Celebrating the Full Moon

The full moon has long had an aura of mystery and magic about it. It is tied to the ebbs and flows of the tide, as well as the every-changing cycle of womens' bodies. The moon is connected to our wisdom and intuition, and many Pagans and Wiccans choose to celebrate the full moon with a monthly ritual. Here are some of our most popular moon rituals, as well as ideas for craft projects and recipes that will help you honor the power of the full moon.
 

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Image by Sino Images/Sino Images/Getty Images

Every full moon is surrounded by legends and lore of its own. Each month is a bit different from the last, and as the year progresses, magical energies change and flow, just like the moon and the tides. Here's where you can learn about the monthly full moons that emerge each year, and the magical correspondences for each.
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Image by Victor Walsh Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Does it really matter what the moon phases are, when it comes to magical workings? In some traditions, it does. Read on to learn about what sort of magic you may wish to perform during the various phases of the moon. More »

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People have honored deities of the moon for ages. Image by Marek Sojka/EyeEm/Getty Images

For thousands of years, people have looked up at the moon and wondered about its divine significance. It should come as no surprise that many cultures throughout time have had lunar deities - that is, gods or goddesses associated with the power and energy of the moon. If you're doing a moon-related ritual, in some traditions of Wicca and Paganism you may choose to call upon one of these deities for assistance. More »

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The night of a full moon is a perfect time for ritual. Image by John Foxx/Stockbyte/Gett Images

This beautiful and powerful ritual is one in which the practitioner invokes the Goddess directly into herself (or himself, as the case may be). In some variations of this ritual, a High Priestess (HPs) may go into a trance-like state and speak the words of the Goddess, and in others, it may be a formal monologue calling upon the Goddess in her many forms.
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Celebrate the full moon with rituals each month. Image by shaunl/E+/Getty Images

In addition to the eight Sabbats, many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate regularly with an Esbat. This is a time of spellwork and magic, as well as of communing with the Divine, traditionally held at the time of the full moon. You can hold this Esbat ritual either alone or as part of a group.
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Celebrate the autumn full moon outdoors!. Image by KUMIKOmini/Moment/Getty Images

This ritual can be held during any of the Autumn full moon cycles. Celebrate the Corn Moon in September, the Harvest Moon in October, and November's Blood Moon. Although this ceremony is designed for a group, it could easily be adapted for a solitary practitioner.
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Winter Full Moon Ceremony

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The Long Nights Moon is a good time for self-evaluation. Image by Milamai/Moment/Getty Images

Instead of a regular Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups tailor their full moon celebrations to the season. This ceremony is designed for a group of at least four people, and can be held during any of the chilly winter months.
 

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April's full moon is a time of pending rebirth. Image by Project with vigour/Score by Aflo/Getty Images

Celebrate the arrival of spring with a seasonal full moon. Welcome spring with a water-themed ritual adaptable for either groups or solitaries.
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The strong sun moon celebrates the longest days of summer. Image by Ingolf Pompe/LOOK/Getty Images

Instead of a regular Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups tailor their full moon celebrations to the season. This ceremony is designed for a group of at least four people, and can be held during any of the sunny summer months.
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Read your cards when you need to, but consider moon phases for non-urgent questions. Image by Steve Allen/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Do you have to wait for a certain phase of the moon to do a Tarot reading? Not necessarily - but here some ideas on how specific phases may impact the results. More »

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Just because you can't see a full moon doesn't mean it's not there. Image by Andy Williams/Taxi/Getty Images

You're planning a ritual or magical working to be done at the time of the full moon -- but what happens if the weather's bad, or you can't see the moon? Do you just call it quits?
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Make a moon's eye to celebrate an esbat. Image by Patti Wigington, 2009

The God's Eye is a popular craft project - why not make one to celebrate the three phases of the moon instead? Here's how.
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Make a Moon Candle

Decorate a plain white candle to symbolize your connection to the moon. Image © Patti Wigington 2009

In some Esbat rituals, you may wish to celebrate with the use of a moon candle. The moon candle represents the different phases of the moon, and is traditionally kept covered during the dark phase, but revealed during the waxing phase of the moon. You can easily make your own moon candle to use in ritual. This includes two different types of candles to make.
 

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Make a Moon Braid

Make a Moon Braid to hang near your window. Image © Patti Wigington 2009

Braiding can be relaxing and meditative. Put together this simple braid to celebrate the three phases of the moon.
 

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Make a batch of Moon Cookies for your Cakes & Ale ceremony. Image by Foodcollection RF/Foodcollection/Getty Images

Make these crescent-shaped cookies to celebrate during an Esbat rite, or for your Cakes and Ale ceremony. You can dip them in chocolate or decorate them with frosting and silver sprinkles for an added bonus!
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If you live in the southern hemisphere, consider celebrating the moon phases based on local markers. Image by Yves ANDRE/Moment/Getty Images

If you live in the southern hemisphere, your moon phases will be different from the ones on traditional neo-Pagan calendars. Here's how you can calculate the name of the moon cycle if you live south of the Equator.
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Plant a garden with night-blooming flowers. Image by Ricardo Reitmeyer/E+/Getty Images

Many Pagans love to garden, but a lot of people don't realize you can grow plants and flowers that bloom at night. Cultivating a moon garden is a great way to get in touch with nature, and it provides a beautiful and fragrant backdrop for your moonlight rituals in the summer. If you plant these lovelies close to your house, you can open the windows and take advantage of their aromas as you sleep. More »