The moon. Magic. Power. Transformation. Ritual. The moon has been enchanting people from the beginning of time. Women joining in celebration, honoring its energy and order, and harnessing its allure. Can you see it? Can you feel it? When that moon rises, and you catch the first glimpse of its silvery light blanketing your world, you feel a pull from deep within you. Instinct tells you to, at the very least, give it a nod in acknowledgment in thanks for the structure it provides and the intention it invites. The romantic in you may even fancy joining a Moon Circle as depicted in the folklore of old, where you would safely gather with like-minded, spiritual women to reflect, cleanse and manifest your intentions. What if I told you that you can do that today, that these circles exist and are waiting for you. Interested? Then read on and learn.
The What: Moon Circles
For eons, humans have lived in accordance with the natural cycles of the world around them. For many indigenous peoples, embracing the lunar cycle was and is a major piece of cultural significance. The Mexica Moon Dance, for example, is a closed practice of the Mexica peoples that works to channel the healing powers of the moon. And in the Hindu religion, purnima marks the full moon each month with fasting and celebratory rituals. In Pagan and Neopagan practices, we see full moons as a time for reaping the rewards of hard-fought manifestation and connecting with the Goddess. And, of course, the natural rhythm of menstruation aligns with the 30-day lunar calendar.
Moon circles are an ancient, ritualistic practice where people gather (usually women or those with strong feminine energies) to connect with each other and the powerful energies of the moon. They are a sacred, safe space for people to lay bare their personal reflections to heal and help others along their own journeys. They can take many forms, but their intentions remain unified: to harness the power of the moon to promote community, spiritual connection, and inner reflection.
The How: Moon Circles
Moon circles are a highly versatile practice. They can be performed both indoors and outdoors and can range in size with large groups (100+) to intimate settings of 3-5. Moon circles can also look and feel different based on the group’s needs and the facilitator’s guidance. Additionally, the lunar cycle phase being celebrated will also dictate the direction of the evening. Supplies for each moon circle can vary, but notebooks, candles, altar space, meditation pillows, healing crystals, and white dress are commonly used during the ritual.
Typically, circles will start with a gentle guided meditation to unify all energies in the space. The goal is to allow participants to settle into the present moment and arrive fully at the practice. It also promotes reducing stress and anxiety. Once the group is grounded, the facilitator may present a theme, topic, or intention for the night, leading the group into open discussion. Brave and vulnerable voices are welcomed to share in this space of safety and support. After group discussion, there is typically manifesting, energy clearing, journaling, or other practical ritual activity conducted amongst the group. With all of this being said, there is no hard-fast way to conduct or participate in a moon circle. The variety in practice is a big part of what makes them beautiful and so downright powerful.
If you are interested in participating in a moon circle then look to natural wellness centers for resources and information. It is likely they already host regular moon circles and/or can point you in the right direction. For those living in Sudbury, Massachusetts, EveryBody in Mind Wellness Center is an excellent starting point.
The When: Moon Circles
No two moon circles will ever look and feel alike, and a large part of that is because they are practiced in alignment with the lunar phases. Each lunar phase brings with it specific energies and powers that moon circles work to cultivate:
The new moon represents a blank slate from which to define your intentions for the upcoming lunar cycle. This is an opportunity for self-reflection and for putting a name to what seek and are looking to invite into your life. In a moon circle, this can take the form of listing goals, sharing intentions with the group, or visualization exercises.
Waxing moons are an excellent time for doing. The waxing moon represents the build-up and climb towards the full moon. The power of the waxing moon will keep you focused and energized as you reach towards your goals. During this time, you may benefit from acknowledging and clearing any energetic blocks preventing you from taking action in a moon circle. You may also reflect on the hard work you have been putting towards reaching your goals.
Full moons represent ripening opportunities and are the prime time for manifesting and reaping the rewards of your hard work. Self-care and showing appreciation for the efforts you have been putting into your goals is a great way to celebrate the full moon. In a moon circle, this may look like indulging in delicious and nutritious snacks (such as dark chocolate) or engaging in a high-energy group dance session.
After riding the high of the full moon, waning moons are the opportune time for releasing what’s no longer working for you. To step into our highest selves, we must learn to shed and depart with parts of ourselves and our lives that no longer serve us. In a moon circle, this can take the form of sharing and expressing vulnerabilities. Journaling about what we need to let go of, and burning the journal entry in a fire ceremony is common.
It is also highly recommended to consider the Zodiac sign in which the moon is presently in as this could lead you to topics that should be focused on, areas of your life that require more attention, or how your intentions may show up around you. Working alongside astrological forces can help direct the moon circle towards its highest potency and significance.
The Why: Moon Circles
The purpose of moon circles can vary intensely from person to person. By and large, we find moon circles to bond, express, create, and ultimately, to heal.
A study conducted by Thomas Egnew, a licensed clinical social worker, and behavioral scientist, examined participants’ relationships to transformational healing. After a series of interviews, Egnew’s findings present that healing is, “associated with themes of wholeness, narrative, and spirituality…[and] an intensely personal, subjective experience.”. This suggests that healing is deeply personal in nature and can be grounded in experiences of connection and spiritual transcendence.
The impact of simply being heard by a community of like-minded souls can be profound. Processing trauma and blocked energy in a safe, warm, and loving space can allow for deep energetic release. When this happens, we can start to feel less hindered by the burdens of our past and lean into all the present has to offer.
By working with the potency of the moon, we lock into powers that are bigger than ourselves. We can feel a sense of connection with all life in the natural world, the Universe, and each other. This sense of connection fuels our abilities to see beyond ourselves and engage with the highest vibrations of the Universe. When we tap into these vibrations, we are presented with opportunities to step into our highest selves and will often find that abundance has been waiting for us to greet it all along.
The Skinny on Moon Circles
Moon circles are rooted in ancient, ritualistic practices. They seek to harness the power of the moon to promote community, connection, and spiritual transcendence. Facilitators lead moon circle sessions that comprise guided meditation, group discussion, energy clearing, journaling, and manifesting in alignment with the phases of the moon. Moon circles are highly versatile and no two will ever look or feel identical.
The group work practiced in moon circles empowers us to tap into energies beyond ourselves. Where we find deep, meaningful connections with one another and the moon that can be both energizing and healing. By working with the moon’s energy during its various phases, we open our souls to receive the power that is available for us.
Join us for our next Moon Circle gathering!