The time is coming, once again, for the shadow of the earth to fall across the face of the moon. A full moon lunar eclipse, also known as a “Blood Moon”, is due to the red hue caused by the earth’s shadow. In astrology a full moon lunar eclipse is a sign of endings and new beginnings, a time to let go of the burden you carry and start over fresh. A chance to release that which no longer serves you and be reborn. This is reflected by the energy of the Death card in the Major Tarot Arcana. The skeletal rider arrives to tell us that is time for something in our lives to end so that there can be a rebirth of passion and wild energy in our soul. These two energies, the full moon eclipse and the Death card, can be used together as a powerful catalyst for change. All you need is the right ritual to harness it.
The first energy we will need to harness is the power of the eclipse itself. These vibrations can cause us to feel like everything is amplified due to the alignment of the sun, the earth and the moon. The earth is placed perfectly between these heavenly bodies, creating a powerful liminal space. Full moon energy is all about completions and great crescendos of energy, adding the liminal energy of the eclipse to this sets the perfect stage for endings and new beginnings.
In old stories and Greek tragedies, powerful sorcerers and witches were said to “draw down the moon” or darken the sky to perform their most powerful magic. So, a full moon covered in the shadow of darkness is a powerful theme that has been with humankind for ages. These stories featured themes of restoring beauty and youth to the frail and elderly, as well as bringing the dead back to life!
While we won’t be doing anything so literal as that, the idea of lunar eclipses being powerful times of change is deeply rooted in our consciousness. Maybe it’s time to let go of a habit or teaching that is holding you back? Perhaps it is time to cast out the fear that is keeping you from being your best authentic self? Now is the time to harness this celestial energy and eclipse your old self with a brighter, healthier, and stronger you.
The Energy of Tarot’s Death Card
The second energy we will be harnessing is the transformative vibration of the Death card. While the thirteenth card of the Major Arcana may cause anxiety when it pops up in a reading, this bubbling feeling is really a fear of change. Death can show up in a reading to inform us of an inevitable ending coming our way, and a whole new energy taking its place. It is natural to find comfort in the familiar, even when things go stagnant and are holding us back. The Death card reminds us that it is better to let go of these old comforts and embrace the new and exciting things headed our way.
The Ancient Celts believed that death was the middle of your story, not the end. Death is simply a transition between one way of existing to the next. This is the energy we will be harnessing— the power of transition, the essence of change, the strength to let go to the familiar and step forward into a new and vibrant place. It is time to cut away the old growth to allow ourselves to focus our energy onto new blossoming potential!
Ritual of Transformation
Now that we understand a bit more about the energies we are tapping into, it’s time to get into the actual ritual! Now, the word “ritual” may inspire images of figures wearing robes and swinging incense by the light of roaring fire...what we really mean is a mindful and thoughtful series of actions designed to add meaning to an important event or decision. Getting on one knee to propose marriage or having graduates walk across a stage to receive their diploma, these are common rituals adding recognition to these important milestones. Our ritual will do the same thing, celebrate the change you are about to make and reinforce your commitment to positive growth.
Step One: Set Your Intention
Setting the right intention is probably the most important part of this whole process, you want to make sure your focus is specific, realistic, and positive. The first thing to focus on is being specific. What is it you want to let go of? Why? How will you change once you release this person, quality, or habit? A good way to work through these questions is through journaling. You don’t need to write a hefty passage; a simple bullet point list will do.
Next you want to remember to keep this intent realistic: for example, it can be hard to remove a person from your life if you are still living together; but you can focus on becoming independent, so you can step away from this person once you are ready.
Lastly, make sure you stay positive! We can be our own harshest critics, but when we go into self-deprecation it lowers our vibrations making our changes and manifestations harder to achieve. So instead of saying “I want to stop being so lazy and let go of my excuses”, try something more positive like “I want to stop giving away all my energy, and focus on having the motivation to do what I love”.
Step Two: Gather Your Materials
This is where creating and setting up a ritual can get confusing. There are a lot of options here, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. I do have a few suggestions, but the most important thing to remember is to use what you have! Setting up a ritual shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, most of us have table salt and a scented candle or body wash. Make the best of what you have and don’t sweat making a long list of herbs and crystals!
My first suggestion is salt. Salt is an easy one since most of us have it in the kitchen already! Salt can be used to cleanse and protect, which makes it perfect for a full moon bath to get our cleansing done at the start of our death card ritual.
My next list suggestion is bay leaves. Dried bay leaves can be used to write intentions and affirmations during our ritual. It is easy to find, has a pleasing smell, and it is magically associated with manifestation, purification, and wishes. A bay leaf with a written intention can be buried, or burned in a fire safe container to release the change we are trying to manifest during this celestial event.
Lastly, I suggest using some kind of crystal or mineral. Minerals can carry frequencies or even act as an amplifier, making their use in rituals extremely helpful. You don’t need a large crystal to achieve this, in fact if you use a small enough stone, you can make a piece of jewelry to remind you of your goals and commitments every time you see it. Some good stones are clear quartz, selenite, and epidote.
Clear quartz is known as the “master healer” and has the highest frequency. Selenite is named after the Goddess of the moon, Selene, and can really amplify a moon ritual. Lastly, epidote is a mineral associated with surrender and rebirth which makes it naturally attuned to our Death card energy.
Step Three: Cleanse Yourself and Your Space
Now that you have set your intention and gathered your materials it’s time to get started! First, you want to cleanse yourself and let go of any stress or anxiety that has built up throughout the day. The best way to achieve this is with a full moon bath or wash. You can simply add a little salt to your water or add some herbs that calm and sooth you. You can soak in the tub and let yourself relax, or you can use some hot water and a basin with your salt and herbs for a sponge bath starting from the top of your head and ending at the bottoms of your feet.
After your soak, put on some comfortable clothes and set up your space. This can include putting on soft music, lighting a candle or some incense, or even casting a circle. Do whatever makes you feel that you are safe and calm in a tranquil environment.
You will want to choose a time when you are not going to be disturbed until the ritual is complete, remember that the energies of the Death card and the full moon eclipse in conjunction will last the entire day! Choose a time that works best for you and your daily schedule.
Step Four: Grounding and Meditation
Grounding is an important step and will keep you feeling calm and focused while attuning to the strong energies of the full moon eclipse and the Death card. Having a Death card in front of you can help you attune to the vibrations of change, rebirth, and release.
Take a few deep breaths, allow all your impulse thoughts to flow through you until you find your mind becoming still and quiet. Try to visualize the things you are letting go of, and then visualize yourself without them...remembering that you are releasing these thoughts and ideas for your own highest good.
If you need to use a more guided meditation, I invite you to try this Death card meditation I recorded for release and forgiveness.
Step Five: Write and Release
Once we have meditated and focused on ourselves, it is time to let go. Write your intention on a bay leaf or piece of paper and focus on it. Picture what you are letting go of: what no longer serves you, what has grown stagnant, the things that are keeping you highest good.
After you have put your full intent into the leaf or paper, burn it in a fire safe container or bury it outside. As you watch the fire or start to cover the intention with soil visualize yourself renewed, released from the negativity and self-doubt. If you like you can say a small prayer or blessing, thanking yourself for the positive change you are undergoing and thanking the universe for the energy to help you let go.
After completing the ritual, you may continue your work by integrating your intention through inspired action. These are the actions you take to help change manifest in your life, keep a journal tracking your progress with letting go, clean your home and sprinkling some full moon water to clean out the negative energy, spend some time connecting with nature to feel the natural cycles of the earth and watch how one season relents to the next. All these inspired actions will help solidify your commitment to change, and help you see how far you’ve come over time.
Another way to remember your commitment is by making a small charm or talisman. If you used a stone in your ritual, you could carry it in your pocket and touch it every time you need an extra boost. You could incorporate knot magic into your ritual and tie the energy of release and rebirth in a few knots on a cord and wear it around your wrist. Having a visual reminder of your ritual can help you be mindful with your actions and stay committed to being positive about the change you are manifesting.
Change can be a scary thing; it can make us anxious about the kinds of alterations we invite into our lives, it can also be beautiful and liberating! By taking advantage of the cosmic energy around the eclipse and the transformative power of the death card we can bring about powerful and life altering changes that can heal, forgive, and conquer fear. Ritual is a powerful tool that uses action and mindfulness to add weight to these decisions, strengthening our resolve and creating a sacred moment that adds confidence in our own power to manifest the energy we need to be our best selves.
I invite you to tune into this cosmic support, and create a ritual that reflects who you are, and who you would like to become. Step into the unknown, embrace the unfamiliar, and step forward with strength and light.