What you hear most often about moon rituals is that the new moon is for intention-setting and the full moon is more about what’s come to fruition. But certain practices can reveal more nuance, says intuitive Mimi Young.
Young works with yin and yang energy to connect with and understand the creative forces that flow through us during the moon cycle. She shared the two rituals below—one to do under the new moon, another for the full moon. They’re an invitation to slow down, connect to your senses, and recognize the sparkle of possibility. And ask big questions about where ideas come from and what role we occupy in the creative process.
THE NEW MOON RITUAL
- The energy: Yin. Yin is the energy of what has not yet materialized, Young says. “Even if we have been really working hard on meditating and all the spiritual stuff, it’s very difficult to sit in a place of pure potential and not do anything about it,” Young says.
- The element: Water.
- The focus: Releasing whatever attachments and distractions are holding you back; letting creative forces flow through you without acting on them.
- The question: What if we are not the creators of ideas but instead the receivers?
- The setup: Clean hands and a dark ceramic bowl filled with water.
Start by choosing your space. You could be outside underneath the new moon or indoors in the dark. Enter into that space by lighting a candle or burning incense.
Dip a finger into the dish of water, which is representing the new moon. Then drink the water from your dipped finger, aiming for just a drop at a time into your mouth. It’s incredibly slow, and that’s the whole point. You don’t lift the bowl and bring it to your mouth; you don’t write anything down; you don’t speak. Just drink one drop at a time until the bowl is empty.
“It becomes a very sensorial experience,” Young says. You’ll get in tune with your senses—maybe you’ll notice how that drop of water feels on your fingertips, how that one drop of water tastes, how your finger tastes against your tongue: “It’s a chance to get to know water, to get to know yourself, to get to know how patient you are.”
THE FULL MOON RITUAL
- The energy: Yang. “Yang is in the service of yin,” Young says. “He sat with her, he allowed her to be, he witnessed her, and then he noticed—what exactly was this new moon trying to say? And he helps her take form.”
- The element: Metal, which Young says sharpens and contains the qualities of the full moon.
- The focus: The intellectual and rational side of creativity. Planning, inventory, and action in stewardship of yin’s creative ideas.
- The question: Do we generate creativity ourselves? Or do we simply have the tools to express ideas that come from outside ourselves?
- The setup: A metal bowl filled with water and a metal spoon.
The full moon exercise is similar in that you’re drinking water from a bowl, but it has a few key differences. Again, enter into your space by lighting a candle or burning incense. This time, you’ll use the spoon to gently ladle a little bit of water at a time to your lips until the metal bowl is empty.
“The whole process becomes more practical and efficient, and you tune in to a whole new set of emotions and thoughts,” Young says. This time, write your experience down on paper. Put words to the experience, to the water, to the spoon, to the element of metal, and how much faster it is to go through this process. What are you witnessing? How do you experience practicality and efficiency? How does water desire to flow into your mouth? How do you help it? Can you act without hustling?
REPETITION AND REFLECTION
What you learn from these rituals will be unique to you, and if you repeat them over several cycles of new and full moons, you may find more nuances over time. For example, Young says you might find the sensuality and physical movement of the practice creatively enlightening: “There’s something magical about something like this, when we can go back to simplicity and relate directly with water, relate directly with metal, and then realize that we’ve been bowls all along. We’re really not the water.”
Or maybe you’ll find that the new moon ritual—as slow as it is—becomes a delight of its own. “Maybe even release the belief that that practicality and efficiency is paramount, because there’s something very beautiful about dipping your finger in water and then just lapping up that one drop of water, one drop at a time,” Young says
You might also try this ritual with other people and see what you discover from one another. Young holds space for a coven in which members share and discuss magic practices like this one. You can join Young’s Homing Coven here.