How To Host A Powerful Lunar Ritual For Your Friends
As witches, we have so many things to celebrate! We have the sabbats, the astrological shifts, and of course, the many phases of the moon. The moon, in particular, is perfect to create a ceremony around because it is a powerful source of energy, and you can celebrate the moon no matter what phase it’s in!
When people gather together with a shared intention, the intention is strengthened by the collective energy and focus on the group. Because of this phenomenon, performing magic with other people and the moon is usually highly effective.
Another reason to host a moon ceremony is that it can serve as an energetic check-in for yourself and your friends. You can reaffirm your goals or choose new ones as you work with the lunar energy in a ceremony.
My favorite reason to host a moon ceremony is that it’s just plain fun. It’s a magical party you can throw with your loved ones whenever you want.
So if you’re ready to give this form of group magic a try, here are some tips for hosting your very first moon ceremony!
Tip #1: Create an overall intention for your moon ceremony.
Everyone who attends your ceremony can create his or her own intention, but when you’re planning your ceremony, it’s helpful to set an overall intention or theme.
I prefer to do this ahead of time so I can plan spells or set up my moon altar according to the overall intention I’ve chosen. I take into account two factors when I do this.
Current Moon Phase - Many witches enjoy gathering with friends, family, or coven members for the new moon or the full moon because these are often considered the most powerful phases in the lunar cycle, but you’re certainly not limited to those times. You can have your moon ceremony at any point in a lunar cycle. Just keep in mind the energy of that particular phase. If it’s a waxing moon ceremony, think about the energy you associate with that moon phase and what kinds of spells you enjoy performing. If you love doing financial abundance spells during a waxing moon because you associate the waxing moon with growth and abundance, use that as the theme for your moon ceremony. Set up your moon altar with colors, crystals, and herbs that make you think of wealth and growth.
Current Month or Season - Each lunar cycle comes with its own set of traditions created by different cultures over the centuries. You might have noticed that each monthly moon has a variety of names and associations. These names came from different groups of people and cultures over the centuries based on weather patterns, the behavior of animals, growth cycles, and the activities of people during that time of year. You can choose to use these traditions to set a theme for your moon ceremony if you like.
I also recommend you create your own traditions for each monthly moon. You can give the moon its own name based on traditions and cultural events you and your friends celebrate during that time of year. For example, if a holiday happens during a specific lunar phase such as Mother’s day during the May lunar cycle, you can call the May moon “Mother’s Moon” and select colors, crystals, and spells that you associate with motherhood.
Tip #2: Pick a perfect location for your ceremony.
You’ll want to pick a place where you won’t be distracted. The sounds of traffic, other people walking around, mosquitoes, hot or cold temperatures, the amount of wind, and the general energy of the space can create distractions during your ceremony. Take all of these things into account. There’s no right or wrong place to have your ceremony. It doesn’t matter if it’s inside or outside. One isn’t necessarily more powerful than the other. It’s more about what you think will be most comfortable for you and your group.
Tip #3: Create an altar.
Altars are a big part of moon ceremonies. Many witches will set up an altar in the center of the space and have everyone sit or stand around the altar. This creates a powerful point of focus for the magic that will be performed during your ceremony.
To create an altar, think about what shapes, colors, and magical tools will best support the energy of your particular ceremony. I often use circles when setting up my moon ceremony altars because a circle represents cycles (like a lunar cycle) and it’s also the same shape as the full moon.
I like to use tarot cards, crystals, candles, herbs, and flower petals to create different “layers” around the center of my altar. You can also have all the participants bring their favorite magical tools to add to the altar.
The bottom line with your moon altar is that you have complete creative freedom. Make it look however you want. If you want some ideas for moon altars, check out Pinterest or Instagram for some beautiful examples.
Tip #4: Cleanse and charge your ceremony space.
You can cleanse and charge your space just like you’d do for any witchcraft your perform. Some witches like to prep the space by cleansing it ahead of time, but it’s also important to cleanse a space right before you begin your ceremony as well. This is a great way to begin your ceremony and get everyone focused before you all begin your magic.
Tip #5: Plan your spells, meditations, and rituals.
Structure your moon ceremony however you want. There’s no set length for a ceremony and it’s up to you how many spells or meditations you wish to perform. My recommendation is to brainstorm a list of all the things that you might want to do during a ceremony and pick the activities you think will be the most appropriate.
I like to plan out the structure of the ceremony ahead of time, and I’ll keep those notes with me as I’m leading the actual ceremony. This helps me know how long to take for each part of the ceremony, and it ensures that I don’t forget any important steps.
That being said, you can wing it if that’s more your style. Do whatever is most comfortable for you.
Here’s a list of things I’ve done during moon ceremonies:
Talking about the current lunar energy
Talking about the current astrological energies
Performing tarot readings, scrying, throwing bones, reading tea leaves, or other forms of divination.
Making vision boards
Sharing personal stories
Eating and drinking
Making art (drawing, painting, sculpting with clay, collaging, making jewelry)
Creating flower bouquets or flower crowns
In addition to any magical activities you choose to do during the ceremony, be sure to include any other rituals you’d normally perform when doing your witchcraft such as calling in and dismissing the elements, casting a circle, and charging your space.
Tip #6: Consider asking everyone to abide by certain rules to create a safe space for the group.
You might find it helpful to create some rules for your ceremony. Things like, “What is shared in the circle, stays in the circle,” or “Let each person speak without interruptions from others,” can create an environment that feels comfortable and safe for everyone in the group.
You can state the rules at the beginning of the ceremony and ask everyone to verbally agree, or you can let people know those expectations when you’re inviting everyone.
I went to a moon ceremony where everyone agreed to refrain from comforting anyone in the group while they were sharing a personal story. This meant no hugs, no words of encouragement, no reaction whatsoever. The intention for that activity was to “hold space” for every person in the circle so that each person could process or release his or her emotions without interruption. It felt counter-intuitive at first, but because we had all agreed to it beforehand, we had an understanding. It created a unique energy that was appropriate for the ceremony.
You can ask everyone to come up with rules together at the beginning of the ceremony. This can be as formal or informal as you want. If your friends or your coven have a lot of experience having ceremonies (or just hanging out) together, you all may have formed a set of unspoken rules.
Tip #7: Honor the shifting energy of the group.
Each ceremony will have an energy or “personality’ of its own. This is because whenever people gather, their individual vibrations combine and form a unique energy. Even if it’s the same group of people gathering each time, you’ll likely still notice differences. That’s because people (and their relationships to others in the group) are always changing. Keep that in mind and allow for it. Feel free to make changes to your ceremony on-the-fly if you sense it’s better for the group. Trust your intuition and be confident in your decisions.
Tip #8: Practice self-care before and after your moon ceremony.
It takes courage, vulnerability, and A LOT of energy to host a moon ceremony. There’s the physical work of setting up an altar for the ceremony. Then there’s the mental work of creating a plan for your ceremony. On top of that, you might find it draining to lead a group of people in a magical practice. Keep that in mind when you’re scheduling things around your ceremony. Make sure you give yourself lots of time to rest and recuperate.
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by Julie Hopkins
Julie Hopkins is a writer, yoga teacher, and founder of Power Within, a whimsical online space created to help others improve their lives with magic. She’s from Chicago, but spends most of her time traveling to cool places.
Julie discovered the world of magic after she got tired of reading personal development books and hearing the same ideas over and over. Looking for a new way to grow, Julie started experimenting with tarot cards and felt an immediate connection to her intuition in a way she’d never experienced before. After that, she began studying magic in all its forms, never looking back. When she’s not writing about witchy things, you can find Julie making candles, daydreaming, and playing with other people’s dogs and babies.