Tried & Tested: ‘I went to a full moon healing circle on Killiney beach’
Last night there was a full moon, quite a special full moon actually. It was the brightest and biggest full moon of the year. To mark the occasion Dominique McMullan joined close to 1,000 people on Killiney beach for a full moon healing circle.
I arrive early and the energy is buzzing from cars full of full mooners, looking for parking where there is none. The traffic is backed up all the way to the top of the road. Crowds of (mostly) women are practically abandoning their vehicles to make sure they don’t miss the start of the ceremony, strolling purposefully towards the sea cloaked in baggy pants and oversized cardigans, yoga mats in hand. This is not the type of full moon party I am used to. We are not in Thailand, obviously, we are in South County Dublin. The buckets of Thai moonshine have been replaced with mugs of cacao, and ravers glow sticks with incense and sage.
The 9pm ceremony starts with some light yoga. We sit in a huge circle taking up the breadth of the beach, all gathered around spiritual healer and yoga teacher, Christine Higgins. As she begins we are silent, instructed to lean forward and let the thoughts and stresses of the day go.
After a few poses, we lie down for the meditation section of the evening. This is the bit I am most looking forward to. The sun is setting around us and as the DART goes by it gives a little ‘toot, toot’ at what must look like the strangest sight on the beach below. A few cheers go up but it’s not long before we are back to our silence. Christine asks us to turn our focus within. We spend the next ten minutes being guided through our chakras, visualising the full moon as our third eye while offering up thoughts and manifestations to the gods of the north, south, east and west. At one stage a drum, mirroring the sound of a heartbeat, taps away behind me. The sound of the waves are the only accompaniment. It’s very lovely and relaxing. And yes, a little bizarre. I nearly drift off and feel most content.
As the moon rises we are asked to write onto a piece of paper what we want to let go of moving into the coming month and what we want to treasure and mind. We burn these pieces of paper in small fires, offering them up to the universe. My friend and I chat about organising a BBQ for the kids while we wait in the queue.
Certified Wim Hof instructor Niall Ó Murchú is next to lead the centre of our spiritual circle. There is a definite buzz around this man, known as ‘Breathe with Niall’ online. As one we practice various breathing techniques, my arms feel tingly and light. Then, again as a group of nearly 1,000 people, we jiggle and jump and shake – moving our bodies like eejits while shouting “HA” into the night sky. It’s invigorating and mad.
Finally, now we are all warmed up, we strip off and walk into the sea. Just like that. Dance music is turned up and squeals and hollers fill the beach.
I know very little about astrology, moon cycles or anything of “that” stuff. But reader, I was not going to miss this opportunity. Despite a healthy cynicism, the last few years have seen me develop a quiet affinity for the ‘woo woo’. I’ve slowly amassed a small collection of crystals, become a quiet advocate of meditation, twice read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now, burnt the odd bit of sage, practised gratitude here and there… I could go on, but you get the picture. I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.
From the sheer quantity of people present, you could see that this Super Buck Moon ceremony was important. The rituals practised; the burning of incense; the repetitive monotone voice throughout the meditation; the inner contemplation and the grand finale spectacle of walking into the sea – it all felt very familiar and at times, dare I say, even a little culty. But it also fulfilled a need. We giggled at ourselves more than once. But simultaneously the experience felt grounding and good. There is a reason, after all, that humans have practised rituals like these for centuries. After times of great upheaval, people turn to the spiritual to make sense of the world and to find order. What’s a little incense and downward dog between friends?
See you next month, same place, same moon.
Killiney Beach Full Moon ceremony is run by Christine Higgins, Spiritual Wellness and Coaching.
This free event raises much needed funds for Suicide or Survive SOS, donations can be made here.