2017 is undoubtedly the year of the woman. Last year was a reality check for many of us and proved that our feminist work still has a long way to go. But it also highlighted the importance of and beauty behind feminine energy. So when a good friend of mine suggested I go with her to a full moon meditation ceremony that helps women connect to their divine feminine energy – I was all for it!
The belief that the moon can affect your behavior, also known as the “lunar effect” is one that dates back to the days of our ancient ancestors. The Native Americans were strong believers of the moon’s effects and while there might not be enough science to back up a connection between the full moon and your menstrual cycle or mental health, many still believe that the moon does share an emotional and spiritual connection to women.
“The moon affects the waters. Ocean tides are caused by gravitational forces of the moon and women are connected to the moon through the waters in our bodies,” explained Jennifer Cogburn, spiritualist, herbalist and founder and owner of Sacred Waters in Long Island City, New York. The holistic wellness center offers a range of services from sensory deprivation floatation (the only one in Queens), reflexology, past life regression, energy healing sessions, Reiki, and more. The one that drew my attention the most was the full moon meditations they hold every month for free (you can offer a donation) to the community.
This year has helped me to challenge my feminine energy. I already work as a women’s lifestyle journalist but with everything going on in our current political climate, women’s rights and connecting to other powerful and spiritual women has been at the forefront for me. I started feeling this way last year, even volunteering with a group of female friends at a shelter teaching art therapy to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. But that sense and that urge became even stronger for me after the global women’s march.
Like many Aries I know, I like to treat my birthdate like the beginning of the year. It’s a time for me to start over a clean slate, set my intentions, and manifest the life I want. So what better than to meditate in a circle filled with women under the full moon the evening before my birthday? My birthday is April 11th and this year it was 2017’s pink moon, which is all about embracing our feminine and intuitive energy. The point of the full moon meditation is to come to a more emotionally intuitive headspace and that’s exactly what it did for me.
All full moon meditations can look different, but for most people, it’s simply about gathering together and taking a moment to reflect. At Sacred Waters, Cogburn leads a full moon meditation every month usually outside under the moon in a large tent – if the weather permits. She starts it off with a brief astrological discussion of how the moon affects the earth, the other planets, the horoscopes, and therefore our energies. Then she guides us into a 10 minute meditation, where you can simply clear your head of your everyday stresses and reflect on your life; the things you want to let go of and the things you’d like to make space for. She finishes off by inviting everyone in the circle to share.
“The moon is the literal mirror of the sun’s light. It is a reflection that symbolizes how we view ourselves,” Cogburn explained. “The same way we can’t look at the bright sun directly, we also are unable to look directly at ourselves without the help of a mirror. The full moon represents that time of reflection. It’s also traditionally the peak time for manifestations,” she added.
“I like to honor the full moon because it represents the feminine energy in the world. I feel like feminine energy is strongly coming back now in a big cycle,” Cogburn revealed. “Just seeing women openly talk about things they were once ashamed of before like our periods, reproductive rights, or sex, I think speaks a lot to where we are today.”
As I closed my eyes and crossed my legs while sitting inches away from a few of my good girlfriends and the other female participants in the circle, I felt an energy I’ve never felt before. It was in this moment I was able to begin to let go of some of the shame and fears that have been holding me back from my true potential. I felt safe and was able to clear space for the things I want to manifest, released negative energy and forgave. But I also realized how blessed and grateful I am to be a woman right now in 2017. Women today are recognizing the importance of empowering other women, whether it’s economically, politically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is our time to stand up, but first we have to realize our power within, then we can go out there collectively and strongly fight the fight.