This article is an offering to the group of folks who are joining me in an informal 60 day journey of cultivating wellness and vitality. January 2017 is a time within the US where conversations of justice, resistance, community building, healing, and resilience are needed more than ever. May our practices of cultivating wellness in mind, body, heart, and spirit nurture our ability to disrupt oppressive systems and patterns within ourselves and our society.
Full moons are powerful times to do work. Many cultures across the world recognize full moons as great outpourings of energy. One of my teachers would describe it as a time of amplification and thus, a time for responsibility. If this is a time for amplification, what are you manifesting for this world? What are you manifesting for yourself?
For those who are new to working with planetary energy, consider the following: imagine that coordinating certain actions with planetary alignments is like adjusting your ship’s sails to best utilize the wind. In this scenario, we are using the natural energetic input of the moon’s energy to more easily make an impact.
Because of such exhilarating potential, today is a powerful day to develop and clarify intentions; quiet the mind and listen to our heart and belly; connect to self through meditation or prayer; engage in self expression via journaling and art; and/or ask ourselves the important yet sometimes scary questions.
There is much to be said about the multi-faceted impact of ritual on an individual and communal level- but for this context, I’m going to keep it personal. In short, I enjoy ritual because it helps me focus energetically, mentally, emotionally, and physically on the task at hand and it brings more meaning and insight to the experience. I feel that it unites all aspects of my being as well as establishes a connection with the spiritual realm- whether I’m feeling it or not! (Side note: it took me some time to reclaim ritual from a negative association with the catholic church; but it actually has been so enlightening that I now appreciate all ritual- EVEN in the catholic church!)
A Simple Full Moon Ritual
What You’ll Need:
- Mason jar full of clean water
- Paper and art supplies
- Optional: Herbal tea and instrumental music
- Optional: If desired or struggling with distraction or getting grounded, consider making some herbal tea and playing some chill instrumental music. The tea will help calm your nervous system and pull you more into the moment. The music can help create an ambiance that is supportive to this work.
- Fill a jar with filtered water and place it in your work space. If you don’t have a jar, no worries- put it in a cup (preferably glass). We are using water for two reasons- first, as a symbol of the moon’s relationship with the earth and second, as a conduit for building and holding energy.
- Light a candle. Say a prayer, recite your intention, invite any religious or spiritual entities to aid you in this process, or simply take a few breaths to watch the flame and get centered into the space.
- Create. This is where you will be exploring the questions and intentions that brought you here. You are encouraged to doodle, to sketch, to use colors, to draw symbols, to cut and paste images from magazines, etc along the edges or throughout your page(s).
a. On the Front, answer the question:
What are you wanting in your life and how are you using these next 60 days to reach for it?
Here are two examples of what answers might look like:
I cultivate inner and outer STRENGTH in my life. I invite you in with 15 mins of daily physical movement to remind me of the power and blessing of my fleshy body and beating heart. I invite you in with a daily practice of saying something kind to myself so that I am reminded of my talents, my inherent worth, and the ways in which I am already fucking phenomenal.
I welcome PATIENCE into my life. I welcome you through the daily practice of taking 5 deep breaths when I am most upset to remember that I have choices, to remind myself of what’s most important to me, and to remember what I’m working toward. I welcome you through the daily practice of making sure I eat and drink water regularly so that my body has the best chances of supporting me in a maintaining healthy perspective.
b. On the Back, allow yourself to free write whatever is coming up for you. Or considering answering the following questions:
- What is most important to me?
- How am I living my life in a way that is reflecting these values?
- How can I better align myself to reflect these values in my life choices?
- What do I need to make this happen?
- How can I ask for support in making this happen?
- What are the ways in which I can take better care of myself?
- What are ways in which I can better care for this world and all the beings in it?
- How is caring for self and others intertwined?
- Say Goodbye: If you invited any religious or spiritual entities, remember to thank them for their support and let them go.
- Moon Water: Place the jar of water outside or on a window sill to receive the moon’s energy (even if the moon is behind clouds). Drink it throughout the next morning- recalling your intention and how it felt in your body.
- Keeping the Momentum Alive: Consider keeping your artwork/paper/talisman somewhere where you can see it daily. If privacy is a concern, keep it somewhere safe but remind yourself to revisit it throughout this journey. You could also light the candle daily as a reminder of your intentions and as a quick and simple mindful and/or spiritual practice.
Have questions or want to share your experience? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org