Why You Should Wash Away Your Worries With A Moon-Gazing Ritual

Moon gazing might sound like just another viral TikTok trend, but this practice is actually older than you might think. After all, many cultures from around the world have deities or beliefs associated with the moon, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the moon holds significant meaning for many. "Our connection to the moon is ancient. It's our local planet – our closest friend and one of our first teachers," astrologer Chani Nicholas tells KonMari. "It has always been there with us, helping us to evolve and teaching us about the cycle of life and death and rebirth. Teaching us that it's okay to shed and release, to go dark, to build and shine and bloom." The moon is the brightest and largest object in our night sky (via NASA Science), illuminating Earth when times seem most dark with a bright and optimistic glow. In astrology, the moon symbolizes feelings and hidden emotions.

However, the moon holds a much deeper power beyond that. As astrologer and author of "Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power" Narayana Montúfar writes for Cosmopolitan, the moon has a tremendous capacity for healing. "Exploring your moon sign is ev-er-y-thing when it comes to the types of connections you make. It spells out your needs and nonnegotiables," explains Montúfar. A symbol of divine guidance and wisdom, the moon's energy offers the chance to strengthen our inner power. But how can we tap into this divinity?

What is moon gazing?

Moon gazing is exactly what it sounds like. Much like an afternoon of sunbathing and soaking up some rays, moon gazing involves basking under and gazing at the moon during your nightly rituals or meditations. Working with the moon is a practice that has been used in indigenous spiritual and yoga practices across the globe. As Ashtanga yoga teacher Sita Sunar tells Vogue India, the art of both moon gazing and moon breathing can allow you to tap into your inner power. "Ashtanga is a highly physical school of yoga, and because our bodies are used as a vessel to tap into our spiritual energies, full and new moon days help slow us down so that we become more self-aware," she explains.

And because the moon encourages us to look inward, moon-mapping and moon-gazing rituals are especially important for inner work. "Moon gazing can be a tool to help you connect with your body," therapist and astrologer Lauren Donelson tells InStyle. "Many people experience intuitive information through their bodies, like a gut feeling. Working with the moon can help strengthen your intuition." The act of showing up for yourself whether through self-care, meditation, or spiritual practice can help you find harmony and balance in an otherwise chaotic world. And moon gazing is just one of the many rituals or meditations you can perform to connect to the power of the lunar cycles.

How to create your own moon gazing meditation

There's an art to timing your meditations and rituals to align with the power of the moon. As astrologer Charro Benteau explains to Byrdie, your moon sign can show where your heart needs healing. "All aspects of the moon have their magical meanings and intention," Benteau explains. "Sometimes you need some extra reinforcement that the negative feelings or people around you are not as powerful in your life as you're allowing them to be. It's all about what you as a person need at that time." By incorporating moon gazing into your meditation practice, you may find it easier to access your emotions and unlock deeper feelings.

Creating your own moon gazing ritual is simple. First, you pick a private space that has an unobstructed view of the sky where you can see the moon in full view and then soak up its energy. You can do this laying down in the grass or while out on a moonlit walk. There's the optional choice to add music or even charge your favorite manifestation crystals under the moonlight. "A moon ritual can be anything from lighting candles, to writing yourself out of a bad situation, or even burning things that don't serve you anymore," intuitive healer and spiritual content creator Stacee Magee explains to Woman's Day. There are no rules or time limits on how long you should moon gaze; it's completely up to your mood and what you want to get out of it.

What are the benefits of moon gazing?

Moon gazing is an incredibly powerful and popular form of meditation. It offers more than a chance to take time for yourself to destress and relax; it's also a moment for you to check in with yourself and speak to your inner voice. As Clarissa Pinkola Estés wrote in her New York Times best-selling novel, "Women Who Run With the Wolves," "One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul." A moon gazing ritual is your chance to show up for your soul and reconnect with the person you are outside the external influence of the world.

If you're new to working with the moon in your spiritual practice, you might want to consider moon mapping to help guide you along the way. Moon mapping is simply the act of aligning your life and meditations with the phases of the moon. When done with regular meditation practice, it can add significant enrichment to your life. As Seattle-based mystic Bri Luna, known as the Hoodwitch, explains it, timing your spells or rituals with the phases can align your life in such a way that you feel as though you're "swimming with the current" as opposed to against it.