Ancient New Moon Rituals & A Guide To Creating Your Own GatheringIf you’re reading this, chances are you’ve noticed a huge surge in women’s gatherings in recent years, and many specifically on the New or Full Moon. Three years ago when we started hosting New Moon Circles, there were only a handful of public ones happening in LA. Now there are a number of events to choose from every lunar cycle, and even more women gathering in intimate settings at home. We’re in the midst of a modern “Moon culture”, and it is humbling and very exciting to be a part of. Even better though, the more we all continue to gather in community and hold space for real growth, accountability, and connection, the more the divine feminine energy will continue to rise and magnify.
Because knowing the history behind anything makes it that much more special and intentional, today we’re diving into the meaning of New Moon rituals, and dishing our secret sauce and best advice for how to host your own gathering.
New Moon Meaning
The Moon takes 29.5 days to orbit Earth. We watch her wax and wane and become dark and full again each month, beautiful in each phase. The New Moon is the period when the Moon and Sun are at the same place in orbit, making the night sky dark and the Moon invisible. Energetically, the New Moon opens the portal between the known and unknown in our world, between our conscious and subconscious mind. During this time we have heightened access to our intuition and our guides, making it ideal for setting clear intentions and goals.
In many ancient cultures, women would retreat away from society during their “Moon cycle” which coincided with the occurrence of the New Moon. In some cultures, women would gather voluntarily in Moon lodges during their cycle to nest, embrace womanhood, and enhance their mental, physical and spiritual health. Moon lodges or red tents as they are commonly referred to, were a safe space for girls to become women. As many may forget, like clockwork our usual cycle is almost perfectly in sync with the Moon. Upon their first period, girls were invited into the red tent society to learn from the generations that preceded them how to take care of their cyclic nature as a woman.
Ancient rituals included bleeding into mother earth as an offering, chanting, adorning in red, face and body paint, womb massage, indulging in sweets, creating a sacred altar and telling stories of warrior women and goddesses.
Photo: Science & Society Picture Library/Getty Images
[In other cultures, red tents were associated with the exile of women during menstruation as it is viewed as unsanitary and impure. Let us know if you’d be interested on another post on this.]
Some of these traditions remain, and surely there’s a multitude of new traditions being formed every New Moon by women all over the world. The content of the gathering isn’t so important, it’s the commitment to the ritual and the rise of the feminine.
How To Host A New Moon Circle
Sacred Set UpA big part of the ritual is setting up your sacred space. Traditionally, an altar in the center of the circle is present with items to handcraft the energy wanted in the room. You can set your circle up for whatever kind of theme you’re going for. Our circles are themed around the astrological season, the Sun sign of the current month, so I love to design a crystal grid in the center with stones harnessing the energy of the current season, and then enclosing the outer circle with 4 massive wands of selenite to seal our safe space.
I also personally like to have the five elements present in our circles as well. Crystals and flowers represent earth, we’ll use candles for fire, palo santo and a feather for air, and have a bowl of water with flowers present for water or indulge in a water based ceremonial tea or elixir, and ether is found in every moment of silence.
Beginning The CircleWhether you have attended a New Moon circle or not, you can begin hosting your own with these guiding tools. Remember there is nothing wrong with honoring your New Moon ritual solo, but the experience of sharing in community with other women is a powerful one worth exploring. Use these tips for creating your own goddess New Moon gathering.
- Start small. Invite a friend or two over, and set up your living room with your own personal concoction for magic.
- Allow everyone to introduce themselves, and include an ice breaker that goes along with your theme. People could share their sun sign, a word to bring to the circle, or what they are currently manifesting. Switch it up & make it yours. I also like to invite everyone to call in the energy of any other souls they want present with them.
- When you introduce yourself (first), remind the group that there is no hierarchy to the circle; you are simply the facilitator and there to hold space for yourself and others. Not only does this takes any pressure off of you, but it gives everyone the green light to share and listen openly.
- And on that note, it may feel strange to plan for silence, but offer a lot of space for listening and time for people to speak up. I always provide this as a disclaimer at the beginning that I am practicing active listening and I encourage everyone to do the same. I ask for everyone to allow people to feel and speak their emotions, try not to piggy back off someone else's comments (ie, just like you I feel, I totally know how you feel) & no interruptions. It may seem like lots of silent breaks but this space is vital.
- Document it! Always bring a journal and provide space and time for everyone to write down their thoughts. I always offer guided journaling questions that go along with our theme, but just providing time to journal after meditation is a good idea. Not only does it provide something to look back and reflect on, it’s also essential to intention setting.
What Should I Do At My New Moon Circle?The main rule is there are no rules! What is sacred and authentic to you is what will keep you coming back, and whatever keeps you coming back evolves your soul.
Remember, your New Moon circle doesn’t have to be about astrology at all. It can be a space to release or to call in manifestations. You could theme around the seasons or anything else that resonates with you. Your circle could include yoga, dance, chanting, breathwork, meditation, journaling, grounding feet into mother earth, a tea ceremony… the possibilities are endless. If you are able to, attend a few New Moon circles in your community and see what resonates with you.
Moon Body Soul CirclesOur circles are different every time, but there’s three things that stay the same and that you should keep in mind for your own circles.
- Make it a ritual. Hold space for yourself every single New Moon and set the energy with your own sacred set up. Your ritual gains potency each time.
- Meditate. Meditation is prescribed for every New Moon, to honor its dark phase and to access our innate wisdom, our highest self and call in our guides from the spirit world. I always lead a guided meditation, or you could simply take a moment of silence.
- Set intentions. The New Moon is a time to set intentions and become clear on what we are calling in for the next phase of life. We amplify our ability to manifest our intentions when we write them down, so we always include journaling in our circles.
Setting IntentionsWhen setting intentions, I like to invite people to paint a descriptive scene in your mind rather than a to do list. Focus more on the feeling of what you are calling in than how you will get there. The universe understands simplicity and likes details. Write in the present tense, as if your manifestations already exist for you, because they do. It does not matter if your intentions are materialistic or spiritual in nature, as long as they are authentic to your personal evolution and happiness.
If you are in LA, join us for our Virgo New Moon Circle at Love Yoga East Sunday September 9th at 7pm. Space is limited to ensure an intimate experience, so please sign up ahead of time here.