Illuminate + Reflect: A Practice for the Full Moon

September 5, 2017

The Full Moon has long been a source of creative energy, sudden insights, and illuminated inquiry. In fullness, the moon is not a representation of the muse, but the muse herself, casting a distinct energy upon all those in her path. Plants, animals, people, trees, bodies of water and probably thousands of other beings that humans have yet to integrate with are all deeply affected by the rising fullness each moon-th.


If you've ever had the experience of wondering "why am I suddenly so energetic/triggered/angsty/passionate/lusty/conflicted/blissful/inquisitive and realized, "OH yeah, it's because the moon is full" - this is a practice for you. 


 Artist: Susan Seddon Boulet 


The moon in her fullness is not always a pleasant experience for me. I was born under a full moon right as the moon hit it's apex in the sky (Aries sun, Libra moon) and I believe this contributes to a specific sensation I often experience in my chest during full moons. My chest tightens, as if preparing for a massive release and illumination of all that I've pressed into my heart over the past lunar cycle.


I don't see this as an uncommon experience- we are humans waking in an often confusing, hardened world that doesn't always value open-hearted expansive expression. Over even just a few weeks time, there can be countless moments of choosing productivity, intellect, and rationalization as a means of protection for this sensitive energy center. There's definitely a reason why physical heart troubles are so common in this culture, and why it's also common to place our hands on our hearts when we're feeling sad, protective, or grieving. Typical body language of hunched shoulders are also a physical manifestation of being "on guard" constantly. I notice this in myself, too, and even though I "know" how to soften, I've spent lifetimes in this type of protection mode and there's always deeper inquiry to be done on how to truly be in openness. 


After my chest tightens, I often feel a primal desire to physically tap on my heart center, most of the time very vigorously and instinctive. I go into a ritual space of releasing, which I'll share below. 99% of the time, I'm feeling much lighter and liberated after this practice.  


Here's the ritual practice I do whenever I am feeling this sort of illumination due to lunar energies: 




As you begin, connect with the rising moon. If it's cloudy, raining, or you live in a city- that's okay. If you don't live in a city and you're able to spend some time outside, set yourself up in a place where you're alone, preferably with a full view of the moon. Barefoot is great too, if you're into that sort of thing (even if you're not, try it, you might be soon) and it's warm enough. Look up the moonrise time, and step outside during this peak energy. Take a few deep breaths, pause, and get still. You'll be moving soon. 


Notice any sensation happening in your body, where you might be holding tension, where you feel the lunar pulse- If it's in your chest, see if you can expand and open your heart. You're a phoenix about to take flight, so you might as well breathe some fire into this part of your body.  




Start to tap on your chest using your fingertips. Start moving the rest of your body. Be uninhibited and completely free. Notice if there's resistance, that's a part of the practice, too. Nobody is watching, and this sort of primal, unbounded movement is absolutely necessary for liberated embodiment- you know, that thing you have when you're dancing as a little kid, shaking EVERYTHING and really just moving it. That, right there, is a powerful energy releasing technique. Shake. It. Out. 


You may want to increase the tapping to pounding or lightly clawing. Start using your voice if you're *called to*, sing, yell, be guttural or joyful or angry. Whatever you are experiencing is perfect and right. Whatever you're tapping now is releasing.


Even if you're not completely conscious of what the energy pulsing through you means, that's perfect too... it's not always necessary to intellectualize our emotional or physical experience. Sometimes it's enough to notice it and move it through, tap it through, claw it through. Later insights may happen as you realize who or what you are responding more to through an open heart instead of a congested, fight-or-flight reaction. 




After you've exhausted your heart-tapping abilities, take a few moments of stillness before heading back inside. Perhaps lie down on the earth and allow yourself to feel fully held, secure, and supported to be who you are, without all of the armor. Integrate your expansiveness and the newfound s p a c e that's been cleared.


When you're back inside (grab a hot cup of herbal tea or glass of spring water) and set yourself up with a candle, a small mirror, and a view of the moon. Turn off the lights and sit with the candle in front of you, holding up the mirror so you're looking directly into your own eyes. Begin penetrating your own gaze. Remind yourself that you are the keeper of your own reality, of your own story, of your whole unbound Self. Staring into your eyes, start repeating a phrase that feels beneficial to what you're needing to reflect to yourself at this time. Some examples are:


I am free to express myself fully in every moment.


I am unbounded, liberated love.


I have complete sovereignty over my choices. 


I live from a place of liberation without fear. 


I am whole and eternally healing. 


Repeat one or multiple phrases as you lovingly gaze into your endlessly receptive eyes of oceanic purity. You are safe to release the boundaries around your heart. Allow yourself to feel the peace of enough-ness. 


Lunar energies can stir up a LOT. As always, be gentle with your process. You have everything you need, always.


You can return to this practice of chest tapping and eye gazing anytime you're needing to release and come back to the body-temple of Self. 


Lastly, here's a spoken word/stream of consciousness piece I recorded over a year ago, Claw of the Full Moon.


Give it a listen for some completely raw medicinal musings on the intensity of Illuminated Reflection that the full moon naturally lends itself to ◎ 


Luna rising over the field by my house 




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​© 2019 by Emma Amara Elisabeth