Eclipses happen at special moments during the cosmic dance between the earth, moon, and sun.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves behind the earth. In other words, the earth is in the middle of the sun and the moon. Because the earth is now in the middle, it blocks sunlight from getting to the moon and casts a shadow on the moon.
Dancing—the cosmic dance of the planets included—is all about relationship, interdependence, and movement. With this general theme in mind, I offer you this lunar eclipse ritual.
How to Prepare for Your Lunar Eclipse Ritual
Wear loose clothing or be naked to symbolize your choice to be vulnerable and open.
Have a journal and pen or pencil nearby.
Eliminate all distractions and create a safe and quiet space for yourself. During this ritual, you can lie down or sit up in any way that makes you most comfortable.
Consecrate your chosen space as a sacred space. You may do so by burning incense, breathing deeply and intentionally in stillness, or any other method you prefer.
Place an object in your space to act as a “space holder” for you in the latter half of the ritual—a lit candle, a statue, or a bouquet of flowers all work well for this. The purpose of this space holder will become clear below.
The Journey: A Visualization Exercise
Take a big deep breath in through the nose. Exhale through your mouth completely. Do this a few more times (gently) until you feel a little lighter in preparation to read through this guided journey. Your eyes may be open or closed for this exercise when you are not reading, though the visualizations will likely be easier with closed eyes. When a pause is indicated, take as much time as you need to sit with the prompt.
To begin, imagine you were standing in a dark room facing a blank wall. Imagine that your eyes are closed inside this dark room. (Pause)
With your mind’s eye still closed in this room, imagine a large, bright candle in the space behind you. This candle represents your greatest desire right now. Its flame gently begins to warm your back. (Pause)
Feel the warmth of the purity of your desire. Feel the warmth of the very soul of your desire. Feel your back strengthened and fortified by the joy of your desire. Feel your back loosened and made limber in all the right places by the innocence of your desire. Sink into the goodness of your own desire. (Pause)
As the light from the candle warms your back, the light also expands around you, though your mind’s eye remains closed. The light of the candle creates a soft, glowing aura around your body. (Pause)
This light is illuminating that which stands in the way of you achieving your desires. It wants to show you what you need to see. As it does so, the light projects those things onto the wall in front of you in the form of shadows. Open your mind’s eye in this room. Your mind’s eye sees these shadows crisp and clear on the wall in front of you. (Pause)
First, in a stream of consciousness, quickly and effortlessly write down your intuitive feelings and thoughts about the shadows you just visualized. (Pause)
Next, carefully and skillfully write down what was shown to you, as though these shadows were the data gathered from a scientific experiment. Report on these shadows from a neutral place. Note the data down diligently. Draw the shape of the shadows if you would like to. (Pause)
After you’ve gathered your data, visualize yourself going back into the room, with your mind’s eye open. Notice the full room, the shadows, and the candle. Visualize yourself gently stepping to the side, out of the direct path of the light of the candle. What happens to the shadows on the wall in front of you? How do you feel now? (Pause)
What are your insights from the relationship between you, the wall, and the candle? Write them all down.
The Return: The Big Reveal
Please only read this part after you’ve done the exercise above.
Move away from your sacred space for 5-10 minutes. Set the intention that the space will be held for you by the object you chose at the beginning of this exercise. You may go outside, sit with a plant, drink some water, or find another calming activity. Just don’t scroll through social media or plug into technology. Stay in your own energy and the experience of this lunar eclipse ritual.
Once you have taken a brief pause, return to your sacred space and take a few deep breaths. Read what you wrote about the shadows on the wall.
Discover: What is the gift, teaching, or hidden talent that the shadows are offering you?
The Ending: Taking Your Gifts Into the World
Decide on a few action steps to take in your life within the next three days. Take advantage of the momentum you’ve built and set things into motion.
These tangible action steps should help you demonstrate compassion for your shadows, change your relationship to the shadows, or honor the gift of your shadows.
For example, let’s say your greatest desire was to build a business. And one of the shadows appeared to you as a hissing snake. Your feelings were anger at the world; you showed up in the world as a hissing snake always ready to attack. Maybe you ask yourself a question: What would calm the hissing snake? Maybe the snake needs more sleep. So, perhaps as an action step, you could go to bed earlier than usual. Or maybe the snake wants to keep its hiss because it doesn’t feel totally safe right now. So perhaps as an action step, you choose to disengage from hurtful people or situations for some time until you’re ready to address them more fully.
Go forth with purpose, and enjoy the reveal of your eclipse!
Learn more about the spiritual meaning of eclipses.