This year, the September full moon is also the harvest moon. The harvest moon is the full moon before the autumn equinox. I created a journal page for this full moon that incorporates a breathing exercise to help you release the emotional, subconscious or energetic blocks it may be time to let go as you invite more abundance into your life.
In the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter. The crops are being harvested. Fruit is being preserved. Cucumbers and carrots are being pickled. Peas are getting shucked and sorted into freezer bags and preparations for the cold season are underway.
This time of year soothes my nervous system. It’s like a big cozy blanket for my soul. The energy is more subdued than at the height of summer but the dark days of winter have not yet arrived. Sure the hint of frost lingers in the air and whispers of long black nights but the memories of summer are still alive. Sometimes the sun will even decide to get hot enough to tease me into thinking about beaches and popsicles. But it’s cool enough that everyone has retreated to their houses and the outdoor spaces I like to visit aren’t as busy.
As much as I love summer, my spirit prefers the slower vibes of autumn. It’s a great time to feel grateful for everything I had the opportunity to celebrate during the summer. It’s also a great time to reflect on the beliefs, emotions or memories I may be carrying that are preventing me from opening my heart to receive more goodness.
I find these times we live in challenging. It’s easy for me to close off in fear. I grieve for the lives that have already suffered because of the changing climate and I worry about the millions more that will be affected. And yet I can’t allow myself to be weighed down by feelings of powerlessness because that won’t help. I have to work even harder than before to continue to open my heart to love. Inspiration is found where love lives. Solutions and resilience exist there too. When my heart is open to receive love, everything else I need comes flooding in too.
For this harvest moon, I created a journal page to use during my moon ritual to help me release whatever is blocking my heart from receiving. I wanted to use the power of the exhale breath to help me with my intentions of release. I created a goddess to help us do that. I like the idea of partnering my creative and magical intentions with my physical breath. In my imagination, it invites my body and all elements of my physicality all the way down to my cells to join me in releasing what I’m ready to let go.
If you are not on my email list and haven’t received this journal page, visit my homepage and sign up. You’ll receive a link where you can download this month’s journal page. Print the page then follow the instructions below.
If moon rituals are familiar to you, prepare your sacred space and invite Spirit to join you in whatever way works best for you.
If, however, you are new to moon rituals, I’ve included a quick guide to the steps I follow to prepare for my moon rituals.
STEP ONE: CREATE SACRED SPACE
Ultimately, I believe the sacred space I need is already within me and setting up a physical space that feels sacred isn’t necessary – but it is fun. And over time, the more I use my spiritual tools, imagery, nature or my altar to enter the holiness within me, the more quickly they help to open my heart and slip me into the holy wonder that lives there.
If you have an altar set up in your home, you can perform your ritual on or near it. If you are performing this art ritual with your kids, let them choose the spiritual tools and items they want to include and allow them to arrange their choices in a manner they prefer. There are no rules here. Just give yourself the freedom to play and create. Personally, I often start with a pretty piece of material then I lay my crystals, cards and candles on it. I add whatever tools, items and imagery match the intention of my ritual. Since this particular full moon is the harvest moon, I’ll be setting out items and plants that represent abundance.
STEP TWO: CLEAR
In this step the goal is to clear your physical, mental and emotional space. There are many ways to do this. Ring a bell. Play a crystal bowl. Meditate. Say a prayer. Chant. Spray a mist of water and essential oil around the room you are performing the ritual in. Light incense or sage and move it around to clear your physical space, your mind, your heart and your energy. Listen to a guided meditation or close your eyes and focus on your breath. Do whatever works for you to step out of your everyday busy monkey mind and drop into a more relaxed, open and still mind.
Try your best to release tensions, worries, negativity, anxieties, fears and stress. You can even ASK FOR HELP with this step. Ask your angels, Spirit, God, Divine Mother, the wind or whoever you pray to to take your worries, anxieties and negative thoughts away. Release feelings of unworthiness and self-criticism. I often call on Archangel Michael for help in this step. Do whatever works for you to clear away the mental clutter and any fears you may be hanging onto. Ask for your mind and emotional body to be cleansed and relieved of what no longer serves you. Ask the Divine for help to prepare your body, heart and mind to open to connecting with spirit and performing your ritual.
Consider what you enjoy doing or what makes you feel taken care of. Some days lighting my incense and saying a prayer is enough. Other days life weighs heavy on my mind and I need more. On those days I slow down and spend more time in this step than I normally would. Effectively nurturing your heart and shifting your mental and emotional state is more important than robotically going through the motions of each step. Listen to your body and your heart and do what you have to do to shift into that sacred space.
STEP THREE: CALL IN
I like to think of this step as an invitation. I prepared myself and my space, I created a pretty setting and I quieted my monkey mind. Now all I have to do is invite Love and Spirit to join me. I’ve been lucky enough to witness the many miracles that unfold when I invite Mother Earth, the four elements and directions, God, Divine Mother, my Spirit Guides and angels and my ancestors to participate in my rituals with and for me. This step is crucial in saving me time and effort. What I can do alone is nothing compared to what I can do together with Spirit.
My method of calling in Spirit is very simple. I close my eyes, take a deep, grounding breath and say a prayer out loud. I speak an open invitation by saying, “All those in Spirit that are here for my greatest and highest good and for the greatest and highest good of all the people participating in this ritual with me, thank you for being here.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom, healing and guidance with us. Thank you for helping us receive your Divine messages and/ or healing clearly and effectively.”
Then I pause for a moment and consider specifically who from my Spirit team I would like to invite. I speak their names and invite them to join me. I do this in an informal way and speak as I would if I were on the phone with a friend asking them to come over. I thank them for all the help they’ve ever given me in the past and gently request their presence.
STEP FOUR: PROTECT
The last step I do is ask my spiritual helpers to protect my sacred space. I establish clear, firm boundaries of love and light, stating that only those that are here for my highest and greatest good are welcome in my space. I also invite Archangel Michael to protect my boundaries.
When you perform this step you can also create a circle around you with items like stones or salt or oracle cards to affirm your boundaries. What I try to achieve in this step is a very clear boundary within myself and within my physical space by being very clear about what kind of energy and intentions I want to hang out with.
Finally, after all the preparing, clearing, aligning, inviting and protecting, its time to create.
Print out the journal page and choose a color that represents letting go or releasing. To me, the color blue evokes feelings of letting go because it reminds me of air and the wind.
The goddess on the journal page has a figure 8 pattern on her body. The top half of the figure 8 pattern is smaller than the bottom half. Follow the figure 8 path with your pencil crayon in a continuous motion over and over again while you align your breath with your circular movements. There are written instructions on the figure 8 pattern showing you where to breathe in and where to breathe out. You breathe in while your crayon is follow the smaller loop on the figure 8 and you breathe out as your crayon follows the larger loop at the bottom of the figure 8.
I suggest breathing deeply. If you can’t see your body moving with each breath in and out then you’re breathing is too shallow. When I do this exercise, I’m going to exaggerate my inhale and exhale until my exhale is a lot louder than it normally is.
As you exhale, think about all the memories, events, experiences and beliefs you are ready to let go. What prevents your heart from receiving all the goodness it deserves? Is it rooted in fear or self-doubt? Does it stem from a childhood memory? Are you still carrying grievances that are blocking your heart from trusting enough to open wide? Is the stress you are carrying constricting the energy around your heart?
Continue to follow the figure 8 path around and around for as long as you need to feel a shift or a sense of release.
If you end up completing this spiritual art ritual, I’d love to see what you created. You can even post the finished piece on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #danasartrituals or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me how it went for you.