Every tradition has a deity that is associated with the moon. In the Yoruba tradition and some of its derivatives, the moon is often connected to Orisha Yemoja. Some say that the moon is Yemoja, while others think of the moon as her consort.
Either way, most African traditions pay well-deserved homage to this massive force that has a major impact on our daily lives. In fact, the moon probably impacts us more than any other luminary because it changes positions every two and a half days or so. No other orisha or luminary moves as fast as the moon, which is why it has such a great influence on our lives.
Whether we intentionally work with the moon’s energy or not, its transformative energy has the power to shift and reshape us in many ways. However, when we purposely call upon this vital force, we can shift our energy much faster and in more profound ways. This is why new moon and full moon rituals are very popular in spiritual communities around the world.
In this post, I discuss the impact of the full moon and how its power helps us to release the old in order to make way for the new. I likewise detail simple full moon release rituals that you can easily do on your own.
Full Moon Release Rituals
The full moon is the perfect time to let go of things that are no longer serving you so that you can move forward. When the moon is fully formed, it indicates that things have come to fruition or have reached a conclusion. Immediately after the moon is fully visible in the sky, it begins to dissipate over the course of about two weeks. It slowly dwindles to the point where it is no longer visible in the night sky.
This moon cycle suggests that it is time to let go. Ayida, as she is referred to in the Haitian tradition, lets us know that it is time to heal and cleanse ourselves from negative energetic patterns and behaviors. As such, it is best to engage in activities that correspond to this energy. Doing so can assist you in letting go much faster and more efficiently.
Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling in this area. Because anytime we work with the natural flow and cycle of the cosmos, we invite and embrace transformative change. But when we go against or simply ignore natural order, we tend to fight against Divine intervention. And doing so can lead to catastrophic results. So use the full moon cycle to help you peacefully release negativity and stagnation.
There are many rituals you can use to connect with the full moon energy to harness the power of spiritual purging and purification. I have outlined a number of very effective rituals below. Keep in mind that it is best to do a full moon release ritual within three days of the start of a full moon cycle when the energy is most potent. However, it can beneficial to engage in such practices anytime during the full moon cycle, which includes the first day of the full moon until the day before the new moon.
Candle Release Ritual
A simple candle release ritual can be initiated during every full moon cycle to help you let go of the things that no longer serve you. In order to conduct a candle release ritual, you will need the following items:
- Table or other surfaces for ritual items
- Piece of paper (can be old or new)
- Pen (preferably red)
- Lighter or match
- Glass of water
- Blue or white candle
- Cleansing incense (white sage, palo santo, sandalwood, etc.)
- Large abalone shell, caldron, or other devices for burning
- Dry gin (optional)
- Offering for the moon (optional)
- Florida water (optional)
The first step is to write a list of things that you wish to release during the full moon cycle. Your list can be as brief or comprehensive as you wish. However, I typically recommend shorter lists of about five items or less. Typically, it is best to focus on releasing things that correspond to the zodiac sign that the moon will visit during the full moon.
For example, if the full moon is in Sagittarius, you may want to focus your release on things like being overindulgent, impatient, anxious, careless, unscrupulous, unjust, or holding on to outdated philosophical or religious beliefs. The energy of the collective astral luminaries in Sagittarius and its ruling planet Jupiter will give you an even greater boost in this area.
Next, you need to set up a table or other surface to hold your ritual items. It is best to use natural surfaces like wood, glass, or stone for spiritual work. Lighter colors are best, but you can also cover the surface in a white cloth to invite in the energy of light. Afterward, collect your ritual items and place the following on the table in an orderly fashion:
- Glass of water
- Dry gin (optional)
- Offering (optional)
As mentioned in the ingredients list, the dry gin and offering are optional items. I only recommend adding them if you are accustomed to working with these items in ritual work. Otherwise, it is best to leave them off. A simple offering of honey, coffee, and/or coconut oil is fine for the moon. However, feel free to use customary offerings from your tradition if you practice within one.
Prepare the Table
Once you have placed all the items on the table, light the candle and incense. I recommend cleansing the candle with Florida Water or a similar cologne before lighting it, but this step is not absolutely necessary. If you do use spiritual cologne to cleanse the candle, make sure that it is dry before lighting it. Florida water and other colognes contain alcohol, which is highly flammable. Waft the incense smoke around the room to clear the energy. You can say a short invocation while doing this if you desire.
Prayers and Offerings
After your table is properly prepared, stand in front of it with the paper that you wrote your release items. Speak a prayer of gratitude to the moon, your ancestors, and any other spirit you normally engage with during prayer sessions.
If you put an offering on the table, tell the moon that you brought her an offering for her assistance. Then, ask the moon for help in releasing the things on your list – call them out one by one. Be sure to pray with heartfelt intentions and use your intuition as a guide for what to say. It is best to only focus on what you desire to release during this ritual.
Burn the List
Once you have completed the prayer portion of your ritual, you need to burn the list that you wrote. This is why it is fine to write on old or used paper. You can burn the list in a large abalone shell, caldron, or similar device. I strongly recommend burning the list on or near a fireproof surface with water nearby. I typically burn my list in or near a sink. Thereafter, discard the ashes and close the ritual with a prayer, chant, etc.
Typically, it is best to leave the ritual artifacts on the table for at least three days. If you prepared a food or coffee offering, be sure to remove it before it starts to rot. Generally, I don’t recommend leaving the artifacts on the table for longer than seven days. But let your spirit lead you on what to do. You can discard any food or drink items in nature or the trash. You can even use certain items like water, honey, coffee, and coconut oil in a spiritual bath which I discuss in more detail below.
The remaining rituals on this list are meant to be complementary to this candle release ritual. However, they can also be used as standalone rituals if you desire. You can add or remove any elements of any of these rituals to suit your personal taste. With all things, let your intuition be your guide.
A cleansing spiritual bath is a great way to accentuate a candle release ritual. It’s healing, rejuvenating, and refreshing. All it takes is the right mix of ingredients, a hefty dose of intention, and the ideal environment to enjoy the benefits of a spiritual bath. There are many ways to indulge in this process for spiritual healing and cleansing. If this piques your interest, check out my more in-depth article about how to take a spiritual bath.
Moon Gazing Meditation
Moongazing is another profound way to engage the power of the moon for clearing and healing. All it takes is spending some time staring at the full moon while focusing your thoughts on what you want to release. This is a very effective meditative practice that can be done throughout the full moon cycle.
Engaging in an extended self-care routine is another great way to work with the energy of the full moon. Enjoying a relaxing spa or resort experience at any level can assist with releasing toxicity on all levels. You can go to your favorite spa or have a spa day at home.
Breathing exercises help clear the respiratory system of debris and built-up mucus. In essence, they strengthen our air passageways, which are the soul of the spirit. As you engage in this activity, focus on what you want to release with each breath you exhale. Then, imagine those impurities being removed from your body.
Deep Cleansing Hair Rinse
There are many ways to enjoy deep cleansing hair rituals. You can use apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and other natural ingredients to give your hair a thorough cleansing. This process is excellent for your head, which is the crown of your spirit. Deep cleaning your hair gives the pores in your head more room to breathe and release toxins. And it refreshes and rejuvenates your mind for clearer, positive thinking.