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Connecting into nature is one of the ways that we deeply step outside of our day-to-day lives and remind ourselves of the powerful, beautiful, bigger cycles of life.
It’s a method to step out of life’s busyness and into our truest self. Good ceremony is love and power in motion and action.
So here’s a little how-to to inspire you to connect to the next full moon.
The moon, with its ever changing position and appearance in the sky, anchors us into the wider mysteries of life. In an animistic worldview, the moon, as all things, has its own spirit that we can connect to for help, healing, and guidance. People with a personal shamanic practice know this deeply. And many sensitive people without any way of connecting can also feel into the truth of this for themselves.
Ceremony helps us to mark something in our lives. To draw a line to stop us from sliding back into old ways we no longer find helpful. To make physical an intention or change. Done right, it also provides a “container” to bring in power or energy to help us with this intention.
Like all good stories, a ceremony has a beginning, middle, and end. It lets us know when we’re crossing the threshold into the liminal space, the time-out-of-time that is the ceremony and the connection to all things. And this structure also helps us to ground back in our ordinary lives, knowing we are forever changed.
So if you’re interested in creating your own ceremony, here are my three steps to get you on your way.
1. Get your clearest intention.
As with all spiritual and shamanic work, a clear intention ensures the focus of the ceremony is true. Take time to feel into your heart about what it is that you would like this ceremony to mark or change in your life.
A full moon is at the peak of its visibility to us on this earth. It is at the moment before it starts to wane, to shrink. So the full moon can be a time to create a ceremony to “let go” of something that no longer serves us. Maybe a habit. Or a way of thinking. Or something or someone in life that holds us back from our truth.
Or we could choose to use the fullness of the moon to mark a celebration. Is there something in your life that has come to its own fullness? To fruition? A practice you’ve adopted? A commitment into something that’s now blossoming? A metaphorical seed you once planted that is now blossoming?
Get still, journal, meditate, and ask your heart, “What do I want to mark at this full moon that is most powerful for me now?” If you have a shamanic practice, you could do a journey to ask your spirit helpers the same question.
2. Decide the form that feels best.
This is where our creativity can go wild! A good ceremony is a little like creating a dance with no formal steps. It’s our stage. We get to choose how we’d like it to be. It’s the feeling of what we choose that is our best guide. Here are some options to consider:
>> Where would you like to do this? Personally, I like to do this outdoors. Sure, that means wearing some sturdy clothes from time to time, but it means I can connect directly to the moon (even if it’s behind clouds, or not quite risen yet, our connection will feel and be stronger).
>> When would you like to do this? Would you like to find your exact full moon time for where you live, and find out the time the moon rises or sets? I like to use this website, and there are many great apps to play with. Pick a time that’s easiest or most meaningful for you. Over the years, I’ve learned that the main reason me and my clients don’t undertake the ceremony is because the timing isn’t realistic, or the ceremony is too long and complex. Keep the time to the shortest that will let you get it done with full presence—that’s a great place to start. Some of my ceremonies take just five minutes of my very best attention.
>> What would you like to include? Do you want to symbolically burn what you’re letting go of? You could write it on paper and burn it. Or find a leaf that represents it. Or you could bury it in the earth. Or create a mandala out of natural objects that call to you, and then break it up symbolically. Change your clothes before or after to symbolize a shift. Or do you want to celebrate something with a fire? With a dance? With a drawing, or meditation maybe? Jumping over something to represent this leap? And do you want to include fun, dance, humour, or song? Beware of taking ourselves too seriously.
>> Who do you want to witness it? Just you and nature? Your dog? Your loved one? Your children? Friends? Do you want to welcome others to join you? What feels right to you? Trust your instincts.
>> How do you want to finish the ceremony? Is it with a prayer? A song? Spin round three times? Start and finish by crossing over an object to mark time and space? It needs to feel complete.
3. Do it and finish well.
So, you’ve got clear on your intention and decided the details to suit you. Now you need to end well. This may sound obvious, but the idea of ceremony is to not take it too seriously once the serious work is done.
Many ceremonies finish with a feast. A wedding breakfast or meal. A funeral wake. A baptism with drinks afterwards.
The main thing is to know that once you’ve done it, it really is done. There is no more to do. The line has been drawn. Your intention has been witnessed. The ceremony is closed. So how would you like to celebrate this? Drinks? Food? A bath or shower? Sleep? Getting on with ordinary life but knowing something inside has forever changed?
However you choose to do it, it is yours.
P.S. I’d love to hear how you get on. Feel free to share thoughts or pictures directly to my inbox.