“Were you here for the last full moon?”, one of the regular nudist swimmers at White Rock (Dalkey, Co. Dublin) asked me one day.
No, I wasn’t but it sounded intriguing enough to want to find out more.
So far I had organised events for winter and summer solstice, spring and fall equinox, a Lughnasadh Festival and an Irish Midsummer Dream, so yes, it made sense that other naturists would wish to celebrate astrological phenomena such as full moons with a naked swim and perhaps some other ritualistic ceremonies.
I made a mental note and determined to put it as a meetup in the October newsletter. Small gatherings suit us very well in this autumnal weather, very easy to keep them under the 15-people limit of these covid times.
I arrived on the beach well before sunset, I had misread the moon rise time information, but didn’t mind strolling along the beach waiting for sunset or more companions. I was wondering if I would encounter groups of youngsters with music and alcohol throughout the evening. I can’t say whether that might be the case sometimes but the Harvest Moon didn’t witness it yesterday.
At some point three more members of the association came down to join me and we continued our perambulations while waiting for the moon to make her appearance. The sky was still quite bright and our preference was that of a nude swim under full moonlight. Well… that didn’t happen either.
An orange dot began to show on the horizon and I realised I had never seen the moon rise on the sea before. It felt quite special for me as an astrological ignorant, and as exciting as an eclipse. Orangeness pervaded that part of the sky, being highlighted by the contrast to the dark blue canvas. The small disc elegantly climbed up, graciously acknowledging our admiring phone clicks, until mischievous clouds snatched the celestial body to our disenchantment.
Meanwhile, it had been raining on and off and the shelter where we had left our bags was full of people, a cluster of young women sitting together and sharing stories. We hurried back to our belongings and were ready to undress then and there, athirst for our nude swim – with or without moon.
After some minutes we came back and to our surprise it was then the women’s turn – They had seemingly come for a naked sea experience as well! They screamed and laughed with such elation that we couldn’t resist joining them again, it was contagious. They had lit a small fire and soon party food was been shared. They asked us to take their nude pictures, eager to immortalise the moment. For the majority of them it was definitely a first.
Life coach Shauna @love_light_happiness had been promoting naturism from her own rooted natural conviction. On her Instagram account she had written significant sentences such as “consciously swimming in the nude for deeper reasons than ever before” and “just my bare body without any extra layers while appreciating the beautiful Irish Sea on my naked skin”. She later summed up the Full Moon Gathering as “freeing, graceful and huge amounts of fun”, emphasising the energy, excitement and empowerment of the moment.
We all went home with a feeling of satisfaction and contentment. The water was not particularly cold for our well-adjusted Irish bodies, and we are confident we can easily make the blue moon in 4 weeks again. We absolutely crave to get a longer glimpse of that magnificent orange deity.
Halloween will catch us on the beach afresh, that’s for sure. All shapes, sizes and ages welcome!