Here's What You Shouldn't Do During A Full Moon

The moon has been a beautiful, mysterious presence in our night sky since time immemorial. So it's no wonder that this heavenly body has become a cornerstone in many religious and spiritual practices. Some belief systems personify the moon with ancient deities, while others regard its cycle of waxing and waning as a cosmic rhythm that impacts both our lives and the universe as a whole (via Britannica).

In recent years, the moon has recaptured some of this spiritual significance as practices once considered fringe or New Age now become mainstream. Pew Research reports that roughly six out of every 10 Americans accept at least one New Age belief, whether that means an interest in astrology, reincarnation, or psychic powers.

The full moon, in particular, has captured the public's curiosity. On TikTok, the hashtag #fullmoon has over 1.6 billion views, and a quick scroll reveals dozens of videos around spiritual practices like crystal hunting, making citrus candles for a home altar, or writing out full moon intentions to place under your pillow as you sleep.

But not every moonlit ritual or intention-setting practice is appropriate at each stage of the moon's waxing and waning, and even regular daily tasks may experience friction during certain times of the lunar cycle. For instance, there's a profound difference between full moon energy and new moon energy. While you may want to capitalize on the rich and abundant energy of the full moon, it's important to be mindful when choosing how to observe this celestial event each month. Specifically, here are a few things you shouldn't do during a full moon — and what to try instead.

Things to avoid during the full moon

The full moon is representative of culmination and letting go. So, first and foremost, it's important to make sure you're emphasizing completion during the full moon and avoiding fresh starts. "This is a time of releasing, welcoming closure, and allowing things to complete," astrologer and numerologist Jasmin Alejandrez-Prasad, also known as Esoteric Esa, tells Well+Good. "Creating new beginnings will backfire and won't gain the momentum deserved."

The full moon also shines its bright light on your thoughts and emotions, providing clarity and strength of intuition (via Goop). During this time, it may be wise to avoid intoxicating or mind-numbing substances that can interfere with the full moon's natural opportunity for insight.

Finally, the full moon can bring high energy that borders on chaos (per The Cut). This may be why we often associate the full moon with strange happenings, wild behavior, and an uptick in bizarre encounters. To downplay any potential disruptions or catastrophes, avoid jamming your schedule with a lot of last-minute meetings, travel to unfamiliar locales, or interactions with strangers. Voyaging into the unknown could provide openings for chaotic energy to worm its way into your life, so focus your day around tasks or places that are more reliable.

Things to embrace during the full moon

Looking for rituals and practices that work with the moon's cycles instead of against them? Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to harness the power of the full moon. Prioritize actions that bring your intentions to a close, release things and energies that are no longer serving you, or capitalize on the full moon's illuminating intuition.

For example, the full moon is a perfect time to indulge in grounding and self-reflection (per Farmers' Almanac). This can involve literal grounding by connecting your bare feet with the earth, or an inner re-centering through meditation, mindfulness, or prayer. The full moon is also conducive to practices like divination and tarot reading. Spiritual sites like Labyrinthos even offer guides to specific full moon tarot spreads that you can employ for maximum clarity.

To mitigate any wild energy, the full moon is also an ideal moment to stay home and embrace restorative, calming practices like a cleansing ritual bath. Making your own spiritual bath is an easy way to relax your mind and muscles while potentially shedding any negative energy that needs to be released with the completion of the lunar cycle.

Alternatively, you can try a little full moon bathing to cleanse your aura. "Moon bathing is the practice of placing oneself under the moon, just as you would when you sunbathe," astrologer and mystic Tashi Dos Santos tells Sunday Riley. "We do this to receive the nourishing rays of the moonlight and healing energy that is ever-present when working with the moon and its phases."