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Creating a New Moon Ritual To Set Intentions

new moon ritual candle stones palo santo healing space
by Corinna Wood

Wherever you are, sister, I love knowing that you and I gaze at the same moon!

And I love knowing we’re connected with women throughout time who also gazed at that same moon—and created ritual and ceremony to honor her different phases.

new moon in a dark skyReady to engage the natural energies of the moon to support you in your daily life?

My favorite way is to set intentions through a new moon ritual.

Maybe you feel unsure about exactly how to set intentions in a new moon ritual. Perhaps you have some doubts or fears popping up. I understand.

Know that there’s no one “right” way of how to set intentions. I’ll lay out my recommendations of how to write out your intentions, set up your sacred space, and simple steps to follow to create your own meaningful and potent ritual for the new moon.

And then you’ll make it your own. Honor your uniqueness.

Setting intentions doesn't have to be daunting—it can be simple and fun. And effective! As you work with your intentions from one new moon to the next, you'll find they help you align your focus, time and energy towards creating what you desire.

Table of Contents

As a woman, you’re innately connected to the moon

silhouette of a woman on beach with moon in backgroundYou carry the cycle of the moon within you, so when you connect with the moon’s energy, you're connecting with something deep inside yourself, too.

If you're still menstruating, your body is following a 28 day cycle similar to the moon. Before electric lights, women usually bled at the dark of the moon and often retreated to a “moon lodge". Today the timing of women’s cycles varies much more—yet whether your period is on the waxing, waning or full moon, you're still in sync with her cycle.

Are you in menopause or beyond? Me too! What I’ve found is that in those years, your connection to the cycle of the moon continues. In fact, the effect of the moon’s cycle on your psyche may be even stronger, as your menstrual hormonal cycle no longer pulls you in the same way it used to.

Throughout the ages, women’s connection with the moon has been a powerful source of creativity, arts, and culture. According to Judy Grahn, women tracking the moon was the beginning of mathematics and science! (See her book Blood, Bread and Roses—How Menstruation Created the World).

grandmother with walkin stick at the waters edge

The rhythms of the natural cycles are reflected in the spirals we walk through—from day to night, dark moon to full moon, winter to summer, youth to old age and death.

We honor our natural cycles—our ebbs and flows.

Within those natural cycles, the new moon is the time of beginnings—a time for planting seeds that can grow throughout the remainder of the cycle.

Now let's take a closer look at intention setting.

How new moon intentions support you in your wo-manifestations

woman smudging herself with palo santo in a ritual for the new moonSetting intentions in a new moon ritual is a way of engaging the natural energies of the moon’s cycle to support you as you envision your life and how you want to move forward.

Your intentions are an invitation to Spirit, to work with you to create—or wo-manifest, as I like to say—the life you wish to cultivate.

When you set an intention, you're planting a seed for what you want to grow in your life. You’re sending focused energy out into the universe to bring yourself in alignment with that intention. In doing so, you declare out loud to Spirit that you're open to receiving that intention.

I’ve set intentions for many years for my personal life as well as my work.

My personal intentions are often about where I want to dedicate my time, attention, and energy. At times they revolved around self-care, mothering, projects I was passionate about or qualities I wanted to experience in my relationships.

A new moon intentions story

smudge stick amethyst crystals and candle for new moon manifestationAs you may know, I ran a wise woman herbal medicine company for decades (until passing the baton to Jeannie Dunn in 2012).

When I first started Red Moon Herbs with Jessica Godino, it was 1993—back in the dinosaur days back before folks had websites and email.

To add to the rustic picture, I was actually homesteading in an old chestnut board cabin with no electricity.

I hand wrote our first catalog that winter by candlelight, and brought it to town to photocopy. We mailed copies of the handwritten catalog to the folks in our paper address books. And then waited for some orders to come in (my brother’s was the first).

How did we get from those humble homegrown beginnings to a hopping mail order business managing wholesale accounts across the country?

New moon intentions certainly supported that growth over the years. They held a torch.

Each January we set intentions for the business for that year. And each month at the new moon we would revisit those intentions, continuing to put energy out to the universe.

Our intentions helped align and focus our time, attention and energy to activities that supported those visions coming to fruition. Today, I'm honored to be a leading voice in holistic healing for earth-based women.


When to do your ritual for the new moon

new moon rituals timed with the first cresent visible in the skyIn the Wise Woman Tradition, we honor the full spiral of the moon’s cycle, from dark to light, without hierarchy.

We embrace the dark of the moon, which invites us to pause and reflect—as much as the outward focus and celebration at the full moon.

Some women like to do new moon rituals on the evening of the dark of the moon—sending the energy of their intention into the void, into the place of rest before the next cycle of the moon begins.

Personally, I prefer to consider the dark moon as a quiet time of reflection. For three nights—including the nights before and after the dark moon—she isn’t visible in the night sky at all.

So I usually do my new moon intentions 2-3 days after the dark of the moon. That’s when the first sliver of the new crescent appears in the sky around sunset.

If you don’t catch sight of her, no worries, she’s easy to miss at that time. Just go ahead and jump into your new moon ritual.

How to write your intentions and prepare for your ritual

woman writing new moon intentions in a notebookLet’s look at how to write out your intentions in a positive, heartfelt way.

To prepare for your new moon ritual, grab your notebook or journal and write out 3-5 intentions.

What would you like to see wo-manifest between this new moon and the next dark moon?

Some tips for writing your intentions:

  • Consider what you want to create in your life or what changes you’d like to make. Focus on yourself and your own life. Remember, you can’t change another person; you can only change yourself. So choose intentions around what you can do, or be, or feel . . .
  • Write your intention as a positive statement describing what you want to call into your life— rather than a statement of what you don’t want.
  • Make your intention believable to yourself. When you make your energetic request to the universe, you want to be able to envision it as a reality. What will it look like or feel like?
  • If you're feeling doubt that your intention can truly happen, then consider breaking down your larger intention into smaller stages. What’s the first increment or the first little step needed to begin moving you in that direction? Once that one is realized, then in future months you can work with the next increment.
  • Write your intentions out in a specific place, such as a special journal or dedicated notebook.

My Favorite Format for Writing Intentions

leather journal dedicated for setting intentions

When writing my intentions, I follow the format offered by Jan Spiller in her book New Moon Astrology, as follows:

I want to easily find myself _________________, in a happy, healthy way.

For example,

I want to easily find myself finding a new place to live, in a happy, healthy way.
I want to easily find myself planting my salad garden, in a happy, healthy way.

Stating an intention this way is putting out a request to the universe that your intention will be wo-manifested organically—in alignment with your health and happiness.

You're welcome to grab a free copy of my New Moon Intentions Guide, which includes a printable template page with this format, for you to fill in with your own intentions.


Creating sacred space for your new moon ritual

candle and singing bowl for a new moon ritualDecide where you want to do your ritual—whether that’s inside or outside. Ideally it’s a quiet space where you feel safe and you'll be undisturbed during your ritual.

One of the easiest ways to create sacred space is to simply light a candle. The candle can serve as a focal point— and the lighting and extinguishing the candle can mark the start and end of your ritual.

I suggest you gather a few meaningful objects for your sacred space to support your ritual energetically. This could be something that helps you feel more grounded or centered, or an image that reflects your beauty or supports your intentions. Or consider an object that symbolizes what you’re wanting to create.

For example,

  • A bowl with a favorite herb
  • A special stone, crystal, or shell
  • An image that captures the spirit of your intention

You may also want to energetically clear your space, especially if the space is used for other purposes. This is a way of setting aside this space for the purpose of your ritual and clearing away any energies that do not support that purpose.

Choose one of these common ways to clear the energy:

  • Burning an herbal smudge stick, or palo santo
  • Using a drum or rattle or singing bowl
  • Waving a feather

Keep it simple, and remember, there’s no one “right” way to do this. What’s meaningful for you is what’s sacred.

How to set intentions in your new moon ritual

lighting a candle in a ritual of how to set intentionsOnce you’ve prepared your sacred space, you’re ready to move into your new moon ritual to set your intentions. If you've never done a ritual before, no worries!

To set your intentions ritualistically, just follow the 7 steps below.

Feel free to use what resonates for you, and modify as you see fit. Make it more your own.

What matters most is that you’re present and open-hearted as you state your intentions.

7 Simple Steps for Your New Moon Ritual

  1. Ground and center: Take a moment to ground and center yourself.
    • Take a couple of deep breaths, exhaling slowly, perhaps allowing a sound as you breathe out.
    • You may wish to shake off any energy that may keep you from being fully present—moving and shaking your arms, shoulders and legs.

  2. Candle: Light your candle, if you’ve not already done so.

  3. Invite Spirit: Call upon any spiritual helpers you may want to assist you in this work—this could be ancestors, divine spirit beings, nature, or the moon herself.

  4. Connect with your intentions: Take some time to read and reflect on any intentions you wrote down during your ritual preparation. Feel free to make any updates that arise for you now in relation to the intentions you wish to set. Be present with your process around setting your intentions.
    • Journal about any feelings that are rising up as you prepare to state your intentions ritualistically
    • Or draw a simple sketch of what it will feel like to have one or more of your intentions realized (just for you, no one else needs to see it).

  5. State your intentions aloud: When you’re feeling grounded and centered, read your first intention out loud
    • As you speak, imagine the energy of your voice going out into the universe, carrying your intention into the ethers.

  6. Pause and repeat: Take a moment to notice the energy in your body after speaking your intention out loud. Then move on to the next intention.

  7. Give thanks: After you've stated all your intentions, you may want to say thank you to Spirit (by whatever names you call the divine—God/dess, etc) and any spiritual helpers who you called in during your new moon ritual.

During your ritual you raised some energy as you sent your intentions forth. Afterwards, you may need to ground yourself again. Maybe take some quiet time and drink some water or nourishing herbal tea.

Then put your written new moon intentions in a safe spot where you can come back to them throughout the month to reconnect with your intentions.

With some intentions, you may see movement in your life within that moon cycle. Other intentions take longer for you to experience change.

Regardless of what you see or experience right away, trust that the energy is working in the spirit realm towards your intention. Each time you state and affirm your intention, it helps both you and the universe align more and more towards seeing it come to pass.

You may find that you have the same or similar intentions from month to month. That’s okay! The energy of your intention continues to grow each time you state it out loud.

Some things take time to wo-manifest—just like some plants take longer to grow to maturity than others. Trees take years!

Make a practice of setting new moon intentions

7 steps for your new moon intentions ritual freebieWorking with the cycles of the moon is natural for you as a woman because you are innately connected to the moon.

One of the simplest—and most potent—ways to engage the moon’s energy is through a practice of setting new moon intentions.

New moon intentions are an age-old practice of writing out your heartfelt desires, and stating them out loud into the sacred space you’ve created.

As you speak the words into sacredness, you’re letting the universe know what you’re ready to receive—and you’re sending out an invitation to the universe to support you.

It is both as simple and as powerful as that.

So pull out your calendar and make a date with yourself for the next new moon! (Check timing here.)

With this simple format for writing intentions and creating a ritual, you can begin preparing your space now and thinking about which intentions you wish to consider for the upcoming new moon.

You're welcome to grab a free copy of my New Moon Intentions Guide, which includes a printable template page to fill in with your own intentions.

Whether it’s your first time doing a new moon ritual or you’ve been doing it for years, you're weaving your vision for the future with many other women setting their intentions around the world and throughout time.

Think about that for a moment. Women all over the world, setting intentions with the new moon.

That gives me hope.

As you, and other women, are able to wo-manifest the life you want to live, I know the world will be a better place.


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