How To Hold A Virtual Full Moon Circle For This Weekend's Historic Moon
Full moons are a powerful time of culmination and illumination—and we've got an extra-special one coming up. Not only is this full moon falling on Halloween, but it's also a blue moon (or the second full moon of this month).
The full moon is an excellent time to gather with friends for a full moon circle. This year, though, the pandemic has made those gatherings a bit harder than usual. But thanks to the power of video chat, having a virtual full moon circle is still an option! And the nice part about doing things digitally is you can invite people who live across the country or the world.
Here, Chelsea MacMillan, a spiritual activist who has held her fair share of circles, provides tips and a sample itinerary for your virtual gathering.
How to host a virtual full moon circle:
Pick your date and time, and send out invites.
According to MacMillan, you want your circle to be held as close to the full moon as possible, digital or not. "But sometimes that's midnight or noon, so doing it the night before or day after is totally fine," she says.
Figure out how you'll let people know about it, whether that's a Facebook invite, an email, or just a text. MacMillan notes she likes to have a certain amount of intimacy in her circles, and it's a good idea to cap the guest list at somewhere around 12, no more than 20. As anyone who's been in a large Zoom meeting can understand, the more people involved, the less everyone gets to talk!
"There's definitely something to be said for welcoming new people into a space and having a diverse group of people who have different levels of experience with this sort of thing," she adds, to aid each other in exploring ritual, "especially for some who aren't as comfortable or familiar with it on Zoom."
Plan out what the circle is going to cover.
Before the circle is underway, assuming you'll be facilitating the event, put some thought into your intention for the circle, MacMillan suggests. What themes do you want to cover? What questions do you want to address? What kinds of activities will you have attendees do? (More ideas for that in a bit.)
Set the tone.
Anytime you're creating a safe container for people to express themselves and hold space for each other, always open the space with some sort of centering moment, like a group breathwork exercise, a quick chant, or brief introductions, MacMillan says.
"Especially with the full moon," she adds, "it's nice to have people have some sense of physicality in their space as well." Let people know beforehand to bring things that represent the elements (like water, a candle, a plant, etc.), to bring a sense of wholeness to the ritual.
Before you get underway, share your intention for the circle, and/or invite everyone to go around and say why they're there and what they hope to get out of the experience.
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Guide attendees through the circle.
MacMillan notes there's a bit more facilitating involved virtually than would be necessary in person. It can be helpful to call on people right away, to avoid awkward pauses, she adds. "Go in the order of people on your screen and calling on them to share," she suggests.
As far as what to do in the circle, once the intention is set, think things like guided meditations, reflections, or brief independent journaling. Feel free to use a bell to signify the beginning or end of a portion of the circle, as MacMillan does herself.
And because it's a full moon, rituals around releasing, such as (safely) burning a piece of paper with what you want to let go of written on it, are a great idea. Other themes around the full moon involve manifesting and the illumination of shadows.
Close it out.
As the circle comes to a close, have everyone go around and share what they got out of it or what they're going to bring with them, as a way to give everyone one last chance to speak. MacMillan also likes to close with a quick song or chant. "It's easy on Zoom to stay in our head, so it's nice to do something a little more body-oriented," like singing, she adds.
Things to keep in mind.
The most important thing to think about, MacMillan notes, is intention. Have a clear idea of what you want the circle to offer people, and have a "schedule" of sorts to keep everything on track.
While facilitating, encourage people to open up, but also remember not everyone will be as open or expressive as others. Ultimately, though, full moon circles are a fun, no-pressure way to share our full moon intentions and make them stronger as a group.
And for this particular Halloween blue moon, MacMillan adds, really soak up this potent energy. "It's right before the Day of the Dead—when the veil lifts—and we have more access to other worlds and other realms," she says. "We can really connect to ancestors or spiritual guides to ask for support at this time."
So, set your intention, send out your invites, and prepare for a spooky and supercharged full moon circle—Halloween edition.
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Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.