It’s bizarre to consider that it has only been a little over two months since I uprooted and moved my life halfway across the world from the UK to America’s vast and ethereal Southwest. The transfer had been in the pipeline for a while, so there was a great deal of relief when it finally came to fruition. It has been a whirlwind of a time thus far and I see nothing but more magic on the horizon.
Something I’ve learned over the years is the importance of both following your intuition and going to the places that call to you if you seek fulfillment and the answers to those bigwideworld questions. One “pillar of perfection” is becoming comfortable with vulnerability, but that one’s a toughie for most of us (and rightly so!). However, never one to shy away from a challenge, I’m actively working to cultivate connections based on that openness and I think I’ve found the answer.
Through friends of friends and the serendipitous dance of life, I managed to get myself invited to a sacred full moon circle last month. It ended up inducing a catharsis unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced and I went home that night having a greater sense of connection to some of those women (strangers prior to that event, I might add!) than peers I’d known for ages.
A new component of my self care regimen, a moon circle ticks all of the boxes a girl could hope for on her journey to spiritual enlightenment. But before I get too much into it, I’ll first explain what it’s all about.
Traditionally, in many cultures, the lunar phases have brought with them various tales and fanciful folklore that are worth at least a small moment of indulgence. However, more than purely werewolves and the like, the full moon is often considered a time of celebration. Where the new moon is typically associated with setting intentions and planting those metaphorical seeds during a slice of quiet introspection, the full moon represents outward energy: reaping what one has sewn.
During a full moon circle, participants are encouraged to share what is on their mind, whether good, bad or ugly. In a safe space where vulnerability is encouraged and the space is held for all to speak without interruption, beautiful (and often much-needed) inner battles can be laid bare, free of judgment or projection. The immense power of simply being heard can have a profound impact on one’s mental health, so you can consider participating in one of these a gift of the most gracious generosity.
There are probably numerous moon circles and other women’s groups in your community hiding out under the radar. If you get invited to one, you’ll be told how to play by the rules, but in case you’d like to start your own, here’s how to get things going:
1. Carefully select a handful of women that you trust completely. By handful, it can literally just be two. Quality over quantity cannot be overstated here.
2. Create a group via text or Facebook and make it a sacred practice not to be bailed on without good reason. Use this to send updates and other related information if you choose. Make it official.
3. Establish a time, date and location. It’s important that the circle takes place as close to the full moon as possible because a) energy is highest and b) it’s beautiful. Try to organize your event for the night of, though within 3 days either side will work fine too. Outdoors under the moonlight is lovely, but if it’s cold, rainy, or you’ve simply not got the patio space for it, it’s no bother to host your circle indoors. Either stick to the same location each month, or vary it by letting members take turns hosting.
4. Treat the occasion as sacred. Set the scene by cracking out the fancy tablecloth that you normally reserve solely for the holidays. Burn the expensive candles. Adorn the space with essential oils, special crystals and tarot cards if you so choose. Don’t hold back; now is the time to pay respects to your inner goddess. You may want to sit in a circle on the floor, or around a table or bonfire. Get creative!
5. Start with snacks. I recommend a pot luck style where everyone brings food or drinks to the host’s house so you can spend the first hour or so catching up and ensuring you’re sufficiently fed and watered. (It’s a great way to try one of our latest recipes that you’ve been meaning to whip up but not yet found an occasion for!)
6. Form your circle. This is where the more “formal” (not to be confused with stiff) part of the ritual will take place. The host should guide the circle, beginning with either an astrological reading, describing the energy of that particular moon, or they may choose to share a poem or piece of prose that moved them and is appropriate. Next, go time! Every circle will have its own rhythm or groove. You may well choose to share your stories in a circular fashion, moving either clockwise or counter-clockwise until everyone has had their turn, but I find it’s nicer if you let things happen organically. A bit like the anxiety that strikes when the teacher threatens to pick on people in class, with something that can be very personal, I find it’s much better to let each person share when it feels the timing is intuitively right for her. So, pause after the host’s introduction, take a few deep breaths and then let the stories come at their own pace. Be respectful.
7. The sharing part will vary from one person to the next. For some it might be an ongoing battle with anxiety; for others it might be family feuds or relationship turbulence. For others again, it may be expressing delight at a recent achievement. The world is your oyster! What’s crucial is that each woman is allowed to share as much as she needs without being interrupted. That’s the golden rule. Feel free to nod in acknowledgement or laugh along with her, but you must not chip in with your two cents, no matter how helpful you feel it will be. Rather, save it for after the circle is complete (i.e. everyone has shared) and the casual snacking and chatting can resume once more. You may also wish to draw tarot cards, use essential oils or whatever other tools you see fit at this time.
You’ll probably want to keep the circle closed to newcomers until you’ve got a few under your belt and are in the swing of things, but after that, if all members agree, you may wish to introduce other like-minded ladies. The most important thing is ensuring that everyone is in agreement with the set-up and above all, feels comfortable. Then, sit back, relax and watch the magic unfold.
Have you ever hosted a moon circle?