Many of the Full and New Moon dates for 2017 are tricky this year, with a lot of them occurring very early or late at night, and switching signs by the following evening. May’s Full Moon is one of those. While a lot of people will surely report that it’s on the 10th, which it technically is, by the evening of the 10th it’s in another sign.
I highly recommend doing your Full Moon ritual either on the evening of Tuesday the 9th or before sunset on Wednesday the 10th while the Moon is in Scorpio, the correct sign to end this six month cycle that started with the New Moon in Scorpio on October 30th 2016. The Full Moon is technically at 5:42 PM EST on the 10th, but the Moon goes void-of-course at precisely the same time and stays void until 12:59 PM EST on the 11th when it moves into Sagittarius. If you wait until the evening of the 11th to charge your items and/or perform your ritual you will have Sagittarius energy and if you wait until after sunset on the 10th you’ll have void energy. The evening of Tuesday May 9th will work because the Moon has moved into Scorpio by that point. Basically, you can do May 2017’s Full Moon either on the evening of Tuesday the 9th or before 5:42 PM EST on Wednesday the 10th.
About May’s Full Moon
There are multiple names for May’s Full Moon, but the most common by far is the Flower Moon. Other names are the Corn Planting Moon and Milk Moon. The Flower Moon has fairly obvious origins; after all, April showers bring May flowers! May is the season of flowers and it only makes sense that May’s Moon would bear that name. Additionally, May is the month of Beltane, the pagan Sabbat honoring the goddess Flora. It was also called the Milk Moon as this was the time that cows would be giving milk. The message of this Full Moon is one of fertility and coaxing your projects into bloom.
Full Moon in Scorpio
Scorpio is a Fixed sign and a Water sign, ruled by both Pluto and Mars. Pluto is currently in Retrograde until September 28th 2017, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue since we’re well into the Pluto Retrograde at this point. Scorpios, as a Fixed sign, are more likely to be introverted and stubborn. They are very willful and work toward a goals relentlessly. Scorpio is also touted as being the “sexual” sign of the zodiac, but as a Scorpio I have to say I never liked that distinction, so I reject the literal interpretation. I do think it’s interesting that Scorpio is a transformative sign that embodies both the creation (sexual energy) and destruction (Pluto). The creatrix of the zodiac, if you will. The negative aspect of Scorpio comes from ruling planet Mars’ temper; they can be quick to anger and, as a Water sign, Scorpio is in touch with emotions. That’s a recipe for some very personal insults from a pissed off Scorpio. All that being said, I think the sexual energy of the sign can really be read as fertility, the extension of the “let’s get this done” mojo the sign already contains. This is perfect for the Beltane season, as this is the time when you want to symbolically fertilize the seeds of whatever you have planted earlier this year.
What is Full Moon Magick?
New Moons are used for setting intentions with a manifestation point at the next Full Moon and, way more importantly, a second, larger manifestation at the Full Moon at the six month mark (for this Full Moon it was the New Moon on October 30th 2016). Full Moons are an excellent time for cleansing, charging, protection, reflection, and spell work.
Just as a general rule it’s nice to dust off the energy in the house during a Full Moon. I use the classic, white sage, to cleanse my house, but some people really don’t like the smell (my cat hates it) or they don’t like the smoke. In this case you can use lavender incense or essential oil in a diffuser or spray. Thyme, palo santo wood, and cedar can also be used this way. If you absolutely cannot use anything that makes a smell, a cedar wand would be ideal for cleansing your space of negative energy. A besom (magickal broom) can also be used to sweep (with a literal sweeping motion) negative energy out doors. Just remember to open the doors first! Read my guide to cleansing a space here.
I always journal on the Full Moon, reflecting on my Grimoire (Book of Shadows) entry from the corresponding New Moon, discussing the results of the divination, and seeing how the intentions that I set manifested. It’s also good to look at the intentions from the New Moon, in this case, the October 30th 2016 New Moon in Scorpio. Your Grimoire is the perfect place to write your gratitude list if you don’t use a gratitude jar.
Scorpio is often associated with release and letting go, especially after a loss. This is a theme that has carried over from last year and, it seems, keeps coming up. This spell can be done at the Full Moon or the day after since a Waning Moon is also a great phase for releasing something. You can release one big thing or a few small things, it’s up to you; I suggest that if you have a medium-to-large “thing” to release to do only one. Remember to always practice fire safety! The spell below is written in a more formal “recipe” style so that it can easily be transcribed into a personal book of shadows/grimoire. The spell uses a black candle to release the negative energy, but a purple candle could be used in its place.
Cauldron or fire-proof container
Lighter or matches
Peppermint tea (optional)
Releasing herbs (optional)
Slips of paper
To begin, write what is to be released on a slip of paper. Write a short description of the emotion or event/memory, leaving out the detail or intricacies. Then hold the paper and dwell on the emotion or negative event in detail. Sink into the emotion, relive the event, cry or yell if needed, and put all of the emotional energy into the slip of paper. This step may take a long time. Repeat for any other things to be released until each has their own piece of paper. Next, light the black candle. Using the candle’s flame, light the strip of paper. Drop it into the cauldron (or fire-proof container) and say, “I release you.” Optional step: sprinkle releasing herbs on top (sage or an herb blend). Watch the paper burn and visualize the smoke carrying away that negative attachment into the sky. If unable to do the ritual outdoors, perform this spell near an open window to let the smoke out. Repeat with any additional slips of paper. If the feeling of negative attachment(s) remain, sit in the space and ground until ready to leave. Allow the black candle to burn down completely (don’t leave candles burning unmonitored). Optional step: have a cup of peppermint tea to complete the ritual.
I hope you all found this guide helpful, I’ll be back at the next Full Moon and we can go on our journey together again. I would love to know how you commemorate the Full Moon and if you have any ideas for magickal workings. Please feel to share any (positive/constructive) thoughts that you have in the comments. Have a beautiful lunar cycle my friends!
“Cosmic Sway (Beltane)” by April Elliott Kent in Llewellyn’s 2017 Sabbats Almanac
“Full Moon Names” on The Farmer’s Almanac
“Release” in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences
“Scorpio” in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences
“Scorpio Astrology” on Astrograph
“Scorpius” Illustration by Kayaga