Ritual to Attune to the Growth Energies of Spring.
A traditional rite passed down for Spring. A spring rite that can be performed each day for a number of days in Spring until the candle is out – reminding us of the importance of Spring – the expansion of our awareness and our understanding. Think simplicity.
🔥 “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” -Plutarch
🌺 “Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.” –Anne Morrow Lindberg
The phrase ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ has been commonplace in Wicca-rituals and conversation on rituals for many decades now. For some covens, this is a monthly ritual performed by a coven of initiated witches at the Full Moon where an invocation to the Lady is made so She may speak through the body of the High Priestess to the Coveners. In this article, we wanted to share some information about how our coven sees this practice and just briefly describe a sacred ritual in our religion.
The practice of conversing with spiritual intelligences … including angels, elemental spirits, and spirits of the other side has always been part of our tradition. When it comes to the topic of DDTM: The terminology of describing a ritual as “Drawing Down the Moon” is a borrowed terminology made popular by other traditions of the Craft that came out of the broom closet around the same time as our tradition’s practices did – however – it is lingo that is understandable to most Wiccans, so we might as well use this term for this article to speak a common language; even though our ritual rubrics for carrying out this ritual are different than other traditions — though we might have a similar goal in mind in some instances.
In the Sacred Pentagraph tradition, the practice of Drawing Down the Moon could potentially be performed four times per year during the Full Moons of March, June, September and December. These are the months in which the Solstices & the Equinoxes occur.
Since the months of the Solstices & the Equinoxes are times which initiate the beginning of each of the four seasons in the yearly quarterly cycle, this is the most opportune time to ask for messages from the Gracious Goddess in order to receive insight needed for that quarter. It is also recommended that it is not necessary to be performed more than these four times per year in our tradition, as that gives all the Coveners adequate time to put to use the information received by the Gracious Goddess. If we did this every month, we may not have had the opportunity to put into place all the insight that has been given – so this is a good ‘conservation of energy’ thing to consider. There are literally dozens upon dozens of other Full Moon Esbats that can be performed for many purposes during the other months of the year.
The initiate of the Coven who serves as the Coven Medium for the Gracious Goddess must have developed their mediumship abilities. In this ritual, it is most likely the High Priestess who will serve this role as the Coven Medium. In our own Wolfa Coven, most of our established and regularly attending current initiates have mediumship abilities to one degree or another – which means that any initiate of one of the higher degrees could technically do this for the coven if needed. I think it’s a little unusual to have a full coven of mediums like we do – it’s just worked out that way for one reason or another. The rubrics and rituals of this ritual have not been put into print, but we can at least describe our thoughts and reflections upon it so that other covens who are curious what we do get an idea of our ideas, and also for readers that just want to read about diverse thoughts and practices in the religion.
We cast the Cosmated Esbat Circle to begin – usually this circle is cast by the High Priestess, the High Priest, the Handmaiden & the Practicus who serve as the four officers of the Esbat circle – but in the case of this ritual, since the High Priestess and High Priest must focus on inducing the trance state, that usually means the Practicus and Handmaiden will carry this out, and witches make do!
We have many ways of creating a magical circle, and this method for Esbats is very quick and takes very little time. Since the time of Esbat is highly focused on spellcasting, psychism and talismanic magic, or the very practical sides of Wicca, the focus is mainly on these specialized areas rather than on the communal seasonal themes partaken of at a Seasonal or Sabbat where on occasion more ceremonial aspects of ritual might be done.
The Coven Medium sits before the cauldron with the hood covering her head and arms. Her body wrapped up in her robe and cape in order to go into the silence and allow trance to come on and speak forth the messages of the Gracious Goddess. It can be performed indoors or outdoors. The coven dances and invokes the Gracious Goddess to come down, and the High Priest will direct the Ether raised within the atmosphere to the High Priestess to use in trance.
After the Gracious Goddess speaks fourth what needs to be heard, then there may be a time allowed where questions can be asked of Her.
The Scribe of the Coven scribbles down notes as fast as they can, as quickly as the messages come in.
When finished, the High Priest asks the heaviness to withdrawal and the Handmaidens of the Coven perform specific actions which help to bring the Coven Medium back into normal time and space.
Before closing the Cosmated Esbat Circle, we like to have some wine and some bread in order to have some togetherness and ease back out of the state of consciousness that has been invoked, especially before the Coven Medium and others need to stand again. Sometimes, depending on the Coven Medium, sessions of trance mediumship can take a little while to shake off. This time sharing food also allows us conversation to discuss things shared and bring ourselves back gently.
In our own experience in our coven, every Medium experiences different effects on the mind and body through these types of rituals. Why this is so, could be many … some of the reasons can be related to the type of Spirit Guide that each Initiate of the Coven has that assists them on the Astral Plane; some could be because of the spiritual development that the Initiate currently has gone through in this life and the many lives before and some could just simply be related to the specialty and talents of the Medium.
During the time of trance as a Coven Medium, there are many things that happen — The most common thing that occurs is messages are shared, prophesy is spoken, clairvoyance is used. On rare occasions, even spirit healing sessions occur.
These rituals and how to do them are ones you learn and participate in a traditionalist coven amongst initiates.
Wishing all a Happy New Year! As many plan the hopes and dreams of a new calendar cycle, one area often overlooked is self-control. If you can control the self in many ways so that actions are tempered for the betterment of ourselves and the good of all, then we have truly accomplished something. Self-control is not restriction; but it is freedom … freedom to be wild; freedom to be you and me. The Mother Earth manifests all things by having self-control – as nothing is in more control than the time it takes to plant and nurture a seed — factors can speed up or slow down the progress of a seed; but it still follows natural laws of the Great Mother. Through magic; we are able to do things that almost look supernatural — or able to bypass natural laws; but even in this, we are applying one natural law to affect another natural law in many ways with the aid of unseen forces. Coagula et Solve, Control & Release, Concentration and Dissolution.
“Great is he who controls the body, still greater he who controls the mind, but greatest of all, he who controls the heart.” -Garver, Brother of the Third Degree. 1894
A special & secret ritual passed down in our coven concerns blessing of a sacred well for water obtained at the time of the Full Moon, so that water drawn from it will be blessed when taken from it each full moon. This is a very special practice, but it only has one problem: in our neck of the woods where our coven is located, we are a little short on sacred wells in Pennsylvania.
Witch ancestors and elders who were once across the pond were said to have had access to sacred wells that have been honored and dressed for many generations, and maybe they still do, they also were said to have access to a particular sacred tree or bush that grows alongside the area near the sacred well I was told. While I can’t reveal the ritual I was given to you here, I can tell you about what it is for and give you a little glimpse into the lore of our passed down traditions in our religious practice, which is in particular a healing ritual for incanting for healing and improved health for areas of the body or organs that need healing.
According to the passed down ritual, the sacred well is blessed to give healing waters when drawn from. When needed at the Full Moon, a sacred offering is given to the well and water is withdrawn. With a healing invocation to the Great Mother and a request to the Elemental that rules over the well and a brief and summarized incantation, the part affected would be bathed with that water. The most popular reason for use of this water in this way was for petitions related to relieving rheumatism amongst other conditions to be prayed and incanted for. Lastly, a piece of a rag torn from clothing is tied to the tree or bush near the well for luck. This petitions the Tree Spirit that works in connection with the Water Elemental of the Well.
Another little hint related to the spells of sacred wells that has been told to me in the passing of this lore: in silence must you go from them when finished, and you should not turn back once you leave the site in respect for the fairies who weave their delicate magic there.
The idea of the use of “silence” is a part of magic lore passed down through the ages: such as practices where nails or pegs would be driven into trees for petitions of healing, in silence, and without shoes on so that as the nail is grown over, it is said in folklore so will the tree take the illness. It wasn’t just nails, but even pins placed in trees and statues as well. Pins were put into trees as part of petitioning the tree spirit for both blessings and curses as well. These spells and how to make them are still taught, mentor to student in our coven to those who want to learn old magic, as they are still relevant in our modern day.
While this practice is all about healing, there is also old lore related to “cursed wells” too — and while we don’t have any of those in our neck of the woods either, we certainly have heard about them.
While we lack sacred wells in Pennsylvania, we do have other methods though in which we can incant for healing and send our prayers in other ways. As a wise deceased elder of our coven once said, “Witches make do!”
A strong note of caution: While I have never had the opportunity to petition at a sacred well like the elders may have, and I have not been fortunate enough to have been around one myself, some things I would definitely follow if I had the chance: respect the land and space that you are on if it is not your own. Safety is always important in all things, and also respect for the rules of what is permitted or allowed at these sites. So many people liter and leave things at sacred sites but I don’t like that practice. I would strongly recommend to find out the rules of the space that is not your own and leave only behind what is permitted by landowners and/or what the law or local ordinances say. Sacred sites are sacred for a reason: they are rare and we want those precious resources to be around for many generations to come. Respect the earth on which we walk, ravage Her not, nor make her barren.
Full Moon Esbat — the technique I am going to talk about here is best known by the phrase today as “Drawing Down the Moon” which is a great poetic phrase for this – though our methods are carried out a little differently in the Sacred Pentagraph system per the Ancient Order of Bell, Book & Candle…
This layout is the ceremonial way to do this ritual, as we have on hand about a dozen or so ways to do this rite – some simple, some complex.
Our elders recommended performing this ritual 4 times per year at the full moons during the months of the Solstices & Equinoxes, since these are the Celestial Times set that start off the beginning of each season: Winter, Spring, Summer & Autumn. It is attended by any member of the coven that is at least a First Degree Covener.
The Medium or Oracle who is to read the portends of the immediate season sits in front of the cauldron tripod as the coven performs the rituals to create the correct atmosphere and invocations where portents, oracles & prophesy can be obtained.
It’s always important for a Coven Scribe to be present as well to write down any messages that come out — they may come slowly or in rapid succession depending on the needs of the initiates present.
Photos here taken in one of the temples used by the Wolfa Coven in Pennsylvania.
The old year ends and the New Year begins in the old Druidical cycle. The fires once lit to strengthen the dwindling sun are still lit per custom – whether by baalfire, needfire or hearthfire. The portal is opened and our deceased welcomed in fellowship. Divining of the new year’s theme is also most crucial.
However you celebrate this time, we wish, good witches all, a fantastic new year’s cycle of action and re-action through each season. The new day always begins in the darkness of the midnight (witching hour) – just as a new seed grows silently beneath the soil before it sprouts forth to greet the light of day. 🌙 ⭐️ 🔥 🍷
This was a rough-draft musing of the path when I entered through that Garden Gate of Initiation … a beginning. There were many garden gates that day in the garden of the Witch who opened the path for me. She had at least 7 at random places, all carefully tended to. I chose a gate, and with my adamant will, I entered in. Some parts of that footpath had stones and barriers that were but methods I would come know as teachings in order to stand on my own two feet – I had to learn to walk if I was ever to fly. I had to learn what to do when I came across a stone or branch that made me stumble, and I am still humbly learning. The rose is beautiful; but she comes with thorns. In order to enjoy the beauty of that rose, I had to learn how to navigate those thorns and accept them as part of nature’s design. The Oak tree itself produces many acorns, but it only does so twenty, or sometimes many more years later. When those acorns do arrive those many September’s later, at the time of the cycle when we learn about the Law of Compensation & Reincarnation, we see that large and majestic oak was grown from such a small and humble acorn. Throughout my path, I have contemplated the teacheings of the Rose and the Oak many times… this is the story of that Garden Gate…
“There are many stops along the way, And many footpaths you can take. And when we reach the end, my friend, we must all accept our fate.
It’s not about who travels quickest, It’s not even the length of time, It’s not about our times of weakness, Nor the roadblocks that we find.
It’s always been about those moments, Choosing wisely the path we take, Whether coming in or going out, Through that garden gate.
For many gardens we have planted, And grown, and reaped our lot, Take a moment to remember, Fondly, what we’ve sought.
And when we reach the end, my friend, Think back to that garden gate. To know, remember, and awaken again, The path we illuminate.”
A letter and announcement below about an exciting opportunity from our friends at the Temple of Witchcraft. A big thank you to Christopher for sharing this information. If you are interested, check out the link below for details on signing up:
I am incredibly excited about an opportunity available here at the Temple of Witchcraft, for individual education and for the evolution of our community sacred space.
Recently we hosted Dominique Susani and Karen Crowley-Susani for a weekend workshop on building energetically healing stone circle cromlechs, and in the course of the weekend, made one. Since that, we have had several visiting students come out and experience, and report amazing physical shifts and healing, and energetic experiences.
Karen and Dominique plan on returning to offer their two year Energetic Geometric Certification Course here at the Temple, with the specific focus of both learning how to harmonize your own home and land, but to develop the sacred energies of the land here for the community.
Over the weekend, we mapped the land and they pinpointed a number of water lines, fault lines and a multitude of energetic vortices, citing that our land is a very magickal, alive forest. We knew that, but it was lovely to see it explained and mapped out. They have lots of ideas of how we can develop sites to facilitate healing, initiation, and spiritual contact, raising the vibration of the land and the greater surrounding community, as temples in the ancient world did.
Karen and Dominique are offering their two year certification program here at the Temple, adapting their European program to fit a North American schedule in terms of needs, payment plans and work studies. It will consist of in-person sessions here at the Temple, and supplemental online learning you can watch when convenient. You can get all the details here:
Coming from France for the five in-person four day weekend sessions, we need to have a minimum level of participation for them. While a significant investment, the techniques have been really incredible, and the material includes so much technical information I have not seen in my years of studying temples, circles and ancient places. Its powerful work to harmonize your own living spaces, your own indoor and outdoor magickal temples, and building sacred sites upon the landscape. Their mission is to share these healing techniques and encourage people to use them to bring harmony to their communities.
Please check it out, join if it calls to you and share it with others. While done here at the Temple of Witchcraft, we welcome participants from all areas and traditions. At the moment, this is their only North American certification program.
Any distant folks traveling to attend and needing logistical support, please let us know, and we will do our best to aid you.
There is but a time for everything, and all things unfold and blossom in their own time, according to natural laws, and in perfect order of Nature’s design. By the time we reach Midsummer, we hope to see the seed-thoughts we have tenderly nurtured begin to bloom and flower in our lives – bringing them to their height of beauty and rich unfoldment. I have, metaphorically, seen some of these thoughts begin to blossom already and have enjoyed the sweetness of their scent.
In the summer months, it is a time when some of the initiates in the covendom I am part of have told me they want to work on themselves by leaning deeper into some of the Tenets of our religion since the weather and outdoor conditions are less of an impediment and a great deal of opportunities are now available to us all.
Some of us aim to experience, if possible, the richness of the season to discover a zest for living in the now: to dance to the music like no one is watching, taking time for friends and fellowship to encourage personal growth and trust, sitting by the fireside, and enjoying walks beneath the warm light of the moon to take in the wonderment of nature. Travel and pilgrimage to favored locations that enrich us spiritually and emotionally, and time for meditation on nature’s wonder and the practice of practical magics.
I enjoy engaging in ideas expressed and exchanged for the betterment of all, and am happy for the additional opportunities to to bring additional depth to my life and with fellow initiates over glasses of wine, a warm fire and the smell of incense wafting in the air.
I give myself permission to live … and to enjoy the wonderment of nature. Oh the things that a simple flower or bee can teach us. Be still…. Listen….
“If you cannot so great things, do small things in a great way.”
… a coven of witches practicing in the Horsa Tradition & the Sacred Pentagraph Tradition