Full Moon Ritual
date night with the moon
You’ve got a crush on the moon.
Well, not so much the moon as what she represents; intuition, mutability, sensuality. Maybe you don't even know you want her yet, but you’re becoming acutely aware you’re trapped in her opposite. Unable to relax. Running every feeling or whim through an obsessive logical analysis which leaves you feeling empty and bereft. Cut off from your potential to flow, living in your head, unbearably tense in your shoulders but unaware of your body until it starts screaming.
And you know that there are a lot of lifestyle changes that would probably help. That you need to unpick your own network of beliefs about what it means to be successful and good. That our whole culture needs to shrug off the psychic legacy of industrialism and find another way to make meaning instead of endless gadgets that enthral and entrap us.
One date with the moon is not going to solve all your late-stage capitalism blues. But you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so… ritual and chill?
This ritual is best performed at dusk on the night of a full moon and will take two to four hours to complete. To perform it as written you will need to ask her out 28 days before your proposed encounter and collect water from a natural source during that period.
You will need
A round, silver-coloured disc strung on a chain or thread (a blank pet ID tag works well)
Water collected from a natural source (I prefer sea water)
A robe, dressing gown or shirt of a material that feels good against your skin.
A playlist consisting of:
Several soft dreamy instrumental tracks
A song that feels sacred to you (I recommend Patti Smith’s Spell)
A devotional track that you can loop (I recommend A Beautiful Chorus’s Faith’s Hymn)
More instrumentals to finish
Three floating candles (tealights will float if removed from their cases)
An image that represents the moon to you (could be a picture of The Nebra Sky disc, a statue of Artemis or Van Gogh's Starry Night—whatever takes your fancy). Keep this image covered until the time of the ritual.
A cloth large enough to cover the moon image
An alcoholic beverage (preferably something you drink rarely)
A treat (three dates, three chocolates or any small portion of something sweet you rarely eat)
An incense stick (of a scent you associate with the moon. I like frankincense)
Three red roses
Scented body oil (again, of a scent you associate with the moon. I like rose)
A floor covering to protect your floor from the oil and yourself from slipping (perhaps a towel, rug or yoga mat)
Cushions, a blanket or whatever you need to sit comfortably on the floor
A notebook and pen
First, ask her out
On the full moon prior to your ritual take the disc and hold it up in the night sky so that it obscures the moon. Slow your breathing. Close one eye and then the other so you alternate seeing the moon, then the disc and back again. Repeat this nine times. Bring the pendant to your heart, bow your head and whisper something like ‘I wish to meet you’. Slip the disc into a black pouch or wrap it in black fabric until the time of your ritual.
Get her something nice
In the month preceding your date, collect water from a natural source. You could make a special trip to the sea or put out a vessel to collect rainwater. Without the impact of the planetoid that created the moon we would have no water on earth—so any water, including the fluid inside your body, is linked to the moon… but using tap water or urine seems a little disrespectful/gross.
Set the mood
Put on your instrumental music. Play it louder than you usually would so there’s no room for extraneous thoughts in your head. Dim the lights.
Put on your robe, dressing gown or shirt. No need for underwear.
In the east, erect a temporary altar. This can be an old suitcase, a wine box or a coffee table. It should be raised above floor level and should be clean. If the surface is not pleasing to you, cover it with a cloth.
On it place three jars half full of the water you’ve collected with the unlit floating candles in them. Behind them, prop up the image of the moon you’ve selected, averting your eyes, and cover it with the white cloth. Place your glass of alcohol on the left hand side of the altar and a small plate with whatever treats you’ve prepared on the right. In front of the central candle jar place your silver disc. On the floor on the right side of your altar have your notebook and pen ready, an incense stick, lighter, and a receptacle to dispose of the ash. On the left have your three red roses and scented body oil.
Put your floor covering in front of the altar and any cushions or blankets you need to be comfortable on top.
Sitting in front of your altar pull the petals off your first rose. Do it slowly one by one. When the rose is bare, take the petals and walk clockwise, starting in the east, in a circle of around 6ft in diameter. Walk slowly and sprinkle the petals on the floor as you walk. Then sit in front of your altar again. Dismember the second rose, this time do it fast and furious. Pace the circle again, stomping on the first layer of petals and tossing down the second. Return to sit in front of your altar. Pull apart the third rose with your teeth, go wild. Grab the handful of petals and move around the circle as fast as you can, throwing down the third layer of petals. Return to a seat in front of your altar, place your hands on your heart, feel it beating and slow your breathing. For you uptight would-be moon communers be assured, within this circle: nothing is true, everything is permitted.
When your heart rate and breath have returned to normal light the floating candle on the right. At the moment the flame catches the wick whisper ‘I invite you’ take a deep breath then light the central candle whispering ‘I implore you’ take another deep breath and whisper ‘I invoke you’ as you light the final candle.
Remove the white cloth from your image of the moon with a flourish. She is here, date night is on!
Play your sacred track.
Light your incense stick. Slowly move it across the image of the moon on your altar. Encircle it with the smoke then encircle yourself so the smoke forms a figure eight surrounding the image and yourself repeat this three times then simply hold the stick between yourself and the image for the duration of the song. If the smoke irritates your throat you can now put the incense out or leave it burning for the rest of the ritual.
Play your devotional track on loop.
Starting at your feet, rub the scented oil over every inch of your body like a witch preparing to fly to the sabbat, this will facilitate your journey to the moon. Be careful not to miss a spot. You will need to slip out of your robe to do this thoroughly, and you can leave it off: it’s just you and the moon here after all. While you apply the oil, study the image of the moon intently. Watch the candlelight play on its surface; does it appear to move?
Once you are fully covered in oil, kneel before your altar reverently and take the silver disc from the centre. Hold it up to the image of the moon and repeat the alternate eye closing trick nine times then slowly place it around your neck.
Play your ocean sounds.
Stand up, nude apart from the necklace, and begin to spin in a clockwise direction. Be careful not to slip. Try to catch the rhythm of the ocean sounds as you move. Imagine you are spinning in the night sky, swimming towards the moon. When you start to feel a little dizzy, collapse on the floor as if you were a puppet whose strings were suddenly cut. Breathe deeply then arrange yourself lying on your back, feet towards your altar, legs together, arms above your head at a 45 degree angle to make a letter Y.
Close your eyes. Picture the image of the moon you were staring at only moments ago. If you struggle to visualise it try describing it to yourself silently in words. Listen to the ocean sounds and, in unison with them, start chanting speak through me, speak through me, speak through me. Once you start to feel really quite strange, stop chanting and let three words or images drift into your head. If they are words, say them aloud. Once the words or images have passed, put your hands on your heart on the silver disc, smile broadly and whisper thank you.
Sit up slowly.
Play the instrumental music again.
Take a comfortable seat in front of your altar. You may wish to slip back into your robe now. Write down or draw the three words or images that came to you for later reflection.
Staring at the image of the moon, enjoy your alcoholic beverage and treat. Before consuming either, hold them up to the image as if offering them to the moon. Reserve a small portion of both to leave out tonight under the moon. Eat and drink mindfully, savouring every mouthful and letting the music wash over you.
Once you’ve finished your feast. Put the lids on your jars to extinguish the candles as the first candle goes out whisper ‘I hear you’ take a deep breath as the second candle goes out whisper ‘I honour you’ take a deep breath whisper ‘I hold you’. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a heartfelt hug.
Take the disc from around your neck and place it back into its pouch. Recover the image of the moon. Don’t look at it again until your next date.
Moving anticlockwise from the east, collect the circle of rose petals, repeat this three times making sure you get every last one. Take the petals and the jars of water into the bathroom.
After the Ritual
Draw yourself a bath, sprinkle the rose petals on the surface. Light candles, open a window to the night. Before getting in, stand in the water and tip the three jars of water over yourself, allow yourself a shriek, whoop or gasp as the water falls upon you, then sit down and enjoy a leisurely bath. Use this time to reflect on whatever words or images occurred to you during the ritual. You may wish to use them as guidance or inspiration for the following month. Maybe they suggest an action to take a mood to inhabit or an artwork to create. You may wish to display these words prominently (perhaps in magnetic letters on your fridge) for the rest of the month or until you understand them.
Before you go to bed that night take the small portions of food and drink you reserved and place them outside. Dispose of any remnants the next morning by returning them to the earth.
Set up altar (instrumental music)
Make circle of rose petals
Light floating candles (I invite you, I implore you, I invoke you)
Reveal image of the moon
Cense image of the moon (play sacred track)
Lube up (play devotional track on loop)
Put on silver disc
Spin and collapse (play ocean sounds)
Assume Y position on floor
Let the moon speak through you (speak through me)
Record the moon’s wisdom
Extinguish candles (I hear you, I honour you, I hold you)
Take off silver disc, conceal image of the moon
Collect rose petals
Set out offering under the moonlight