Let me be clear when I state that it isn’t really any of my business how other people choose to worship or practice the Craft. However, in the Traditions I practice, Witchcraft is the religion of the Goddess. It is in this spirit that I write on Our Lady of the Moon.
She is nameless and Her names are infinite. In Her guise as Moon, we might call Her
Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Hecate, Aphrodite, Ceridwen, Diana, Mahina, Arionrhod, Marama, Brigid, Isis, Demeter, Selene, Yemoja, Bendis, Hathor, Ix Chel, Mawu, Ealadha, Mari, Lona, Ma.
First published in Aradia, The Gospel of the Witches*, “The Charge of the Goddess” literally charges us to “ . . .assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who is Queen of all the Wise . . . . sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in my presence.”
Many beautiful and detailed rituals have been performed in answer to Her call. But, what if you don’t belong to a Tradition or the complicated rituals you read about in books ring hollow for you? What if you are are seeking a really personal, intimate relationship with Her who is the “Mystery of the Waters and the White Moon among the stars?” What if we treated Her like a friend, sister or “Mother” as our language suggests she is?
This ritual can be performed at any phase of the Moon. For though she is worshipped in her different aspects as Maiden, Mother and Crone, she is but one Goddess–one Moon. I encourage you to speak to Her with sincerity. Use language which feels comfortable to you for empty words are empty of power. Let your visit with Her be heart-felt, informal and sincere.
For this ritual you will need the following:
A printed copy of the Charge of the Goddess (I suggest memorizing it so it is part of you rather than a script you read)
An anointing oil
A white votive candle in a votive holder
A glass jar of water
A plate of finger foods you enjoy (ie: cheese, crackers, fruit)
This ritual takes place at night, outdoors where you can see the moon. Dress appropriately for the weather. If you prefer to perform magic in your robes, cords, jewelry and other symbols of power, that’s fine. If you prefer to be skyclad, so be it. If not, that’s perfectly fine as well! The only requirement here is your heartfelt desire to connect with Our Lady of the Moon.
Begin with a simple grounding and centering meditation. Follow the pattern of your breath until you are calm, centered and ready.
Sit comfortably in the moonlight (or the darkness if the Moon is Dark). Call the Moon to you using your own words which can be simple language, intricately woven poetry, a chant or a song. Use the Names which feel most powerful and familiar to you. Keep it simple and pay attention to your emotions. The feeling state you wish to call upon yourself is one of joyous anticipation at the thought of spending time with a friend you admire greatly. As you speak (recite or sing), allow your heart to soften. Allow your heart to open in love and longing for Her, the Moon. Turn your face to the Moon as you call Her.
When you feel the light (or darkness) of Her breath upon you, when you feel Her power filling you–be still. Breathe deeply and soften. Open to Her. Drink in Her blessing.
Light the incense and say to the moon, “This is for you, Lady. I hope you enjoy this gift.”
Light the candle and say to the moon, “Here is a mirror of your light, Lady. I hope you enjoy the reflection of your beauty.”
Read or recite the Charge of the Goddess.
Take up the oil and say, “I dedicate this oil to you, Lady. Bless it so it carries your love. Charge it so it carries your power.” Hold the oil up to the night sky to receive the blessing. Chant the name(s) of the Moon Goddess which feel most powerful and familiar to you. You will sense/know when the oil has been blessed and charged. Trust your instincts.
Take a little of the oil on your fingertips.
Anoint your crown saying, “Blessed is my Crown. I am sovereign in my power.”
Anoint your third eye, saying “Blessed is my Sight. My vision is filled with power.”
Anoint your throat, saying, “Blessed is my Speech. My words manifest power.”
Anoint your heart, saying, “Blessed is my Heart. My love is my power.”
Anoint your solar plexus (a hands breadth above your navel), saying, “Blessed is my Will. My action creates power.”
Anoint your pelvis (two fingers breadth below your navel), saying, “Blessed is my Passion. My desire is the seat of power.”
Anoint your sex saying, “Blessed is my Root. Here is the creation of power.”
(Note: It’s perfectly fine to anoint yourself while wearing clothing. Never put fragrance or essential oils directly on your genitals–they burn!)
Bring your attention back to the Moon. Turn your face toward Her again and say,
“You are with me. I am with you.
As such my words and thoughts and deeds are true.”
Feel the truth, love and power within you as you stand with the moon, thus anointed. Breathe that in. Take time to experience this fully, Feel the power and love within you as you take up the jar of water in one hand and the plate of food in the other.
Hold them up to the night sky. Ask for Her blessing and Her charge as you did with the oil.
When your instinct tells you the blessing and charge is upon the water and food, sit down and ask her to join you in partaking of it. As you eat the food and drink the water, tell Her of any concerns you have. Ask Her for any advice or help you need in your life. Ask for the wisdom, knowledge, healing or power you seek. Speak to Her like you would a dear friend. Be still, quiet and centered so you might discern Her answers.
Eat and drink slowly. Savor the Moon drenched food and drink. Know it is changing you and will continue to change you. Take time for your conversation with the Moon, the Goddess. Allow yourself the child-like glee of sitting down for a chat with the Lady of the Moon!
When you’ve drunk the water and eaten the food you may wish to sing or dance or engage in other pleasurable activity. Do this as act of love for Her. Do this as a gift for Her.
When you sense your visit is complete, simply thank Her as you would a friend who you’ve just spent time with. Feel your heart open in love for Her. Tell Her you will see Her again soon. Blow Her three kisses and your ritual is complete.
You may use the oil to anoint yourself between visits with the moon. Recitation of the blessing of your power centers (chakras) is always appropriate and will actually help invoke those powers into you. Bring the same vial of oil with you each time you visit. If you notice the vial is nearly empty, add the remaining oil to a new bottle of the same kind of oil.
*Aradia. Gospel of the Witches. Charles Leland. Pheonix Publishing.
** “The Charge of the Goddess” may also be found widely on the internet. It was revised by Doreen Valiente. A more contemporary version can be found in The Spiral Dance by Starhawk.