The Ritual Arts
Ritual is a very misunderstood entity. When most people think of ritual, they picture a very intricate, ornate, long, and intense ceremony. Ritual can be that, but it's most often not. Humans are ritualistic beings (not unlike cats), and do certain things every single day in order to make progress within that day or evening. It helps to bring meaning and order into daily living. Despite its mundane nature, it's a form of ritual. So between these two extremes, we see that ritual is done to bring meaning, purpose, and order to something. It can be very elaborate, or simple, as long as it works for you.
The following is one of my favorite explanations of ritual:
"It is believed that the human need for some kind of formal, often public acknowledgment of significant events is one of the fundamental forces of our development as social beings. At the same time, ritual allows us to transcend our individual selves to gain a sense of participation with the greater environment of the forces controlling our singular and communal destinies." - John T. Nelson, A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine
Ritual is also "a fusion of the powers believed to be inherent in the persons, objects, relationships, events, and histories which are represented by the ceremony itself." - Victor Turner
Types of Ritual
-seasonal- honoring a specific moment of the climatic cycle
-contingent- personal transition/crisis
-protective- ensures health/safety
-ancestral- honoring the deceased
Three Rituals To Draw Down The Moon (1999)
These rituals are simple and elegant. The focus for these rituals is the idea that the three aspects of womanhood (maiden, mother, crone) are present in the phases of the moon. The moon is an important subtle influence on our lives, and it truly does empower oneself to mark its travel through the sky.
All of the following are incantations and poems written and copyrighted by Tempest. Please feel free to copy these into your grimoire, but please do not reproduce them in printed or public form without contacting me first for permission.
Draw Down The Moon
And out of the darkness the Goddess created Her children. She took of Herself and hung the sun in the sky to warm them when She could not, and the moon to protect them at night, watching their dreams.
The following is a set of incantations and a poem to be used in ritual. To make a more complete ritual, invoke the elements as they are suggested in parentheses.
Draw Down the Moon -the poem
And she the priestess,
daughter of Earth, worker of magick
Gazed to the sky where Mother stood;
vivid, luminous, ever-vigilant, waxing, swelling.
The priestess began then to dance and sway and chant,
invoking the Mother.
She danced for three days and three nights,
following the Mother as She traveled through the sky.
On the third night the Mother turned Her full face to Earth,
And She saw Her daughter dancing,
And She moved through the night to join her.
Down and down, lower and lower
She came, swaying with Her daughter,
illuminating the world with Her intense beauty.
And She drew down upon the priestess,
drawing down until they were one;
Powerful union of daughter and Mother,
one and together in pure light
Shining against the dark.
To the Maiden -for the new and waxing moon
the time to perform this ritual is anytime during the waxing moon
Waxing Life, waxing love
Woman of youth
Bearer of joy and vitality
Persephone, daughter of the Spring
Artemis, virgin huntress of the night
She of bright beginnings
New, fresh, vibrant, strong
I invoke thee Sister!
In the East, Your breath begins life (light incense)
In the South, Your fire bursts the seeds (light candle)
In the West, Your water is lifeblood (place salt in water)
In the North, Your earth is teeming with fertile promise (annoint body w/ blessed water)
Join this sacred circle
And dance the dance of Life
Rejoicing in Ourselves
Light sister, dark sister
Sky sister, earth sister
Together we are One!
To the Mother-for the full moon
To be performed during the full moon
Mother of all mothers
She that was before there was all
Creator, life-giver, Womb of the World
First Woman of darkness and of light
I invoke Thee tonight
In the blessed East, Your breath invigorates my soul (light incense)
In the sacred South, Your fire burns in my heart (light candle)
In the holy West, Your waters are my blood (bless water with salt)
In the mystic North, Your earth builds my temple (annoint self with water)
Be one with me in flesh and spirit this eve
Demeter, Gaia, Mokosh
Swollen radiant Mother
Watching and guarding Your creations
I call upon You to join with me--Your daughter!
Draw down Your spirit, Your grace, Your light
With Your energy, Your might
Fill Your daughter entirely
So that she may serve You
According to Your blessed will
So mote it be!
To The Crone -for waning and dark moon
this ritual is to be performed during the waning moon
Bearer of Wisdom and knowledge
Bringer of Age, Keeper of Time
Door of Death and Rebirth
Behold Your child tonight!
The East brings forth Your ancient breath (light incense)
The South burns with Your scorching fire (light candle)
The West floods with returning waters (bless water with salt)
The North stirs with the dust of our bodies (annoint body with water)
Waning is Life, but strong is Your will
Hecate of the endless night
Sophia of the sacred word
Kali of the just revenge
Baba Yaga, grandmother of all
I invoke You!
Draw down upon Your child
And share Your sacred gifts
In perfect love and perfect trust
So mote it be!