Do you ever look up at the stars in disbelief and realize how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things? These last few months of uncertainty have been nerve-wracking — a heightened sense of fear, increased anxiety, and an overwhelming amount of stress. While meditation apps, yoga or daily journaling are often helpful, during these unprecedented times I have been on the hunt for something more. This is why I decided to give natural (and free) practices like moonbathing a chance. Luckily on June 5, there was a total lunar eclipse, at 13 degrees Capricorn to be exact. This full moon in Capricorn was on the final eclipse of its axis and marked the end of a two-year cycle. Missed it? Not to worry, the next one, the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Gemini, is on November 30. While it sounds like an incredibly woo-woo concept (there is not much science around it), after a few nights of laying out on my yoga mat under the night sky, I felt incredibly in tune with the universe.
What is Moonbathing?
According to Tashi Dos Santos, astrologer and mystic, “Moonbathing is the practice of placing oneself under the moon, either seated or lying down, clothed or disrobed, just as you would when you sunbathe. We do this to receive the nourishing rays of the Moon Light and healing energy that is ever-present when working with the moon and its phases”.
Ancient Greeks worshiped the moon, after all. So don’t knock it until you try it. Need more convincing? Keep reading.
Here’s a moon bathing meditation to listen to for your next session:
Sunbathing and Moonbathing Have Different Energies
The moon is much more calming. It puts us in a receptive and open place.
While there is medicine in both, Deborah Hanekamp, AKA Mama Medicine, believes that sunbathing is something we often overdo (hey, sunburns!). “The sun is very activating, revitalizing, energizing. If we don’t overuse it, it can be very rejuvenating. The moon is much more calming. It puts us in a receptive and open place. It helps connect us with our more spiritual side and allows us to take in the medicine of our own intuition,” she adds. “When we start to look at both energies we begin to understand the sacred polarities that make us who we are, so, therefore, sunbathing and moonbathing complement each other and work together to assist the divine equilibrium of our being as well as the natural order on our planet,” says Dos Santos. This calming and soothing of the nervous system can also help to heal inflammation.
You Do Not Need Any Materials
Hanekamp advises that the only thing you need to moon bathe is yourself and the moon. “If you would like to enhance your experience you can always create a relaxing atmosphere for the practice you embark on however, the act of laying down or sitting upright, under the moon, is enough,” adds Dos Santos. Staring at the moon through the open window also works perfectly fine. “The moon is a direct opening to the grace within us and when sat with, she will always bring a comforting touch, she will always listen,” says Dos Santos.
The Phase of the Moon Matters
Each phase of the moon influences us differently since the intensity of the light from each moon phase differs. The magnetizing energy of the moon also triggers our emotions and the state of our mind. “During the new moon (complete darkness) you may feel more perceptive like you are taking a lot in. The new moon is the best time to plant the seeds of our intention and call energy in. Whereas for the full moon, you may feel more active, creative, and like there is a lot to do. The full moon is a potent time to prune and ground ourselves to make time for new growth,” says Hanekamp. Folklore tales often highlight how men and women get more animalistic or ‘wild’ when the full moon approaches. “The wildness, when understood in a positive sense, refers to the uninhibited connection to one’s deeper calling. Emotions appear to rise up as do our feelings, closer to any full moon time. If you notice yourself having a good cry during the peak of a full moon, know that this is a natural and healing process,” explains Dos Santos.
You Can Add in Other Rituals
“I think it could be beautiful to take a bath before going outside and charge the water that you drink with the light of the moon. Grab a quartz crystal (activates energy) and place it on your windowsill or bring it outside with you in a glass of water when you are moon bathing and hold it. Drink the water after or pour some of the moon charged water into a bath afterwards,” Hanekamp shares. Others like to apply a calming night oil before heading outside. You can also participate in a calming practice known as ‘the way of the heart.’ “All you have to do is place one or both of your hands on your heart, feel your heart beating, and rest your mind on this sensation. When you start to relax and become one with the beating of your heart, you start to hear what the heart may wish to tell you,” explains Dos Santos. It may take you some time to master, but the aim is to remember the impermanence of all things and to hear what the heart has to say.
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