In January 2018 we have a blue moon in the sign of Leo AND a total lunar eclipse. Have you heard? You probably have. It’s all over the Internet. But what does this mean? Here is a practical guide for real people making real magic.
What is the significance of a blue moon?
A blue moon is when we have two full moons in one month, which is fairly rare. All full moons are special, it is a time when energies are heightened and our sensitivity to our surroundings is at its peak. At a full moon our bodies absorb everything we put in or on them more fully than at any other time so we need to take care that those things are good for us. On a blue moon this normal monthly heightening is magnified further. Even those who don’t usually feel anything around full moons tend to get a bit weird, perhaps headaches or bursts of energy. Those who are tuned in (you) can use their awareness by creating a simple ritual to supercharge the energy of this time and to clear out some old shadowy crap that has been hanging around for way too long. Sound good?
Photo by Tyler van der Hoeven via Unsplash
What is the significance of a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are aligned with each other, with the Earth in the middle. So it is the shadow of the Earth (or umbra if we’re getting fancy) that is blocking the sun’s light from reaching the moon. In ancient times eclipses were seen as somewhat dangerous and scary and the general recommendation was not to start anything new, or to make plans while the moon was eclipsed (unlike at dark/ new moon time, which is excellent for dreaming up new things).
What is the significance of Moon in Leo?
Moon in Leo, the sign of the sun, calls us to shake loose a bit, have some fun. Though, with the eclipse thrown into the mix, things may feel a tad more serious. Rather than looking for a good time in the external world, it’s a time to look for what is good within. Finding what shines brightly inside us, and also what is in darkness. Confronting darkness (yes, that means shadow work, sorry, not sorry) and letting go of things that are no longer needed, and are holding us back.
What does this all mean in practical real-life terms?
So, the nuts and bolts. What to do to make use of this info.
Firstly, this is a great time for journaling of all kinds. Delve into your heart and find what is lurking in the shadows there. Now is the time to bring it to light (only for your eyes, you don’t have to tell anyone else unless you want to) and heal it.
I am planning on going through my old journals at this time and physically removing pages which hold hurts and collage them into new art. I find this recycling of my heart into art is so powerful. For some people guided visualisations are really useful, to find what we are still wounded by. If you’re into astrology look at where Chiron is in your natal chart, that will give you a clue to the wound that keeps on giving.
Whichever method works for you, find your own way to uncover what is lurking in the shadows and drag it, kicking and screaming (possibly literally), into the light.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Blue Moon Cleansing Ritual
Here is a super simple ritual, which is also amazingly powerful at all full moons, but pure magic now.
You may want to physically cleanse yourself beforehand, however you prefer to do that. A simple bath or shower works fine. A special bath or shower makes it more special.
Gather the things you need: candle (white is best, a tea light in a jar works well, especially if you’re outside as it doesn’t blow out); paper; pen (fountain with dragon’s blood ink or biro/ pencil); black thread (regular cotton is fine); matches/ lighter, any of the optional extras you are using (see optional extras below).
Choose where you will do this, indoor or outdoor. I prefer to do this outside but it works well indoors too. Just make sure you’ve got a nearby window that you can open as it will get smoky, and perhaps put something down to catch any debris. Outside, you will need to be able to see well enough to write on some paper (without it blowing away) and without freaking out your housemates or neighbours.
Centring/ Creating your space
Once you have everything you need and you are happy in your chosen place spend a few moments tuning in to your breath. Let go of anything that may be bothering you so that you can focus on your ritual. It can be helpful to say “I am Jessica, I am present” (obviously inserting your own name instead of Jessica, or that would be weird).
Light your candle. Take a moment to look into the flame as it flickers.
If you work with spirits or deities then now would be the time to invite them in. If you don’t then don’t. Similarly with the elements/ directions.
Take your paper and free write onto it anything that is troubling you. Pour out your heart. You don’t need to worry about spelling, grammar, legibility even. Just put it down. The paper can hold it all. If you need more sheets use more.
Roll up the paper you have written on like a very tight scroll. If you are using herbs pop them in the centre of your scroll before you roll it. Use the black thread to wind it around and keep it tight.
Get under the light of the moon (or darkness, if the eclipse is visible in your area). Easy if you’re outside, but poking a face, or arm out of your window also works.
Take three more deep breaths and consciously feel each time you are breathing out that you are letting go of these things which no longer serve you.
Set the paper alight. Watch it burn (it can sometimes take a little while to get going so take a few matches or a lighter). I like to gently blow to keep the smoke going. If you blow into the lit end the smoke pushes out through the other too which always pleases me for some odd reason. Try it.
While it burns you may like to visualise something which helps with releasing, like darkness flowing out of you and back into the earth, or millions of little insects flying away. You may like to say some words, wither pre-prepared or ad lib. Move, dance, sing, play music, drum, chant. Whatever feels good.
If your bundle stops burning just light it again. Try to burn it until it is all gone. (Any bits and pieces that are left can be put outside on bare soil, or gifted to a house plant).
If you invited any spirits/ deities/ ancestors then say goodbye to them now.
You may want to add some closing words of your own here. Or just a simple thank you to the moon, sun and Earth is perfect.
Ideally let your candle burn all the way down while you settle into what has been done. If that’s not practical snuff the candle. Clear any debris.
You can add an extra sensory dimension to this ritual by adding some dry herbs into the rolled paper. Bay leaves work really well. Sage or mugwort would also be good choices.
You could sing or play music
Move or dance
Say some special words, either pre-prepared or ad lib
Wear special clothes and jewellery
Journal about your experience. It can be helpful to keep this going on a daily basis until, at least, the next new moon.
Or you can just do the basics: write (to discover) and burn (to clear).
That doesn’t sound too hard does it? Reading about it won’t have the same affect though (I know, it’s a shame right?). Doing it is where the magic is. And it works, powerfully, even if you think it’s a bit silly, things start moving in new exciting ways. Try it. Let me know how it goes.