Thursday, July 15, 2010
A New Moon Esbat to Celebrate New Beginnings
Before dusk on this July new moon evening I returned to the circle in an Esbat designed to re-dedicate myself to active practice in Witchcraft; to attune myself with the subtle powers inherent in nature, and the bountiful inspiration of the Goddess & God energies intermingled in the life force of everything. My intentions were to acquaint myself with the practices of the Craft, and to bring my spiritual self in harmony with my physical, psychological as well as psychic interactions with our world.
I started with about a week's worth, or less of preparations. I did some research, as I began to get accustomed with the process, and the customary ritual outline, circle-casting, elemental quarter calling; and for this and future workings, the invitation to the Elementals. There was also some decisions to be made as to the particular Goddess & God to be invited to my celebration.
The place where I held this ritual was my neighborhood park. I've been enjoying the many trees that it contains, and it is a solemn place to get away from the chaos of the concrete jungle. I've found that there is a feeling of tremendous unity that occurs around the elemental forces in the web of life, when I'm surrounded by nature. I've done many circles in the comforts of home, but there is a spectacular charge that comes from being in nature that complements the ritual workings do to the experience of being with the elements rather than just symbolizing them upon an altar set-up within the confines of a private room. The room does provide privacy however, and this is one benefit to being in a room, but nothing compares to invoking the elements that are living and existing all around you during ritual.
In regards to Magick, my plan was to keep it simple, and to do a single Rune draw divination using the stone Runes I recently made. In addition to this, I would re-consecrate my Witch jewelry (rings & pentagram necklace) that have been kept in storage for a long time.
Since I have not been in active practice for awhile, this was an opportunity to begin fresh. To gather my knowledge of the Craft from years ago; and approach it with new sight, new actions and new focus. Also, my use of Magick would take on a more natural tone, with less emphasis placed on attaining, and more on creating. I want my time in the Craft to be concentrated on the natural processes of Magick rather than the High Arts, which I had spent a lot of time studying in the past, when I wanted to learn more about the function & reality of it's ceremonial workings.
Now, my pursuits are more pagan, with a focus on the interconnectedness of nature; and how the Goddess & God symbolize & empower us to live in cooperation with nature's Magick as it heals, invigorates, and helps us to cultivate our lives in infinite ways.
The time came quick as I gathered the information together. In a lot of ways in retrospect it reminds me of creating a University class presentation. As the hour came upon me, I headed to my spot by a large tree, and picked the area where I was to cast my first circle after many years away from the Craft. What was wonderful was that there was a large tree in the north, this was unplanned, and it looked like a great home for Gnomes too. So in calling the Elementals, it gave me some fantastical impressions as I felt the air swirling around me at times, and felt the land underneath me as I stood and sat on the Earth.
After I formed a circle, and had made all my invitations, I sat in the center taking a relaxing time to live in the experience, noting to myself all that I was feeling as well as pondering any thoughts that were coming up. The one feeling I felt was a comfortable sense of belonging to the Craft. The sensation was one of realizing that this part of who I am is a genuine calling; an expression of who I am, who I've always been. This did not feel like anything occult or wicked, it did not carry any dark supernatural vibes, its vibe was natural. As natural as the birds that were flying over head as the sky turned orange from the sunset.
The Rune reading came up as one whose meaning is regarded as a calling to the powers to help me embrace my new beginnings. The meaning was calling me to focus my actions not only in the spiritual realms, but also the mundane as well. I had also asked for a mantra word that I could say aloud, or think at anytime after this ritual to empower me, and help me re-tune myself when life, or others throw me out of tune as I move forward towards creating my living. The word came to me with help from the Undines present. Moreover, I asked the Goddess, God & Elementals to bless & charge a clear bottle of water for rejuvenation. As I went through this part of the ritual working, I noticed that the water began to take on an incredible blue hue. Today I took a sip of the water for the first time, and splashed my face & hands with it too. I did feel that this water had a unique quality to its essence that brought me a sense of feeling refreshed, recharged, calmed, happier in the moment. It seemed to cleanse my energy. I was tense too. So that was an amazing aftermath to this natural Magick.
After I finished with the celebration, and closed down the circle I noticed that the feeling was like when a fun party is over, the guests leave, and you return home. The joy of the event was over, and I felt content with my participation in the Old Religion known today as Wicca.
Since then, this week has been filled with a new sense of connection with the forces of nature. As I left the coffee shop, I noticed the crescent moon in the night sky in its first appearance after the new moon, and it was spectacularly radiant. I raised my arms , opened my shirt, then let the light beam down onto my necklace's silver pentagram. I've also made new Pagan Witch online acquaintances as I've made the personal choice to come out of the broom closet online.
The other night a lovely large spider had also made its web right beside me; I awoke, saw it, and let it remain. In the morning it was still there, and it had attached its web to my arm, so when I moved upon waking it scurried up into its hiding place. The next morning it made the most incredible circular web beside me, and it was poised delightfully in the center of its beautiful web. I had to remove it, but I caught the spider in a cup, then carried it outside to place it in a grand expanse of foliage; which I've often felt lately that I can see the Green Man's face inside, whenever I stare into its depths. I told the spider aloud that here is your new home, then it climbed in sending me a feeling of grateful acceptance. This was a very symbolic act since I'm also going to be apartment hunting soon as well. I felt this would be a better spot for the spider to thrive. I will keep this in mind when I search for my new place to thrive as well. It's not just about being alive, but also about how well I thrive.
There is so much more that has occurred as a result of this simple ritual that I can't wait for the full moon at the end of the month, and it will be followed by the Sabbat. Some things I discovered while preparing for this Esbat was that I need to begin planning a lot sooner. So I've already started researching for my full moon Esbat; which when I started gave me 13 days (I've found that 13 is a good luck number contrary to what superstition is surrounding the numerology) to begin designing both the Esbat & Sabbat. During this past one, I utilized some of my earlier knowledge; and took an improvisational approach to the ritual script, it was fun, but for these next ones I will write some more poetic scripts that will generate more connection through the rhythm of the words, and their symbolism.
Since I'm working in a public space, it is important to keep things low-key, but I have also found that a little yoga stretching when onlookers walk by helps to blend into the surroundings more. It is not important to be loud when reading, because as in prayer, divinity is all around you, within and without. Really, all you need to do is think, and your thoughts, and intentions are sent out to be heard. Thoughts have vibrations, so it's good practice to exercise them through ritual. I think that it would be great to find a more private solitary spot for more involved ritual Sabbats, but I also believe that Witchcraft can be done anywhere, that's part of its wonders. A measure of the fun, comes from learning unique methods to adapt my participation in the Craft in fresh, new, and exciting forms of creative expression. As I exercise my Craft beliefs in a postmodern world where nature has taken a backseat to technological advances and performance; I'm encouraged to seek out original ways of integrating, and balancing these practices in my daily experience of my life.
A funny experience happened to me in the morning coffee shop. Since I've returned to practice I've been adding ritual in the way I make my coffee. I use the spices present at the counter to create what I've named a 'Coffee Witches Brew', and this particular time, I rubbed some of the spice of cinnamon and vanilla on my hands to quickly dash some over my clothed body in order to disperse any remaining negative vibes attached to me before I have my coffee. I charge the coffee too with words of invocation as I add the spices before stirring, but I do this in a very quiet imperceptible voice. On this occasion, there was a big, burly type of man standing by the condiment counter, and he noticed me sprinkle the spices in my hands & rub my hands together, then brush the front of my clothes in a quick fashion as though I were brushing off some lint. He noticed me and he rolled his eyes. It was funny to see his reaction. I just smiled, then told him I didn't have any cologne. It was as though I was this eccentric wizard living in a technological world. It's important to have fun & not take things too serious. Witchcraft is a way of living, and not merely a life-style.
Each day that passes, I'm feeling the Magick of the Goddess while she teaches me to see the world of her beauty with all of my body's senses enlivened with psychic awareness. Along the way I'm opening to the study of the properties of herbs, crystals, colors, auras, and the many combinations that these items together create in enhancing my understanding of the powers of natural Magick.