I've gotten a few requests from some lady friends on how to conduct a gathering/circle/ceremony, why you should and what to expect so I'll dive right in (like the mercury in Scorpio woman I am). One of the reasons why I first became interested in Moon Ceremonies was because I had just moved to LA and felt that first exhale of identity leave my body.
I had lived in Chicago for up to 13 years for the good portion of my drunken adult life. Age 27 changed me (I’m 28 now and currently going through the longest Saturn Return on record!). For some reason I had no desire to go out for drinks anymore, the taste of alcohol kind of made me nauseous, bar talk just hurt my throat. One can only shout at their friends in a public space over the sound system for so long. I was craving deeper connections, becoming more involved in my studies with Astrology and learning more about the importance of the human body’s ability to live along side the synodic lunation cycles. The moon’s light is rarely seen anymore and my reason is because we’ve become accustom to seeing at night with artificial lighting.. and we’re all just afraid of the dark.
When the Sun goes down to sleep and the Moon rises to reign the night, it is a period of introspection, a time when we get to go inward to become intimate with ourselves. Women are directly connected to the Moon in many ways, one being the most apparent which is with the menstrual cycle. When you track your periods you will find that you sync up with either the Full or New Moon. Neither is bad and neither is good it is only a frame of reference for where you are in your evolutionary process as a woman.
The New Moon menstrual cycle is called the White Moon, if you find that you sync closely to the White Moon this means that you are in a gestation period, a time when you may find yourself reflecting more inward. The Red Moon (Full Moon) cycle is a time when we as women are meant to focus our energies outside of ourselves. A time when we are to be less about the self and more careful about what we are putting out into the world. Being on the Red Moon cycle is also a sign of the body’s readiness to be fertile. This could either mean with child or a creative endeavor because they are both considered similar in conception.
Full Moon April 22 in Scorpio
Full Moon Circles are a great time to do something active with your friends, create something, do an art project and focus the night on releasing.
Pick a Theme!
This month the full moon will be in Scorpio! Scorpio’s shadow self characteristics involve jealousy, control, the need for power, sexual manipulation and self sabotage. So if this is your first Moon ceremony you picked a really great, super intense moon to start with ;) Scorpio is connected to the root chakra which is located at the base of the pelvis bone and holsters the flight or fight energy within us. It is the carnal part of our beings that makes us animals and sometimes enemies of one another. Focus the ceremony on themes of the root chakra and letting go of these shadow-self characteristics.
All of this information about Scorpio is something you can put on your invite to help people get comfortable with the theme of the night and to start thinking about how these characteristics play out in their every day lives.
Where to meet?
In your living room, or a park, or a garden, or the neighbors yard it doesn’t matter where you meet as long as it is a space that you feel comfortable. It should be large enough for about 10-15 women to sit in a circle comfortably. Find a place where random passersby won’t disturb the group or distract from meditation. The last thing you want is for a friend to be expressing how heartbroken she is over a recent breakup while some Joe blow is mowing his lawn on the other side of the fence rocking out to Def Leopard.
It doesn’t have to be witchy or spooky or like a scene out of The Craft just comfortable with enough seating for everyone. Some pillows would be nice and maybe some blankets to sit on.
There are a few things that you’ll need to have a fully-fledged
Moon Gathering and that is:
One white candle for every girl in the group
Pen and paper
A smudge stick made out of sage
A grounding crystal for your altar
To start let everyone meet each other for a little bit and become acclimated to the space. This is a good time to set up the group altar. An altar is a sacred space where you host your crystals, candles and mementos of your travels in this life. It is meant to be a space for you to have all your own that fully represents you. Creating group altars is fun and a perfect way to start the bonding experience.
Once you’re ready to conduct the ceremony light the smudge stick and cleanse each girl from head to toe. Have all the ladies gather in a circle on the floor with their white candle in front of them. You can open the circle up with a few words of wisdom, talk about the moon and what it means to you, why you started the circle and what your intentions are for the evening. Thank the Universe for bringing you all together and allowing you to become more in tune with it’s natural rhythms and then go around the circle and have each girl say what her intention is out loud (some may choose to keep it to themselves). Let them light their candle and pass the torch on to the next girl. Intentions can range anywhere from releasing jealousy, need for control, self-loathing to releasing the illusion of a need for monetary gain.
Once you have all lit your candles you can conduct a group meditation. If you are uncomfortable conducting it yourself you can find a video on youtube that will do it for you or invite a friend who is familiar with it.
Another aspect of a ceremony is spoken word. Here’s a pagan Full Moon poem you can all recite after or before your meditation.
“Mother, Goddess of moon and star,
Bring your presence from afar,
Manifest on this, Your night,
and bless me in this sacred rite!
Grant the knowledge and clarity,
to understand Your words to me.
Lend Your power, send Your light,
Aid me in my work tonight!
With love and wisdom please embrace,
All within this sacred space.
Mother, I now call to you,
Bring Your message clear and true!”
Have everyone stand up, thank the four corners of the earth and start snacking!
One of the most important aspects to the world of ceremony is that there may be a few core staples to stick to for the gathering but for the most part it is a fluid process that will change and become something new with every circle. So don't worry if you don't get it exactly correct or perfect, what's most important is the fact that you are doing it and you are helping other women to learn how to connect with each other on a more deeper level.
Please share this with your sisters, let me know what you think and share your favorite moments of ceremony down below!
-Note on burning candles-
One random thing to note about lighting candles for ceremony is that it’s important to let the candle burn all the way out without blowing it out. Of course everyone will have to transport their candles home so at the end of the gathering make sure no one literally blows the candle out but instead snuffs it with their fingers. Why? Because it’s magick ;)
**Please encourage that everyone not drink alcohol for 24 hours in advanced or be under the influence of any mind-altering substance throughout the evening. This is important with spiritual rituals and something you will hear many more times if you decide to continue down this path. I love a good mind altering experience myself here and there but when it comes to ritual, being in the right head space is key.**