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Every 28 to 30 days, the universe invites us to pause and ask ourselves what we’re manifesting in our lives. And it does so through the arrival of the monthly full moon. In astrological terms, moon phases begin with the new moon and end with the full moon—meaning that the end of the lunar cycle is a time when the seeds of intention you planted (unconsciously or not) are starting to bloom. It’s almost as if the universe tells us to stop—or at least slow down—for a few days to learn more about the path we are on and course-correct, if necessary.
Since full moons are about endings, your full moon rituals—how you choose to spend this full moon—should feel a little conclusive, a little reflective. Rather than jumping into the next new thing, focus on what you have done, where you have been, how you have spent the most recent lunar cycle. What seeds have you sown? What benefits have you reaped? What’s worth letting go of, and what’s worth clinging to? Full moon rituals are at their best when they involve evaluation, assessment, cleansing and recharging. Revel in calm for a brief moment, and save the energy for the next new moon—it’ll be here before you know it.
7 things to try during a full moon:
1. Cleanse your mental and physical space
The full moon tends to mark a big build-up of energy—both light and dark. This makes it the perfect time to cleanse your space, body and mind; remove or let go of any of that built-up energy you no longer feel like harnessing, capturing or otherwise holding onto. Consider smudging your home, taking a luxurious bath to unwind, or re-watching Marie Kondo’s Netflix show. Live by the mantra “let everything that doesn’t belong to me go”—even if just for tonight.
2. Charge your crystals
Many believe the light from the full moon is absolutely perfect for charging and cleansing your crystals. This makes some sense—the full moon is all about bringing our intentions and emotions to the forefront, so we can process them, heal what we need to and ultimately, let go.
3. Learn to meditate
Full moons are about endings, not beginnings—so I tend to advise people against beginning something new during this lunar phase. However, because full moons are about endings, they mark the perfect time to engage in a little reflection—and meditation offers an excellent way to do so. Sit with your thoughts as long as you feel like it, and remind yourself to bring some of this reflective energy to other days, as well, regardless of lunar cycle.
Those of you who already have a regular meditation practice may notice your meditations feeling deeper or more fulfilling during this full moon. And that’s, of course, wonderful, too.
4. Dance to release energy
You know that energy build-up I mention earlier? Why not dance it out? Dress up, or let loose in your PJs. The point is to get in your body for a bit, and to let some of that energy go.
5. Let go of emotional baggage
As you engage in self-reflection, you may notice patterns, behaviors or relationships that aren’t getting you any closer to the life you want. Maybe they’re even detracting from it. Use this full moon as a reminder to let them go—or at least, as an opportunity to contemplate why they’re still there.
6. Check your to-do list
Did you make a to-do list during the most recent new moon? Or just recently, at all? Now’s the perfect moment to revisit it and check in on your progress. Are you closer to accomplishing your goals than you were a few weeks ago? If so, continue taking steps to further your progress. If not, ask yourself why. Be proactive, and devise a plan for getting there.
You may also notice some of those goals no longer resonate with you. That’s OK—that’s, in fact, much of what full moons are about. Let them go, or modify things as you see fit. Don’t cling to the person you were when you first penned this list—accept yourself as you are now.
7. Chill out for a bit
Energy is abundant during any full moon, so a wonderful way to celebrate this lunar phase is to simply sit your ass down. Relax. Cleanse your space, and your body, and your mind, and kick back. Sometimes we need stillness to fully observe what’s happening around us, to notice how we feel, to discover the opportunities that’ve been lurking right under our noses. Remember, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be—so revel in it, for a moment.
3 things to avoid during a full moon:
1. Don’t rush to start something new
It’s likely that you’ll feel incredibly energized this full moon—and that you’ll feel tempted to start something new. Resist the urge to dive into new projects, to try new things, to make big decisions. Focus, instead, on reveling in the seeds you’ve sown so far. And give those ideas swirling around your mind some time to percolate. Waiting two more weeks for the next new moon won’t hurt anything—in fact, it’ll likely help you take your next steps more clearly and more efficiently.
2. Don’t overreact to the little stuff
You may notice your emotions at at absolute peak this full moon. The good news is: You’re not alone in that. The bad news is: You’re not alone in that. Your emotions are at their most intense, and so are everyone else’s—out-of-proportion flare-ups are very much on the menu. Resist the urge to snap, chastise or otherwise lash out. Breathe, instead. Stay calm, and take time to think through everything. Peace is the theme this full moon—chase it.
3. Don’t many any rash decisions
As you’ve likely gathered, full moons are an energetic, emotional, spontaneous time. But that decision that’s tempting you right now might not look as good in two weeks, so slow down. Give yourself time to fully process something before committing to it. Be patient. You’ll thank yourself later.