What Is A Moon Circle & How To Host One

what is a moon circle
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

As a woman who has been working with the moon for the past few years, I have come to understand what a powerful tool it is for women.

Yet so many women are unaware of it.

Why?

Because we live in a world that has discouraged our connection to ourselves, and mother nature. The rise of patriarchy forced us to abandon our ancient practices and rituals; including moon circles. And over time, this connection and knowing has been lost.

But women worldwide are waking up. They are remembering. They are reclaiming all that was stolen from them.

And a moon circle is a beautiful way to find your way back to your sacred power as a woman.

What is a moon circle?

A moon circle is a sacred gathering of women, who usually come together to honour and celebrate the new and full moon.

In ancient communities, this circle was used to call in the divine feminine, and as a way of grounding, centering, and receiving higher wisdom.

A moon circle is a safe space, where women can enjoy being in sacred sisterhood, feel supported and witnessed. Everything that happens in circle remains privately in the circle, which allows women to truly open up, share, and be authentic.

If you’re new to moon circles, you can think of them like a yoga class or therapy group, but for your soul; infused with play, transformation, and magic.

Women and the moon

Women are inextricably linked to the moon. She has a 29 day cycle, which mirrors our menstrual cycle. She has four main phases, and so do we.

Men live by the sun, and women live by the moon. This is the way it is; the way it has always been.

Many will argue that because we can’t see the energy and forces of the moon, they don’t exist. But this is just one of many subconscious things—astrology, faith, love—that cannot be explained or understood with science. And that doesn’t make it less than or inferior to anything else that can be.

Working with the moon is a wonderful way to honour and celebrate your own sacred cycle as a woman, and tune in to mumma nature and the energy of the moon. It’s a way to create space, rhythm, and harmony; in your days, weeks, and months. It’s a powerful, underutilised tool and strength that only we, as women, have access to.

The power of attending a moon circle

If you’re new to working with the moon, a moon circle is a wonderful way to initiate yourself into this world, and dip your toes in her waters.

You can connect with like-minded women, form friendships, and experience the magic of sisterhood.

You can be yourself, speak your truth, and feel confident and comfortable within your body. Because this circle is a sanctuary for women who are craving a safe, authentic space, free of judgement. For we have been judged, criticised, and shamed for lifetimes.

You can be there to support other women, as they share their hopes and dreams and struggles; and be a part of their healing and transformation, as well as your own.

A moon circle not only builds a community, and has the power to heal all the women in the circle; but has the power to extend that healing to each of those women’s wider communities, and create a far-reaching ripple effect that changes the world.

The different phases of the moon

The moon actually has eight phases in total, but four main ones that we usually work with.

These are:

  • New moon
  • Waxing moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning moon

Each phase has its own energy and vibration, which you can find out more about here.

The new moon and full moon are the most potent and magical phases of the lunar cycle. And these are the two phases that are usually celebrated with a moon circle.

New moon

During the new moon, the sun and moon are aligned, which signifies the merging of the masculine with the feminine.

Energetically this means it’s the perfect time to be still, go inwards, and set new intentions for this new cycle.

Full moon

The full moon is a time of nourishment, expansion, and celebration. A wonderful time to practice gratitude for all the abundance in your life today.

Emotions and feelings are heightened and magnified during a full moon. This is your chance to meet and confront your shadows, so you can heal and move forwards.

Elements of a moon circle

A moon circle will usually take place a in private, spacious area. A local village hall or community centre, a yoga studio, or even outdoors in someone’s back garden (weather permitting of course!).

A circle will be created with cushions, yoga mats, or a large piece of fabric, and a sacred altar will be placed in the middle. We always opt for a circle because it creates a sense of unity, inclusion, and collective energy; plus it eliminates any hierarchy.

Whether you choose to attend a moon circle or host your own, I want to give you a feel for typical elements that go into creating one.

1. Theme

Each new moon and full moon will be in a different astrological sign, depending on the date it falls on; and a moon circle is often themed around the sign the moon is in that month.

For example, if the new moon is in Cancer, then the theme might be self-care. If the new moon is in Gemini, then the theme might be communication. In contrast, the full moon always represents the shadow side of each astrological sign.

Each sign will also have its own corresponding colours, crystals, essential oils, and flowers; which can be incorporated into the moon circle (often in the altar) in some way.

Infusing a moon circle with the theme of the sky makes it even more powerful, since it helps us all harness and work with the specific energies ripe and ready for us in that moment.

2. Set up the altar

An altar is essentially a physical sacred space that is used for meditation, spell-work, and worship.

Placing objects of meaning or particular energies on your altar is a wonderful way to create a vibration that supports the intention for your practice.

This might include crystals, jewellery, flowers, stones, candles, shells, feathers, or even dried herbs.

Each object will correspond to one of the four elements, which each have a direction.

  • North = Earth (plants, crystals & stones, anything from the earth)
  • East = Air (feathers & essential oils)
  • South = Fire (matches & candles)
  • West = Water (water, vases, chalices, anything from the sea)

If you want to know the ins and outs of how to create a sacred altar you can click here to read an article that will walk you through it from beginning to end.

In some moon circles, all the women will be asked to bring an object of meaning with them, and be invited one by one to place it on the altar.

3. Cleanse the space

Before starting a moon circle ceremony, the space should be cleansed to get rid of any unwanted or stagnant energy. Clear out the old, to make space for the new.

Burning sage or palo santo wood are popular ways to cleanse a space. Open the windows and doors (if there are any) to allow the energy to leave. Blow the smoke into all the corners of the space.

Alternatively, a diffuser can have a similar effect, and is less messy too.

4. Opening circle

Once everyone is seated in a circle, it’s common for the host or facilitator of the moon circle to officially open the sacred circle.

She might do this by calling in the elements one by one, calling on mumma nature and the divine feminine, saying a prayer, or some other carefully chosen and empowering words.

I do this at the beginning of all my women’s retreats, too; because it’s a wonderful way to unite everyone, and invite the divine feminine in to work with and through you.

5. Gentle yoga flow

Yoga isn’t something you’ll find in all moon circles, but it can be a nice way to help women step into their body, and also get their energy flowing.

A flow will usually be designed that supports the energy of the sign the moon is in.

6. Grounding meditation

A moon circle wouldn’t be complete without some kind of guided meditation. Whether it’s one that focuses on the breath, letting go, or even a guided visualisation.

Meditation is a brilliant way to help us release and relax, ground and centre ourselves, and be present in the moment.

Many women will find their intuition speaks to them while meditating, in the form of an image, a whisper, or even a feeling. Trust whatever arises.

7. Journaling

After meditation (or some kind of stillness), is the perfect time to reflect and write down anything that’s coming up for you, which is why many moon circles will create space for self-journal time.

This can be done with a pen and notebook, or on your phone if you prefer. I don’t have anything against technology, but I find working on physical paper always helps more flow out of me.

8. Setting intentions

If the moon circle is on a new moon, then setting new intentions for this cycle will usually be a part of the ceremony.

The new moon represents new beginnings, and the planting of new seeds. A wonderful opportunity to look into your heart, and see where you want to focus your energy over the next four weeks, and beyond.

Some of your intentions may be in keeping with the theme of the sign of the moon that month, too.

9. Sharing

Many women (like me) will often create solo new and full moon rituals for themselves at home. But being with other women creates a beautiful opportunity to share what’s coming up for you, and be witnessed by your sisters.

It’s common practice to offer anyone in the circle the invite to share if they want to, or go round the circle one by one and give every woman a chance to be seen and heard; and have her intuition and wisdom reflected back to her.

10. Chanting

Chanting kriyas or singing songs as a group for can really help elevate the energy of the group, and create a shared bond.

It creates space for expression, joy, and release, while also helping us all to be present in the moment.

Don’t worry if you attend a moon circle where the host begins chanting a mantra, and you don’t know any of the words. I’ve been there (many times!) and it truly doesn’t matter. Just do your best, and allow yourself to enjoy the moment.

11. Closing the circle

Just as we opened the circle, it must be closed to complete the ritual. This might be done through a few simple words, a prayer, or even a channelled message from a higher being, like a Goddess, Angel, or one of your personal guides.

You might complete by holding hands around the circle; creating a strong, unbreakable circuit of love and light.

12. Gratitude

What we focus on expands, which is why gratitude is a beautiful, empowering practice.

A group hug is a lovely way to express gratitude for the circle and all the women who showed up, and all that was experienced, shared and transmuted. You might even taken a few moments with your eyes closed to each think of one thing you’re grateful for in that moment.

Making gratitude a part of your regular, daily practice will help you recognise the abundance that already exists in your world.

13. Nourish

The completion of a moon circle is often followed by nourishing your body, through some kind of delicious food or drink. Try and stick to something plant-based if possible.

Water, herbal teas, cacao, and home-baked sweet cakes and treats are often eaten. Sometimes the women will all share a full meal together, with each woman bringing one dish as a gift, producing a feast.

Naturally, this makes it a much longer circle, so you won’t see it very often. But I think it’s a wonderful way for all the women to get to know each other more intimately, help build friendships, and create a real sense of community.

Every moon circle will be a different experience

Every moon circle will be slightly different, depending on who’s leading it, the women that show up, and the different energy you’re working with at that time.

But that’s the beauty of it. Each one is utterly unique, woven with its own special blend of magic.

The most important thing is—whether you’re attending or hosting—you show up fully in the moment, and you focus on enjoying this shared experience.

Because every woman in that room with you is there for a reason. Your soul has found its way here on purpose. Maybe you’ll have a revelation, an awakening, or a powerful moment of transformation.

Who knows?

Be open to what is trying to come through you, and it won’t pass you by.

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