Your Self-Care Guide For The Emotional New Moon

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"Know your way around the various phases of the moon? Well, when it comes to starting fresh, the new moon is your new best friend. Since time immemorial, us witches have deeply revered the new moon and all that it symbolizes: a clean slate, new beginnings, and the perfect starting point from which to plot, plan, and energetically manifest your desires. 

July 20’s new moon is in the sentimental and sensitive sign of Cancer—meaning resolutions should come from the heart. And they won’t come without some emotional struggle, given Saturn’s opposition. Sounds overwhelming right? Maybe—but only for less-brave souls. Saturn loves dedication. So dedicate ourselves to our emotional healing, we shall. 

This new moon, make a weed-infused altar—both in commitment to self-care and as an act of stress-relief, nervous system-calming, self-devotion.  

Cancer Culture

Cancer’s ruling planet is the moon. This is where the crab gets deepest—and it’s always pretty deep! This is an energy that’s feminine, nurturing, domestic-focussed, and interested in emotional safety. The emotional intensity looms large right now and this powerful new moon invites us to feel it all.
Cancer holds its feels close to its chest and never forgets a hurt. Not one.

And there’s a lot to feel, bb. Cancer holds its feels close to its chest and never forgets a hurt. Not one. Crunchy Saturn in Capricorn isn’t famous for its constant ability to express itself in healthy ways either. That means emotional tests and trials are a possibility around this new moon (just as they always are, because people!) and that’s where a lil’ self-care comes in. 

The new moon is a blank page with a journal prompt at the top: how do you want to feel? This altar ritual is about identifying that feeling, committing to it, and cultivating it. It’s simply about self-love. Anyway, “self-care” is just a buzzy way of referring to any activity that sees you tending to your emotional needs, and by extension, your physical and even spiritual ones—however you define those.   

Creating a Cancer in New Moon Self-Care Altar

Why an altar? Two words: safe space. Creating an at-home altar means carving out a small section of your home and dedicating it to you. It’s your zen den and your chill-out area—and even when it’s just a few objects lovingly placed on a coffee table, it’s so much more.
You’re not just building any altar this new moon, angels; you’re building an altar to self. A sacred zone where you can sit with your feelings, explore them, and show yourself all the compassion and gentleness you need to right now.

Goddess knows it’s been a hard year and TBH it shows no signs of getting easier anytime soon. Hence, the need for self-care. 

Because without it, there can be no community care. You know what they say about putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting other people, right? We need to look after ourselves (and each other) if we’re going to make changing the world sustainable and tangible. That means, giving yourself room to grieve, cry, heal, and smoke all the weed your tender heart desires. This is your time. Let’s use it to plant the seeds for a bright, emotionally whole future.  

You’ll need:  

+ a clean table, bench, or floor space
+ your favorite calming cannabis blend 

+ objects that represent the moon and you
photos, journals, letters, or any objects that hold emotional weight

+ objects that represent feelings you’d like to manifest

trinkets, jewelry, or photos that will fill you with joy

+ a purple, blue, or white candle 

+ emotionally-supported crystals, especially cool-hued 

+ a pen and paper

+ a small mirror

+ a CBD-infused edible or other sweet treat

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Set and Setting

Find a quiet spot in your home that’s just yours. (It doesn’t have to be an Instagram-able marble bench! Hell, use the floor in the corner of your bedroom if you want!) Once you have your space, it’s time to fill it. Grab a cozy cushion, some water, your favorite CBD sweet treat, the chill sounds of your favorite Spotify playlist, put on your comfy pajamas, and get some mood lighting going. Just like any sesh, smoking or otherwise, you should never underestimate the psychological impact of set and setting.  

Reflect, Gather, Acknowledge

Now comes the fun, decorative bit. Mindfully gather objects that represent the new moon and objects that represent you and how you feel. For the new moon, think: a purple or blue candle (plain old white’s great to), a cup of water, seashells, crystals in cool hues, relevant tarot cards (The Moon and The Chariot represent Cancer), and any other precious, sea-toned items.

Gather photographs of yourself and/or loved ones, journals or letters, and any sentimental objects that hold emotional weight, especially those representing “where you’re at” emotionally. Listen to your special playlist as you gather and place each object with all the care and emotional attention of Marie Kondo. Do this part while rolling a j or packing cute pipe or puffing a quality vape if you want—and honor the healing aspects of the plant by adding some to your altar—just make sure you’re smoking a calming, introspective blend—the idea is to go inward, not get a distracting burst of energetic inspiration. 

This ritual of mindful gathering and honoring is, at the root, about acknowledgement. It’s about  observing and accepting your real, raw, feelings at this moment in time.

It’s about seeing yourself fully in all your disparate, confused, tired, brilliance—and calling all the pieces of yourself back home.

When you’re ready, take a pen and some paper and write a list, titled “I acknowledge.” Without judgement, ask yourself what you need to acknowledge about your emotional state right now. Remember, you’ve gotta feel it to heal it.

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Empowering Intentions

Now comes the empowering part. Take your candle and fav lighter and safely burn your list of acknowledgements. What’s been acknowledged can now be lovingly let go. As you do so, set your mind’s eye (bonus points if you say it aloud) what you’re releasing. For example, if one of your acknowledgements was “I acknowledge my habit of being self-deprecating,” you could say to yourself, “I release my impostor syndrome and any programming that’s told me I should stay small to feel safe.”

That’s right, babe, get deep!

Remember, this new moon is your second chance at a new year’s resolution of sorts. You’re manifesting sovereign self-worth, emotional healing, and personal wholeness in real time. With all the force of your heart, commit to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual self-care.

Next, gather up the next bunch of objects—the ones that represent how you want to feel. So again, you can add your favorite cannabis flower, beautifully displayed. You can also add any trinkets, jewelry, or photos that will fill you with the most loving, joyful, blissed out, and worthy memories you have. Childhood accoutrements with kind associations are especially welcome.

As you place these around your candle, focus your intention on how you want to feel. Remember, this new moon is your second chance at a new year’s resolution of sorts. You’re manifesting sovereign self-worth, emotional healing, and personal wholeness in real time! Think about all the ways you’re going to look after yourself better, cannabis-adjacent or otherwise. With all the force of your heart, commit to your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual self-care. And don’t just say “I’m going to try to be kinder to myself”—be specific! 

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Now, pick up that pen again and make an exhaustive list of statements that begin with “I call in.” For example, “I call in my self-worth from any people or forces that would see it depleted.” Write as many things as you can come up with. They don’t have to make sense, just get them out. 

Then, place them on your altar as you gaze into the flame, taking deep cleansing breaths (in through the nose for three counts, hold for three, and out through the mouth for three) while you call up your inner power to aid your emotional healing and guide your new, reinvigorated self-care practice. Do this for as long as you're comfortable. Read your list of manifestations aloud in the mirror and let yourself fully embody these powerful intentions.  

Revelatory Self Care

When you’re ready, thank the new moon for the revelations it’s given you and thank yourself for showing up for your heart tonight. Now treat yourself, literally. Hang out with your altar and eat something yummy, sweet, and ideally CBD-laced, while your candle burns down. Or take a trusted night-time tincture, for added coziness. When you’re ready, go to sleep and dream of a world where racism is abolished and we all feel and heal with ease.

It’s up to you how you’re self-care practice looks from this point on, but from this new moon up until the full moon on August 4,  you could return to your altar daily, re-lighting your candle and re-reading your written declaration as you sit in gratitude for your new emotional journey.

Self-care is a bit like strength training. You don’t just exercise once and then expect to be as ripped as Teyana Taylor. It takes time, consistency, and determination. It’s a daily practice in wellness, just like our conscious cannabis routine. This Cancer new moon is just the beautiful beginning.  Goddess speed, gentle warrior! And may the bliss of Mama Cannabis be with you, amen.  

Jerico Mandybur is Miss Grass’ resident Weed Witch. The best-selling author, modern spiritual guide, and former editorial director of Miss Grass, is our go-to source for all things tarot, magic, and witch-related.