New Moon Ritual

2013-07-10 23.23.33This Noumenia I carried out the newly written Covenant of Hekate New Moon Ritual. My previous night’s Deipnon had been an ad hoc affair, not least because I resigned from my job without currently having something else to move on to. A huge test of my faith as well as a big banishment – not planned, but necessary!

So with a huge sense of relief and the stress of eight years of undervalued corporate slogging firmly off my shoulders, I set about arranging my ritual space and planning for the New Moon Ritual. It is a very proactive and involved kind of ritual, written by a very talented bunch of individuals all bringing together their own experiences and thoughts to make a cohesive and rewarding ritual structure.

After completely stripping down my altar area, cleansing it with three different types of sacred well/spring water, scattering with rose petals and then anointing with Hekate oil, I placed fresh cloths in black and white and placed centrally my magnificent statue created by Georgi Mischev of Threskeia. Around the central image of Hekate I coiled a whole shed snake skin, placing a braided red, white and black cord in a circle and putting an iron key at the feet of the statue. I also used a new red candle for my ritual, which I had decorated with the CoH symbol (something I’ve wanted to do for ages!). There were two small black beeswax candles either side of the Hekate statue, a small statuette of Hermes to the left and one of Hestia to the right. Other items included were of course my red cord (used in all Covenant rituals), bread and wine offerings, a small bowl of anointing oil, a vase of roses, “jewelled” candle holders I picked up from a charity shop and my newly mounted Hekate coin pendant to be consecrated.

With the candles and incense (I used myrrh resin) lit, it was time to proceed with the ritual itself. After the initial grounding and centring and a preliminary offering of wine to Hekate, Hermes and Hestia it was time to go on the Pathworking part of the ritual. A member of the ritual team who had kindly recorded themselves reading through this and I had downloaded it as I find it easier to follow a guided meditation or pathworking without having to worry about talking myself through it.

I really liked this part, though I think personally I may move it to the end of the ritual rather than the beginning just because I feel that flows better for me. The imagery was very profound and the adventure was enjoyable and rewarding. Despite there being quite a lot of disturbances in my home and the street outside (noisy passers-by, cars, inconsiderate/noisy housemates) that hindered my journey, for the most part I had a beneficial experience and received my “token” symbol from Hermes on behalf of Hekate.

ivyleafI don’t mind sharing here with you that it was an ivy leaf. Something I am still musing on the possible meaning and connection of this. For me personally it is not the first time Hekate has visited me or shown me what I identify as Dionysian symbols but I have yet to distinguish if these are markers meaning I shouldn’t forget my sometimes floundering relationship with Him or if She is trying to tell me that I can get everything He can give from Her…or something else.

So after the pathworking, the ritual itself took place. I liked the flow, symbolism and power of the whole thing and found the energies built, especially with the beautifully written words used to praise and evoke the Gods. I also like the use of a bowl of chilled water, used to reflect the passing from Dark to New moon; it was refreshing and energising!

The interesting part of the ritual was the creation of three intents for the lunar month ahead, revolving around Hekate’s three realms of power: Heaven, Earth and Sea. I spent a long time thinking on this, feeling uncertain on what to create/say for these intents. In the end, I decided that the Heaven/Sky intent would be linked to something relating to the mind, intellect, reason, sciences, travel etc. For Earth it would be more to do with stability, order, material issues, fertility and the like. And for the Sea/Water aspect I would choose something pertaining to emotions, intuition, wisdom, clarity or healing.

Having spent quite a while thinking on what to choose, I ran out of time in making these intents anything “special” to look at ritually speaking; no fancy sigils, not a stone/shell/feather imbued with intent etc…instead I created little folds of paper, each marked on the front with the corresponding elemental symbol and then inside I wrote down my corresponding intent. Despite this, I still found this part of the ritual very rewarding. One of the ritual team had mentioned that “nature abhors a vacuum; so if you do any banishment during the dark moon, make sure to draw a corresponding number of things to you during this ritual of the new moon crescent” so I felt strongly of what my Earthly intent should be, given that both my partner and I are no currently unemployed. So I am interested to see how this all plays out during the current lunar cycle.

After the closing of the ritual, I decided to do something I have not really considered or done before. I took the bread, wine, 3 roses and my statements of intent to the end of the road, which is a 4-way crossroads. There, there is a small field on the corner, enclosed by trees near to a small river. In the dark, I walked to a hawthorn tree in the middle of the field, placed the offerings of bread and roses at the foot and poured the wine over them. Then I took the Earth intent, folded it up and pushed it into the earth by the tree’s roots. For the Sky/Air intent, I set fire to it and let the ashes flutter away on the night air and for the Water Intent I folded it into a small bundle and tossed it into the river to be carried away.

This aspect of the ritual was totally instantaneous and not previously planned, but felt right and good at that time.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the contributors who helped write this ritual and I look forward to doing it again at future New Moons as well as seeing how it develops and evolves into my own personal practice.

2013-07-10 23.22.34

Advertisements

New Moon, Full Moon…Time Flies!

November's Full Moon, shining bright above Coventry

So I haven’t posted for a little while again, mostly because this last week I put my back out whilst moving some furniture whilst attempting to rearrange my temple area. During that time I was laid up in bed on painkillers and muscle-relaxants which were fairly trippy but left me semi-conscious and so the week flew by.

Before then though I had marked the Deipnon, Noumenia but as I was approaching the road to recovery the Full Moon came around too so I attempted to mark it with my Covenant-based Rite of the Full Moon.

This November’s Full Moon marked the first year anniversary since the founding of the Covenant of Hekate and as part of my creative votive offering for the Rite I decided to try baking and decorating an anniversary cake.

I decided to make a marble cake of chocolate fudge and madeira (which I added vanilla and almong extracts too). I tried to create a tricolour marble affect by separating off part of the madeira mix and adding red food colouring but unfortunately this mostly baked out.

Either way, once the cake was baked and cooled I levelled it off and iced it in red and black, creating the CoH symbol centrally with white icing (picking out the equal cross and seven-rayed stars with red/black offcuts). I also picked out the edge of the cake will edible silver ball decorations.

The cake was baked/decorated with intent throughout and the first slice (though I was a tad loath to spoil it) was given – naturally – to Hekate as an offering. I only wished I was more local to some of my Covenant brothers and sisters to be able to share in my creation but I’m sure I’ll repeat a similar endeavour in the future where that will be possible. For the record though, it is rather yummy though I think making it as a sandwhich cake next time would add to the nicety and give it added moisture.

CoH Anniversary Cake

Future posts coming include a couple of book reviews, details/photos of a belated (due to my back) Lampteria celebration, poetry and more!

Hail & Praise the Gods!

Deipnon & Noumenia

Last night marked the transitional phase between the end of the lunar month Boedromion and the beginning of Pyanepsion. At this time Hekate is honoured with a small feast; usually a meal of eggs, onions, garlic as well as traditionally household sweepings, ash and other ritual detritus from househould shrines which were burnt at crossroads in Ancient Greece, in little clay censers.

My phylactery, made as instructed in "The Temple of Hekate" by Tara Sanchez

Myself, I marked the occasion simply by spending some time with Hekate at her shrine. I offered incense and recited a prayer and then listened to Jade Sol Luna’s “Tales of the Witch Moon”. I usually try to keep it simple if the deipnon falls in the middle of the week as work gets in the way due to the odd hours I work; I make up for this on the occasions when I’m either off during a deipnon or it falls on Friday or the weekend.

During my time listening to Jade’s latest chants, I also made a start on creating the phylactery, an exercise laid out in Tara Sanchez’s book “The Temple of Hekate”, which I reviewed in a previous post. The phylactery, which is a simple braided thread/cord, is used to create a connection with the Goddess Hekate and to aid in protection. I bought some simple thread in white, black and red (the red was slightly “fancier” as it was made up of two types of thread itself) and proceeded to braid them together, as the exercise says that from the period between new and full moon, the phylactery should be worn about the person in order to imbue it with your own personal energies, before consecration at the full moon.

I’ve never braided before in my life – had to get a “how to” guide off the Internet – and it was painstakingly slow progress and it still didn’t turn out quite right. Perhaps some practice is in order, and if this phylactery fails to last between now and the full moon, I still have cord aplenty to make a new one, but I think it’s growing on me and the inconsistency of the braided just makes it more personable to me. I also made one for a friend which I will send to him to “scent” and then instruct him in the simple consecration ritual. I feel he could use some Hekatean energies in his life right now and although he has no connection with Hekate, she helps those in need – sometimes even when they haven’t out right asked for it.

Dionysos~Ecstacy from the Gods & Titans oracle deck by Stacey Demarco; illustrated by Jimmy Manton

For Noumenia, I ensured all my shrines were clean and tidy, placed fresh flowers to all the Gods on the main altar area. Various incenses were lit and I read aloud a number of prayers and hymns, always giving special thanks to either those Gods who have helped me in the last month and especially those who are more prominent in my life such as Hekate and Dionysos. Simple libations and food offerings are also made as well as the recreation of a fresh Kathiskos in honour of Zeus Ktesios.

Usually at Noumenia, I also will pick a card from my tarot deck as a focus and guide for the month ahead. I have thought lately on changing this slightly by each month drawing a card from a different tarot/oracle deck (as I do have quite a few). By doing this I can open myself up to not only the meaning of the card itself but the richness and variation of the different symbolism and imagery of the various decks in my (slowly expanding) collection. Some decks have a leaning towards Greek myth and imagery, others more traditional and still others which are original and somewhat radical in their appearance.

This Noumenia I decided to draw from the Gods & Titans deck (as the sister deck Goddesses & Sirens has just been released, it seemed fitting) and was very pleased to draw out Dionysos – Ecstacy! It helped reinforce my connection with Him which of late had felt tenuous and distant.