This Blog has become a forum for a number of serious Pagan women to post and create. Our object is to provide a voice.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dark of the Moon Ritual

Now comes the time of the Darkened Moon. The Great Crone Hecate is preeminent. In my tradition She is the Queen of the Witches, Goddess of the Dark Side of the Moon, Lantern Bearer and Keeper of the Crossroads. Her power is immense, both light and dark. Her colors are black and deep royal purple. Those of us who follow Her have no fear of the darkness. There is great dignity and moral integrity in the Craft, thus it is forbidden to capriciously use the power She gives us to manipulate energy or others to do harm. I am not a Wiccan; I am a Witch. I do not necessarily follow the Wiccan Rede, the most well know part of which is “And Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.” This precludes self-defense in my mind. It has always been my belief that had the community of the Craft of the Wise been less docile in its stance toward the Catholic fanatics the Burning Times might have been more limited in its scope. The Rede in its entirety I find constraining and in some places presumptuous – the hypothesis being that the Witch must be instructed in ethics, responsibility and proscribed ceremonial practice by a force outside of herself and her relationship with the Deity. Having been raised to the Craft by a Hereditary Celtic Witch whose faith and practice predate the organized Wicca by many centuries I prefer solitary practice and personal revelation to coven practice and organized ritual. In addition, I follow the Goddess and the Goddess alone. The Wiccan thesis of dual divinity is very interesting, but not meaningful to me. These are my opinions and mine only. Others see the Craft differently. Since we have no Popes or televangelists we are free to follow the faith of our heart. When I make reference to correspondence between Goddess and flowers, or Goddess and color these are also my intuitions and mine alone. Others feel differently. What follows is a Dark of the Moon Ritual and an incense recipe. Again, this is my intuition. Others might disagree.

During the Dark of the Moon Ritual I call only Hecate to join me. I see no need for the Watchtowers, the Elementals or any other entity.
In the Northern Quadrant, that of Earth, when the moon is fully dark I invite the Crone to my Circle with this invocation:
Dark Lady, Crone of Wisdom, Goddess of the Crossroads shed the light of your lantern on my circle and me.
At this point many people cast circle. Again I see no reason to do so. No malevolent presence dare enter the sacred space.
I light Her candles – black in the North, gold in the East, red in the South, blue in the West. The corresponding Elements are in order – Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
I offer Her clean water in a Chalice and the finest bloom in my garden or that I can purchase in winter. Now I sit to meditate with Her for a little time. I have found Her power often to be nearly intoxicating so I limit my exposure.
With this prayer I rededicate myself to Her service and to my Craft.
Great Crone make me worthy to serve You and to practice my Craft.
Grant me Wisdom, Skill and Power.
Bring me closer to You in all things.
From now until the time of my death when I join you on the other side of the Veil,
Keep my soul in the palm of Your hand, my heart near Yours and my faith strong.
If the ritual is being done for something specific this is when I would work.
There are people who talk of dismissing the Goddess at the end of the ritual. I consider this profound impudence. I end the ritual by begging Her leave to return to the temporal world.

Dark of the Moon Incense

2 teaspoons Foxglove flowers crushed
2 teaspoons Monk’s Hood flowers crushed
6 drops of Rosemary oil

To be burned in the North Quadrant during the invocation of the Great Crone. This is a time for working dark magic, and banishing rituals. Many of us who follow the Great Crone and Queen of the Witches have no fear of the dark and therefore consider black magic like white magic to simply be a tool. In point of fact, magic is magic. The light or dark of it has to do with the intent of the practitioner.

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