe, you have the power to make things happen simply with those tools and beliefs only. It is bigger than setting beginning intentions or taking steps towards a goal. It is truly believing in the magic inside and around you, that that is the power behind any and all actions in your practice. It is more cosmic. However, what you do on the full moon is simple: it’s up to you.
Whatever form of practice you feel drawn to during this time, whatever goal, whatever action, that is the one you should do. One of the most common misconceptions in witchcraft is being told there is only one way to do it. When magic = your intention + your action, you are the most important component. Never ignore what feels right, regardless of what you’ve heard.* It can be a time of rest, celebration, gratitude, manifestation, calling, release, or something else.
I tend to do a lot of nitty gritty work during the waxing moon, and so the full moon is a time to sit back, appreciate what I’ve done, reflect on my intentions and manifestations, and show gratitude for the universe and for myself. I usually take a break from work (I am lucky enough to work from home and set my own hours), spend time doing something that makes me happy like making art or cooking or watching movies, and in the evening get together with practicing friends to eat, drink, and be merry.
The full moon is also a great time for these other things!
— Connect with higher energies (e.g.: ancestors, spirits, angels, guides), as well as those in your community. If you haven’t found practitioners in your area, there are many online communities to join. As for higher energies, this can mean your higher self, your inner child, your guardian angel, deities, and more. Read up on ways to start practicing making those connections through things such as meditation, offerings, and rituals.
— Cleanse and charge your tools. Many witches, you’ll find, set out their crystals overnight during the full moon. We’ll touch more on this in an Amplifications section, but here’s the gist:
Tools, primarily crystals, set outside under the full moon bathe in the glow and become charged with her energy. Some believe this is simply a lunar charge, others, myself included, also consider it a monthly cleansing. I personally set out anything that can stand to be outside overnight (consider temperature, moisture, wildlife) including my tarot decks, my pendulum, herbs, candles, and more. I often charge jewelry and nail polish during the full moon as well, to help bring her energy into my day when I wear them. Again, more on this in the Amplifications section, but you can even charge water and yourself! *Swoons at the thought of a moonlit bath*
Lastly, the full moon is a time of heightened feelings.
Tempers can be short, emotions can feel more intense, and things we may have been pushing down come leaping up from our sub- or unconscious. This is a good time to acknowledge them, if not also dig deeper into and work on. Be gentle with yourself; feelings are valid if you feel them. Your behavior based on those feelings and finding out where they came from is what’s more important: it’s where growth happens and it’s often uncomfortable.
Make an offering to the moon and the universe for how they have helped you this previous month, or simply for just existing.
This may be showing gratitude for strengthening your gut instincts, kicking you into action, giving you peace, or what have you. To prepare, start by meditating sometime before the moon’s fullest point and think about what she, along with the universe, has meant to you this past month. Ponder your struggles and your wins, whether you reached any goals or not, acknowledging that timing is always right. After this brainstorm session, write down the focal points or simply remember them. You will reference these on whichever night you decide to do your ritual. There is normally a 3-day window where the moon is between 98% and 100% — you don’t have to be exact.
If you’d like, think about what extra tools can help with your offering. The main offering, however, is simply you extending grateful energy. If you choose to use tools or gifts, such as setting out a bowl of water with essential oils and flower petals floating in it that have lunar associations, prepare them and set them outside. If you do not have a private or safe place to set things outside, on a windowsill or on a car dashboard are also great places!
The main night: Set yourself (and your offering/tools, if applicable) outside under the moon. Remember your meditation points from earlier that you wrote down, now clear and focused instead of a brainstorm, and think on them. This is what gives them life and energy. It doesn’t have to be studious or intense; you are just focusing your intention.
Next, and I know this is vague: do what feels right. Do you want to sing? Do you want to throw on a playlist and dance with the moon? Do you want to write a thank you note? Do you want to cook and eat with mindfulness of this life you’ve been granted? Do you want to just smile or laugh until you can’t anymore? Do you want to sit quietly? Yoga? Stretch? Cry? Scream? Stomp around? Trust what your body is calling you to do. When you feel complete, bring yourself back to your gratitude points. Close your eyes and place your hands on your body (heart, belly, give yourself a hug, whatever feels right) and incant:
“Tonight I am grateful for what’s come to pass, as I gaze at your brightest glow. I’m excited for experiences awaiting, and bask in what we have sewn. Grant me this rest, and charge me anew, the next dawn is coming, and I’ve got more to do.” (All incantations written by me! Feel free to adjust or come up with your own… They don’t have to rhyme :).
Research/ Add to your calendar each full moon throughout the year. Depending on what culture you look at, every full moon of the year has a name. They’re often based on what holiday happens that month, what animals are often seen, the weather, what flowers bloom, what stage the harvest is at, what folklore has been passed down, and more. Learn about, follow, take part in, adjust, and incorporate this history into your own practice as you see fit (keeping in mind The Witch’s Universe dedication to dismantling white supremacy & Western-centrism).
*Doing what feels right does not overshadow or negate the truths about our current world, including its violent and appropriative dynamics. Do what feels right while staying in your cultural lane and being careful not to perpetuate systemic and systematic issues.