Ooo, la lune, la luna, an ghealach, in any language, she is hypnotic, magical (and magickal), and empowering. If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook (and if not, go do that now! We'll wait...) you know how obsessed we are with her. People have long followed the phases of the moon and looked to her light for strength, enchantment, and stability. In my Celtic heritage, the seasons and moon phases play important roles in one's wellness and intuition. And tomorrow's lunar eclipse aka super moon aka blood moon on the annual Wolf Moon, has us wanting to explore her mystery and magic.
Why follow the phases of the moon? For me, the answer is not only based in the mystic, but also science. Look at it this way: we are made of about 60% water and the moon controls the earth's largest element: the ocean (about 71% of the earth is water). If the moon is responsible of the ebb and flow of the tides, why not consider it could have some influence on us as well? Just sit with that fact for a moment.
So now that you know at least one reason why you should follow the moon (and can feel justified in using her phases as a means to fine-tune your life), what now? Learning the dates of the phases can be a helpful guide. Basically, each phase benefits us in different ways.
New Moon: just as you might imagine, this is the best time for new beginnings and fresh starts. The time is optimal to start new projects, new friendships, new jobs, plant seeds in the ground (literal and figurative), lay the ground work for future plans.
Waxing Moon: this is the time between the New and the Full Moon, where the moon increases in size. Let this be symbolic of growth. So, it's great time to invest, learn new skills, absorb information, read, research, study hard, add to you savings, etc.
Full Moon: the most powerful time for rituals and spell work. Redirect bad or stale energy. This is an important time to set intensions and work on manifestation. Many Wiccans make sure to set out their crystals and other ritual tools in the light of the moon (usually a window) to recharge them. Energy is high and the fullness of the moon represents abundance. Notice accomplishments and focus on renewal. Indulge in some alone/self care time, get a massage or manicure, cook a yummy meal, visit the ocean/beach, go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, treat yourself, commune with nature, meet-up with close friends, celebrate. And don't forget to spread good vibes, kindness, and empower others (it will come back to you).
Waning Moon: the time between the Full and New Moon. It is decreasing in size, so follow it's lead. This is a powerful time to let go, change bad habits, lose weight, gracefully deal with challenges.
What specifically can you do to celebrate the moon and tap into her power for guidance, spirituality, and intuition? Here are a few suggestions:
-Candles are always a good idea, let the flame symbolize and emulate her light. Various candle scents and colors represent different qualities (brief examples: lavender is great for relaxation. Cedar is good for calming and aids wisdom. The color purple is a great color for divination, meditation, and creativity. White is great for healing, enlightenment, and purification).
-Gemstones are another typical ritual tool and each has specific symbolization/benefits (quick examples: AMETHYST: represents balancing, heals, good luck, calms, cleanses. ROSE QUARTZ: peace, detoxing, comforts grief, soothes anger, love). Stones are a sensual, tactical element that we can carry with us or keep on a desk or counter to symbolize and radiate positive vibrations.
-Baths are also good, as they typically force us to slow down, be present, and practice self care. We offer seasonal Full Moon soaks, including Wolf Moon and Blood Moon as well as botanical soaks made with dried herbs, essential oils, and four types of therapeutic salts. Using bath soaks are very helpful and greatly beneficial to the body and the mind. And if you are able, literally laying out in the light of the moon and absorbing her light is another way to recharge the spirit.
-Moon phases are also a perfect time to tune-in. Meditate, be present, tap into your inner voice. Some people use scrying (via water, flame, or crystals) as a means to focus and hear intuition.
-Walking in nature, camping (especially with a campfire/bonfire), or gardening are also lovely ways to celebrate and honor the moon.
-Essential oils are another perfect sensory device. Just like gemstones, each oil has specific properties associated with it that can benefit your mood, health, and general wellness. Whether you use them in a bath, anoint candles with them, diffuse them, or wear diluted blends as subtle aromatherapy perfume, they are powerful plant medicine. Used in conjunction with the moon phases, they are all the more powerful.
-Teas are also a soothing practice to use during moon rituals. Herbal teas are best and you should drink your brew mindfully, savoring the flavors, the warmth, and the healing nature of plants.
-Herbs are another fantastic go-to for rituals. You can grow you own, buy loose incense, or even use spices from you kitchen (aka kitchen witchery). All countries have long traditions of using herbs as ritual tools. I encourage you to explore your heritage and discover what the indigenous folk magic of your long ago lands used.
What do you do to celebrate the moon? What rituals do you enjoy?