The New Moon occurs when the sun and the moon are aligned. Many believe this moon phase is ripe for connecting through ritual and planting seeds of intention. The next new moon falls on August 11th, 2018.
My family and I set intentions at both full and new moon gatherings. The gatherings we attend are usually drum and fire circles that begin with an invocation, meditation, or intention setting (often paired with throwing cedar into a fire). I have become interested in creating rituals we can participate in at home too.
Teaching children about the different moon phases ahead of your ceremony may be helpful for explaining purpose. Moon cycles are completed in approximately 28 days. The cycle begins with what astrologers call the New Moon, in which the moon flows between the Earth and the Sun, leaving the side illuminated by the Sun away from us (a thin crescent may be visible). To assist, you may choose to read a children’s book about the moon to your children. My family loves I Took the Moon for a Walk.
One of my favorite websites, Mystic Mama, describes the New Moon as a time “where the moon is empty, receptive, and full of potential.” Tapping into this receptiveness allows us to create fresh vibrations for manifesting what we wish to bring into our life.
Here’s a family-friendly new moon ritual you can incorporate into your life:
Many of the below materials are optional. Use what you have to create a ritual special for you!
- Pillows and blankets for floor seating (outdoor or indoor space)
- Candles (maybe flameless if tiny tots are involved)
- Crystals or stones
- Story or printed information about the moon to share
- Offering to the fire (cedar, small stick etc.) AND/OR notebook and writing utensil for recording intentions
- Refreshments (see below)
Create the Space:
An outdoor space under the New Moon is my first choice. If not possible, set up a cozy space indoors for your family. Choose an area free of distraction. You may wish to create an altar with items special to you and your loved ones (including candles, crystals, stones, favorite stuffed animals, blankets etc.).
Storytelling and Opening the Ritual:
I plan to begin with a story drafted by my oldest son about the New Moon (he is quite the storyteller!). There are many, many children’s books about the moon that would work well too. Afterwards, we will use sage, an herb, to “clear” our ritual space and smudge. Sage is known for clearing the mind of mixed emotions and for calming the heart. It is a wonderful tool to teach children about at a young age.
Grounding and Reflecting:
If you are outdoors you can simply touch your bare feet to the Earth as you reflect on the intentions you wish to set or new projects you desire to begin. I teach my son that intentions are thoughts we have leading to dreams that we have for ourselves. Be patient with the kiddos here! They may choose to run around or have difficulty setting an intention (especially for non-material things). The experience is still important!
If you are indoors, drumming creates a wonderful grounding energy. Have a mini-drum circle together or choose one person to beat a base drum as you reflect (and perhaps dance). Drumming is absolutely perfect for the outdoor grounding too.
Offer Your Intentions:
Once we each have an intention, we will throw cedar into the fire pit as an offering. You could also release intentions in other ways, however several I have read about are not eco-friendly (such as tying them to balloon strings and letting them go). I also like the idea of using symbolism (rose petals if you are manifesting love for example), hand-drawn art by your children, or simply writing the intentions down somewhere special to you.
Refreshments and Closing:
Refreshments are always an added incentive for my son to participate in our ceremonies and rituals! I recommend choosing nutritious offerings and considering herbal teas aligned with your intentions or new beginnings (I have heard of lavender being used quite often).
Close your ritual however you wish. Sing a song, share a poem, or bring back the drums! Be sure to thank your family for sharing in this special moment with you!
It is up to you whether or not you wish to share your intentions with others. However, do not forget to check back in to see how your intentions are unfolding. I check back in with any intentions I set with the following Full Moon.