If you’re looking for a beginner’s guide to what a full moon ritual is and how to create your own full moon ritual, you’re in the right place.
I have been working with the moon cycles for years now instead of the calendar months; life feels much more spacious and flowing. I no longer feel like I’m pushing or pulling. I honor my own sacred cycle and tune in to the moon’s energy, and use both to guide me on my journey.
When the time is right, I speed up and do more. Other times, I give myself permission to slow down, go within, and reflect.
This is what lunar living is all about.
Living in flow with her can be so powerful because women and the moon are inextricably linked.
Women have been looking skyward since the beginning of time and tuning into their natural cycle.
The four main phases of the moon
- New moon
- Waxing moon
- Full moon
- Waning moon
Each phase represents a different archetype and a different phase of our menstrual cycle. And each phase brings its own unique energy and power.
The two most potent phases of the moon cycle are the new moon and full moon.
And if you’re new to working with the moon, a full moon ritual is the perfect way to receive her abundant energy and light and dip your toes into moon magic!
What is a full moon ritual?
A full moon ritual is a ceremony or celebration in honor of the moon. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like.
The point of a full moon ritual is to enable you to connect with Mumma moon’s energy. You can use her power to help you let go of anything that’s not working in your life and welcome in more of what you desire.
There are four main elements that are key for any spiritual practice, like a full moon ritual. These are:
When these are combined, they have the power to create an intense and transformational impact on your unconscious mind. This is key if we want to generate real change in our lives and experience growth.
What does a full moon symbolize?
The full moon is a time of completion, celebration, and expansion.
Having grown steadily through the waxing phase, creative energy is also at its highest during this time. The full moon is the harvest time, a time for reaping what you’ve sown since the beginning of the cycle.
In essence, a full moon is nourishing. This is represented by the sun’s light shining on the moon, which is reflected back down onto earth. There is a contrast of light illuminating into the darkness and on our shadows. We are asked to meet and face anything lurking in the dark within us and within our greater collective.
Remember that the moon symbolizes women—the feminine within us all. On a full moon, the feminine is being illuminated, and she is asking you to embody the feminine within you.
Can a full moon affect behavior?
Yes, the moon definitely affects our behavior throughout her cycle. This is particularly potent for women since we follow the same cycle.
However, the moon does not make us go “crazy” or “mad.” She stirs up whatever is already circulating within us. She shines her light on us and asks us to do the inner work that too many of us ignore or miss.
The full moon is a window of high energy. It increases your sensitivity, which can mean you feel more emotional than usual around this time. Many people have difficulty sleeping and have more intense dreams on nights when the moon is full.
Ignoring whatever arises for you would be a mistake. Bringing awareness to what’s rising within you and learning to address it has the power to create transformational shifts, both inside and out.
What are the benefits of creating a full moon ritual?
The moon cycle mirrors our menstrual cycle as women, the four seasons of the year, and the four feminine archetypes (maiden, mother, wild woman & crone).
There’s a reason why so many of us feel overwhelmed, burned out, and disconnected from our bodies. Our current society is a patriarchal, masculine-oriented one that does not honor women. We live within a man-made construct of weekdays, weekends, calendar months, and years.
Before this system was invented, every human followed the natural cycle of the moon. Each year had 13 moons instead of 12 months. Women would take rest during their bleeding days and focus their attention inward. We weren’t pushing against our natural rhythm like we do today.
Living in sync with the moon cycle is a powerful way to live in flow with your own cyclic nature and with Mumma nature herself.
Moon rituals have become popular recently, along with ritual items like crystals, candles & incense. But a full moon ritual is about so much more than this.
It’s a way of tapping into and generating change in your unconscious mind.
It’s a way of opening the door to your soul and to the Divine (or Spirit).
And it’s a way of accessing your true potential and creating profound transformation in all realms of your being.
This is the power women can access and embody when working with the moon.
You don’t have to do a full moon ritual if you don’t want to!
Just because new and full moon rituals are becoming increasingly popular (especially on social media), it doesn’t mean you must start working with the moon! If no part of you is interested or drawn to creating a moon ritual, then you simply don’t have to do it.
But chances are you’re here reading this article for a reason. You’re curious. A part of you wants to explore this on a deeper level and feel the magic of the moon that so many women are raving about.
I think everyone should have a go at creating a full moon ritual at least once before deciding it’s not for them. At least this way, you’ll know for sure you’re not missing out on anything.
And if there’s a part of you holding back because this feels overwhelming or like another thing you have to do, I invite you to simplify it. As I mentioned earlier, a full moon ritual can be incredibly simple. Yours might consist of you and one lit candle.
How to create your own full moon ritual for manifestation
The most powerful full moon rituals are ones that are imagined and created from your intuition.
Don’t worry if you’re not yet in tune with your intuition because working with the moon’s energy is one of the best ways to strengthen this.
If you’re unsure where to start, I’ve put together a list of ideas to help you create your own magical full moon ritual. Later in this article, I’ve also included some simple rituals to try if you don’t want to create your own.
Keep in mind that the best time to have a full moon ritual is on the night of the full moon. If you’re not sure of the moon times and dates where you live, you can check them out here.
Here’s what to do during a full moon.
1. Keep it authentic
For a full moon ritual to work, it has to be meaningful with and aligned to you.
Some women love to sing or chant or dance naked under the moonlight. Others enjoy meditation and journaling.
Some women love to take part in a moon circle with other women, and others prefer to create a solo ceremony.
It really doesn’t matter what you choose to do. What matters is that it’s an extension of you and your heart and soul. Because this will create a high vibration that resonates with you on a soul level.
So forget about what anyone else is doing. Keep your full moon ritual authentic.
2. Gather your tools
Here are a few things you might want to have to create your own full moon ritual with:
- essential oils
- sage/palo santo
- a diffuser
- oracle/tarot card deck
- notebook & pen
- a nourishing drink (ideally something plant-based)
- music (check out Spotify for some amazing ready-made moon playlists)
- a plant or some fresh flowers in a vase
- a yoga mat/comfy cushion
- a pretty scarf or piece of fabric (to create the base of your altar)
Again, it’s entirely up to you. Pick a couple of things you’re drawn to, and see if they work for you. If they don’t, try something else.
Keep adding or removing things as you see fit. This will probably vary with each ritual you create, depending on how you’re feeling and the feeling you want to evoke.
Please don’t feel any pressure to spend lots of money on “spiritual” tools and objects. You can still have a powerful full moon ritual by lighting one candle. Forget about what you’ve seen on social media or online or what you think this should look like. There are no shoulds or have tos here.
I would recommend working with what you have to begin with. Then if you feel called to add another object or two, go for it. But build up your moon tools gradually and organically. Be intentional about every item you bring into your sacred space.
A note on crystals: The full moon is the best time to recharge your crystals. Simply wash them under running water, then place them in a bowl somewhere outside overnight where they’ll receive the moonlight. This will purify them and strengthen their energy.
3. Create a sacred space for your full moon ritual
Creating a sacred space or altar is vital for any ritual. This signals to your unconscious mind that the space is sacred and important, setting the ritual apart from regular day-to-day activities.
Choose a place in your house where you can sit comfortably (on a yoga mat or sofa), in quiet, and not be disturbed.
Use the tools you’ve gathered to set up an altar somewhere in the room. This could be on a window ledge, a mantlepiece, a balcony—anywhere you can find some space.
Once you’re done, you might want to cleanse and purify the space around you. You can do this by:
- burning sage
- clapping your hands
- using a diffuser
- visualizing a purified circle around you
And voila – you have just created a sacred space!
If you want to know all the details on exactly how to create a sacred altar, you can check out this post here.
I like to put on a peaceful playlist, get comfortable, close my eyes, cross my legs, and sit in silence for five to ten minutes. Here’s a full moon meditation to get you started.
I do this to ground myself—physically and mentally—into the space. And also to begin connecting to myself and my inner wisdom.
It doesn’t matter if you really struggle to stay focused and keep out other thoughts. Meditation is a practice, and our thoughts will never stop. When you notice you’ve become distracted and detached from your breath, gently guide your mind back to it.
That’s all meditation is. So don’t be put off out of fear of not doing it right or not being “good” at it.
If you’re new to meditation, you might want to check out this post here, which is full of handy tips.
The full moon is a wonderful time to think about all that you’re grateful for in your life today.
It’s up to you how deep you want to go with this. You might simply list out three things you’re grateful for. Or you might think about what you are specifically thankful for over the past two weeks of this moon cycle. Alternatively, you might feel called to express gratitude for the past few moons, the year, or beyond.
You might also want to break this down and think about what you’re grateful for in different areas of your life: your home, health, wealth, sacred work, and relationships.
Focusing on all that’s good feels great. But this energy also expands and creates more of what’s good to come into our lives.
6. Journal and set your full moon intentions
Traditionally, the new moon is a time for setting new intentions and planting new seeds. However, the full moon is also a wonderful time to set intentions of a different nature.
Full moon intentions are more focused on releasing and calling in a new vibration or feeling.
Journaling is a wonderful way to make sense of what’s showing up for you right now and choose your intentions.
Grab a pen and a notebook or piece of paper, and free write. Allow anything and everything to pour out of you. Resist the urge to censor yourself.
Here are a few inquiries you could also use to journal on:
What needs to be released?
What needs to be illuminated?
Are there shadows lurking below that need to come to light?
What archetype/Goddess would I like to embody the energy of?
What am I celebrating this moon?
Avoid judging or over-analyzing anything that comes up. Let it be. Reflect on what does come.
7. Setting affirmations on the full moon
The full moon is a great time to create an empowering or healing affirmation that aligns with the vibration you wish to call in.
I love to begin my affirmations with “I” and write them as though they are already in motion.
Here are a few examples:
I am a strong, empowered, and courageous woman.
I open to connecting with kind and loving people.
I love and respect my body.
Once you’ve got your affirmation, write it down. Next, repeat it out loud three times.
If the moon is within sight, you can look up to her as you do this. Better still, go outside and bask in her light.
8. Moon bathe on the full moon
What is a moon bath?
Moon bathing simply means exposing yourself to the light of the moon and experiencing the cool lunar energy. Moon bathing means just basking yourself under the fullness of the moonlight. It helps you to commune with nature. In one way, the mystic moonlight enhances body skin tone and beauty.
Many women choose to venture outdoors, dip into the ocean or a lake, and bask under the moonlight. The moon rules the tides, so being in water helps us connect with her energy.
Traditionally, women would do this naked or wearing minimal clothing to maximize the effects of the moon’s rays. But this isn’t always practical—especially if you don’t live near water or have a private garden, or you have neighbors living close by!
So if you’re unable to go outside or you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can find a room indoors where you can see the moon from the window.
Lie down, and drink in the moonlight.
As the light washes over you, allow her to heal and nourish you. Imagine every inch of your being soaking up this new, illuminating light. Feel awakened and uplifted. Your affirmations amplified.
This is why we create space at the beginning of our ritual. So we can then fill it consciously with something of our choosing.
Spend at least 20 minutes in the moonlight if you can.
9. Take an actual bath
The next best thing to being in the ocean or freshwater outside is to be in water inside. There’s no better way to do this than by running yourself a blissful bath. I do this often as part of my new moon and full moon ritual.
Add some salts, essential oils, dried flowers, or make your own bath tea. Light a candle, put on some soothing music, add a crystal into the water and pour yourself a herbal tea.
If you want some more inspiration on creating a blissful bath ritual, click here.
10. Close your full moon ritual
Closing any ritual is important otherwise, your mind gets confused. It won’t be able to distinguish between ritual and everyday life.
Choose a way to close it that feels right to you in the moment.
This might be:
- Ringing a bell or chiming a bowl
- Meditating again and noticing any changes within
- Saying a short prayer
- Bringing your palms together and saying a phrase (e.g., as above so below, as within so without)
- Singing or chanting
- Moon salutations
Once you’ve closed your ceremony, be sure to replenish and drink plenty of water. Be open to any other inner guidance you receive, and act on it.
Check-in with yourself, and observe any effects of the ritual in the coming few days.
Remember – there is no right or wrong way to create a full moon ritual. Trust yourself, follow your intuition, and be open to making magic.
Full Moon Rituals (To inspire your own)
If you’re new to working with the moon, creating your own full moon ritual from scratch might seem a little intense, and that’s completely understandable.
That’s why I want to share some simple ritual ideas below to get you started. Pick the one that you feel most drawn to and start there. Weave in your own ideas and elements. Have fun with it.
Remember, these rituals should be done on the full moon or within the 3 days when the moon’s light is at its brightest. This will allow you to harness the full energy available to you. Head here to check out the moon times and dates for where you live.
Full moon ritual #1 Powerful affirmations
You will need:
- A candle
- A lighter
- Access to outdoors
Begin by creating an empowering affirmation for yourself (see above for ideas on creating one).
Once you’ve chosen your affirmation, you’re ready. On the night of the full moon, gather your tools, head outside, and find a comfortable place to sit.
Light your candle to open your ritual. Repeat your power affirmation to yourself (out loud or in your mind) ten times. Look up to the moon as you do this and allow her light to amplify the energy of your words.
Spend as much time as you like here moon bathing. When you’re ready to close your full moon ritual, blow out the candle.
Full moon ritual #2 Write & Release
You will need:
- A pen
- A piece of paper
- Matches or a lighter
- A fireproof container, bowl, or cauldron
Set up a sacred space for yourself wherever you like, and open your ritual. Visualize the light of the moon creating a circle around you.
Choose a feeling, memory, or aspect of yourself that you want to release, and write it down on a scrap piece of paper.
For example, this might look like this:
“I let go of this relationship.”
“I release my fear of venturing into the unknown.”
“I let go of my self-judgment and criticism.”
You may even want to write a letter to yourself or a letter to someone else who you want to let go of (like an ex-partner).
When you’re done, fold your piece of paper and place it in your cauldron.
Next, set light to the paper over the cauldron. Watch as it burns and turns into ash. Say goodbye.
You can then go outside to scatter or bury the ash. When you’re done, say within or quietly to yourself, “it is done.”
Remember to practice safety when working with fire, especially indoors.
Full moon ritual #3 Make art
You will need:
- A pen or pencil
- Colored pencils, pens, watercolors, acrylics, or pastels
- A piece of paper
All you need is a quiet, safe space where you can sit and draw for as long as you like. Set aside some time for yourself and honor you time.
You can do this on the day or night of the full moon.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, freely express how you feel on the paper. Write or draw what you’re struggling with, what you want to release, what your biggest wish is. Don’t worry about making it look like a masterpiece. Let yourself go.
When you’re done, give yourself some time to reflect on it over the coming days. You may notice words or symbols and hidden meanings shining through that are all trying to tell you something.
Full moon ritual #4 Yin yoga flow
You will need:
- A comfortable, quiet space
- A candle
- A yoga mat or towel
- Optional but really nice to have: blocks, a bolster, a blanket
Yoga is another beautiful practice to weave into your moon ritual. Yin yoga can be particularly powerful because yin is the feminine, which matches the moon’s feminine energy.
Yin yoga is also focused on deeper poses that work on your connective tissues and parts of your body that can be incredibly tight—especially the hips. We store so much emotion in our physical bodies, and a yin yoga class can offer much healing and a powerful release on all levels of your being.
Alo Moves are brilliant for at-home yoga classes. They have a wide selection of yoga styles to choose from (including yin) and classes of various lengths to suit everyone. If you’re interested in checking them out, you can click here for your free 30-day trial.
To turn your yoga practice into a ritual, I recommend lighting a candle at the beginning and leaving it somewhere in sight. Spend a few moments meditating at the start or end (or both).
When you’re done, blow out the candle.
Full moon ritual #5 Listen to a full moon sound bath
You will need:
- Access to a sound bath recording (on your phone or laptop etc.)
- A comfortable place to lie down
- A blanket
- A pen and a journal
Sound baths can be so powerful and healing—especially the in-person ones where you’re working with a room full of energy. But the next best thing is to bring a full moon sound bath to you.
There are quite a few free to access online, but AloMoves also have some wonderful sound baths to listen to. You might choose a sound bath specifically for the full moon or one that helps you with whatever you’re trying to let go of or welcome in—for example, a self-love sound bath or a de-stress sound bath.
Find a comfortable place to lie down, where you won’t be disturbed. I usually lie on my bed or in the bathtub when I’m pairing it with an actual bath! If you’re on your bed, place a blanket over you to make sure you don’t get cold.
Set your space up so that it feels like a real sanctuary. That might mean lighting candles, putting on a diffuser, or setting up an altar in the corner of the room.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sound bath.
When it’s over, I always find it’s nice to journal on any feelings or images that arose during the session.
Full moon ritual #6 Make a wish
You will need:
- A candle
- A pencil or pen
- A piece of paper or journal
- A match or lighter
The full moon has intense energy, making it a great time to manifest your most heartfelt desires and wishes.
Light a candle, and find a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes and ground yourself for a few minutes. Connect to your breath. You can meditate if you want.
Think about whatever it is you desire most right now. Bring it to your mind. Visualize your wish coming true.
How do you feel? What can you see, hear and smell? How does your body feel? Who are you with?
When you’re done, write down your wish. Read it back to yourself. Imagine it already is.
Next, place your piece of paper in the moonlight overnight. This could be on a windowsill, in the bowl of crystals you’re cleansing, or somewhere else.
The following night, burn your piece of paper and send your wish out to the universe.
And so it is.
Are you ready to manifest your deepest heart desires?
What I love most about moon rituals is they’re a beautiful way to refill your cup and nourish yourself every two weeks.
As women, we often devote so much of our resources to other people and tasks, and we forget to make ourselves a priority. But when we let our well run dry, we can’t show up as our best selves.
So you might choose to use the moon as a way to practice self-care and self-love and make sure you’re giving to yourself so that you can then give to others from an abundant place.
Create a full moon ritual or ceremony that feels good to you and supports you. Forget about everything else you’ve heard—this is all that matters.
Enjoy it. Have fun. Play. Experiment. Make magic. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
The moon and her cycle will always be here for you to work with over and over again.
We also created a very special full moon kit that includes a digital journal and guided meditation to help you work with the energy of the full moon.
And if you’re looking for a guide on what to do on a new moon, check out this article on creating a new moon ritual.
I’d love to know what your full moon rituals look like. How do you love to celebrate a full moon? Let me know in the comments below!