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Full moon rituals to invite mindfulness

September 20th, 2021

A few ways you can reflect, receive, release, and recharge on this Harvest Moon.

Here in the northern hemisphere, we dub the full moon arriving closest to the fall equinox, the “Harvest Moon”. This year, it will officially turn full on September 20, 2021 at 7:55 pm EDT (4:55 pm PST)—two days before autumn. So cue Neil Young because Happy Harvest Moon fellow earthlings!

In years past, the lamp of the Harvest Moon gave farmers more time to gather crops despite the diminishing hours of daylight. As the sun’s light faded in the west, the moon would rise in the east, illuminating the fields throughout the night. With electricity powering our cities and our lives, some barely notice the moon’s extra luminosity. However, honoring the moon can allow us to reconnect with the rhythms of the natural world and our own natural cycles.

Cosmically speaking, the full moon is the time of the month where energy peaks and then releases, like a “cosmic sigh.” It is a phase of illumination and harvest. In celebration of this Harvest Moon, here are 3 moon-fueled, self-empowering rituals you can use to disconnect from the noise and tune into your inner frequencies

“The full moon is when energy peaks and then releases, like a cosmic sigh.”

I. Reflect

Reflection gives the mind an opportunity to pause amidst chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning translates into lessons learned, which can help inform future mindsets and actions. Through meditation or journaling, light a candle and ground yourself with these 3 powerful prompts:

Prompt #1. “What did I welcome into my life the past 2 weeks? How did it make me feel?”
Since the last new moon, consider any new energies in your life. It could be an emotion, a new person, a familiar/old friend, a relationship dynamic, a new job, hobby, etc. Observe how each of the above additions made you feel (I noticed X makes me feel Y). Were you aligned or were you resistant? What did you notice about yourself and the way you interacted with the events and people in the last few weeks? What brought you the most pleasure this month?

Prompt #2. “This full moon, I need to honor…”
What do you feel has been illuminated within yourself that you need to make more space for? Think about an emotion you often experience but have a tendency to deny yourself from feeling. Expand and bring it into the light.

Prompt #3. “This month, I surrender to…”
Where do you feel resistance in your life? Where could you let go and surrender a little more?

Extra credit: For those seeking extra intention setting, try looking up the meaning of various candle colors.

II. Receive

Celebrating and being thankful is amplified at the full moon and can help you manifest your future wants and wishes.

Exercise #1. “3 things I am grateful for…”
Recognizing what we presently have (whether they were things you worked for or things you were given) has a tremendous effect on our self-care.

Exercise #2. “I am proud of myself for…”
Celebrate the things you have done, achieved or moved through this last month by listing what you’re proud of and any lessons you empowered yourself with. How can you use that power more in your life?

Note: Journaling is arguably one of the more effective acts of self-care, and also one of the cheapest.

#3. Release

Full moons tend to mark a build up of energy—light and dark. This makes it a good time to remove or let go of any built-up energy that no longer serves their purpose. Letting go is simply a process of creating space.

Exercise #1. “I dream of X. Things I need to release to move closer towards my dreams are…”
Energy is finite. When we hold onto things that do not serve us, we prevent ourselves from any new energy that could serve us better. As hard as cutting ties may be, it’s the only way you can make space for something else. What can you release to feel more freedom in your life?

Exercise #2. Cleanse.
Take a cleansing (or luxurious, at least) bath or cleanse your physical space by lighting sage, palo santo or decluttering your room.

Did you know? Your skin releases endorphins in response to the soothing warm water the same way that endorphins are released when you feel the sun on your skin.

IV. Recharge

Once the moon turns full, it begins its journey towards a dark moon. This process can be your time to gradually power down, restore your energy and integrate the lessons learned before the next cycle.

Exercise #1. Charging crystals.
If you have crystals, place them out to charge. Whether or not you believe in the healing influences of crystals, they are visual reminders of the type of energies you hope to nourish in your life. Forgetting about them or allowing them to collect dust will not let them serve your purpose.

Exercise #2. Celebrate and enjoy.
Translate any buildup of energy into celebration: Cook your favorite meal for your friends, go dancing, take a walk or go hiking in nature, or just relax on the couch.

Exercise #3. Indulge in your senses.
Light your favorite candle, eat a few pieces of extra dark chocolate, enjoy sleeping on freshly laundered bed sheets or create a fresh new playlist and listen all the way through.

“Honoring the moon can allow us to reconnect with the rhythms of the natural world and our own natural cycles.”

Whether or not you believe in the tangible energies of the moon, repeated and predictable acts or “rituals” of self-love can have healing effects on our minds and bodies. Syncing these rituals with the full moon is a simple and effective way to amplify our inner voices. This is useful in building a life that works for you.

As in years past, this month’s Harvest Moon will rise in the east just after sunset, and hang like a low-hanging lantern in the night sky until sunrise. With clear skies and wide eyes – go outside and enjoy it!


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by Anna S.

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