This post is to be read in conjunction with my New Moon Bundle listing:
There isn't one way to celebrate and honor the new moon.
In this post I am sharing the way I've been taught to conduct a new moon ceremony. This method includes casting a circle, honoring the elements and their coordinating cardinal directions, reading about the current astrological patterns, and setting intentions with mindful language. If it's helpful to you, great! If you find other methods more helpful, also great.
Setting up for a gathering:
I like to make a blend of herbal tea, and bring an anointing oil to my gatherings. I usually intuit what plants and scents are calling to me on the day of the gathering, and go with that. I also always have my Moon Bitters and Ritual Oil on the table as options.
Casting a circle:
The circle is symbolic of creating a sense of place within ritual. It's nice to even have whoever is doing ritual with you to sit in a circle. I like to have our coffee table in the middle with a candle sitting on the north, west, south, and east sides of the table. There is always one candle in the middle of the table. Sometimes I'll add a plant or flower in the north to symbolize Earth, a cup of Tea or bottle of plant medicine in the west to symbolize Water, an extra candle in the south to symbolize Fire, and either a meaningful crystal or clearing wand in the east to symbolize Spirit/Air. If I have many people joining our circle, I invite them to add something to the table to create an altar space for the gathering.
Casting a circle involves welcoming the spirits of the directions to join the ritual. There are many ways to do this, and within my New Moon Bundle, I include a special plaque that contains the language that I've been accustom to using for this part of the ritual. If you have a tradition that has a way to cast a circle, beautiful! If not, there are plenty of resources on the internet for learning about casting a circle.
I think of astrology as a pattern that has been observed for thousands of years, from which we can glean information from. To dismiss any pattern that has had this much observation is silly, in my opinion. It doesn't mean that astrology is the letter of the law, or 100% perfect. But it's a wonderful way to access the rhythms of our lives as they exist in connection with the rhythms of so much else in this galaxy.
I like to read the words of several different astrologers during my New Moon Ritual. I particularly respect the following:
It's nice to have a picture of what's going on astrologically, because it can help influence the intentions you are setting for the month, and what energies may currently be at play.
Mariola (read about my teacher, Mariola in my New Moon Bundle Listing) taught me a lot about the power of words when it comes to our thoughts and intentions. If we write words that have any negative attributes, it lowers the frequency of what we're creating with words (ie: spells). She taught me to write intentions in the present or past tense. For example, if I'm intending on organizing my taxes this month, I don't write "I will organize all my taxes." Instead I write, "my taxes are all organized and it makes me feel good." Sometimes, invoking the feeling you will have when something is done, helps manifest what you're bringing in. Additionally, I avoid using words like "not," "less," etc. in my intentions. Instead, I inverse the statement to make it positive. There's more momentum and positive energy in words when they contain positive-geared words.
I set intentions using four categories: Physical, Mental, Emotional, & Spiritual. Physical includes matters that are tangible: my body, finances, my home, my car, etc. Mental includes ideas, organization, thoughts, etc. Emotional includes everything relating to how we feel. And Spiritual includes anything that involves us connecting to something beyond ourselves. I find that during many months, these categories overlap, and that's totally ok!
I try and make sure that there is space in the gathering for folks to contribute their thoughts, ideas, & words if they choose. This is actually how I was moved to purchase my first Many Moons Workbook! It was because my friend in attendance brought hers and read a beautiful piece from it. It's nice to have additions from others: whether they are perspectives, readings, poetry, etc. At the end of the ceremony, I like to acknowledge all the elements and spirits for joining us, and inviting them to "stay if you will, go if you must." This language is something I learned from Lou Lamotte, and it was much nicer than just abruptly ending with a lingering Cast Circle. I also don't like blowing out the candles at the end of the ritual. I let them burn out naturally, or use a special instrument to put them out if I have to.