The Full Moon on June 12th is upon us! One of the most important observances in traditional witchcraft are the Full Moons. The moon has an aura of mystery about it that has drawn people to its light since time began. It is tied to the ebbs and flows of the tide as well as the ever changing cycles of women’s bodies. The moon itself is a sacred symbol of several goddesses including Diana, Cerridwen, Hecate, Aine, Epona, Isis, and Selene. The moon itself is the celestial body that dominates the night. In its magnificence it manifests wonder and mystery among those captivated by the goddess and nature.
The Full Moon is a time of magic, making them very special. Environmental energies are enhanced during this period, making this the most favorable time for many forms of spell work. It is a time of festivity and meeting friends. It is a special time that may include celebration and possibly some ritual. But mostly, it is about making the Full Moon a special time.
I try to do a ritual for every full moon when ever I can, there is something about sitting under that silver light that fills me with wonder and magic. My rituals have evolved over time both adding and removing elements so I went until the ritual felt right to me. Please tailor your rituals to your personal tastes. There are many different ways to celebrate the full moon! From a full ritual and drawing down the moon to simply sitting outside under the moon to meditate and soak in her energy. When ever possible allow yourself to feel a direct relationship to the moon, as a mover of the living waters of the Earth and within our own bodies. Here is a brief example of my usual set up and ritual that I may add to subtract to depending on time and weather.
I set up my altar somewhere outside where I have an unobstructed view of the moon (Unless it is raining or freezing, in which case I will set up by a window). I have my usual ritual tools with me including: Altar cloth, God and Goddess candles, incense burner, chalice, wand, element candles(North, south, east,west), offering bowl, bowls for salt and water, my pentagram alter tile, and my bell. I will also usually have something representing the season such as flowers, acorns, etc.
*The items representing the goddess go on the left side such as: Chalice, goddess candle, cauldron, etc.
*The items representing the god go on the right including: God candle, wand, athame, etc.
*Things that represent both, you, or have no representation go in the middle such as: Incense burner, pentagram, objects for scrying, and your offering bowl.
You can add or subtract things based on your personal preference, type of ritual, or type of altar to suit your personal taste. Many witches take great pride in their altar set ups and you should to. Even a simple altar can be beautiful! Your alter can be simple or elaborate, large or small, specific or general. Its all up to you! Here are some examples to help inspire you!
I begin every ritual by setting up my altar first in my desired location with all of my needed tools. The last thing you want is to realize you forgot something mid ritual and have to run and get it. While this is perfectly acceptable in ruins the mood in my opinion! Around my altar(In an 8-10 ft circle) I place my element candles in their corresponding elements. North for green and earth, South for red and fire, East for yellow and air, and West for blue and water. I will also usually set another candle in the middle of my altar to represent spirit. I make sure I have any prayers, spells, invocations, etc written down and ready for use!
After my set up and tools are ready I take a ritual bath or ground depending on time and personal preference. You can add any personal ritual preparation such as oil anointing, meditation, perfumes, and so on
Beginning the ritual
I usually begin my cleansing the space with smudging or ritual sweeping to clear out any negative energies then I cast my circle. You do not have to cast a circle but I prefer to and its great practice! I then say a prayer to the Moon Goddess and thank her for her presence in my life. If you are doing magic this is a good time to ask her for her assistance in your workings! If I have any new ritual items to concentrate I will usually do so now.
The full moon is a great time to focus on letting things go such as bad habits, feelings, worries, etc. This usually involves purification by an element, mainly fire or water. Start by writing down the things you want to let go: Worries, fears, bad habits, depression, old loves, grudges, etc. Then during your ritual ask the goddess for her assistance. Using either a candle/cauldron to burn or a bowl of water do dissolve, speak what is written on each piece of paper and burn/submerge the paper. Now take a moment to celebrate your emergence by stepping out of an old skin, identity, behavior, attitude, relationship. The ritual helps you by marking this inner transformation in a formal way.
Drawing Down The Moon (Optional)
This is optional and something I only do on occasion. It is a beautiful and fulfilling way to become closer to the goddess and something to try when you feel you are ready! I started out using this fantastic guide from Patti Wigington at About.com. I have altered my version of this to suit me and you should do the same!
In this beautiful and powerful rite, the practitioner invokes the Goddess directly into herself (or himself, as the case may be). In some variations, a High Priestess (HPs) may go into a trance-like state and speak the words of the Goddess, or it may be a formal monologue calling upon the Goddess in her many forms. Regardless of how you practice it, Drawing Down the Moon is best performed on the night of the full moon, or on one of the nights immediately before. While it’s more suitable to be performed outside, if the weather is inclement or your neighbors are easily startled, you can hold the ritual indoors.
Stand at your altar with your arms crossed over your chest, and feet together. Face towards the full moon. Say:
Goddess of the Moon, You have been known by many names in many lands in many times. You are universal and constant. In the dark of night, You shine down upon us and bathe us in Your light and love. I ask You, O Divine One, to honor me by joining with me, and allowing me to feel Your presence within my heart.
Move your feet apart to about shoulder width, and raise your arms up and out to welcome the Goddess into you. The next part is one that you can memorize and learn, or you can speak spontaneously from the heart. You will begin to feel a surge of energy, a palpable tingle – don’t worry, that’s the Goddess making Herself known to you. Feel free to change these words as you like. You are speaking for Her, in Her voice, so let Her say what She wishes. Say:
“I am the Mother of all life, the One who watches over all. I am the wind in the sky, the spark in the fire, the seedling in the earth, the water in the river.
“I am the vessel from which All Things spring forth.
Honor Me from within your heart! Remember that acts of love and pleasure are My rituals, and that there is beauty in all things.
Honor Me on this night of the full moon! I have been with you since the moment you were created, and shall remain with you always.
Let there be beauty and strength, wisdom and honor, humility and courage within you. If you need Me, call upon Me and I shall come to you, for I am everywhere, always.
Honor Me as you seek knowledge! I am the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone, and I live within you.
Feel the power of the Goddess within you. When you are ready, conclude with:
I look down upon the sands of the desert, I crash the tides upon the shore, I shine on the mighty trees of the forests, and watch with joy as Life continues every cycle.
Be true to Me, honoring that which I have created, and I shall be true to you in return.
With harm to none, so it shall be.”
Take a few moments to stand and bask in Her glow, and to meditate upon that which you have just experienced. Once the energy surge has subsided, lower your arms, and proceed with your ceremony as you normally would at the conclusion of a ritual.
Drawing Down the Moon is an altered state of consciousness, a ritual possession by the Divine. It is not uncommon to feel the energy of the Goddess for quite some time following Drawing Down the Moon, so don’t be alarmed if you feel a heightened sense of clarity over the next few days. You may also feel extremely emotional — it’s not uncommon to cry or laugh spontaneously during this rite.
The above ritual is one that I created myself, but for more variations on Drawing Down the Moon, there are excellent versions in Wicca For One by Raymond Buckland (pp. 87 – 89 and The Grimoire of Lady Sheba (pp. 167- 168).
Ending the ritual
Before I end my ritual I will usually sit and reflect for a bit about the moon’s energy, the goddess, and any workings I have performed during the ritual. This is also a good time for absorbing the powers of the moon light and meditation.
When I have finished my ritual I thank the goddess for being with me and close my circle. Make sure to bring in and put away all your ritual items so that they are ready for your next ritual!
Every persons full moon ritual is different, that’s what makes them so special. Remember this is your time to commune with your deity, do magic, or just center yourself. Your ritual should reflect your unique needs and personality. If you have anything to add to my post that may be helpful to those new to the path please let me know, and as always
)O( Blessed Be