Everything You Need to Know About Moon Ceremonies and Rituals

Guest blog post by Casey Neth of Layers of Intention.

Moon Journeys: Self Care and Rituals with the Moon as your Guide

“The Moon is a reminder that no matter what phase I am in I’m still whole” -The Minds Journal

With all the information floating around about moon grounding ceremonies, altars and crystals it is easy to get swept up in a vortex of mystic information. Before you know it you’ve ordered every metaphysical book from Amazon and have purchased copious amounts of crystals and are still unsure what to do with it all.  Here we will dip our toes into the moon phase pool and learn about ways to ground oneself, set intention(s) using crystals, alters, and self care while touching on the ever so ominous Mercury in Retrograde.  I want to emphasize that there is no wrong way in honoring the moon as well as yourself. There is much you can learn from watching and reading from others, mainly the point is following your intuition and what feels best for you and your soul.

 When one begins to connect with the moon cycles you will find a deeper connection within yourself and to everything around you. The cycles are reminders that we can process beneficially to make positive changes and lighten up heavy burdens or patterns. There are eight distinct phases in every 28-day cycle:

Moon Phases

★    New Moon:

○     The new moon is a time to listen to your intuition and allow new ideas to form and set intentions for your life. The energy of this moon is quiet 

○     New Moon sometimes may not visible in the sky, aka the dark moon. 

○     Use this time to go inward and reflect on your desires.

○      Meditate with a smoky quartz stone, obsidian, clear quartz for inspiration.

 

★     Waxing Crescent: 

○      This moon wants you to explore your curiosity and get excited!

○      Now is the time to manifest and take charge of what it is you desire

○      You may feel nervous, but excited for all the possibilities, break free!

○      Journal your intentions for this time, meditate with a rose quartz a stone that opens your heart and brings a positive influence to you

 

★    First Quarter Moon:

○      This phase is about development and tending to your planted seeds (ideas).

○      A first quarter moon is a time to take action and overcome challenges.

○      Set your intentions out loud in front of a mirror, create a feeling of gratitude

○      Meditate with or set intentions with carnelian, brings courage/confidence

 

★     Waxing Gibbous: 

○      Now is the time for improvement, refine your mindset

○      Make room to receive. You may feel in between phases or places, be patient and pay attention to patterns, words, songs, people around you

○      Journal and ask for support and the intentions you wish to set forth during this time

○      Meditate & keep citrine nearby. Citrine a stone of prosperity, breaking negative patterns, promotes success and generosity

 

★    Full Moon:

○      Full expression and celebrate how far you’ve come.

○       This a time when the moon is most powerful in it’s cycle

○       This is a time for healing and enjoying the life you’ve created, sing!

○       This moon beckons a cleanse, take a meditative bath with epsom salt, crystals like sunstone (brings joy & boosts motivation)

 

★    Waning Gibbous: 

○      Now is a time to share your gifts with the world, teach others what you know. 

○      Relish in how far you’ve come, overcoming challenges and obstacles!

○      Now is the time to give thanks and recognize your accomplishments

○      Now is the time to remove old patterns which have accumulated.  A smoky quartz is a wonderful stone to have now, it’s helps ground your dreams and helps to let go of old patterns.

  

★      Third quarter moon (also called the last quarter)

○     Release. Take note of your life, identify what you need to let go.

○      Letting go frees up energy to help you glide to the next moon phase

○      This is a time to rest and restore. Journal what you want to release. Take the paper and burn in a safe place, say out loud what you’d like to release. Take a deep breath and follow up with a meditation with an aquamarine stone

 

★    Waning Crescent 

○      Rest and restore, get very quite and still to hear your intuition

○      Now is the time to accept your transformation, adjust to this new place

○      Take time for yourself and do what’s best for your soul, take a yin yoga class, take a walk near a large body of water, take deep breaths and appreciate

○      Meditate and keep a bloodstone near.  Bloodstone assist with courage and strength and helps to resolve any worries or issues. Become confident! 

 

Moon Circles 

Moon circles are ancient ceremonies to honor the moon and a way to connect to the earth, other humans, and ground ourselves. Moon circles are typically practiced during a new or full moon, they can also be practiced with one or more persons. Ask the people who are participating to bring anything for the altar that is of symbolic importance to them, such as:

★      Feathers

★      Crystals

★     Pictures

★      Candles

★     Oracle or tarot cards

★     Incense or essential oils

- Begin setting up the altar or sacred space prior to the circle participants arrival, adding any of the items mentioned above.  

- As participants begin to arrive use a bundle of sage to cleanse each participant before they enter the circle.  

- As you light the sage have the participant stand with their arms out in a T position, carefully moving the lit sage over them (top to bottom, front to back as well as their feet) stating out loud they are in a safe space.  

- Once everyone is saged they may enter the circle, this includes saging yourself, participants may place the altar items in the altar space. 

- As the circle is in place, say a few words on how this is a sacred safe space and what is discussed in the circle does not leave the circle.

- Begin the circle ceremony with a 5 minute meditation, this can be a guided (by yourself or another chosen individual) or can simply be a silent meditation or one with low music playing in the background.

- Next discuss what kind of moon we are experiencing and have everyone write on a piece of paper what their intention for the moon is, to let go, keep going, accept change, shift perspective, create more, slow down or start again, whatever their heart calls them to write. 

- Everyone can either choose to say their intention out loud or keep it to themselves.  The tendency of an intention seems stronger when said out loud. After a person shares, all say together “And so it is”. 

- If you decide you can gather everyone’s intention place it in a burn safe container and light them on fire (responsibility), symbolizing letting go. 

- End the circle with another 5 minute meditation, then thanking everyone for giving themselves this time and space to be.  A poem or quote maybe read to conclude the circle. 

-The altar pieces are then collected by each individual and brought home to their own respectable altar space, however that may look to them.  Altar’s are up to the individual and what they feel needs to be added, it can be pictures, crystals/stones, tokens or deities.  

  

Mercury in Retrograde

         I am sure we have all at one time or another had a friend or two blame their misfortunes on Mercury in Retrograde.  Although this time period maybe a dreaded one, there are many benefits we can learn from and take away so as to not be weary of this time frame. 

Mercury in Retrograde is a period of time lasting for three and a half weeks and occurring three (sometimes four) times a year where the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards. Because the planet Mercury is the closest to the sun it’s orbit is shorter than planet Earth. When Mercury speeds past Earth three different times during the year we on Earth experience what is called  Mercury in Retrograde, the celestial disturbance Mercury causes affects us here on Earth.  

What areas of life can we expect disruption? 

The planet Mercury rules all sorts of communication, listening, speaking, emails, text messages, editing, negotiations, selling, and buying.  Mercury also rules over agreement, contracts, term papers, deeds, wills and leases.  One may find at this time that any sort of travel plans including flights, rental cars, hotel reservations may turn nonsensical. All of this happens because during this time astrologically Mercury is sleeping and since it rules all the above factors it leaves us to figure out how to manage our lives in a time of topsy turvy! 

So what do we do during this time? 

After reading all the ways Mercury in Retrograde can send our lives in a tailspin, there are things we can do here on Earth to protect our energy and maybe avoid any potential mishaps.   

 - During this time it’s important to be mindful of the energy, this includes avoid signing or agreeing to any new contracts.  

- Also try avoid making any huge decisions, changing jobs, moving, signing any new leases and definitely not launch any brand, movie or project. 

- If possible do not plan any vacation or trips until the three week retrograde period is complete.

- Be wary of the ex that writes or contacts you during this time, this too happens all too often and we can be fooled into believing that they came back into our life because they miss us, not always the case.  Mercury has a tendency to dredge up old finished business, leave it in the past. 

Do back up any work you have on your computer, tablet or phone to a cloud or hard drive since Mercury also rules over electronics. 

-Do try and be patient with people and communication, this includes with your partner, bosses, friendships, what we say and what we mean can be misconstrued. 

-Do try and remain calm and grounded, this includes, writing, journaling, meditation, yoga, reiki sessions, tarot and oracle card pulls (for guidance or reassurance) and hot baths. 

Mercury in Retrograde Dates for 2019:

March 5 – 28, 2019 in water-sign Pisces

July 7 – 31, 2019 starts in fire-sign Leo, completes as water-sign Cancer

October 31 – November 20, 2019 in water-sign Scorpio

2020 

February 18 – March 9, 2020 in water-sign Pisces, completes as air-sign Aquarius

June 17 – July 12, 2020 in water-sign Cancer

October 13 – November 3, 2020 in water-sign Scorpio, completes as air-sign Libra

Much of what we do during this time maybe unavoidable, like needing to sign up with a new position at a job, or needing to move within the three week time period.  Do not panic.  Not every contract signed during this time is doomed, tread with caution and be optimistic about the experience and outcome, try and not let negative feelings or energy disrupt your moving forward. 

There is a shadow period two weeks prior and two weeks after Mercury in Retrograde and although during this time it may seem scary and precautious, just remember to pace yourself,  remain calm and pay attention to your intuition, it always has your back and best interest in mind and allow Mercury in Retrograde to work in your favor. 

About the author Casey

            Casey is a first year student at Saybrook University, studying for her Masters in Mind-Body Medicine as well as studying her year long Luminous Path Shamanic training. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches kids mindfulness and meditation and is Usui Reiki Level two certified practitioner.  Find her here at Layers of Intentions.

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