Happy morning to all of my readers!
Tonight is the full moon! To the many many pagans of a different stripe as well as all of my fellow Wiccans from Gardenarians to Braided Wheelers, the full moon is a sacred time during the month. One of the things I find lacking in a lot of the neo pagan literature, though, is how to celebrate our holidays. How to celebrate is a question that is on almost every mind that is new to paganism and The Craft in general; this comes as no surprise considering that almost all of us grew up in a culture where the popular religious holidays have very specific traditions for celebrating. So, once a month and better yet when the moon is full, I will be sharing with you the way I am planning to celebrate the full moon that evening to give you a spring board for creating your own celebrations. Let’s get started!
You may or may not have noticed in your perusings of La Grimoire de Google the moons of each month have a different name and that there seems to be no consensus on which names are the correct ones. My advice to you is by and large to ignore these designations because in the long run they are a lot more trouble than they are worth, especially when you consider that the names of the moon often correspond to key points in traditional agricultural cycles that may no longer apply to our modern world. For example, tonight is the sturgeon moon (the fish that is harvested for caviar) and according to the good people at The Old Farmer’s Almanac this moon was a signal to some Native American cultures that the time was right to catch sturgeon. Today, sturgeon is farmed year round in order to keep those of us who like cheaper caviar knee deep in fish eggs as well as to prevent the depletion of wild populations via over fishing. However, for those of us who like to use the name of the moon as inspiration for how to celebrate – myself included – I would defer to the names given by The Old Farmer’s Almanac. The OFA is a great tool for witches and pagans because it gives a calendar of weather predictions for the whole country in addition to forecasting celestial events and noting the dates of the solstices etc. Also, the OFA in this context is a standardizing tool, allowing friends of many pagan paths to literally all be on the same page when it comes to celebrating the full moon.
“But JUUUUDDDDEEEEEE! You still haven’t told us HOW to celebrate!”, you cry in frustration. Well, wait no longer. The full moon has some themes that are constant across several cultures and neo pagan traditions that can be found in La Grimoire de Google. Specifically in Wicca, though, we see it as a time of completion and fertility as the full moon is the symbol of The Goddess in her Mother aspect. So, the full moon is a time to honor the culmination of projects that you have been working on or perhaps just acknowledging that whatever you are going through in life has passed its worst juncture. I find the full moon to be a very spiritual occasion for me and I like to use it to give thanks to the gods for working with me and guiding me. In a purely magical context, the full moon is a time of enhanced psychism, so performing divinations during your ritual would receive the added bonus of FULL MOON POWER! The same goes for any sort of fruition spell you may want to cast. The chief thing to remember when celebrating any full moon is simple – It’s a party! You know how to throw a party! In my opinion there should be games, friends, music, and dancing etc, if you want them, on the night of the full moon before your ritual. Once you and your pagan compadres decide that it is time to get down to ritual, I recommend more music, dancing, and laughter. These are all great ways to build energy which can be used in a magical working, or simply offered to the gods in thanks. Some people may think that ritual is a very “Serious” occasion and that you shouldn’t be messing around and telling inappropriate jokes while in the circle. However, ritual isn’t sunday school. Our religion(s) is about freedom, our connection to Mother Earth, and doing the things that make your spirit explode with ecstasy. In the words of my spiritual grandmother, Lady Sheherazahde, “Ritual is serious but not solemn.” And so, there you have it. You’ve known how to celebrate the full moon this whole time simply by virtue of knowing how to party!
Now that you know the things that you didn’t know you knew, let me give you an example of what my friends and I are doing tonight for the full moon. My two best friends from back home and I don’t get to see each other very often, so tonight starts out in just a few minutes! Juliet has, in fact, arrived early and is sitting on a chair across from me as I finish this post. We will be spending the day together catching up, telling jokes, and SHOPPING! Once we are tired of that we will probably head a nice dinner and finally to one of our backyards to light a fire of some sort. We are Texans, we like fire, lots and lots of FIRE (Please use fire responsibly). We will observe the ritual traditions we were trained with and as for the actual celebratory part of our ritual, we may just sit and soak up the moonlight. There will be laughing, possibly drinking (please drink responsibly, and age appropriately), the telling of filthy jokes (especially at the expense of Donald Trump aka Tiny Hands), and being thankful for what we have and our friendship most importantly. Tonight, your ritual should reflect whatever you consider to be a good time with friends – this is the key to success.
Singing to the moon with you,
Ps. Here is a nifty old chant that I learned recently for the night of the full moon.
Full moon shining bright, Midnight on the water. Oh Aradia, Diana’s silver daughter.