A New Moon Ritual in 5 Easy Steps
Hello friends. There’s some interesting and special events happening around us this week. We have The Lunar New Year and a New Moon yesterday on February 1st, and Groundhog Day, which we’ll dig into a little deeper in a moment, on today the 2nd.
I have a background in theatre and education, and one of the biggest lessons that stuck with me from my time in that world is the importance of ritual and ceremony. People need rights of passage and markers of time. We need time stamps! We’ve all been given a taste over these past few years of what is feels like to live without group ceremony and celebration. It’s not great, right. Hopefully, it’s getting more and more safe to come back into those types of spaces. That reality has made it more important than ever that we have smaller rituals and celebrations on our own.
How Ritual Helps Us Remember Our Lives
If you look back on the year 2020, and even 2021, and you can’t really remember anything that happened, you’re not alone. Our brains have a hard time documenting time when every day is the same. This is one of the many reasons travel can be so good for us as people. If you’re looking for a way to break up the time, add some special time stamps, and connect with the sacred in a simple and special way, welcoming ceremony into your life is a great way to do it.
Let’s start with the groundhog day bit. You probably know this as the silly moment when a rodent decides if you should keep out the big coat for a while longer. And you’re right, these days, it is that. But many believe it grew from something a bit more magical. It’s roots are deep in the Celtic pagan holiday called Imbolc. This is a celebration of the half way mark between winter and spring. It’s still celebrated as such today.
What Is The Celtic Holiday Imbolc?
During Imbolc the goddess Brigid is worshiped. She is often associated with fertility rites, arts, poetry and even prophecy. Most celebration of Imbolc will include some sort of offering to this goddess. It’s also celebrated with fire in the form on burning lamps, bonfires, and even candles.
I don’t know about you, but celebrating something warm with fire that marks the spring- is- coming- turn right about now sounds really good. The spirit of this celebration also ties in really beautifully to a new moon ritual, and a lunar new year as well.
This year, 2022, in the lunar new year calendar, is the year of the water tiger. Good news friends, the water tiger is associated with exorcising evils, strength, and bravery. I think we could really use some of that energy, please!
What is a New Moon Ritual?
All of these happenings work beautifully with New Moon. Each cycle of the moon carries it’s own energy. A new moon is all about a new start. That makes good sense, as of course the moon herself is starting over so to speak and going dark for a moment.
Its an ideal time for reflection, planting, and intention setting. It’s a really great time to consider birthing something new. That could be the birth of an idea, a way of being, a project, or a literal person. Whatever it is you are considering bringing into creation, this is the ideal time to give it more attention.
I’m going to walk you through 5 easy steps to creating your own New Moon Ritual that’s specific to all the good things and celebrations that are happening right now. You can make this work for you. It can be anything from a 15min ceremony to a full day celebration. Take what works and interests you and leave the rest. The important part is attention, intention, and that conscious choice of entering a sacred ceremony space that helps your brain track that something different and special is happening.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
5 Easy Steps to Creating a New Moon Ritual
#1 Create A Sacred Space. You can put as much or as little time into this step as you’d like, but it’s an important one. In the most simple version you might have a corner of your home that you especially love, perhaps near a window with natural light and a view of a plant. Bring with you to that space a journal, perhaps also a candle, and something comfortable to sit on. It can be that simple. If you’d like to make it a bit more detailed we can create an alter. If you already have an idea of something you’d like to start creating bring with you an object that echos that idea. If you were considering literal physical fertility you might bring a goddess figure to the alter, if you’re seeking new home, you might bring a picture of a dream home. You get the idea. You might adorn the alter space with something beautiful you’ve found in nature like a fallen leaf or pine cones. You can burn incense or a candle to clear the space. You might have cards to pull near by. A journal. A picture of a teacher, a guide, a god or goddess, an ancestor. You really can’t do it wrong. It’s about creating a special space where you’ll feel safe, protected, and centered.
That brings us to what we do once the alter is set up!
If you’re doing a short version of this practice you might take a quick shower with your sense fully alert to feel the warmth of the water, and enjoy the sensations of smell. If you’re doing a suuuuper fast version, just wash your hands with something that’s pleasant and enjoy the cleansing process, you might wash you face or your feet as well. For those of you who have a bit more time to play with.
#2 is Take a Bath! Oh the goodness of an intentional ritual style bath. This is a space for enjoyment, pleasure, and self care ceremony. This part is very important because It’s so difficult to give birth to something new without becoming depleted if self care isn’t a part of the equation. When we’re always in creation and go mode, it’s really easy to get out of wack. A bath is just one of many ways to create a self nurturing space. If you hate a bath, that’s okay, imagine what it is for you that’s very nurturing and perhaps you don’t have time for every day. Do that! My fellow bath people, let’s set the scene. Dim light, candles, some sort of bath blend or bath oil that you love. Calm sounds, like ocean sounds or neutral music playing. Warm tea, or a little warming wine, you choose. Give yourself time to enjoy and soak in the goodness. If you’d like to add an Ayurvedic specific flare here, indulge in a slow and warm abhyanga session before you get into the bath. The warm water will help dig the oils deeper into your skin for even more moisture and healing.
This leads us from allowing the mind and body to be free and enjoy into a more directive and contemplative space.
Self Care Rituals From Ayurveda
#3 Practice Gratitude for the Good Things You’ve Already Created. It’s wise to move from a place of gratitude. This lens might make it more possible for you to choose what you’d like to create next. You can of course feel the difference between trying to create from a place of lack, greed, and attachment as opposed to creating from a place of gratitude, wisdom, and full heartedness.
Can you picture something you’ve tried to create before that didn’t go as you’d planned. I know I can. Often when I reflect on what in the world went wrong it’s all there in the inception of it. It’s about where it came from. The more we can all create from a place of gratitude, offering, and abundance, the better. We’re more likely to make things that feed both ourselves, and the people we’re trying to make them for. Do you feel me on the this? Gratitude, and clarity matter. The new moon is a wonderful time to give both some attention.
#4 From that clarity we can move even more into an open and receptive space with meditation. Meditation can look like more than one thing here. I’m using the umbrella word meditation, but what I mean is any practice that’s going to take you deeper into a listening space. A space and state of being where you are connected to something larger than yourself and you’re very interested in what it has to say. For me the words that feel the best here are universe or consciousness. For you it could be prayer and God, or worship and goddess. Whatever is it, that’s what we’re going for. So you might be cross legged on the floor with your eyes closed chanting, or listening. You might be praying out loud or inside the safety of your own mind. You might be pulling goddess card. Whatever practice it is that helps you remember you’re a part of something that is bigger than yourself, and you can tap into that goodness for help, do that.
All of these practices culminate into the last step. First, there’s creating the sacred space, the container for ritual and ceremony to happen within. Then, it starts with taking good care of yourself. Nourishment so that you can create and dream from a well fed place that doesn’t lead to depletion. That nourished space will make it more possible to set the tone for gratitude. Here you can get into a the mindset of abundance and service, both to yourself and to others. Next, it’s time to meditate and connect with the bigness of the universe for wisdom and guidance. No one is an island. When we recognize our connectedness it creates more likelihood that wise and successful creations will follow.
#5 It all comes together in intention setting. This is where the clarity hits the paper. For many of us, It’s inside the container of ceremony and ritual that there’s space to really put something out there. The energy of the dark moon, with all it’s potential and rebirth is a wonderful time to do this. You will know best what has come up. It may be something different that you expected, and that’s okay, that’s what happens when we’re listening! What wants to be created, brought forth, born? What idea needs more attention? What curiosity has more questions to offer? When you know, write it down. Pen to paper. Old school style.
If you’d like to harken back to the Imbolc practices you could offer the intention you wrote down on to a fire. Please do so safely! Another option would be to light a candle as you write down your intention and simply place it next to your burning candle. You can place the written intention outside under the dark moon beneath the weight of a crystal or any other object that means something to you. There’s so many ways to ritualize the intention to it sticks to you a bit closer.
Whatever it is, I hope just like this time of year, your creation dreams move you out of the darkness and towards the light. I hope ceremony becomes a comforting friend that helps you break up time and mark celebrations and progress.
Can you tell I’m into ceremony and ritual? If you’d like to learn more rituals that are specifically self care practices from the Ayurvedic lineage please check out the course I made! It’s a two week adventure that invites you to look most specifically at your morning routine and weave in practices that you love and help keep you well. You’ll learn a new practice daily for two weeks and by the end of the course you’ll know how to craft a daily practice that really works for you. I hope you love it, and I’ll link to it in the show notes.
Happy lunar new year good people. Happy New Moon. Happy Groundhog Day and happy Imbolc and Happy intention setting, dreaming, creating, and moving toward the light.
It seems like the perfect time to evoke a short prayer to the lord of Ayurveda. Until next time my friends, thank you for joining me here in this space, please, please like and share and review and all that good stuff so more people can find this and May all diseases be conquered as by a powerful forest fire!! Thank you, and bye-bye.