Feeding the Divine

Feeding the Divine

One of the (more) unpleasant parts of the whole remodel process when we first moved in was that I wasn’t able to unpack and use any of my sacred space items. Either there was no space, no time, or it was too dusty and didn’t feel worthwhile. I felt this lack more when I became involved in the local community, both through my starting Diablo Valley Pagans and attending the Winter Solstice and Imbolc with a group that I’ve met out here. Now that things are – if not done, atleast not as messy, I have finally unpacked atleast a small amount of my items – and set up an altar. Since we’re still working on the trim though, I’ve kept it small and fairly portable. Even still, simply having it set up makes me feel more at home – more complete.

I’ve invited the group that I joined for Imbolc to join me for the next full moon, assuming they’re able to come. The moon unfortunately, doesn’t care if you have to work the next day or not. ;-) And I’m something of a stickler for the night of. If they are able to come, it will mark the first time I’ve led a group ritual since I left San Diego, the first ritual that I’ll have in my new home, and the first ritual with my new friends. In other words, it will be fairly momentous for me. Because of that fact, it fills my thoughts a lot right now – I turn the ideas over and over; kneading them and shaping them together, hoping to bring forth a bread that will nourish the soul.

The bread analogy should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention – Since the kitchen became functional, it’s been hard to pry me out of it, and indeed, most of my posts tend to center around the kitchen. I’m very passionate about food and it’s many preparations. With my renewed passion for cooking, and now a renewed passion for a return to the basics of ritual – I find myself thinking about them together, and how important a part ritual can play in the nourishment of our bodies AND our souls, and too,  how important food can be in ritual.

Many celebrations and rituals have food as the cornerstone of them. And not just for the followers of earth based religions – the most well known, perhaps, being the Last Supper, commemorated at every Catholic Mass by the Eucharist. But even in modern celebrations, there are rituals that are followed. Birthday Cake, Thanksgiving Turkey, Easter Ham – all these celebrations are a way of nourishing the spirit and the body. Joining in a fellowship with those nearest and dearest to us in one of the oldest symbols of friendship, the breaking of bread.

So it seems very natural that as I look to plan this coming Full Moon ritual, that I will be including more than just candles and incense on the altar of celebration. I have time to plan, and so this ritual may be modified prior to taking place and should be considered as a rough draft (for now).

March 2009 Full Moon Ritual – First Draft

Weather permitting, ritual will be outside, in the back yard, on the grass. There will be a low, round, table set up for the altar with cushions gathered around it. A foot or two outside of the cushions, weather and wind permitting, there will be candles outlining the circle. Celebrants will be cleansed by the guide with a sage smudging and an anointment of salt water or oil blend, and will then take a seat on a cushion that corresponds with the direction they will be calling.

Guide will close the circle by walking three clockwise cycles around the exterior of the candles, lightly sprinkling salt, beginning in the east, and then come to sit on one of the cushions. Guide will lead celebrants in a meditation. After the meditation, the quarters will be invoked:

Air: with both hands, grasp the dish containing the offering, and raise it above the head while saying:

Friends of the whispering reaches – the breath of speech, the wind of intelligence and imagination, we invite you to join us here tonight. We ask that you come, and be a part of our fellowship, as we celebrate the return of our sister Moon.

Air lowers the dish and offers it to the celebrant on their left, saying “Let the wind be a part of you, as it is in me.” Celebrant takes a piece, eats, and repeats the offer to the next celebrant on the left, until the entire circle has joined with Air.

Fire: with both hands, grasp the dish containing the offering, and raise it above the head while saying:

Friends of the burning plains – the glint and glow of exuberance, the kindle of passion within us all, we invite you to join us here tonight. We ask that you come, and be a part of our fellowship, as we celebrate the return of our sister Moon.

Fire lowers the dish and offers it to the celebrant on their left, saying “Let the flame be a part of you, as it is in me.” Celebrant takes a piece, eats, and repeats the offer to the next celebrant on the left, until the entire circle has joined with Fire.

Water: with both hands, grasp the dish containing the offering, and raise it above the head while saying:

Friends of the mysterious deep – the fluid, flowing emotions that touch us all, the rippling ebb of change, the womb where all things once lived, we invite you to join us here tonight. We ask that you come, and be a part of our fellowship, as we celebrate the return of our sister Moon.

Water lowers the dish and offers it to the celebrant on their left, saying “Let the sea be a part of you, as it is in me.” Celebrant takes a piece, eats, and repeats the offer to the next celebrant on the left, until the entire circle has joined with Water.

Earth: with both hands, grasp the dish containing the offering, and raise it above the head while saying:

Friends of the Terra – the rock upon which we all can rest, the quarry where we mine strength and wisdom, we invite you to join us here tonight. We ask that you come, and be a part of our fellowship, as we celebrate the return of our sister Moon.

Earth lowers the dish and offers it to the celebrant on their left, saying “Let the land be a part of you, as it is in me.” Celebrant takes a piece, eats, and repeats the offer to the next celebrant on the left, until the entire circle has joined with Earth.

Spirit: with both hands, grasp the dish containing the offering, and raise it above the head while saying:

Each element, in their demesnes, a law unto itself. But only with unity, with love, respect and the light that fills us all, will you find life. Without Earth, what would fire have to burn? Without Air, what would ripple the waves of water? All are dependent upon each other, interwoven in symbiotic harmony, giving and receiving where needed – and bound in joy by the ties of love. We invite you to join us tonight, to allow us feel the spirit that binds us all, in our fellowship, as we celebrate the return of our sister Moon.

Spirit lowers the dish and offers it to the celebrant on their left, saying “Let life be a part of you, as it is in me.” Celebrant takes a piece, eats, and repeats the offer to the next celebrant on the left, until the entire circle has joined with Spirit.

<Workings/Energy Drawing>

<Cakes and Ale>

<Discussion/Socializing>

Spirit: Blessed Spirit, we thank you for joining us this night. We know that we will always carry part of you with us, as we are a part of you.

Earth: Friends of the Terra, we thank you for joining us this night. We know that we will always carry part of you with us, as we are a part of you.

Water: Friends of the mysterious Deep, we thank you for joining us this night. We know that we will always carry part of you with us, as we are a part of you.

Fire: Friends of the burning plains, we thank you for joining us this night. We know that we will always carry part of you with us, as we are a part of you.

Air: Friends of the whispering reaches, we thank you for joining us this night. We know that we will always carry part of you with us, as we are a part of you.

The guide stands, and walks three counterclockwise cycles around the edge of the circle, grounding any remaining energy (if neccessary)

The guide returns to their place in the circle, and offers a hand to the celebrant on their left and says: “The circle has been opened, but our fellowship is unbroken. Walk with love.” Guide then gives the celebrant an embrace. The celebrant turns to their left and repeats – continuing all the way around the circle until the Guide again. Celebrants and Guide join hands and say “Blessed be.”

</end circle>

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