NJ Moon Rituals Illuminate Intentions for the New Year

These increasingly popular ceremonies, rooted in ancient cultures, invite participants to let go of past burdens and set meaningful future intentions.

Lunar Faire hosts events in New Jersey timed with the full and new moon. Photo by Falyn Stempler

While many see the new year as a time to set goals, more people are using the moon to illuminate what’s important in their lives. Take Natalie Monegro of South Orange. Last year, she was invited by neighbors to join her first backyard full-moon ceremony with other women on the block. “I thought it was going to be a girls’ night with some wine, but it ended up being a really effective meditation and moon ritual,” Monegro says. “It definitely has created more gratitude in my life.”

These increasingly popular rituals centered around new and full moons have roots in various ancient cultures. Participants are invited to let go of attachments that are no longer serving them, and to set future intentions. This can be done through meditating, journaling, or even burning a list of negative aspects of life.

The uncertainty brought on by the pandemic has increased people’s need for faith and community, says Kim Kassnove, who hosted the full-moon ritual that Monegro attended.

“What I think everybody is most interested in is connection and the opportunity to come together in a way that is not necessarily centered around kids, going to restaurants, or drinking at a bar,” Kassnove says. “It’s this nice opportunity to say to friends, ‘What do you dream of?’ It’s about taking friendship and girls’ night to a totally different plane.”

Kassnove, an educator-turned-certified life coach with a spiritual bent, has been hosting moon ceremonies throughout the pandemic, where she’s led guided meditations and writing activities. In one exercise, participants wrote down what no longer served them in their lives and threw the paper into a fire pit. “It’s an opportunity to pause from everybody’s busy life and look back at what you achieved and how to move forward with a little more intention,” says Stacy Krakower, who has attended Kassnove’s events.

Other opportunities New Jerseyans can seek out include public events such as the regular Lunar Faire, which bills itself as a “witchy and weird shopping event,” taking place regularly around New Jersey and timed to coincide with full and new moons. The next events are on January 2, 17 and 31.

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