Ah, the Full Moon. It’s beauty and mystery has been revered for thousands of years. Reflecting the light of the sun, this orb of nightly enigmas echos back to us our inner most feelings and desires.
The full moon, for me, is a time of energy and emotion. It fills me with a sense of awe, and I’m usually left standing outside during the three days-staring at the hauntingly glowing orb for a few minutes before coming back to my self. It’s almost as if I’m transported to another place, mentally and emotionally, before realizing I’ve left. Zoning out, if you will.
Unlike the New Moon for us, the Full Moon is more about reverence than ritual. Halfway through it’s monthly cycle, the full moon represents plans already in motion- like a roller coaster on the precipice of the tallest climb, the full moon is the potential before the plunge. It is the growth before the fruition, the watering before the cultivating. Therefore, we don’t usually use this moon for intentions or planning- instead we use it to renew our energies and attention toward planning already in motion.
It’s light, soft and feminine, is perfect for energizing crystals, however, and I take full advantage of its illumination. Because I’m a forgetful person, I don’t bring most of my crystals outside, but instead I open up all the curtains in The Craft Room to allow the energy to come inside. There are a few that I will take outside, usually my obelisks, and I will generally place them on my back patio- but, I’ve lost quite a few crystals to the sun doing this (by forgetting to get them the next day and they bleach), so I’m more careful about the quantity I move now. I light the candles on my living room altar, as well as those on my working altar, and I let the magick move on its own.
I also complete my Cauldron of Prayers spell during this time (this will be explained in a future post!!), and I preform a cleansing of the three of us.
For me, the full moon casts light into the shadows of our emotional selves. Hidden by darkness for most of the month, we tend to hold onto issues, situations, or even people, that we’re not meant to. We get so caught up in the mundane and tedious energy of living each day that we don’t often create designated moments to discharge that which no longer serves us.
Not to mention, without practice, it can be a hard thing to do. I, whether fortunately or not, am an INFJ personality type; I have fostered the stereotypical tendency to slam doors shut on people, things, and issues, when I finally come to the realization that they are hurting me or my loved ones. A lot of people can’t do this easily, and so it must be taught- a trait used and learned to better themselves and release anchors that would only serve to drag them down.
My husband, for example, had to learn to do this as he has a tendency to hold onto a lot. It wasn’t even a conscious thing, but he would backpack his emotions, or stress from work, until he was so overwhelmed that he had no other outlet but to irrationally explode on those who are closest to him. Luckily, early on in our relationship, I recognized this trait (due to suffering from it myself), and we sought a change for both of us. He still deals with being overwhelmed, but he’s more receptive to releasing it than before.
My mother, who doesn’t release her burdens, is especially victim to these anchors. She holds on to people, especially those she’s deemed special for whatever reason, even when they’ve proven to be toxic and damaging to her. She believes it’s her pittance for being a good person, but instead, it’s her prison for being unwilling to cut ties. She suffers, in vain, for people who do not deserve her.
I’ve tried helping her, as holding on to people who would intentionally hurt us doesn’t make us better people, it makes us targets. But, as a daughter and a witch, I have come to learn that some of us cannot bear to face the fear of being alone. Her pain is something I’ve had to learn not to carry, and is often something I find myself releasing during the full moon.
My anchors tend to stem from my past, or my lack of control over issues. Like my mother, I have a tendency to adopt toxic people into my life- at times ignoring gut feelings in lieu of being friendly. However, unlike her, I can cut them off without remorse when I realize they’re intentions are not as pure as I’d hoped. As an abuse survivor, I will say, it’s a powerful thing to be able to do in my adulthood.
The cleansing we preform is simple, but it comes with the promise of action on our parts (not as simple). Once the smoke has wrapped around us in the moonlight, it has given us the clean slate we seek to know when someone or something isn’t in our best interest- it is up to us to release our anchors without allowing them to drag us down. It may be as simple as staying out of the drama at work, which more than likely has nothing to do with you but you’ve carried it anyway, or it may be the hard decision to cut someone you love out of your life.
I’ve done both. The guilt we suffer for the latter pales over time in comparison to the pain they put us through while we let them, and the freedom gained from the former allows us to be more productive (and honestly, happier). But neither come without pain. It is, however, a decision that only we can make for ourselves- “which pain helps me grow, and which stunts and/or hurts me?”
Our ritual is a spell, but it is not a passive one- nor is it one that ends after the candles are blown out. We take our pent up emotions, our hurt and pains, and we shine the moon’s light on them- seeing them without pretense while promising that we will not continue to inflict them on ourselves. It takes conscious effort and purposeful action to make that happen.
For those who are curious as to how we do this exactly, it goes as follows:
Firstly, I light my black and white candles, as always. These stay inside, on my altar, but if we’re feeling froggy and the weather is nice, we might bring them outside. I eventually have plans to build out my patio, and I will keep a permanent outdoor altar there- which will have its own candles. Until then, I get by with what I have.
Then, I set out my crystal pillars and points, and open my curtains in The Craft Room. I grab The Cauldron of Prayers, some matches, and a little bundle of Sage, and we all step outside into the moon light.
We turn out all the outdoor lights for our ritual- to honor the illumination and energy given from the moon; though, we live in the city and the light pollution is still pretty prevalent- it’s a lot darker than where we used to live- and is often quite a bit more than is needed to work with.
Next, I finish up my Cauldron of Prayers spell, sending the energy upwards as my husband and son send up a quick bit of energy of their own as they silently watch me. Then, we light our Sage bundle until it is heavily smoking, and we take turns cleansing each other.
I usually cleanse my son, and he cleanses both of us (because he’s still at that age that everything is fun so he wants to do it all)- and then hubby and I take turns cleansing each other again (as kiddo isn’t tall enough to get all of us). While we’re standing in the moonlight and smoke, we physically roll our shoulders, crack our necks, and wiggle the tension out of our bodies. My son thinks it’s hilarious to jump around and act like a buffoon- which is completely acceptable behavior when one is releasing negativity build up!
We then take a private moment to release anything, emotion or pain, we’ve been holding on to. We don’t discuss these with each other, as I find when someone tries to label these hidden emotions, it becomes harder to release them. Also, since releasing pain, people, and emotions can be difficult, we ease this burden by not having to explain ourselves.
If, however, the release creates an overwhelming response- as it can depending on what’s being released- we all listen to our loved one’s thoughts without judgment and sit quietly until they’ve gotten it all out. If needed, we hug, laugh, or cry with them- but we never, ever, ever judge.
And yes, sometimes there is crying. Sometimes there is involuntary laughter. Sometimes there are shouts of anger. They are all physical catharses of emotional and intangible anchors, and perfectly normal (and acceptable) forms of release. Even my Triple-Taurus, Alpha Male, “I’m A Robot With No Emotion” (he says that, not me) Husband has had some real visceral reactions to releasing pent up crap.
When we’re finished, and we all feel lighter, we sit under the moon as a family for a few minutes. I dispose of the remnants of The Cauldron of Prayers spell, I let my son cleanse my crystals with the remaining Sage, and then we head back inside to carry about our night.
Since I’ve begun taking an interest in shadow work, I tend to write down what surfaced while cleansing- as I’ve come to learn that the surface rarely reflects what’s beneath for me and some of my issues will reappear unless properly dealt with. My husband and son, however, usually just end up playing video games or watching T.V. but they both will say- within the coming days after the Full Moon- how much better they feel, and I’ll know, deep down, that they’re working through their own stuff, too.
Until tomorrow, my friends…