Since the beginning of time, women have been gathering under the light of the moon to share stories and songs. There is something wildly sacred that happens when women attune to the rhythms of mother nature, and bring forward the power of the divine feminine.
During the full moon we are naturally more intuitive, receptive and creative. When we gather with our sisters under the light of the moon we unearth a deeper listening to our present state and empower ourselves to live our most fulfilled life. By sharing how we really feel and what is honestly going on in our lives, we can begin to free ourselves from the charge of negativity or imbalance and begin to direct our feminine power towards light, love, and transformation.
I have early childhood memories of being awe struck by the light of the full moon shimmering down on the lake and being attracted to it’s wild, radiant energy. It’s no wonder that for over twenty years I have been hosting moon gatherings for women. And, when I’m not gathering with others, I create personal rituals to awaken and align with the forces of the moon.
Here is a full moon ritual. It can be done in a group or by yourself. Let it be a rough guide, use your intuition and have fun planning it out. Gather your sisters and celebrate the divine feminine that dwells inside of you and the moon.
A FULL MOON RITUAL
1. Create An Altar
This will be the centre of your ritual. Let it reflect the season, and include items that are symbolic to you. A candle can represent fire and passion, a bowl of water or sea shell with water can represent your emotional, fluid and nourished self, you can include crystals to charge in a bowl of sea salted water for cleansing away old energies, items from nature to represent mother earth or anything else that is symbolic to you.
2. Cleanse The Space
Smudge the room with sage, sweetgrass, Palo Santo, essential oils or incense to create sacred space and to clear away unwanted energy. Make a herbal tea blend for nourishment while you welcome in the women’s circle and the light of the moon.
3. Call In The Directions
Acknowledge the East, the rising sun and your light within
Acknowledge the South to open to letting go and personal healing
Acknowledge the West to connect with courage and release fear
Acknowledge the North to open to Joy
Acknowledge the Earth to honour mother earth’s abundance and beauty
Acknowledge the Moon and breathe into the divine feminine inside you
Sit in silence and honour the divine feminine energy around the circle and within you. Attune to what your current state is, what your are ready to let go of and what you are willing to invite into your life moving forward.
5. Talking Stick
Each woman has a turn to hold the talking stick or crystal to share how she is feeling presently, what she is ready to release, and what she is ready to invite in. If you are alone, you can write this in your journal. As you speak and each woman listens, there is a deeper level of accountability and visibility that can harness your personal vision.
Paint, write poetry, collage, make jewellery, bath salts, massage oils, herbal teas, etc. Creating together brings forth a grounding nature within, a feeling of connection, nourishment and inspiration to your ritual.
7. Close Your Sacred Space
Bring the circle of women back together to share personal gratitudes and any insights or moments of awakening during the ritual. Seal in the circle by holding hands, singing mantra, or simple take three full breaths together. Blow out the candles.
Tend to your inner self like you are tending your garden. Observe when it't time to weed, to water, to plant and to harvest. Attune to the rhythms of the moon and bring forth rituals that unearth your true nature. Allow the rituals to ground, inspire and activate your heart's desire.
In her yoga teachings, Mara weaves together her background as a dance artist, her practice in the shamanic tradition, and her twenty years of experience on her mat – naturally what arises is a fluid, earthy, full bodied practice. Currently, Mara hosts international yoga retreats, fuses yoga and corporate leadership to executive teams, teaches professional athletes and artists, mentors yoga teachers and teaches classes/workshops in Vancouver. Mara is a regular contributor to Gaia and her most recent yoga classes can be viewed online here. Find out more about Mara on her website at www.marabranscombe.com.
Everyday activities like sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, hunching over a cell phone or even holding a bag consistently on one side can cause stagnancy, stiffness and fatigue in the body. As habits build, poor posture can easily become second nature, causing back and neck pain and even damaging spinal structures.
However, the main factors that affect posture are totally within our control, and aren’t difficult to change with consistent awareness. If you’re sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, the following tips will help support you in maintaining a better posture.