Releasing Ritual for the Cancer Full Moon

The first full moon of the new year holds so much prominence and reverence. As creatures of magick, we’re in tune with the turning of the heavens and the lunar cycle, but as mundane humans, we are also beholden to such niceties as the yearly Gregorian calendar.

I think this allows for a unique crossover of witchcraft and reality, because we can combine the essential nature of magick with our daily lives. Remember: witchcraft isn’t removed from the human experience, it enhances and improves it.

Things like New Years Resolutions are a wonderful example. What is a Resolution if not intention setting? From a witchy perspective, this is a practice we’re constantly involved in, instead of just once a year, but I think there’s power in utilizing the collective belief of the New Year for starting new things – and releasing old things, too.

The Cancer Full Moon in January exemplifies the process of identifying the emotions from the previous year that aren’t doing us any good anymore, and giving us the space and support to release that into the ether, creating room for new and exciting opportunities.

Cancer is an emotional, watery sign, creating moments of fluid understanding and the ability to really sink into what we’re feeling. It can be difficult to examine emotions, leaning into what we’re feeling and how that makes us who we are, but it’s also an important process for personal development, too. Cancer moon time gives us safe space to do that work, creating a loving, protective boundary to be vulnerable and open. 

For the full moon on January 17 next week, try the following ritual for identifying emotions that are holding you back and releasing that energy to do good elsewhere, while creating space within yourself to grow in the direction you want to this year.

Download this ritual in PDF form

You’ll Need:

  • A candle
  • A fire safe bowl
  • A vessel of water
  • Cleansing salt
  • Paper and pen
  • Your favorite divination tools
  • Items to cleanse and create sacred space as you usually do (get some goodies here)

This simple ritual requires lighting things on fire, so make sure you’re in a space where you can do this safely.

Make time during the 3 days of the full moon to do this ritual where you won’t be disturbed.

Start by cleansing yourself and your space in your usual manner. Set up sacred space in the way that calls to you.

Light the candle and speak your intentions into the flame. If you’re stuck for words, you can say the script below, but speaking from the heart is always more effective.

“As the wheel turns, as the moon swells, as my magick grows, I open up and go within. Emotions that have carried me here, I thank you. Emotions that are no longer serving me, I thank you. Thoughts, opportunities, and emotions that are yet to settle in, I thank you and welcome you. Tonight, we release that which does not aid me so I may grow and expand this year in the ways I desire.”

Spend some time grounding and settling into the energy of the ritual. Meditate, chant, or do whatever else helps you focus your energy. 

When you feel connected to the energy in the moment, move onto the next step. The idea is to write down the general feeling, emotion, or intentions that you’re looking to release. This technique works for anything you want to get rid of, but since we’re working with the Cancer moon, focus on things that make you feel and the unwanted emotions that come along with them. If you’re having trouble identifying things, use your divination tools (tarot, runes, pendulum, tea leaves, etc) to pinpoint areas that you should be working on.

Write down whatever you feel called to write, as long as you’re fully encapsulating the emotions you’re looking to release. Alternatively, you can draw pictures, or even create collages from mixed media if that’s easier for you. The point is to capture the unwanted emotions on the paper.

Once you feel it’s complete, hold the paper to the flame and allow it to burn. Drop it into the fire safe bowl when it’s no longer safe to hold. You can say words as it burns, or you can focus on the emotion you’re looking to release and feel it leaving your body as the paper burns to ash.

When the paper is fully burnt up, take the ashes and add them to the bowl of water. You can say something like:

“Take these unwanted emotions away from me as swift as water flows.”

or something else that feels right to you.

Mix the ashes into the water, and then add a pinch or two of cleansing salts. You can say something like:

“Salt of the earth, cleanse the energy from these emotions and recycle it back into the flow of the universe. While it no longer serves me, may it feed in another beneficial way.”

or something else that feels right to you.

Take the bowl of water and the candle to a place where you can dispose of the water – I suggest a drain or a toilet, honestly. Your local water filtration systems will cleanse the salt from the water so it doesn’t harm the soil, and it will take the energy of the emotions away from you swiftly and surely.

Dump the water. If you feel called to say something here, let it be short and simple:

“Goodbye and thank you for the way you once helped me.”

Before you wrap up the ritual, sit with the candle again. When we remove something, we create a void, and it’s always important to fill that void intentionally, or else it will fill with something we may not want.

Stare into the candle flame and think about how you want to feel this year. Think of an ideal state of mind. Speak it aloud into the flame. Once you’re sure you have a full picture, and you feel confident that you’ve created a new vision and appropriate emotions to fill the space, blow out the candle with reverence and wrap up your ritual space.

Be sure to thank the energies that surrounded you while you worked.

Did you know we’ve got free community spaces online where you can gather with other witches to discuss anything related to magick and witchcraft? Join us and talk about how your Full Moon ritual went!

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