Full Hearted Living: Full Moon Rituals For Real Life
The full moon of March 1st is fast approaching and my tender heart already feels stretched to the max. We are barely three months into this year and it has already cracked me wide open. How about you?
On a very personal level, I have been navigating emotional landscapes I never thought to encounter in this lifetime and am being called to evolve my understanding at a rapid pace. While these are not things I can speak of in a public space as of yet because they include others, not just myself, I bring it up because it reminds me of the fact that many of us are navigating internal challenges whilst also maintaining the responsibilities of our outer reality. This post is meant to offer some rituals and practices that may be supportive of that.
Full moons can be a time of heightened emotional experience that can sometimes lead us to feel ungrounded or swept away with the tide. This March we will once again have two full moons within a one month span, just as we did in January.
Two blue moons in just three months? As I said 2018 is off to a wild start and perhaps I’m not the only one who feels like she is being cracked open? How can we care for ourselves when we are emotionally tender?
In the past week, I have been focusing on a conversation about self-care for the yoga teachers in my Professional Yoga Teacher course and we have been looking at all the very practical things that support us in caring for our physical, mental, and emotional well being. These things are often very simple but extremely important. They include setting and maintaining good boundaries, making wise choices about how we manage our energy throughout the day, asking for help when we need it, and being realistic about what we can and cannot do in relation to our personal responsibilities and the current circumstances of our lives. This is what I call true self care. It is practical, not always pleasurable, but deeply self-respecting.
However, there is also an aspect of self-care that for me has always included simple ritual and the conscious use of pleasure. After all, I am a witch! Creating solid to do lists and saying no when needed is something I am well practiced at, but I also know that soaking in an aromatic bath, lighting a candle and offering up some prayers can be valuable medicine. I know when it is time to pick up the phone and speak with a counselor or trusted mentor and I will also use tarot cards to enhance my own process of self-reflection. Personal ritual has always offered me a process for coming into closer relationship with my inner experience and allowing myself time to pause and feel in the midst of the busy reality of life.
So for all of you who may be feeling tossed about in a storm of emotion at this time, or for anyone who simply wants some inspiration as to how to celebrate the beauty of the full moon I offer you the following recipes and rituals. May they soothe your heart, delight your senses and support you in grounding yourself in the messy and magical reality of your everyday life.
Kitchen Medicine: Ancient Women’s Magic
I have always enjoyed the conscious practice of food prep, medicine making, and kitchen witching as a ritual to bring me back to the present moment, honour the current season we are in, or simply take part in the magical act of working with plant medicines. Here are two recipes in honour of this full moon, one for a milk bath you can enjoy right away, and the other for a port-based elixir that you can enjoy on the blue moon of March 31st 2018.
Full Moon Milk Bath
These rosy milk salts are made with a blend of floral and spice scents to warm your body and soften your heart. The powdered milk makes your skin feel soft while the addition of rose petals and pink clay offers an astringent element and the benefit of colour therapy. I love soaking in a tub with this blend.
- 2 cups Epsom salts
- 2 cups pink Himalayan salts
- 1 cup powdered milk
- ½ cup dried rose petals
- 2 TBS pink clay powder
- 25 drops rose geranium essential oil
- 20 drops rosewood essential oil
- 15 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
- 10 drops nutmeg essential oil
Blend all ingredients in a large bowl before adding the essential oils. Stir well with a fork to break up any clumps from the essential oils. Store in a large jar and use generously for your full moon ritual bath.
Hawthorn & Vanilla Bean Port Wine
Infusing the heart medicines of hawthorn berry and rose, along with the gentle aphrodisiac benefits of damiana & vanilla creates this medicinal port wine. The addition carminative spices such as ginger, cinnamon & clove make it a perfect early spring aperitif to warm your digestion (it’s also great after dinner to loosen you up for a night of full moon delight).
- 1 cup hawthorn berries
- 3 TBS damiana leaf
- 3 TBS rose petals
- 1 TBS chopped dried ginger root
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
Put all herbs in a large wide-mouthed mason jar, cover with port wine, and let steep for a full lunation, shaking daily. Pour off at the next full moon and store in a glass jar on your counter. Enjoy!
Divination as Self Reflection
I love working with the symbolic magic of tarot, and I do not use it to know the future, rather I use it as a way of gaining insight into my present moment reality. Symbolism speaks to us at a deeper level of our reality and often allows us to perceive truths that our rational mind may overlook. I love to do a simple tarot spread and some journal work for the full and new moon periods of the month, or anytime I am seeking greater understanding of a current situation.
Full Moon Body, Mind, Heart Spread
I love to work with tarot at the full and new moon, and this simple three card spread is a great way to do a quick reading. Full moons can be a time of heightened energy and emotion, which can sometimes make it hard to feel integrated with body, heart, and mind. This spread can help you to divine what each aspect of your being needs most at this time. If you prefer the word spirit to heart you can always substitute that.
- Body: what does my physical body need at this time in order to feel nourished, vital, supported?
- Mind: what is the current state of my mind? what do I need to be more aware of?
- Heart: what is alive in my heart at this time? what wants to be felt, acknowledged, heard?
Altar Building: Intentional Beauty
I love building altars and have many in my home, small spaces of beauty and intention that can be used in many different ways. I have a seasonal altar in my living room, right by my dining table, an altar that reflects the season we are in and is constantly changing. In the room where I practice meditation and yoga, I have an altar that reflects my current sankalpa or spiritual focus, and a lunar altar that I adjust with each full and new moon. Altar building is so much fun and I encourage you to try it if you have not before. I will not give you a bunch of rules or guidelines as I think creativity and personal meaning are key, but the following suggestions may help you to feel inspired and get started.
- symbols or objects that reflect the lunar phase
- symbols or objects that reflect the current season
- symbols or objects that reflect your current intention or desire
- images or objects that have personal meaning to you
- crystals or stones that can amplify the chosen energy focus of your altar
- symbols of the elements of nature as you work with them (earth, air, fire, water, space etc)
- symbols of deities or archetypal figures that you want to align with
- prayers or written words of intention
This image here shows a small section of my full moon altar for this first full moon of March 2018. I’ve chosen the goddess Lakshmi as a central focus, a chalice to represent the emotional and intuitive element of water, rose quartz to support a compassionate heart, and symbols of the full moon.
More Full Moon Magic
If you enjoy these rituals and practices and want more you can join my free Moon Magic course for women using this link here. We began with the new moon, but you can access all the lessons once you sign up and will receive a full moon yoga flow and mantra practice along with other supportive materials.