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Full Moon Rituals Are The Calming Self-Care You Never Knew You Needed

If you're dealing with anxiety or need more balance in your world, experts say this is worth trying.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

Did you know that connecting with the moon can be calming to your mind and body while also helping bring your long-term goals and dreams to life? There are many phases of the moon, but the full moon specifically can shine a spotlight on the person you want to be and what it will take to get there. That's the beauty of carving out time in your schedule to focus on self-care and embark on a full moon ritual. If you've never been part of this celestial kind of ceremony before, gear up for an experience that could be the self-care practice you've been missing out on.

We spoke with Mariah Oller, a cell biologist turned tarot reader, and Lisa Stardust, astrologer and bestselling author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck to learn everything there is to know about full moon rituals and how they can bring peace to your mind and body.

For those who don't already know, a ritual celebrating the full moon is an intimate ceremony where individuals can "connect to natural rhythms," as Oller puts it. "The objective is to mark the passage of time, notice the cycles of your physical and emotional body, and to consciously make choices about your life," she continues.

"Being that the moon controls the tides of the ocean, and all living beings are composed of [around] 60% water," Stardust says we are always in sync with the moon's lunar phases. That's why a moon ritual is really key to take part in to carry out your own self-care and flow with the Earth's natural rhythms.

The moon ritual itself can vary depending on the individual, but the focus remains the same: relaxing and releasing while connecting with your inner self and your goals. "Full moons are a time of rest and relaxation, which is why a restorative ritual is the best one to do," Stardust explains.

Read on so you can personalize your experience based on your vision. And for more, don't miss The 5 Best Self-Care Habits to Feel Happy All Winter, Experts Say.

Embarking on this journey begins with self-acceptance

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"Full moon rituals help you mark your growth and acknowledge the changes that you've made," Oller says. A ritual of this nature is very beneficial for individuals who are dealing with anxiety or would simply like to balance their world.

Just as there are many phases of the moon, there are many options you can take when planning your full moon ritual. "Full moon rituals often focus on refinement and release," Oller says. "They mark periods of time and help you notice what you want to change and how far you've come on that journey. The healing comes from acknowledging your accomplishments and giving yourself time to grow."

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How to keep track of the full moon

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It helps to have a virtual moon calendar at the ready, as it will indicate the dates and times of each phase of the moon. From there, you can plan your moon rituals accordingly.

"Once you decide that you want to do something, the ritual has begun," Stardust says.

The full moon isn't the only time you can do a moon ritual

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True, you don't necessarily have to wait for a full moon in order to have a moon ritual. As Oller explains, "Working with the moon is cyclical, not linear. You can jump in whenever you want."

If you are seeking a new career, home, or relationship, a new moon would be the best time to hold your ceremony. If you are actually ready to make a change in your life, you should wait for a first-quarter moon. A third-quarter moon is a prime time to regroup and reassess. "These three moon phases are lower energy times and the rituals tend to be simple," Oller notes.

Related: The Worst Self-Care Habits That Destroy Your Immunity, Experts Say

How to plan your own full moon ritual

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A moon ritual is something you plan and personalize for your mind, body, and goals.

First up, Oller speaks about shower and bath practices. "These are usually done with herbs, flowers, or salts to help support release," she says. "These are particularly helpful for people experiencing a lot of grief." Taking a quick 10-minute bath has plenty of health benefits for your mind, including being a stress and fatigue reducer.

You can take this bath or shower when it feels best for your body the evening or day after the full moon, although Stardust points out, "Oftentimes, people suggest having a full moon bath when the moon is in its waning phase, which is right after the full moon."

As for what to think about when you're relaxing and bathing? Oller notes, "During the ritual, people can visualize what they are letting go of and how that supports them achieving their goals. Many folks journal afterward or have screen-free time to aid in vivid dreaming." Stardust notes that sometimes, she personally enjoys releasing any negative thoughts or bad habits she has during that particular moment.

You can incorporate tools to help deepen the experience

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Stardust herself is a fan of taking an Epson salt bath, complete with rose quartz or amethyst crystals to add "self-love and self-care" to the experience, plus candles, soft music, and moon water.

"In order to make moon water," Stardust says, "You can take a container of regular tap water and place it under the full moon's glow. This gives the water a lot of potency and energy, which can help in healing the body. Epson salt is also great for cleansing and relaxing the body mind and spirit."

If you're into harnessing the power of crystals, you can also charge your crystals by letting them take a "bath" of sorts in the full moon, and soak up all of its lovely moonlight. Then, place them back in your space or wear them as jewelry.

Some individuals find their inner peace through journaling, a great space to "identify and sort through thoughts and emotions," Oller notes. And you may have heard this before, but expressing your thoughts and feelings in a journal or diary has been proven to be soothing and nurturing.

When in doubt, brew a cup of tea or coffee. Talk about your hopes out loud (or review them silently) over your cozy beverage before sipping it. Reap the benefits of all that's warm in your cup—green tea, for example, can make you feel less stressed and give you a mood boost.

So go ahead and give full moon rituals a try—it can be just what you needed to calm your body and mind.

For more, check out How to Journal the Right Way, According to Experts.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more