This past October during the rare Halloween Blue Moon, I was up in Truckee with two girlfriends. The cabin had huge windows that just happened to face the direction the moon rose each evening, flooding the living room with moonlight.
A full moon is a perfect time to release things that are no longer serving you & reconnect with yourself. And what better time to set intentions and let go than surrounded by the power of divine feminine energy with good friends and a super moon?
This is an easy ritual for full moons that I like to do. No fancy spiritual crystals or candles needed, you can practice this full moon ceremony with household objects (but you can use your tools if you want, that’s ok too!)
What’s a Full Moon Release Ritual?
Think of it this way: at the start of the New Year, everyone sets resolutions and goals for self-work. Stating resolutions out loud or writing them down helps many people proactively work towards reaching them. Moon ceremonies are basically like resolutions, but you do them many times over the year instead of just once every January.
You don’t have to be spiritual to do a moon ritual, just have an open heart & a yearning for self-love.
It’s traditionally thought that New Moon Rituals can be most powerful around manifesting things to come, and a Full Moon ceremony is a great time to release and let go. For me personally, right now a lot of my self-work is rooted in the need to let go — of habits that aren’t helping me grow, ideas that are no longer serving me, etc. To me, letting go is important so I can have a clear path of growth.
Here’s the secret: there really is no wrong way to go about full moon rituals moon in my opinion. As long as your ceremony helps you check-in with yourself and feel aligned with your intentions, it’s going to benefit you. So while some people think you should never do full moon manifesting, I think release and manifesting go hand in hand. I like to merge them.
It Reminds Me Of A Lantern Festival
I had the chance to visit Lights Fest (a traveling lantern festival – think Tangle here) a few years ago and I found that experience to be very similar to a Full Moon Ritual. During that event, everyone got a paper lantern and got to write down a wish or something we are grateful for on the lantern.
Then, we lit it and let it sail away into the sky, carrying our words with it.
Easy Full Moon Ritual For Manifestation, Release & Self Love
To get started, make sure you are doing your Full Moon Ritual on a totally full moon night! I have a widget on my iPhone to track moon phases because it can be hard to judge the phases accurately by eye. I like to wait until it’s dark out and the moon is high enough in the sky that it looks large and full. This is usually 1-2 hours after sunset, but varies based on time of year.
What You’re Going To Need
- Pen or marker
- A leaf from outside (or a scrap of paper if you can’t get a leaf.)
- Fire or candle
- Matches or Lighter
- Crystals and/or sage (if you use these)
1. Clear Your Space Of Distractions
Turn off the TV and ask others in your household not participating to leave you be. You have to create a sacred space free of negative energy or distractions. That can even mean keeping your nosey cat in the bathroom for 20 minutes so they aren’t distracting your focus (or try playing with the candle flames. Anyone else has a cat that’s a little too interested in fire?)
- You can do this while traveling, as we did up in the mountains. Anywhere you are – a hotel room, a tent, a house, can be a sacred space if you make it one.
2. Light a candle or fire
Spoiler alert: this ritual involves burning things. Up at that cabin in Truckee, we had a fireplace but at my apartment in San Francisco, I have to use a Netflix fireplace each holiday season. So when it comes time for any Full Moon rituals, I just light a candle and keep a tray on hand to place the burning leaf and let it safely burn out without setting my whole apartment on fire.
3. Open the Curtains (or Go Outside)
You gotta let that moon magic in! If the weather isn’t gross and you have a nice, peaceful outdoor space (like a yard or deck) head outside. Otherwise, just open your curtains so moonlight can fill your space. Make sure to turn your lights off inside your house to be more intimately connected to the sky and help the moonlight cleanse your space.
4. Write What You Want To Release & Attract
I love the idea of tapping into the power of Mother Nature to help strengthen your intentions. So, when I want to do a Full Moon Ritual, I pick up a fallen leaf on my block or in Golden Gate Park. Up at the cabin, I ran outside and grabbed some leaves for us three to use. If you don’t have access to a leaf, you can use a piece of paper.
Then, write down all the things you want to release and attract in the next 30 days. They can be in bullet form or full sentences. I’m not going to tell you everything that wrote, since I think it’s kinda like a wishing well or a birthday candle. You don’t share until it comes true.
But great things to write down if you are feeling stuck could be things releasing like old memories that are haunting you, or habits you want to let go of. Also write down things you want to attract and manifest, like the power to take hold of your finances and releasing anything holding you back from feeling that power. Be specific if you can.
5. Burn & Release
After you finished writing, hold that leaf or paper for a minute. Let what you wrote fill your heart and hold it there for a moment. Visualize what you want to release and what you want to attract. And then, when you are ready, burn it.
Congrats, you just completed your first Full Moon Ritual.
Can You Do A Full Moon Ritual The Next Day?
Forgot to do a full moon manifestation on the night of the full moon? Don’t worry, you can do full moon ceremonies as it’s waxing and waning around the full moon, but the energy is most powerful on the night of the full moon. I have a little widget on m iPhone that shows me the phases of the moon which is helpful so I don’t miss a full moon (or a new moon!)
What’s the difference between new moon vs full moon rituals? A new moon is generally thought of a good time to focus on new beginnings, while you do a full moon ritual for letting go what’s holding you back so you can attract what you need to move forward.
While You’re At It – Make Some Moon Water
What’s Moon Water? Well it’s literally what it sounds like. Moon water is water that is left out to absorb the magick full moon energy. You put water into a clear vessel, like a glass jar with a clear lid, and leave it outside or on a window sill facing the moon overnight.
It’s best to do this at the full moon to get the most moon energy, but you can do this at any of the lunar cycles. In the morning, you know have super charged water that you can use for so many witchy things. Full moon spells, future moon water rituals, self care rituals, reading of tarot cards, make yourself a moon bath and some folks even drink it when they want to feel extra power in their mind and body that day.
I’ve tried to do this before by putting it on fire escape (since we don’t have a window sill) but I always forget about the water in the morning and end up leaving it there for like, many moon cycles until I do a deep clean and find it months later. Oops. Everyone says making moon water is powerful, so I really need to start setting alarms next time.
Do Moon Rituals Actually Work?
Any ritual is what you make it. So yes, if you believe, and if you don’t, no.
As a country gal who grew up running barefoot through woods and stargazing each night out my bedroom window, I whole heartily know the power of nature and the universe. And while the moon may not actually be literally altering your reality, rituals like this help you clear your head and focus on finding your power to alter your life in ways you want. I think everyone has the power to manifest within themselves. Some people just need more guidance (like with Moon Rituals) to tap into that power.
Really it al all comes down to intention and the drive for doing inner self-work. Which isn’t easy, by the way. What I wrote on my leaf that night was a mix of hard stuff and easier stuff. One of my more easier things was taking hold of investing. Learning about stock markets and setting up a SEP IRA has been on my to-do list for almost a year but I kept putting it off. But let’s be honest- investing can be kinda scary and confusing if you are new to it.
I found that writing down my goal & declaring to the universe that I want to release any fear or uncertainty I had around investing was key to helping me follow through. And I did it. I’ve since had many virtual meetings with my financial advisor and I even started investing in some stocks (I use Robinhood if you are interested in learning. You can get a free stock for yourself with this link!)
- Update: it’s been a year since writing this initial most and doing a lot of simple full moon rituals each month to focus on my future. I’m happy to report I have my financial sh*t together and found the motivation and clarity to do so by these monthly full moon rituals!
So, that’s how to do a basic Full Moon Ritual. Our witchy writer Tenae has a whole guide on what to do during a full moon and other moon phases to help you focus in on various moon rituals you should check out next.
As noted above, if you are more into spiritual or witch practice, feel free to use any crystals (here’s our guide on using crystals in your practice) sage, candles or other tools to help you in your ritual if you feel like you need or want them. If you are looking for an ethically made smudge stick, check out Araceli Farms.
Try this ritual next time there is a Full Moon – I think you’ll be surprised by how good it feels to do.