25 Ways to Honor the Full Moon

25 ways to honor the full moon

Do you always mean to do something for the full moon, but it passes you by unrecognized?  Or you do celebrate, but you’re tired of the same old “full moon chores”?  The following list of 25 Ways to Honor & Connect with the Full Moon includes some fresh, inspiring ideas to energize your creativity and zap the life back into your Esbat experience.

Set your intention for the month.  A full moon cycle is plenty of time to take your whole life in another direction!   Set your goal the night of the full moon.  As the moon wanes, clear away obstacles that stand between you and success, and as it waxes, focus on nurturing your efforts until they bear fruition.

Try dream magick.   If you’ve never dropped down the rabbit hole of dream magick, doooooo it!  Experiment with dream work by trying this personal experiment with your dreams, which you may begin either during the dark moon and continue to the full moon or begin on the full moon and continue to the next full moon for a full cycle of warping your dream/waking life.  You will have insights—guaranteed.

Gather graveyard dirt—if you dare.   An experience a teen witch might appreciate.  At my age, being caught in a graveyard in the middle of the night would definitely solidify my already emerging neighborhood reputation for eccentricity.  But if you’re a kid, it can be fun.  Even the most grounded among us feels a little jolt of adrenaline at the thought of wandering into a cemetery at night..  Gathering dirt under the moon in this mood charges it with the power of your bravery.

Go out for Cakes & Ale.  Instead of holding cakes and ale at the ritual site, go out to a pub or brewery.  We went to a German restaurant for cakes & ale once, it was fabulous!

Make a batch of moon water.  Versatile and infinitely useful in ritual, I try to keep a supply of moon water in my cabinet of supplies.  I frequently scold myself for forgetting when I run low and letting the esbat pass, but the full moon makes the best opportunity to craft a bottle.

Boil your cauldron.  Put a large pot on the stove, fill with water and bring to boil.  Add any combination of the following dried herbs: mugwort, wormwood, lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, chamomile.  Let your potion boil for 30 minutes to bless home or clear old energies.

Rework your altar.  If you have a working altar, it very likely needs a clean sweep at least once a month.  The full moon makes an ideal time to spruce up the mojo.  Wipe off incense ashes, polish your stones and smudge.  Or, go for a total makeover.  Paint the table or shelf where your altar sits or finally bust out your compass app to figure out once and for all which way north is.

Make a spell box.  A spell box is exactly what it sounds like.  Choose a box, simple or beautiful, and fill it with your spell ingredients.  Bless and leave on the altar for a full moon cycle.  This scavenger hunt spell box makes a great, easy-to-customize box spell.

Take a ritual bath.  Draw a hot bath, turn out the lights and use candles.  Add natural bath salts, essential oil and/or a muslin bag of herbs to the bath water.  Soak and use the time to meditate quietly or bless yourself.

Make moon cakes.  If you’re “kitchen oriented,” the internet abounds with recipes for moon cakes.  This one is especially lovely, and makes an elegant evening project—with your kitchen window open to the full moon, of course.

Try fasting.  If you’re in good health and you’ve never tried fasting for spiritual reasons, it’s an amazing experience for many people. +

Begin a long fast on the full moon, or simply do a 24-hour fast to honor the Esbat or in place of an offering.

Smoke out your house.  Using smudge or loose incense in a fire-safe dish, burn herbs and blow the smoke into all the corners and around the doors and windows.  Be sure to pay special attention to rooms where family arguments happened over the last month, as well as the bedrooms of anyone who was sick.

Bond with your familiars.  Animals tend to be connected their most primal energies during the full moon.  Pay careful attention for a glance through that window into their souls.

Practice yoga under the moonlight.  Sublimely calming, moonlit yoga soothes frayed nerves and invites quiet contemplation.  This article on how to make your mind/body practice more spiritual lists some ideas to get you in the mood.

Go for the skyclad experience.   If this is your thing, by all means, have at it while the weather’s warm.  I’m told it’s “the only way to fly.”

Try the Free Will of Fate tarot spread.  Wondering where the next month is going?  Try this tarot spread for insight into where you’re headed and how to navigate the road in front of you.

Write a list of regrets and burn it.  Don’t dismiss the power of this simple ritual.  We often torment ourselves with what we should have/could have/would have done instead.  But mistakes are essential to the learning process.  Without mistakes, there can be no progress.  If the heaviness of regret weighs you down, write it on paper.  Be brutal.  Write down all the cruel things you say to yourself and then really reflect on them.  Ask yourself if you’d talk to another person the way you talk to yourself.  If the answer is no, set that bad boy on fire and let the smoke carry away your grief.  Promise to leave it in the goddess’ hands and walk away without looking back—-literally.

Harvest herbs.  The full moon makes the best time to go looking for ritual herbs.  Even if you don’t tend a garden and it’s the dead of winter, there’s almost always something available in the wastelands around you to snatch up.  In the coldest climates, evergreens and hardwoods harvest year-round, and many other climates have a 12-month growing season.

Open a bottle of wine.  If you like wine, the full moon offers you a lovely excuse to pop a cork.  Make it magical by pairing your wine appropriately with the ritual and season.

Find a public ritual.  Many occult shops, local pagan groups and Unitarian Universalist churches offer public moon rituals that welcome anyone who wants to attend.  Particularly if you are new to paganism, these events provide a wonderful local resource to learn and grow.

Have a moonlit picnic.  While I don’t recommend public parks at night, even a candlelit meal on your balcony sets a beautiful mood.  Share with a like-minded friend and consider setting aside a portion of the meal as an offering if you’re tradition calls for it.

Host a “moon dance” for the kids.  Is everyone in your coven struggling through the Mother phase and hard up for babysitters when the full moon rolls around?  Tell them to bring the kids!  I always struggle to think of ways for children to participate that aren’t overly formal or serious, and a moon dance is neither!  All you need is a backyard or (even better) a safely fenced-in rooftop terrace.  Encourage everyone to bring percussion instruments or just load your phone with esbat-friendly music.   

Visit or call a friend in need.  Odds are, you know someone who needs you.  Maybe your neighbor raising three kids on her own will let you watch the little ones while she takes her first hot bath in a decade.  Maybe your grandmother hasn’t had anyone besides solicitors ring her doorbell in weeks.  Or, maybe you have wicked math skillz to teach a disadvantaged child at your local youth center.  Absolutely nothing on this list will make you feel better than doing something for someone else, which is the essence of spiritual gratitude.  Give yourself the gift of giving.

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10 Ways to Use Dandelions in Witchcraft

While you’re weeding your spring lawn, pull these little beauties up and throw together some magick.

10 ways to use dandelions in witchcraft

Use them in sun magick.  A bright, yellow, full-sun flower makes a cheerful addition to any solar or daylight ritual.

Include in creativity and inspiration spells.   Dandelions begin to come up just as the winter fades completely, symbolizing hope and and new beginnings.  Include dandelions in spells to jump start projects or break a creative block.  

Press them in your Book of Shadows.  Dandelions wilt quickly, but they press well!   Press between the pages of your Book of Shadows or journal to infuse it with positive solar energy.

Add them to little wildflower bouquets for woodland spirits.  Planning an outdoor ritual this spring?  Gather dandelions and other wildflowers as an offering to the woodland spirits.

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Use them in spells for bravery and courage.  The word “Dandelion” comes from the french word dent-de-lion, meaning “tooth of lion.”  Use them in mojo bags for confidence, bravery or courage.

Include in wishing spells.    In many regions of the United States, people remember as children finding dandelions after they’ve gone to seed and blowing on them whilst making a wish.  Adapt this charming tradition to a wishing spell for a nostalgic ritual.   Makes a lovely feature in children’s spells and rituals as well.

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Make a divination tea.  Boil dandelion leaves and roots into tea and drink it before reading tarot or other divination practices for keen insight and clarity.

Pile them on your Beltane altar.  Dandelions brighten any springtime altar, but especially Beltane!  Put them in a vase with fresh rainwater

Drive out dark energy or spirits.  Bring bouquets of dandelion into the home to dispel dark thoughts and negative spiritual energy.

Ring spell candles with them.  Arrange dandelions around the base of an altar or spell candle to welcome happiness and playful joy into your circle.

 
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[Guest Post By My Wild Way] Old Wives Tales: A Little Bit of Magic

Hollie from My Wild Way agreed to share with us a little magic in the form of folklore  She lives in the south of England and first began learning about magic from her aunt when she was young. She has always felt drawn to the wild way of life and now shares her pagan journey on her blog.

Old wives tales have been part of my life for as long as I can remember.  They are very common in Britain and are part of our heritage. I wanted to share with you some of the tales I have grown up with, and still guide my life today.

There are some that seem to be just a way to scare children into behaving appropriately, such as “If the wind changes while you are pulling a face, it will stay that way”.  To me, this just sounds like someone trying to stop you making rude faces.

The sayings I want to share with you the ones that seem to have a little bit of magic behind them. Those that when you hear them, you know they are rooted in history and folklore. They bring a sense of wonder to the everyday and are a gift from the wild people who came before us.

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If the cows are lying down it is going to rain– one of my favourites! If you live in a rural area I hope you would have heard of this one. It is quite self-explanatory, if the cows are lying down then we are to expect rain. Now, I know what you’re thinking, I live in England so it does rain a lot. But I have to include it as I was brought up hearing it, I can’t vouch for its legitimacy but if I see a group of cows lying down then I do always expect the sky too soon pour.

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This next one takes on the form of a rhyme, I am aware that there are several different variations of this but here follows the one I grew up with;

“Red sky at night, Shepherds delight,
“Red sky in the morning, Sailors warning”

This means that if the sky is a beautiful red hue in the evening then we are to expect a lovely weather the following day. If it’s a red in the morning, then we are to expect bad weather throughout the day (a warning to sailors that there will be a storm). I still live by this one and to my knowledge, it has always been correct!

If you purchase a purse/wallet as a gift for someone, you must always place in it a piece of silver. Now that our money is no longer made of silver, we use the equivalent of a 10p or 20p piece. This is to bring good fortune to the receiver while they use their gift and to this day, I have never been given a purse which doesn’t have a silver coin inside.

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When I was younger, I learned this one; my parents took my brother and I to view a house they were interested in buying. The house was lovely, but there were spiders and cobwebs everywhere. My dad is scared of spiders and needless to say they did not end up buying it but I did learn this little gem from the owner. The lady went on to explain that it is unlucky to remove spiders and their cobwebs from your home during the month of September and October. I had never heard of that one before or since visiting the house, but I love that this knowledge has been passed down throughout the generations in her family and that she still lives by it. Therefore spiders are safe in my home during September and October.

If your ears are burning then someone is talking about you. I would place money on this that if you were to walk into a room of people (in England) and state that your ears are hot and red, someone would tell you that you are being talked about. This is just taken as fact in my neck of the woods.

I hope you have enjoyed the few that I have shared. I find them so interesting because they are Folklore, they have absolutely nothing to do with science and are based on reading the signs that nature gives you. As the name suggests they are the sayings of the women of the village, the ones who were most likely witches.

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The Role of Fire in Witchcraft

Inspired by the success of my post, The Role of Water in Witchcraft last summer, I decided to continue it as a series for each element.

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One of my earliest memories takes the form of my mother allowing me into the kitchen to watch her make dinner.   Sternly, she instructed me “Not to touch that stove, little one.”

Naturally, the moment she turned, I place my hand unflinchingly on the hot surface, giving myself a ripe little burn and a lifelong lesson about fire:

You really shouldn’t touch it.

Like all the elements, fire bears both creative and destructive force.   Simultaneously dangerous and beautiful, our respect for fire usually begins the first time it burns us!

And yes, I got a nasty burn that day.  But my mother used it to create a hot meal for us.

Same flame, same day.

I chose fire for this season because I strongly associate it with winter.  In the darkest, coldest months, fire provides warmth and light.

Let’s go over different kinds of fire and some creative ways to use it in spell craft.

Candle flame.  Easily the most convenient, common fire tool in ritual, candles are an ideal, all-purpose source of fire perfect for altars.

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Bonfires encourage groups to gather around it, making it an extremely effective focal point for group rituals and coven meetings.  Ideal for “going big” in rituals evoke empowerment or for burning spell elements in banishing rituals.

Hearth fires warm the home and create a cozy, holiday feel.  Perfect for enjoying a winter Sabbat like Imbolc or Yule.  Or, get creative and charge it with passion herbs for a date night at home.

Sparklers.  Remember how magical it was to hold one in your hands as a child, making streaks of light across the summer night.  Use sparklers to bring that same feeling to a moon ritual or night spell.

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sparklers

Torches (as in the sticks with fire on the end of them, not flashlights) look a feel very ceremonial.  These are ideal for rite-of-passage type ceremonies, particularly involving the transition to manhood, or the ascension to a clergy position.

Lanterns work nicely for spring and midsummer festivals, anything involving faeries or woodland spirits, and garden blessings.

Flash paper is available at theatrical supply stores.  It’s usually used for stage magic, but it’s also great fun in spell casting!  Write spells or symbols on them and up it goes–in a flash!

Hope some of these ideas inspire you to use fire in more creative and fun ways during your rituals.  Blessed be!

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12 Magical Ways to Use Garlic

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Use as an offering for Hectate.  Sacred to the ancient Greek goddess of witchcraft and magic, garlic makes a perfect offering.  Leave a clove at the crossroads or grow some by your front door to honor her.

Include it kitchen magick for passion.  A tomato sauce with basil and garlic makes for a classic love potion.  Add candles and enchant an evening guest.

Ward off sociopaths.  Got a narcissistic coworker?  A frenemy who serves up bitterness with a smile?  Garlic is famous for repelling evil.

Leave a clove with your divination tools.  Prevent negative energies from coming through the “gateway” of tarot cards, runes or ouiju boards.

Break a spell.   Did your best intentions go awry?  Reverse your ritual and bury any remaining spell ingredients in a deep hole with a clove of garlic.

Use to purify a haunted house.   Garlic near the entrances prevents dark energies from re-entering the home after exorcism.

Hang braided garlic over the sick bed.  Hang garlic over a sick person’s bed to stop fever dreams and drive away dark thinking.

Stop gossip.  Stuff a poppet through the mouth with garlic and then sew the mouth shut.

Carry with you during water voyages.  Planning a trip by boat?  Carry a garlic clove for safe passage.

Comfort children at night.  Hang garlic by the window or over the bed to prevent nightmares.

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Rose Bush Garden Spell for Love

Earlier this month, I posted about my fall gardening projects.

But I thought this one deserved it’s own post.

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I’m told autumn is the ideal time to propagate roses—–which makes it a great time to sew the seeds of love for spring!

If your garden boasted a bountiful rose bush this summer and you plan to attend a spring/summer wedding next year, this spell makes a lovely gift for the new couple.

Also a nice spell to strengthen marriage or if you want to begin dating after a period of singleness.

Full disclosure:  I never propagated roses before, which makes this an experiment for me!

I wish I knew the name of the gorgeous rose bush in my yard.  Sadly, I remember not.  But it grew exponentially over the summer.  In mid-October, it still produces a few lovely blooms.

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To start, find a stem with a spent flower on the end.

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Cut at an angle about 6″ to 12″ down.

Here’s where it gets weird.

Slice a potato in half, and make sure to cut off the eyes.  If the spell is for a specific couple, carve their names and birth dates into one half the potato.  If it’s a general love blessing, carve love symbols into it.

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Dip the end of the rose in ground cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a classic ingredient in love spells.  It also functions as a natural anti-microbial, which protects the roots from rot while they get established.

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Stick the stem in the potato.

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Deadhead the top, and place the potato base in a pot of dirt.

Include a piece of rose quartz.

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Include a personal item in the pot from each person in the couple.  Hair or scraps of clothing are traditional, but anything biodegradable will do.  .

Or, if the spell is for general love attraction, write out the lyrics of a love poem or song on natural parchment paper and bury in with the root base.

Turn a glass jar upside down over the rose to keep it warm and moist until it roots.  I used a leftover flower vase (I never know what to do with those, but it worked perfectly for this!)

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Throughout the fall and winter season, dote on your little rose.  Tuck eggshells in the soil to “fertilize” it—both the plant and the spell!

When the rose blooms in the spring, you’ll know love is on its way.  🙂

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Sea Witch: Harnessing The Power of the Ocean

I love the Atlantic coast during the swing season.

The crowds dispersed weeks ago, the water vibrates with warmth from the Gulf Stream, and on the southern beaches, summer weather prevails even in October (provided there isn’t a Category 5 hurricane on the way . . . oops).

For the sea witch, the off seasons make for a lovely, low key time to go work the water.

If you live year-round near an ocean, or you want to make an early off-season trip, here’s some inspiration to make it memorable.

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Cleanse.   Make your swim mindful.  Think of it as a rebirth.  At any point in our lives, we may allow ourselves to be reborn, and made into something new.  Now is not the time to go dipping your toes.  Fully immerse yourself.  I like this idea especially in cooler (but not freezing!) weather.  The shock of willing yourself into colder water has a powerful effect.  Expect to emerge with a renewed sense of energy and faith in your strength.

Make a mini altar or mandala.  Go for a walk on the beach and collect natural items.  Bits of driftwood, sea shells, gull feathers.  Add hurricane candles and take a moment to reflect.

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Banish.  Write something on the inside of a sea shell that you want out of your life.  It can be a person, a habit or a physical thing.   Feel the weight of the shell.  Allow all the negative effects of this person, habit or thing wash over you.  Recognize the impact on your life.  Honor your strength to commit to the expulsion.  Then, when you are ready, throw the shell in the ocean as hard as you can.  Even if it doesn’t go further than the surf, congratulate yourself for taking the first step.  Walk away, and don’t look back.

Heal. 
A nurse practitioner once told me, “The ocean heals everything.”  It’s true.  Let salt water wash over your wounds—and not just the physical ones.  If you bear a recent emotional trauma, carry the weight of it into the water.  Feel the power and the majesty of the currents as they unleash your inner strength.

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Meditate.  Maybe you long ago loaded your MP3 player full of “sounds of the ocean.”  Now you find yourself sitting in front of the real deal.  Use it!  Nothing takes you away like the deep, rhythmic white noise of the ocean.  Close your eyes and just . . . listen.  Try synchronizing your breath to the waves.

Bless a talisman.  Particularly if you have one that represents the ocean—a bracelet of shells, a necklace with a mermaid pendant, or even just a “watery” stone.  Either wearing, or with a tight grip on it, plunge into the wild water, say a blessing, and carry the power of the ocean with you when you leave.

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