Thursday, April 1, 2010

Full Moon Ritual

Last Monday was the full moon!
This was no ordinary full moon ceremony, it was special for a specific reason, the reason being it was the first group ritual I celebrated with the Neo-Pagan Alliance. We have been been a group since January and haven't done much "witchy-stuff" as one of our members Caitlin says. I totally agreed with her and just needed to get some of the "stickystuff" out of the way that comes with becoming a club on campus.
So after a few meetings with not much, if any, witchy stuff, we decided to plan a group ritual. The ritual was going to be on the full moon which I think was a great choice for us as a group. The full moon to me represents a time for renewal and also a time to set intention for the coming month. For the NPA this was perfect because as a new group we are still forming bonds and setting intentions together will help to strengthen those bonds.
When we started planning the ritual we divided up roles, did some research on full moon rituals, and came back together to share ideas and form our ritual. We decided who was going to bring candles, altar supplies, and who was going to find the place to hold the ritual. Amber and I volunteered to go pick the spot so we headed over there later in the week and when we got to the area it just felt great. We picked a spot in the edge of the lake. There was a bank and some trees to cover us from the road and plenty of wildlife in the area.
On the night of the full moon the group met up early so we could all travel together. We got to our spot with the moon high over head and we started to set up the altar and the direction candles. Aside from all of the items to be placed on the altar we had items we wanted to charge and candles and herbs that we were blessing. We are putting the herbs into the candles by sealing them on the outside with another wax. The candles will be sold as a fundraiser at our tabling events.
After setting up the altar we walked back close to the cars and started the ritual.
The group gathered in a circle and Caitlinset the intention for the night's workings with input from the rest of the group.
After setting the intention we moved towards the altar and were met by Amber. Amber was smudging us with a cedar wand she had made with her Native American tribe.
After we were smudged we walked to where the altar was. The walk was supposed to be meditative and everyone was told to pick up an item from the walk and later we would be instructed what to do with it.
Once everyone was at the altar, we cast the circle and called the directions. The circle casting was created by Madrone and it involved going to each direction and calling out to the goddess. ( I will see if I can post them on here so keep your eyes peeled)
Half of the directions were made up by the members and the other half were done by Madrone.
After the directions Tony invoked the moon spirit. We chose the moon spirit because we couldn't decide if we should invoke a goddess or god. Personally I have never invoked a god so I wouldn't know what to do.
But to be gender neutral we decided to just go with spirit, although Madrone did point out at our meeting that the moon is usually female and the sun male.
After the invocation we made 3 wishes each. I was taught that on full moons people can make 3 wishes. One for themselves, one for another, and one for the earth. The wishes could either be said aloud or silently.
For the wishes we all had a bowl that had some water in it. We used these bowls to pour water out after our 3 wishes as libations for the earth.
Next, we took the remaining water and used it for some water gazing. The idea behind this was to work with a new form of divination. I had tried water gazing before but only once and it wasn't very meaningful. This time I kept my mind open and was hoping for the best.
The actual water gazing was not very successful for me, but one thing I was drawn to while gazing was the moon. Being in an area with no trees immediately around me and no car lights or house lights was an awesome time to look at the moon. She was so full of wonder, was so big and bright. I loved it. As I looked up at the moon I realized that I was happy. For so long I had been waiting for a group of people close to my age to practice with. I have finally found them and to be present in that very moment was amazing.
When the water gazing was done, we gathered around the altar and decided to do an impromptu blessing of the candles that we are using for our fundraiser and it went so well.
Then came our drumming part. The truth is we ended up having one drum and 3 other noise making instruments and 2 hullah-hoops. At first, looking around at the other 5 people in the circle I wasn't sure how the drumming would go. But I decided to let it all go and just not care. The results were amazing. At first people were shy and seemed liked they didn't want to dance around, sing out, or play instruments. But after I was dancing around and the hullah-hoopers as well everyone else got involved. It was so amazing. I started to really dance around and as I got a little further from the group I looked back and was so moved. It reminded me of what ancient pagans must have felt like.
There were 5 candles burning and people dancing around singing out.
After the drumming we grounded with cakes and tea. Amber made 12 individual pumpkin cupcakes and it worked out perfectly that we each got 2. They were so delicious and after eating we gave back a piece of the cupcake and some tea.
We thanked the directions took down the circle and then headed home.
Overall it was an amazing experience and one I cannot wait to celebrate again with the NPA!
Blessed Be!!!