[Ivy's Pentacles]

DRAWING DOWN THE MOON

This is the ritual in which a Witch, usually a woman, draws the Goddess into the body and lets Her spirit take control. It is usually done on a full moon, sometimes as part of an Esbat ritual, and is considered a sacred event. In a group session, the moon is drawn down into the High Priestess or just one particular person; everyone does not become the Goddess together, but rather She is channeled into one body by the coven. As a solitary, there is no worry, of course, as to who is to take on the Goddess's role. Some traditional circles will say men cannot draw the moon and women cannot draw the sun, but since both energies are part of us it should be equally possible and effective for both sexes, though it may just be easier for a woman because she is naturally in tune with feminine energy while some males may have blocked their access to theirs. Also, if a coven or individual prefers to use a specific name for the Goddess being drawn down, that is fine, but this ritual simply assumes the nameless female divine is to be drawn.

Do this on a Monday night or a full moon's day.

To prepare, traditionally at least a day's fasting is required, but a cleansing and purging should be enough to purify the system. Take a ritual bath with Goddess herbs, and listen to Goddess-oriented music before the ritual.

Set up your altar with a white or silver-colored cloth and Goddess-oriented incense burning. Place a Goddess image on your altar in the center; use a decorated cup if you have no Goddess figure. Place a candle to the left of the image, to represent yourself; you might choose a color that represents your role in life, be it Maiden, Mother, or Crone. (Use the feminine ideas of life stages here as you will be channeling feminine energy whether you are male or female.) On the right of the image, place a silver candle or a candle with a color symbolizing the Goddess. Now behind the statue of Her, place a bowl of rose petals. Behind the bowl, put a glass of water for you to drink later.

Specially decorate the west and north quadrants of the circle to stimulate these elements' feminine tendencies, if you like. If your circle is such that it can be rinsed with herb washes, try rose water, and let it seep into your own personal energy.

Cast your circle, and then specially invoke the four elements and the Goddess, strongly, for the purpose of the ritual. Use these chants if desired:

East: Greetings to the Powers of Air. Move into this sacred space with the winds of Spirit, and protect all gathered here. Let me breathe in, and become one with, the Goddess, so I might know Her voice in myself, others, and the world.

South: Greetings to the Powers of Fire. Ignite this sacred space with the embers of Spirit, and protect all gathered here. Let me be warmed by, and become one with, the Goddess, so I can see Her light shining in myself, others, and the world.

West: Greetings to the Powers of Water. Flow into this sacred space with the elixir of Spirit, and protect all gathered here. Let me drink deeply of, and become one with, the Goddess, so I might feel Her wholeness flowing in myself, others, and the world.

North: Greetings to the Powers of Earth. Root this sacred space in the rich soils of Spirit, and protect all gathered here. Let me be enriched by, and become one with, the Goddess, so I can see Her blossoming in myself, others, and the world.

Center: Greetings, Great Goddess! She who is, was, and always shall be! Maiden, Mother, Crone, come! Be welcome here, and bless our efforts in this sacred space. So mote it be.

Light the Goddess's candle on the altar to signify Her presence. Then take flower petals and honor Her by sprinkling them around the base of the candle, greeting Her. Sit down in the center of your circle and visualize the following meditation:

See yourself as you sit now. Above you is a radiant silver-white light pouring down. This light has a face so beautiful and potent, you can barely look at it. It is the Goddess, young and lovely, yet ancient and wise. Her face shifts into feminine images from many cultures, some old, some young . . . then the pictures fade back to blazing, energizing light. As the light shines down, it begins to saturate your crown chakra, then spreads throughout your body. Feel the Goddess's power as it cleanses and renews you from head to toe. At last the light will come to rest in your heart chakra. You can feel part of the Goddess within you uniting with that without, and blossoming. Focus on this wholly. Welcome the Goddess who is already part of you. Now move to the altar.

Light the personal candle by sharing flame with the Spirit candle of the Goddess. Kneel or sit before the altar, and start to allow yourself to slip into the union between you and the divine. Your consciousness should alter, and though you should be thoroughly aware of what is happening, you will feel very different as She takes you over and you slip into the astral. Sometimes, before you kneel at the altar, you might try dancing, singing, chanting, or meditating in order to best induce your trancelike state. Raise your hands and embrace the Goddess, and let Her totally move into you, sharing your body with you, looking out through your eyes. She will be gentle with you.

If you have a purpose in mind for this ritual, let the Goddess help you. Whether it is to divine the future, enact a rite, heal someone, cast a spell, whatever; the Goddess will guide it and amplify your efforts a hundred-fold. It is good to have some idea of what you want your ritual to be about, because then the Goddess will pick up on it and lend Her efforts to your goal. But if you have nothing planned, She may or may not instigate something; you will have to listen. If you simply wish to commune with Her, plan nothing and see what happens. In any case, have a good time with whatever you do, and rejoice in Her presence. Some of the things the Goddess is best at are healing work, divining the future, motherly advice, and creative exercises.

When Her activities are ending, kneel before the altar again and focus on the Goddess within you. Lift your hands high to release and take back your normal consciousness. Back out of it as if backing out of a hug, left with a warm feeling of acceptance and love. Ground yourself and breathe deeply. Then snuff the Goddess candle to symbolize Her release. Drink the glass of water.

Carry on with whatever else needs to be done in the ritual: Offerings, feasts, group works, anything you choose. Just remember to thank the Goddess at the end of the ritual for Her presence in your activities, and close the circle. Use this or other appropriate words to thank Her:

Great Goddess, my thanks to you for spending time with me in the physical realm. I will cherish your wisdom and insights, carrying them in my heart. As I go from this place, help me to ever remember that you are always part of me, and the world-in the moon, in the waters, in my life's blood, and most important in my spirit. So be it.

Source: This ritual's main outline and welcoming/ending passages are 2000 by Patricia Telesco, in Advanced Wicca. Ritual altered and re-worded for this page.

Esbat Rituals
Other celebrations and rituals
Go back to Ivy's Pentacles