My obsession with the moon is just one of the side effects I’ve had after coming out of the spiritual closet last year. All this mystical stuff is like opening one new tab online—before you know it, your entire browser is full. Blending therapeutic essential oils led me to tarot, reiki, chakra clearing, crystal healing, and casting spells. I mean, I just bought a pendulum instead of the Maria Tash earrings I wanted. And now it’s the moon I’m getting myself acquainted with.
And I’m not alone: There’s now an ever-increasing number of people who are connecting with the moon as part of their spiritual practice. Working with the phases of the moon and moon rituals is a great way to delve deeper into astrology, emotions, and intuition. For some people, it’s even a useful tool for syncing and better understanding their menstrual cycle.
Learn how to work with the moon in your mindfulness or self-care routine. Ahead.
Meet the Expert
It might be gaining in popularity, but using the moon to guide your spirituality can sometimes be a lonely path, especially if the people around you in the physical world are the human embodiment of the eye-rolling emoji. That’s why Ruby Warrington, founder of the online spiritual platform The Numinous and author of spiritual self-help guide Material Girl, Mystical World launched Moon Club with her co-founder, Alexandra Roxo, after recognizing this need for having a buddy.
“By creating a space online for this exploration, we wanted to make moon magic, astrology and ritual easily accessible for people who may have been feeling isolated on their journey, and the constant feedback we get is that Moon Club has helped them feel supported on their path, more confident in themselves and has connected them to a community they feel safe to express their mystical side with,” Warrington tells me.
If you’ve spent numerous hours on NASA’s educational moon page (okay, maybe just me) or you’ve wanted to start working with the moon in your mindfulness or self-care routine, here are four ways to get started.
What Are Moon Rituals?
Moon rituals are an ancient practice that is still being done today. They originated in places like Egypt and Babylonia in cultures that worshipped the moon. Today, moon rituals create a sacred space for you to focus inward, set intentions, spread love, and feel empowered. Moon rituals are a rich source of self-care because you take the time to ask yourself what your needs are, your goals, and how you want to spend your time on earth.
There are eight phases of the moon, but the ones commonly used for moon rituals revolve around the full moon and the new moon. The sun and moon come into alignment during the new moon, joining the sun and moon's masculine and feminine energy. This time is associated with positive change.
During the full moon, the mood is fully feminine and is associated with nourishment and intuition. It is also a magical time for creativity and personal insight.
Charro Benteau, Reiki master level 1, practices moon rituals from her home in Newfoundland. "For me, my moon rituals are all about giving attention to the subtle voices in my head that really need an extra little "atta girl" boost," she says. For this, Benteau uses empowerment spells on the full moon or banishing spells on the new moon.
However, there's no "bad time" to do a moon ritual, according to Benteau: "All aspects of the moon have their magical meanings and intention. We are made mostly of water, and we understand that the tides are affected by moon cycles, so using a little science can also play a role in your budding spiritual growth," she says.
In the end, moon rituals are what you need at the time and should be performed based on your situation. "Sometimes you need some extra reinforcement that the negative feelings or people around you are not as powerful in your life as you're allowing them to be. It's all about what you as a person need at that time," she explains.
How to Manifest With the Moon
Manifesting with the moon is gaining steam as people yearn for ways to connect with themselves on a deeper level. "There seems to be a new wave of moon babies. People who understand that being mindful of moon cycles is actually helping them to manage the stress of day-to-day life better," Benteau explains. The routine of moon cycles and moon rituals helps deal with life when life feels out of control, she tells me.
Setting intentions or manifesting helps to call in different situations, circumstances, or goals into your life. They can be used to find personal empowerment or finding time to commit to a meditation or journaling practice. When I started tuning in to the moon’s cycles, I was able to gain clarity on what I wanted and chart the progress over the 29.5 days of the cycle. The new moon is associated with beginnings, starting projects, and defining what you want to attract, so this is a good day to set intentions. The full moon, on the other hand, celebrates what you’ve manifested and completed—a time for reflection.
A good way to start is to dust off your journal and write a list of what you want to bring into your life. In the beginning, I found it easier to focus on one intention at a time. I then turned it into a ceremony of sorts by lighting a candle, having a corresponding crystal or herbs on hand, and just taking the time to think about what I wanted. Every modern mystic/witch/spiritual gangster/astrology buff has a moon app on their phone, which lets you know what stage of the cycle the moon is in. I use one aptly called The Moon. That way, you can schedule your moon manifestation in advance if you find it hard to take time out.
New Moon Ritual Bath
There’s something incredibly soothing about having a moon-themed ritual bath. I’ve found that a bath on the night of the new moon acts as a first course for the rest of my moon practices. You can begin by dimming the lights, burning your favorite candles, and running a bath.
Think about the intentions you’d like to set for this ritual. If you’re focused on your finances and bringing in more money, tailor the ingredients you drop into the water for this. So you can add in a money-boosting crystal-like citrine followed by an abundance-boosting essential oil blend of bergamot, cinnamon, and patchouli. I dilute these in Neal’s Yard Remedies Create Your Own Bath Oil Base, as undiluted essential oils can irritate the skin.
To help alleviate anxiety and for deep relaxation, you can use neroli, marjoram, and clary sage essential oils with black tourmaline, lepidolite, and blue lace agate crystals. My go-to self-love/romantic love recipe includes heart chakra–balancing essential oils of rose otto, ylang-ylang, and patchouli with a big chunk of rose quartz. If you’re about to delve into some magical work and want to boost your intuition or psychic prowess, combine frankincense, sandalwood, and myrrh oils with amethyst and labradorite crystals. I usually do this one before meditating, casting spells, or working with tarot cards.
You can add some dried flowers for the last touches, such as lavender and hibiscus, followed by a glug of whole-fat milk for added skin-smoothing benefits. Finish up by clearing any negative energies by smudging yourself and the bathroom with the smoke of palo santo or sage before stepping into the bath. Then all you have to do is unplug and relax.
Benteau has these tips for beginners wanting to learn more about moon rituals:
- Research the meaning of various herbs and use those to begin to set your intentions for your ritual.
- Take a moon bath every full and new moon. Bathing with intention is a great way to do a simple moon ritual.
- Visit your local metaphysical store for advice, tips, and goodies for your rituals.
- Always check for allergies before using any plants or oils.
Benteau also recommends this simple moon ritual bath: "Banish the old and make new intentions. Using a candle, set the intention on the candle that its fire is pure, you mean no harm, and you wish to banish that which does not healthily serve you. Be open to life lessons; this helps you deal intimately with the things or people you feel are holding you back. Be grateful for the candle, the flame, the wax. Use a paper and pen to write out the things that no longer serve your best self. I choose to do it "with love," as taught by my Reiki master. Acknowledge the old feelings, negative things, and people and choose to forgive or "banish" them (setting boundaries). Add gratitude to your spell, if you wish. Add essential oils, herbs, flowers—get creative! You can now (safely) burn the paper while repeating a mantra such as "I take back my power" or take the paper into the tub and allow the words to be washed away, rip it up and reaffirm your intentions."
Meditation Moon Ritual
We’re all guilty of constantly replaying the everyday stresses we face, worrying about the emails we forgot to send, oh and that one time someone stepped on our foot on the train. I found it surprisingly reassuring when I wanted to take some time away from my busy mind to just be able to look up at the moon and realize that those small thoughts suddenly don’t feel so big in comparison to what’s out there in the universe.
Ruby Warrington echoes this. “In astrology, the moon represents our emotional body and inner world, and being aware of where I’m at in the cycle helps create a framework and a language for how I may be feeling at any given time,” she explains. “The tools we talk about in Moon Club [help you feel] more connected to your true/whole self. This often means getting really comfortable and confident about owning and honoring your different emotional states, as represented by the [phases of the] moon.”
I usually honor these emotions by doing a mini-meditation just before bed during the waning phase, as the moon transitions from full to new. Find a quiet space where you can sit or lie down and start focusing on your breath, and pay attention to the rising and falling of your abdomen as you inhale and exhale. Visualize all the finer details of the moon—how bright it is, the craters, its position in the sky—and feel its calming energy wash over your body and release any tension.
How to Find Your Moon Tribe
Our interest in astrology has evolved past a quick check of our horoscopes in the paper. Now mercury in retrograde has somehow become the latest scapegoat for most of our problems, and more and more of us are becoming fascinated by the moon. So much so that there are now moon workshops, events, and circles popping up in cities like L.A., NYC, and London every day. They provide an opportunity for people to gather, share space, set intentions and celebrate the moon’s cycles as a group. I have regular meetups with my fellow beauty industry friend/mystic maven, and we do everything from meditating to reading tarot cards and just talking about life. Having that connection and time to share with someone else is so rewarding.
You can get involved digitally by joining Moon Club, searching for the new moon and full moon events in your area, or if there’s not one nearby, just start your own. Sign up to Yasmin Boland’s Moonology newsletter in which she gives a daily rundown of what sign the moon is in so you can theme your moon club and invite some friends over.
The Final Takeaway
Moon rituals are centering and confirming forms of self-care that can create a space in your life to focus inward and examine your needs, goals, and intentions. The learning journey is part of the beauty of moon rituals where you find what works best for you and what brings you peace. Even the act of choosing each herb, berry, and flower holds power. "It's like an acknowledgment with nature's nod at being mindful of what you intend to "offer" to the universe as a thank you to the moon," says Benteau.