by Ellen Reed
This rite may be used for either New or Full Moon. The difference is in your meditation and mental attitude in preparation. Remember that the New Moon is a time of outward work and thought, building to the peak which is the Full Moon. At the Full Moon, you should be preparing to lessen the outward flow of energy, bit by bit, until the period before New Moon, during which you are passive, building a pool of energy within you, in preparation for the New Moon.
The altar should be placed in the center of the ritual area. On it should be placed a rose or stick of incense on the eastern side, a red votive candle to the South; a cup of water on the West, and a bowl of salt or living plant on the North.
Around your ritual area, you should place an unlighted candle at the cardinal point of each direction.
To begin your rite, enter your darkened temple, carrying one burning candle, white or lavender, with you. Place it on the center of your altar, sit, and meditate on the meaning of the rite. When you feel the time is right, stand, and go to the eastern point, carrying with you, the burning taper. Light the votive at the eastern point and go to the southern, picturing, as you do, an arc of pure strong light curving from one candle to the next. Continue to the West, and then to the North, lighting the candles as you go, and then walk to your eastern candle again, having formed a circle of protective light surrounding the area in which you worship.
Return to the center of the circle, replace the candle on the altar, and say:
My Lady of the Moon, who is called Diana, Artemis, Levanah, Isis and by any other names, I come to you to bring you my love and my devotion. May you grant me the joy of your presence.
Mentally divide the room into four quadrants by visualizing a line of silvery moonlight from the southeast to the northwest, and from the northeast to the southwest. Go the East, taking with you the rose or incense. Say:
Sweet Goddess, the gentle breeze is the touch of your loving hand, the wind of storm a reminder of your strength. The sound of the trees in the wind is your voice, and the fragrance of flowers borne on the wind is your gift of beauty.
Place the rose next to the votive candle, then stand there as you picture the quadrant filling with moonlight. See the moonlight streaming quietly and gently into the room, filling the quadrant from center point to the edge of your circle.
When this is complete, take the red candle to the South. Place the gift and see the quadrant fill with moonlight. Say:
Most loved Lady, the light of the candle is a guide along our path leading to you; its warmth the reassurance of your presence and your love. The light of the Sun is the knowledge you impart to us, driving out ignorance and those things which can survive only in darkness.
At the West:
Lovely One, the quiet pool is the serenity of your being. The vast sea where life began on this planet is the vast sea of your being whence all life came; its waves are the ebb and flow of the universe you rule.
At the North:
Goddess of all, the fertility of the earth is a sign of your fertility, whence all life rose. The solidity and permanence are still of it are still less than yours. The Earth’s fertility feeds our bodies, and your fertility feeds our souls.
Go to the center of your temple, which is now filled with moonlight.
Everything in the circle is touched by it, blessed by it, including you. Sit down and feel this moonlight around you. Know that it is the Goddess. Realize that you are in the center of a sphere of light that is half above and half above and half below where you sit. Begin to breathe slowly and evenly, deep breaths that penetrate your whole body. When this rhythmic breathing becomes natural, imagine that the moonlight by which you are surrounded enters you, fills you entirely.
With each exhalation of your breath, some of the essence of yourself leaves your body, and with each inhalation, the light enters you. You are being filled ever so gently with this beautiful light. This light, which is the presence, the being of the Goddess, is within you as well as without. With each breath, you are less yourself and more the Goddess.
When you are filled with light, filled with the Goddess, the shell of your body fades away. You have no body; there is nothing to separate you from the entire being of the Goddess. Nothing exists but the being of which you are apart. You have ceased to be a separate entity. You are nothing and everything. All that was, that is, and all that will be, you are.
Enjoy this feeling as long as you like. When you feel it is time, picture the outer shell of your physical body reforming, becoming solid again. It is being built out of the Universe of which you are a part.
Now, as you continue your slow deep breathing, see the moonlight flowing out of your body, as gently and slowly as it entered. As it flows out, realize there is a difference. Because you have become one with the Goddess, with the Universe, your being has changed. As the moonlight flows out of your body, it takes with it a part of that which was yourself, now part of the Goddess, and leaves behind a part of the Goddess, forever now part of you. You become yourself again, solid as you were, but changed. You are surrounded by the presence of the Goddess, which now contains a part of yourself .
Move again to the East. As you speak, and after, picture the moonlight in that quadrant flowing back to its source, leaving that quadrant as it was.
Do this at each quadrant, until all the moonlight has returned to the Moon.
At the East:
My Lady, guide my thoughts. Let them lead always closer to you.
At the South:
Gracious Goddess, guide my actions. Let them always help and never harm others or myself.
At the West:
Lovely One, guide my emotions: Let them be healing and touched always by you.
At the North:
Sweet Goddess, let my mind always be fertile and strong, that I may grow always toward you.
Return to the East to complete the circle and say:
Queen of Heaven, I thank you for your presence, both now and always. My love and devotion are yours. Blessed be!
All spirits who have joined me tonight may depart, with my love. Return to your proper places.
Walk again around your circle, but this time counter-clockwise, extinguishing the quadrant guards as you go, and at the same time, mentally erasing the white line which surrounded your circle. When the candles are out and the circle gone, rap on your altar and say:
The rite is ended.