I Went to a Full Moon Circle and This is What Happened
As I pulled up to the fog-covered window of the East Vancouver yoga studio on what felt like the 100th dreary winter night last month, I was both intrigued and nervous to attend my first ‘Full Moon Circle,’ put on by Alex D’amour, who runs the website On Our Moon, and Bree Melanson, who is a physic coach and spiritual medium. As the Instagram post advertised, 50 or so women were going to share our most vulnerable selves while discussing the recent Super Blood Moon and its significance to our energy levels. The thought of sharing anything among a room full of strangers scared the crap out of me, but I smiled wide, walked past the entrance’s Buddha statue and braved the crowd of women hugging and exchanging hellos.
A quick disclaimer: as someone who grew up in a rural B.C. mountain town, I’ve been exposed to my fair share of meditation circles, yoga retreats and burning Nag Champa sticks. I don’t romanticise spirituality the same way some of my peers do, and it can sometimes feel a bit preachy. But I decided to leave my pre-conceived ideas at the door because there was something about the event that peaked my curiosity.
So what exactly is a moon circle? According to Deborah Hanekamp, New York-based healing practitioner and yoga teacher, “Moon ceremonies are traditional rituals held on the occasions of new and full moons in which women can ‘energetically connect’ to the earth’s satellite,” as quoted in this Vogue article. She states that the moon “governs the waters, and women are very connected to the moon through the waters in our bodies.” Alex was inspired to start her own women-centred events after spending a year and a half attending moon circles, and says the experience changed her life for the better.“ It was during these circles, while speaking my truth and listening to other women, that I found the courage to make some bold changes in my life,” she says. “I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for sitting in circle with women every two weeks. It felt like therapy, but more impactful.”
Over the course of the evening, we are led through a guided meditation by Bree and given personalized tarot cards and worksheets. We then go through a series of self-reflective questions; ranging from ‘What areas of your life are you not being seen?’ to ‘What are the limiting beliefs keeping you from fully expressing yourself?’ Since the emphasis of the evening is in fact, to share, we're encouraged to reveal our answers with the group. Alex’s goal for hosting these moon circles is just that, because she believes women don't express or listen to each other enough. “I think the mission is to connect to Self, other women and to create a safe space for women to be inspired to share from a place of vulnerability. Coming together and sitting in circle allows them to really listen to each other. This is medicine.”
While my fear of public speaking keeps me quiet, I am both moved and surprised while listening to the revelations of other women. There are tears, confessions and the whole room is vibrating with feminine-charged emotion. We then write down a list of fears/stories about ourselves we’re ready to let go of, literally. We walk up one by one and shred these pages into a basket, while Alex promises she will burn its contents after the event. We are instructed to work on the goals we've listed between now and the next lunar eclipse two months from now (the beginning, duration and end of moon cycles is the best time to set intentions, I learn). "For me personally, I'd say the healing I've done in circle has surprised me tremendously. I had no clue I could do that amount of work on myself by attending moon circles every two weeks for a year," says Alex.
As Bree and Alex wrap up the evening, Bree goes through a final meditation before we go around the room and share our intentions we've set: from eating healthy to loving ourselves more to moving on from failing relationships - everyone's goals are drastically different and yet there is a shared excitement in the room that we can actually get this shit done. Alex urges us to sleep with our worksheets inside our pillows to help get that positive moon energy going. Witch-related jokes aside, I can’t help but feel a tinge of optimism for making some positive changes, and it's evident the rest of the room feels the same. "This is what we collectively, not just women, are craving: connection, vulnerability, a safe space, healing. At our last moon circle, three men were present which fascinated me and made me realize that we are all in need of this," says Alex.
Alex D'mour and Bree Melanson will be hosting another Vancouver event next month on April 28. You can click here to purchase tickets. To learn more about On Our Moon, visit their website. To learn more about Bree and her offerings, be sure to follow her on Instagram or visit her website.