Using moonwater can be a powerful way to center yourself and connect with the lunar phases, and what better time to do that than the summer? The nights are warmer (depending on where you are on the globe), the fireflies glow with the stars, and it’s generally the best weather for moon gazing. The moon controls a lot on our planet, including the tides of the ocean (which supplies us with half of the oxygen that we breathe), so learning more about it is a beautiful way to practice environmental citizenship. Read all the books you can and watch documentaries about the moon and what it can do, but it’s also important to spend time with it. Learn the phases, and at least acknowledge them each night. If you want to take it a step further, making moonwater is the way to go.
Moonwater is greatly misunderstood to be strange, unscientific, or mindless. The thing is though, it’s is not about science or curing chronic illnesses like magic. It’s about meditation and reflection. Ultimately, moonwater has been used since the 1800s to act as a vessel for intentions. To make it, you put water outside under the moon (in a jar or bowl) while thinking about what phase it’s in. You meditate and think about your goals, intentions, and place in life—imagining pouring them into the water. You can place crystals, flowers, and anything else that you feel represents the things you’re meditating on into the container, and it’s left overnight to be collected in the morning. It’s a tool, in the same way that journaling can be a tool. Neither are about science, but it is scientifically proven that engaging in meditative practices is good for focus and overall health.
While not everyone feels that they can sit quietly for an hour and close their eyes on a yoga mat, alternative ways of practicing mindfulness and consciousness can be much more beneficial. Not only do you gain the rewards of traditional meditation, but it’s also a good way to practice creativity, acquaint yourself with the moon, learn to physically represent your internal self, and understand better the way the planet that you live on works. If you happen to practice witchcraft, paganism, or other forms of Earth-centered spirituality, this can also be used in your crafting of moonwater (but it’s not just witches who make moonwater or who can benefit from it).
So, when you’ve finished making it, what do you do with it? If you make it with every full moon, you’ll have a lot of jars of it (I label mine with the date and moon phase so I remember what the experience was like)—let alone if you make it with every major phase (full, half, and new). Here are some summer-appropriate ideas:
Wash your body with it.
This can be an added layer of meditation, as washing yourself is a powerful way of centering yourself within your body. You can pour it over yourself when you’re in the shower, while thinking about what intentions you put into it, or you can dip a cloth in it and rub it into your body. Intuitively pick a cloth, or pick one that is a color that you feel represents the intentions. As you wipe your skin down with it, imagine the intentions seeping into your skin. You can also pour it into a bath, surrounding the tub with items that help you imagine your goals (for example, if your intention was to write more poetry, have your favorite poetry books beside the tub and surround the edge of the tub with pencil shavings or torn up pieces of a poem you wrote for this). Both are very visual and physical meditations, and also an effective ways to ground yourself.
Use it to wash your summer produce and edible flowers.
Summer is a bountiful time, so if you made moonwater while thinking about goals involving abundance, using it to wash your produce is a very thoughtful way to use it. Imagine it soaking into the fruits and vegetables, and eventually into your own body when you digest them. Visualizing concrete goals in abstract ways can be a lot more effective for creative thinkers, so even if it sounds weird at least try out this form of meditation. You can also use it for boiling pasta, making smoothies, or really any time you use water in your food.
Make herbal iced tea with it.
In the heat of the summer, herbal iced tea can bring hydration and relief. Instead of using tap water, use your moonwater (if you don’t have enough, mix it with tap). Make loose leaf tea with local flowers and berries, or plants that you forage for. You can even try to pick ingredients that you think somehow connect to your intentions (for example if you are focusing on your goal of feeling closer to your partner, picking red fruits is a great visualization of that feeling behind it). When you drink it, imagine drinking in your intentions and bringing them closer to you. Think about how you can literally do that in real life.
Incorporate it into DIY toner.
Making your own toner is super cost effective, since the main ingredient is water. Utilize your moonwater for it, and add in whatever else your skin likes for this skincare step. Green tea, rose water, aloe and witch hazel are all great options for most skin types. Put bits of crystals (that won’t be damaged in water) in the bottle if you think of colors or specific crystals that represent your intentions best. When you spritz it on your face, that’s another moment to think about your intentions or feel closer to them. If you have a toner already, using it to make hair texture spray works just as well (I love using sea salt and other oceanic ingredients in mine, to feel closer to the sea and bring out my waves), or as a scented body mist.
Make ice cubes with it.
It’s hot in many places during this time of year, so ice cubes can come in handy. Fill an ice tray with the moonwater so that when you use the cubes you can meditate or think about your experience with the moon. Place foraged flowers or berries in there for added beauty and symbolism of abundance if you’re a very visual person.
Wipe down your front door with it.
This is a symbolic gesture, and one that’s been practiced by pagans and witches for centuries. Cleansing one’s door was supposed to be protective or invite in abundance. If you don’t feel connected to these religions, this can just be another great opportunity to revisit your intentions and imagine it washing over your home.
Use it for watering your plants.
If you have a lot of house plants, this can be a beautiful way to involve them in this practice. Imagine their roots soaking it up, and if you treat your plants like people, whisper intentions to them so that you can look at them and feel like they represent what you’re working on.
Infuse your DIY air freshening sprays and cleaners with it.
This can act very similarly in effect as wiping down your front door with moonwater. It’s a way to think about your intentions and have it seep into your home.
Soak your hair in it.
This can be a great way to cool down and to feel close to your intentions, physically. Fill a big bowl with your moonwater and anything else you feel would help your hair or represent your intentions. Chamomile is a great choice (tea or flowers), since it’s nourishing for the hair and it can represent intentions like wanting to take better care of one’s self or relax more since it is so calming. You can dip your hair in it, or sit on the floor with a bowl of moonwater on a chair and leave your hair in the bowl. The same thing can be done to make a foot soak, and that can be more convenient with it being easier to soak one’s feet. It’s just as cooling, calming, and meditative.
Pour some onto your clothes in the washer before you begin the cycle.
This is just a visual way to further incorporate your intentions into your daily life. Imagine it weaving into the fabric of your clothes, and when you wear them, think about your goals and hopes, or even just your experience bonding with the moon. Either way it’s powerful.
Dye your clothes with it.
Making botanical dye helps center yourself in the local flora (if you foraged for your materials), and it’s a fun way to be creative. Using moonwater for the process is a mindful way to incorporate more of nature into it as well as infuse your clothes with your intentions, symbolically.
Watercolor with it.
If you’re an artist who likes to use watercolors, using moonwater instead of tap water can be a mindful way to incorporate nature and the moon into your work. As you paint, you can choose to also think about your intentions, but infusing art with the sky alone is still a great way to meditate and feel connected to yourself.
Spray a tiny bit on your pillow before you go to sleep.
Before you go to sleep each day, it’s important to think about what you experienced, and ideally, what you want moving forward from the next days. Adding another layer to intention can help a lot with that, and as you fall asleep you’ll be thinking about very centering things, hopefully making for a more restful sleep.
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Photo: Emily Iris Degn