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MoonCircles has been publishing New and Full essays, meditations, and rituals twice each month since 2000. We hope you will enjoy this piece from our archives!

Taurus Meditation: A Ceremonial Ritual of Sacrifice


No zodiac sign is more grounded than Taurus. Yet its obvious “earthiness” obscures its more esoteric dimension. In the pre-Christian world, religious ceremonies often revolved around rituals of sacrifice. Bulls–the animal linked with Taurus–were commonly used in these ancient rites.  Consecrated to the Moon Goddess, the bull’s blood was sprinkled on stone altars and used in rituals of baptism and purification.

Few modern-day seekers would find meaning in the literal sacrifice of a living animal. But  its archetypal symbolism yields rich insights. Ceremonial sacrifice teaches that there is wisdom in giving something up in order to make room for the creative spirit of the new. It teaches that we cannot do or be all things at once.  This esoteric principle is fundamental to being “grounded”—the essence of Taurus. Paring down and stripping away limits us-but at the same time gives structure and shape to our free-form spirits.

Thus this Taurus new moon is a cosmically ordained time to create a ceremonial ritual of sacrifice. To begin your ritual, assess your life and determine what part of your inner character or outer life simply “needs to go.” Unlike banishing something unwanted, the ritual of sacrifice involves relinquishing something that is meaningful or important to us. You may find, for instance, that giving up your extroverted social life is necessary in order to bring forth some creative project. Or, it may be that you need to forswear your love of seclusion in order to allow a relationship to blossom. You may truly appreciate spending money on books, but need to sacrifice that in favor of an acupuncture treatment.  Making a sacrifice is a form of emotional ecology. By practicing principles of conservation in how we live our lives, we cultivate a healthier inner ecosystem.

After you have determined that part of your life that needs sacrificing, choose a spirit animal that symbolizes your choice. Our inner, human nature, the ancients realized, reflects the living realm of outer nature. A bird, for example, might stand for that part of you that loves getting together with friends. A  bull might signify the side of you that is assertive to the point of dominating the more sensitive, empathic side of yourself or others. A dove may embody the peace-loving part of you that prevents confrontation.  A cow may signify the part of you that is overly nurturing to the detriment of your professional life. A fox might symbolize your wily street smarts that has obscured the more innocent part of your soul.

Next, imagine that you are facing your spirit animal. Pay tribute to the creature before you, honoring its positive gifts. Then explain your reasons why it must leave and give voice to the new dimension it is being sacrificed for. After you have blessed your spirit animal, imagine that you have released it into freedom, whether through opening a gate, letting it fly into the air, or seeing it rejoin its wild peers. This may not be forever, but for a portion of time, until you are ready to welcome that part of your nature back into your life.

At first, you may feel grief at letting go of a cherished part of yourself. You may also feel touched by the love of the animal that has sacrificed itself for your sake. Gradually, however, you begin to feel the spacious opening that has been created through making this spirit sacrifice. There is room now within your soul for the birth of the new and the uprising of an  unexpected and unexplored part of yourself.  Finally, give thanks to the moon, give thanks to the realm of nature and all living creatures, and last, acknowledge the sacred principle of sacrifice and its usefulness in our everyday lives.

If you’d like to explore the archetypes in even greater depth, if you like to journal and/or muse on the positions of the Sun and Moon, you may enjoy my enrolling in Dana’s Moon workshop (by snail-mail or email). It’s designed to deepen your relationship with the guardians of natural time, the Sun, the Moon, the zodiac… and you!

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Aquarius Meditation: The Lightning Bolt


The Aquarius New Moon is a cosmically ordered moment to shake loose the restrictions that limit us from fulfilling our potentials.  It is a time to set the world on fire, symbolically speaking — to take risks, rather than remain safe. Look to your individual astrological chart to the house with Uranus in it, or that is ruled by the sign of Aquarius, to see where the trickster god might be hurtling lightning bolts and overturning entrenched convictions. With Uranus, it is out with the old — and in with the new.

Channeling the lightning bolt of transformational energy.

In order to channel Uranus’ lightning-like energy in a way that creatively reconfigures, rather than negatively destroys, imagine yourself in a place where you have felt most stuck. Maybe you are limited by lack of financial resources; perhaps you are blocked in love. It might be that you are restricted by a job you have outgrown. Or, your creativity might be stifled by doubt, or your relationship with a loved one might be at a dead end. Whatever it is, picture that situation as a darkened room that you can’t see your way out of.

Now, imagine that this room is suddenly illuminated by a flash of lightning-crackling with energy, sizzling the airwaves with heat, this bolt from the skies lights up every corner and crevice. Suddenly, the narrow perspectives that have limited you are revealed.  Another crack of lightning, and doors, windows, and archways appear. Through the openings they provide you glimpse large rooms filled with beautiful and unusual furniture and art. Outside the open windows, endless vistas roll toward distant horizons.

Catapulted into a visionary landscape teeming with colors, shapes, and structures, your mind feels electrified with insight and clarity; you are flooded with creative ideas. Your whole body tingles with light; your very cells are luminous with awareness. What had been dark, now melts in the glow of understanding. New patterns and possibilities that you had never considered before emerge into the light of your newly expanded consciousness. Brilliant solutions to your problems arise.

As you sit in this state of awakened intelligence, savor the miracle of creation. Receive into your soul the magnetic life force permeating the universe. And wake up to your true, limitless nature as a divine creature of the infinite cosmos.

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Winter Solstice Meditation

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The Sun steps slowly into Capricorn at Winter Solstice. On December 21 it stands still before turning North on the horizon. Light, hope, and joy are its themes–it is often imaged as rays of sunlight piercing winter’s darkness. The spiritual message of this day is universal: do not despair; something wondrous and new will emerge from any suffering you may have endured this year.  It is a time of beginning.  The best meditation on this day might be the simplest–wait for the Sun to find you. Notice how it illuminates your world and give thanks.


According to tradition, Capricorn means “the horn of the goat.” Mythic legend has it that it was the sturdy mountain goat Amalthea who nursed the infant Zeus. When he accidentally broke off her horn, he vowed to fill it with whatever fruits she desired. As king of the gods, he placed her horn-the Cornucopia-in the skies as a symbol of abundance and wealth. The priestesses of ancient Greece revered the goat as an animal sacred to the Great Goddess for its life-giving milk; the graceful curve of the goat’s horns became revered as an image of the crescent moon.

To draw upon the power of the Great Goddess as nurturing gift-giver, you may wish to dedicate this Solstice to the practice of mindful generosity. If you’re feeling inwardly drained from the exhaustive preparations that so often turn this holiday season into a time of horror, take a few moments to fill your heart with spiritual bounty: light a candle to bless the coming longer days, which are decreasing, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere. Either way, let the Sun illuminate your internal skies with hope. In silence, savor the cosmic mysteries within the temple of your heart.

Picture your inner Sun as a horn of plenty brimming with abundance. Gifts of love, hope, faith, food, money, clothing, warmth, health, laughter, trust, beauty, security, shelter, and friendship spill out in profusion. You may even wish to picture these as material symbols: a house, a coat, dollar bills, a loving hug from a close friend, a
roast turkey, a gorgeous green salad, a bottle of wine, gaily wrapped gifts, a house full of family and friends.

Then, imagine that these material gifts transform into richness of emotion and spiritual wealth: the horn of plenty in your heart fills with the loving kindness embodied by the spiritual avatar of your choice, See as it streams outward, filling the needs of those loved ones around you. From deep within, you find the courage to bolster those who are afraid; to provide companionship to the lonely; healing to the ill; sustenance to the poor; hope to those in despair; inspiration to the bored; and joy to the sad and suffering.

Like an anchor amid the bustle and rush of the holiday, you may wish to return to this image on Solstice day and throughout this season, experiencing the warmth in your heart as an outpouring of divine abundance, prosperity, and well-being.

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Meet your Inner Pilgrim


About a month before Christmas, the Sun enters the fire sign of Sagittarius, signaling the start of the holiday season. The lively crackle of conversation; the warm humor and expansive goodwill; the generous giving of gifts: these are among the qualities of Sagittarius. Yet like the sparkly wrapping that conceals a precious gift, the real treasure at the heart of this outgoing sign is its devotion to truth.  Ruled by Jupiter, the ever-roving ruler of Olympus, those born under the sign of Sagittarius are, as the poet Yeats wrote, “pilgrim souls”—lifelong seekers in pursuit of the priceless pearl of eternal wisdom. Thus it is that time of year to follow in the footsteps of the wise men and embark upon your own pilgrimage, guided by the star of truth that shines the way forward.

The mystical traditions of the world teach that life is a journey—a passage to a mysterious destination. The ancient Sufis pictured the journey of life as a caravan of seekers content to live lightly on the earth, storing up instead the treasures of the soul. “God’s creation is vast—why do you sit all day in a tiny prison?” wrote Rumi, “Go beyond your little world and find the grandeur of God’s world.” From the practical CEO to the responsible parent, within each of us, there is also a happy wanderer, a pilgrim soul in search of truth.

The month when the Sun is in Sag, it’s wise to connect with your inner pilgrim. When you do this with your imagination, your psyche receives it as real. Picture yourself shedding your everyday clothes and, along with them, the outer persona that you rely upon to interact with the world. Stripped of all pretense and guise, imagine next that you don a pilgrim’s robe—plain, sturdy, and hooded to symbolize your freedom from the strictures of individual identity.  Released from the cares and responsibilities of your daily life, a feeling of unbounded possibility descends; you feel gripped by a state of readiness. Departure on the trip of a lifetime is imminent.

Then, imagine that a call comes.  It could be the sound of a bell ringing in gentle overtones, the tinkle of camel bells signaling the arrival of a caravan of Sufi dervishes, the echo of a summons to join a band of wandering monks and nuns. Next, imagine following this sound and joining up with a band of like-minded pilgrims. Together, you are setting forth on a journey with no end and a path with no destination.

Taking up your staff, and girding up your robe, place your foot on the trackless road that opens wide before you. As you do this, a feeling of expansive freedom suddenly envelops you. Everywhere you look—to your right and to your left, behind you and before you—stretches an open horizon. As free as air, a happy wanderer, you traverse the cities and towns, mountains and meadows, of the wide, wide world, encountering fellow seekers and drinking in wisdom from earth’s sacred places.

After spending some time on this visionary quest, imagine that suddenly, you find yourself arriving at the place from which you first began. Taking off your robe and folding it as a keepsake talisman, you step back into your old identity and resume once again the challenges of the everyday circumstances you left behind. As the imagery of your spiritual pilgrimage fades, however, something lasting remains – an expansive, unfettered state-of-consciousness. Those situations that once seemed to restrict you, now appear altered when viewed through the new, broader perspective you bring to them. For though you may assume once again your former roles and responsibilities, there now dances within your heart the laughing soul of a pilgrim, for whom life is an endless, delightful journey toward God. The only proof that this is so, is the smile that lingers on your face.

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Following Your Truth Star


Sagittarius, sign of the philosopher and truth-seeker, is known as the sign of the happy wanderer. No Sagittarius is as happy as when setting off down a highway to new adventure, either literally or figuratively. Some Sagittarians travel the world. Others rove the inner planes of the spiritual world. Still others restlessly seek out the mind-expanding vistas of various belief systems, becoming scholars, writers, teachers, ministers, or publishers.

At heart, individuals born with a prominent ninth house or planets in Sag are free souls. Like the Sufi dervishes of old who dressed in rags yet whose nobility of spirit caused them to radiate the power of kings, the freedom that comes with the realization of spiritual truth can make kings and queens of us all.

So at this Sagittarius New Moon, take a few minutes to bless this quality of freedom in your life. Look to the house in your natal chart ruled by Sagittarius and imagine the new adventure about to unfold in this arena. Even if you feel stuck and think you are “going nowhere” your soul has journeyed a long way to incarnate on this planet in space. Let go of whomever or whatever it is you are trying to control, and let God—and/or the Goddess—guide your way. Release yourself from that which restricts you from being free to live the life you’re meant to live.

Like the heavenly star the wise men followed to the Christ child, so, too, can the Star of Truth guide you on your own journey. As all true teachers teach, the truth we seek is hidden within our own hearts—the buried treasure found right in our own back yard. To connect to the Star of Truth within your own heart, begin by centering within a deep, quiet, true, place inside yourself.

Concentrate on going deeper, deeper, deeper, as if you are descending down stairs to the basement of your psyche. Suddenly, at the bottom of these stairs, a trap door opens upon a vast universe. There, against the backdrop of a midnight-blue sky, shines a brilliant star—it is a revelation, a five-pointed blaze of diamond. It is clear illumination. Allow yourself to bask in its light; feel the very cells of your physical body penetrated by its wisdom. Absorb its truth into the center of your being.

Then, begin the journey back up the stairs that lead from the depths of yourself to the upper world of your everyday life. For a few moments, sit quietly, concentrating on this Star of Truth as it continues to illuminate your heart center. Give thanks to your personal “north star”—the permanent pole of truth that guides you and that provides a source of limitless wisdom and knowledge.

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Connecting with your Spirit Guide


The Scorpio New Moon Eclipse arrives a week before the cross-quarter holiday honoring the dead and the dearth of the winter to come. From October 31 through November 7 (when the Sun reaches the middle degree of Scorpio), Northern Hemisphere cultures have variously marked this midpoint between fall and winter. Christians call it All Soul’s Day; for children, it’s Halloween; for pagans, it’s Samhain (pronounced “sow-wane”).

With Pluto–the planet of death and rebirth–as its modern ruler, Scorpio guides our relationship with the “other side”—the invisible realms hidden from ordinary view. The soul’s journey through this sign is like a trip down into the underworld and up into a new, more evolved way of being—a passage symbolized by the mythical Phoenix. No person, however, is ever asked to undertake this passage alone. Each of us is accompanied by our personal spirit guide. Because tradition holds that this is the time of year when the veil between this world and the next thins, the Scorpio New Moon is a propitious time to reconnect with your spirit guide.

Every soul is granted one or more invisible guardians to attend its journey through life on earth—an angel, daimon, spirit animal, or saint. Socrates had his daimon, who whispered wisdom in his ear; the oracle of Delphi gleaned the future from a powerful serpent; Native Americans were guided by animal spirits; and in all traditions angels have hovered nearby humans. Even nature spirits are said to watch over mountains, trees, lakes, and streams.

To connect to your spirit guide, begin your meditation by sitting in a safe and special place, perhaps before your altar. Light a candle or stick of incense to signal your intentions to enter the otherworld. Next imagine a circle of protection surrounding you. Feel how it keeps you safe from harm and separates you from the concerns of the everyday world. Next, using the sincerity of your own words, say a prayer or invocation that gently summons the presence of your spirit guide—even if you have no image of who that might be. For a few minutes, simply sit in the silence; as the quiet deepens, imagine that the veil between this world and the world of the Invisibles has parted. Like a guest arriving, imagine next that an invisible, beneficent presence has entered the room and is lighting up the space around you. Something about this presence touches your heart, communicating with you in a wordless, yet deeply knowing, way.

After steeping yourself in the aura of this formless presence, begin to imagine that a real being is taking shape before you. Seeing with your inner eye, and feeling with your heart, intuit the specific identity of your guide: he, or she, may be a familiar figure, such as a beloved prophet, wise priestess, powerful shaman, Sufi dervish, or mythic god or goddess. Or, your spirit guide may appear in the guise of a being you have never seen before – resplendent with luminosity, or as an ordinary, humble individual. Watch that your conscious mind doesn’t step in to criticize your imaginative faculty: whatever you see, simply allow it to be.

Once you have a clear image of your spirit guide, imagine next that this being takes your hand in hers (or his) and, smiling deeply into your eyes, imparts to you the knowledge that you will never be abandoned or alone—no matter how difficult the tragedy or hardship you may endure. In addition, your spirit guide imparts wisdom to you that answers your heart’s deepest question. After a few minutes in this sweet communion, release your hands from your spirit guide’s and, together, bow in farewell. As your spirit guide melts back into the realm of the Invisibles, close your meditation with a prayer of thanks for the loving support given to you by the divine.

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Equinox: The Quiet Power of the Scales


It’s Equinox! When the Sun enters Libra, day and night are in equal measure.  But this special balance soon will tip, with night growing in the Northern Hemisphere and shortening in the Southern. But at this moment, on this day, for these weeks, we are encouraged to bring ourselves into balance too. This is one way to keep our lives beautiful.  Libra is the peacemaker, the graceful aerialist, the mediator, the angel of “Let’s make this beautiful.” and “Let’s find our common ground.” Her action always brings new harmony. What a great reminder as we enter a new season!

Astrology conveys the essence of each sign with its image. For Libra, that’s the scales. Of Chaldean origin, the scales are linked to matters of fate, guilt, and punishment. Indeed in ancient myths the scales are pictured at the critical juncture between life and death, just as the soul is about to pass into the next realm. In ancient Egypt, the soul was measured against the weight of a feather. In the Persian tradition, the angel Rashu weighed souls at the Bridge of Fate, while in the Christian faith St. Michael, Archangel of the Day of Judgment, is pictured with a set of scales. And in ancient Greece, the goddess Themis, the embodiment of law, was represented with scales.

Spiritually the scales represent the process of weighing and measuring our thoughts and actions against universal ideals of truth. As these ancient images teach us, we can’t move forward until we’ve examined our intentions and come to terms with our past. To accept the scales as your guide means to take responsibility for your experiences. Accept that your health and happiness are supported by your choices. And choose a lifestyle that includes equal portions of work and pleasure, exercise and rest, a balanced diet, intellectual stimulation, and positive social interactions.

One way to celebrate the Equinox is with the following meditation: Go to a beautiful spot and imagine you are seated in the cosmic Temple of Balance.  Contemplate the image of the scales, entering deeply into the living meaning of this symbol.  Center yourself at the all-important fulcrum that holds the scales.  In this place, carefully weigh and measure your feelings.  Examine your actions, past and present.  Consider what new experiences you’d like to have. Imagine that your body is a focal point of stillness and strength.  Enjoy this feeling for as long as you need to. Close your meditation by saluting the equal hours of night and day, and resolve to enter them both with equanimity.

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Celebrating this Harvest Full Moon

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“By returning to the earth itself for the basis of our festivals, we include 
all the manifestations of Being wherever we live.” Dolores LaChapelle

It is the holy day of the Harvest Full Moon. Astrologically, the Moon is in the compassionate and selfless sign of Pisces while the Sun is in the sign of the Great Grain Goddess, Virgo. In just two weeks, the Sun will cross the equator, ushering in the Equinox when the days and nights are of equal length. But why does this matter? Why should bother to think about the Equinox?

Time is in balance and the forces of dark and light are momentarily balanced, creating a temporal threshold—a power gate.  In the earliest days of the ancient Babylonian Kingdom, the Fall Equinox heralded the beginning of the New Year. During a twelve-day ceremony called the akitu, rites and rituals were held during which the rhythms of nature, cosmos, and human society were synchronized, symbolically re-enacting the creation of the world out of chaos. According to the Wiccan tradition, this is the festival of Mabon, in honor of the Celtic Queen Mab of the Fairies. In the Greek Eleusinian mysteries, Great Mother Demeter mourns her daughter Persephone, who has been abducted by Hades into the underworld – symbolizing the decay of Earth’s vegetation.  For those in the Jewish tradition this is the start of Sukkot, an ancient Harvest festival. Huts, similar to the temporary shelters the Hebrews lived in during their forty-year odyssey in the desert, are decorated with squash, corn, and palm branches. In many Native American traditions, it is a time to celebrate the generosity of  bountiful Mother Earth by consecrating the first fruits of the harvest on a special Earth altar and offering chants.

As both ancient traditions and the alignment in the heavens show, the transition from the end of one cycle to the beginning of the next is a charged moment. One way to help ease this transition is through attending a communal Equinox ritual or creating one of your own. This way, we each act as spiritual stewards, channeling and directing the energy of the moment in a positive and transformative direction.

Keep the changing wheel of time in mind on this holy Harvest Full Moon. In the days building to the Equinox, attune to the lineage of ancestors who in the past honored the quarterly shift in seasons as a sacred moment in time. In the silence of your meditation, listen as the echo of their chants still reverberate in the cosmic soul. Join your voice and your prayers with the unbroken Chain of Being. Create an Earth Altar, and on it place symbols of the first fruits of your own life harvest – a token representing a child, a flower from your garden, a leaf from the forest, a page from a book, an emblem from work. Highlight the colors of burnt orange, gold, and crimson. Give homage to the life force underlying the natural processes of birth and death, growth and decay, the dark and the light. Offer your blessings to the Earth, who sustains our lives and from whom we draw faith for the future.

Then bow to the Moon, icon of the Great Mother of all beings.

* Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth’s Seasonal Rhythms Through Festival and Ceremony, by Richard Heinberg.

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Bonus Full Moon Ritual: Banishing with Air and Fire

The Full Moon is in the air sign of Aquarius, opposite the Sun in the fire sign of Leo,offering the elemental interplay of fire and air.  Both elements can be used in rituals of purification: fire flames up and out, burning to ashes what obstructs. Air refreshes, blowing away what is old and stagnant.  Purification rituals are especially powerful during the waning cycle, which begins with the Full Moon.  Now is the time to banish useless habits.  During this Leo cycle, you might especially want to banish any fixed and outworn notions of yourself—those mental attitudes that prevent you from living out of the authentic core of your being.  Think of this core as being like a flame, passionate, mysterious, forever changing its shape, as it dances and plays with the surrounding world.

Before the Full Moon rises just after sundown, gather a small candle, a large plate to put underneath it, several small pieces of paper, and a pen.  Bring them to a quiet place where you can protect yourself from distractions and interruptions (or a wind that might whip or extinguish your candle).  Ideal would be a spot that allows you a good view of the eastern horizon, where the Moon will soon appear.  As this is a ritual celebrating the elements of fire and air, you may wish to bring some sage or a stick of incense to place on your altar.  Reciting a prayer or sacred phrase from your particular tradition will help to calm your spirit and call in divine energy.  Watching the breath—inhaling in, exhaling out—will further deepen this sacred space.

In this gently focused state, wait for the first sign of the Moon.  When you spot her brilliant light at the horizon, attune your heart to her presence, and light your candle.   Then tune into those reverent ones scattered around the world who, like you,  are also lighting a candle to celebrate the full moon.   How many hundreds of thousands of candles, flickering on hundreds of thousands of altars must the Moon be seeing tonight!  With this image, join in the interplay of Leo and Aquarius:  feel yourself as one creative being united with the collective energy of others, in a spirit of reverance for earth, humanity, and the starry cosmos.  As you light your incense or sage, inhale the sacred energy in the atmosphere, wafting on the smoky perfume.

With the energies of Leo and Aquarius in play, we should focus our ritual both inwardly, on a personal matters, and outwardly, to influence the collective health.

Personal Ritual: Now survey your life with an eye to what is obstructing your true self from flaming out in all its radical brilliance and beauty. Perhaps you are plagued with doubts about the value of your work. Maybe you are filled with unreasonable fears, or persistent feelings of anxiety. It could be that you have held onto anger over an unfair situation, or a person who has slighted you. Often, negative habits persist that block us from accomplishing what we most desire: we procrastinate on fulfilling what we sense is our soul’s purpose, ignore our friendships, or, swamped by the minutia of life, forget the deeper side of life. Choose one or more of the traits you want to banish, then write them down on a piece of paper. Folding it up in the palm of your right hand, place your left hand over it and say “Begone in the fire! Begone in the air!” Then burn your piece of paper in the candle flame (making sure that your holder catches the pieces of burnt ash).

Collective Ritual: Now survey the world with an eye to those problems that cause suffering in the world. Of all the difficulties that riddle the human condition, what are the ones that stir you most deeply? Perhaps it is the environment, now suffering from raging wildfires and erratic weather patterns. It could be human rights, and the lack of fair treatment for prisoners of conscience around the world. Maybe it is the AIDS and Ebola epidemics in Africa, the problems of poverty, homelessness and war around the globe. Choose what you feel most strongly about, write it on a piece of paper, fold it up in the palm of your right hand, then place your left hand over it. Taking the energy that you have freed up from your personal “banishing” ritual, vow to consecrate it to healing this particular issue. Then burn your piece of paper in the candle flame (making sure again that your holder catches the pieces of burnt ash), saying “Begone in the fire! Begone in the air!”

Bringing your hands together in a gesture of prayer, close your ritual with a prayer of thanks. Ask that your Full Moon “banishings” be in accord with the Divine Plan. Then extend your blessings to yourself, your close friends and loved ones, and the rest of the world.  Extinguish your candle.  And bow to the Moon!

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Bonus Capricorn Full Moon Ritual


On this Full Moon, the Moon is in the earth sign of Capricorn, opposite the Sun in the water sign Cancer.  Their gift to us lies in the interplay of the elements: earth mixed with water makes clay.  As told in ancient creation myths, the stirring together of elements resulted in the earth and all its creatures.  In the same way, by mixing these two elements together in a sacred way, we can work magic to invoke the spirit of creativity and art into our lives.  Just as, down through the centuries, the skilled potters, builders, and sculptors worked with the soft dough of clay to produce beautiful bowls and urns, adobe homes, and great works of sculpture.


Before beginning your Full Moon ritual, prepare a small container of water, a small container of earth, and an empty bowl.  Bring them to a quiet place where you can protect yourself from distractions or interruptions.  Ideal would be a spot outdoors in nature, a secluded garden beneath a tree, a tranquil patio, somewhere that allows you a good view of the eastern horizon, where the Moon will rise just after sundown.  You may wish to light candles and incense, or recite a prayer or sacred phrase from your particular tradition to calm your spirit.  Watching the breath – inhaling in, exhaling out – further deepens the energy.


The Full Moon is a time of heightened sensitivity for all above-ground beings.  Gradually open yourself to the vibrations around you.  Pay particular attention to the natural environment. (Even if you’re inside, you can still call to mind the trees, streams, breezes, plants and flowers of the elemental kingdom.)  Breathing calmly, with awareness, watch for (or imagine) the Moon’s rise.  As she lifts above the horizon, experience the sky lit with Moon beams, pouring down like blessings on Earth where you sit.  Sense the moonlight entering you with each in-breath.  With each out-breath, feel her silvery blue light coursing through your body.   As you bask in the Moon’s presence, feel your body bathed, inside and outside, with the soft rays of healing moonlight.  Experience everything around you lit up in a lovely incandescence.


Now think of the work you have been given to accomplish in life:  whether it is your work as a parent, a businessperson, a writer, a therapist, or a musician.  Next, place some of the dirt in the moonlit palm of your left hand, while honoring the earth element of Capricorn.  Think of hills, fields, and meadows; and their evolution through human culture as roads, abodes, and towns.  Now sprinkle a few drops of water into your right hand, honoring the water element in Cancer.  Think of the oceans, rivers, and streams; and their manifestation in human culture as the flow of emotion, the blessings of nurture and compassion.  Mix the two together and hold your hands up to the moonlight.  Ask that the creative spirit of this Sun/Moon cycle be breathed into your craft, bringing form and substance out of your


Cupping your two palms together in a gesture of prayer, bow in thanks to the Moon.  Bow again in expression of gratitude for your own participation.  Finally, bow in blessing to your loved ones, and to the world around you.  Pour the remaining dirt in the bowl.  Holding your hands over the bowl, rinse your hands with the remaining water, also pouring it into the bowl.Bring this bowl to your altar or to a special place in your home or office, where its presence will have a calming effect, and remind you of the creative spirit at work within you.  Sometime before the next New Moon, when it feels right to do so, return your sacred clay to the earth.

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