Full Moon Ceremony

Rachael CrowMoon Lodge/Red Tent, Musings

Full Moon Ritual

In 2012 I was co-running a Full Moon Ritual and Moon Lodge, the ritual has been handed down a line of women from Seneca Elder Grandmother Twyla right down to women in the UK  including my friend Hoppi Wimbush here in West Wales.

The ritual itself is simple but the wisdom and healing women bring to each part makes the magic happen! Three women hold the space- one fire maker, one creates an altar and one holds the ritual. A group of women put up the tipi each month.

We are sensitive to wait until all women (and some babes in arms) arrive and settle, whilst holding a boundary of starting on time. On warmer evenings we are outside around the fire, on chillier nights we are in the Moon Lodge Tipi.

The Ritual has four rounds, the first is purification, we sing and smudge one another with sage, giving intention to purify and bring ourselves into a peaceful state of being.

Next we have a gratitude and healing round, calling out the things we are grateful for this month, this week, or maybe just in that moment, then a powerful healing round, holding loved ones in the circle who may need healing and holding for whatever reason.

At this point we often sing “I am a circle, I am healing you, You are a circle, you are healing me…”

The third round is a ‘planting seeds’ round, we burn sunflower seeds in the fire, throwing a handful in whilst clearly stating our intentions/manifestations for the upcoming month.

The last round is our ‘Letting Go’ circle, each throwing beautifully scented lavender flowers in the fire while stating out loud those aspects of us or situations we wish to let go of.

Often women are prompted to sing a song or recite a poem, or a certain times of the year we may include an activity such a corn dolly making or a womb blessing, the ritual is open to expand and hold whatever women bring!

Each month the circle is closed with a few rounds of “Weave and Mend, Weave and Mend Sacred Sisters, Weave and Mend” and then ground ourselves with food we have all brought to share!

Why take part in a ritual such as this? Well I can only speak for myself, I find the ritual works for me on many levels, firstly reminding me of my connection to the moon, when my cycle is ‘in tune with the moon’ this is my ovulation time, where I feel more confident and outgoing, I enjoy being with others. It gives me focus; by stating what I am truly grateful for each month reminds me to bring that gratitude home and share it with my family, offering healing for friends and loved ones is humbling and can serve to bring more gratitude forward for our own health and well being. Planting seeds and stating intentions for the month is a powerful one- sometimes I focus on personal goals and sometimes business ones, it doesn’t matter which I choose, setting this intention means I really work on whatever goal it is for the month! The ‘Letting Go’ round is an opportunity to release those old patterns or habits that no longer serve, and again, for me, stating them out loud to a group of women who are witnessing me gives me such power and strength that often a shift happens and by the next month I realise that the old habit has gone!

Creating and singing together, listening to each other, sharing food are all part of building community, I have been in this community for just over 4 years and by being part of this ritual I feel truly in the heart of the vibrant womens community here, and a part of the wider community that also holds each womans family.

Some words of Wisdom from Grandmother Twyla:

“Be kind. Do nice things for others; speak kindly about others. If someone does some

thing nice for you, be grateful. Say ‘Thank you.’ Be grateful for every day. Be grateful for waking up. Be grateful for being able to breathe.”

“Gratitude is actually based on love, and nothing is more powerful than love. It’s lack of love, or the misuse of love, that causes many of the problems we have today. People don’t appreciate what they have. They don’t love and respect themselves or each other. They take without giving anything back. They hide their elders — the ones who have the most life experience and can be most helpful in guiding them — in old folks’ homes to get them out of the way. No wonder people today are so confused! No wonder people are not happy!

“In order to be happy, you need to develop and share your inner love. That’s how it grows. If you’re not sharing what you have with others — your gifts and abilities as well as your material possessions — if you’re not helping others to grow, if you’re not a teacher or an example, you’re a user. Users don’t honour what they have. They don’t know how to take care of things so they can be perpetuated. Madison Avenue steps in and tells us to ‘Have it your way,’ so we push for more. Once we get what we want, we devour it until it’s gone. There’s no happiness in that,” Gram declares and shakes her head.

“Happiness — inner happiness — is the goal of life. Most people can’t even look at themselves in the mirror and smile! If someone comes to me and tells me they’re unhappy, I tell them to examine their feelings and figure out what their limitations are and deal with them! You may have a nice house, a nice car, a good job and make $100,000 a year, but if you have all that stuff and you’re still unhappy, you have to ask yourself, ‘What’s wrong with this picture?’”

“You have to nourish self-love all the time. If your parents or husband didn’t give you the love you wanted, you have to give it to yourself. If something throws you into a slump, look at it right in the eye. Figure out what you didn’t see about yourself that allowed that slump to happen, then change it. After all, we live in a do-it-yourself world!” From “Interview with Seneca Elder Grandmother Twyla Hurd Nitsch” by Margaret Wolff