These are things that I have sometimes heard/read people saying. I think that there is a realisation dawning that many of our current “Gods” of brands, celebrities, money and status symbols aren’t serving us well and that many people are wanting a bit more nature in their lives. Maybe I just say this because of the circles I frequent, the things I read and the city I live in!!
Either way, I believe that there are many benefits to a life in connection with nature. Benefits for our mental health (ecopsychology) to benefits for childrens’ development (nature deficit disorder) to benefits for the environment (through developing awareness of the affect of our actions on flora and fauna) to benefits to our economy and our nutrition (eating seasonal food). And more. But this post was going to be about celebrating the full moon…
When I first started exploring nature-based spirituality and paganism, my celebrations at seasonal festivals and at the different points of the lunar cycle were very ritualistic. I’d devote quite a bit of time to decorating my altar, casting a circle at a specific time, calling the quarters, drawing energy up from the earth and down from the sky, entering a meditative state and then grounding myself and closing the circle before having some food and drink themed with that sabbat or moon phase. However, I noticed that, in time, I felt less inclined to go through all these steps and then felt “bad” that I wasn’t “doing it the right way”. To be honest, it just all felt like a bit of a faff to me. Now that I’m a little older, more self-assured and (hopefully!) wiser, I see it that these things don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. I’m probably not quite organised and methodical enough for that way of working to click with me, whilst for some people it may be perfect. Plus I have a young child and many things that I try to fit into my days and for these celebrations to feel like an item on a to-do list is far from how I want them to be.
The style of celebration that works best for me is flexible (in order to fit around family needs that can be unpredictable!), short and sweet with simple decorations, symbolic food and at least an element of it being outside. Sabbat celebrations in our house tend to span at least a day and include all three of us. Lunar celebrations tend to be solitary – although Dylan does often help me decorate our nature display and he looks out (often unprompted) for the moon in the sky!
For full moon I usually….
- that day I usually where something pretty and feminine. There’ll be some white or pink in there. Maybe both!
- decorate our sacred display with a (mainly) white cloth with a flowered pattern and shimmery threads, a couple of decorations that symbolise the full, bright moon to me and a mainden-mother-crone picture that I have. I have fresh flowers or another offering (dried rose petals, food) and sometimes a white or silver candle. However, I usually use the beeswax candles that I make (and that you can buy from my Etsy or Folksy shops – shameless plug!!)
- have an evening meal with foods that symbolise that full moon to me. So maybe white rice, (creamy) mushrooms, fried or grilled round aubergine slices, a yoghurt dip. Or fried potatoes, something in a coconut sauce – or with desiccated coconut sprinkled ontop. You get the idea! I don’t eat cheese but can see how this could fit!
- go outside when the full moon is up. Sometimes I’ll have a 10 minute walk around where I live, sometimes I just go into my garden and look up at the moon. I try to make this a pretty meditative experience; experiencing rather than thinking, feeling the connection I feel to the moon’s energy (if that sounds bit new-agey, you could just admire the beauty of the bright glow).
- come inside and make a hot chocolate or warm juice to drink with some fresh berries (if seasonal) and/or bit of cake/biscuit. (I usually bake at
sabbats and esbatsany excuse!)
- I enjoy this snack in candlelight (outside if warm and dry) whilst I contemplate what the full moon symbolises to me and how these themes are represented in my life right now. So, for me, the full moon correlates to the pregnant mother, so I think about what feels full and ripe right now, what I’ve been growing and is now complete. I think of what’s inspiring me right now and what I’m celebrating and grateful for in life.
Happy full moon ♥