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Let’s Spell it Out

May, 2010

Diana’s May Day Holy Water

The Roman goddess Diana (the Greek emis) was called “The Dewy One” by the ancient Romans because they considered dew to be sacred to her.  They believed that the dew was left by the Moon (a symbol of Diana) during the night.  Practitioners of Strega (Italian Witchcraft) would collect dew from various sacred plants to then use in Holy Water.

The phrase “Holy Water” has an obvious Judeo-Christian feel to it, so if you are not comfortable with this verbiage, the phrase “Blessing Water” may resonate better with you.  Either way, Holy Water has many uses including evoking the Water Element during a Ritual Circle, asperging the ritual space prior to casting the circle, cleansing and consecrating magickal objects, used during a healing ritual, blessing babies, used to construct a Jumping broom for a Handfasting, used after Space Clearing, Sprinkled into a cauldron during a Summerland ritual,  added to a pre-ritual purification bath, used in a colored glass bottle for Scrying, added to food and to either banish of block negative energy.  The Holy dew Water as made by the practitioners of Strega was thought to bestow good fortune until the first of May the following year.

The act of gathering dew on the morning of May 1st was quite possibly brought to modern-day Britain by the Roman occupiers.  Young country-dwelling girls would go outside just before sunrise to collect the dew from the plants just as the ancient Romans did.  Over the centuries, however, the use for it has changed.  These young ladies put the dew on their faces in the hopes that it would (magickally) remove blemishes and maintain their youthful and beautiful complexions.  Other Pagans, keeping to the Old Ways, collected the May Dew from either wells of cupped stones for the purpose of creating Holy Water.  They sprinkled this water around their home for the same good fortune as it was done centuries before; for good luck, health and happiness.

Depending on how much Holy Water you would like to make (maybe enough to last until next Beltane?), you way want to also gather some Spring Water if it is available to you.  It was of old European thought that moving water or sea water could wash away negativity or “evil spirits”.  If you do not live near moving water (a stream or river) or a body of water (a lake or the sea), do not be tempted to replace this ingredient with bottled “spring water” as you do not know if you can necessarily trust the bottling company.  Another option is to use rainwater or to make a trip to a spring or well.

Once you have the water, the next main ingredient is the salt.  You can easily find either Sea Salt or Kosher Salt at your local grocery store.  You can exclude salt when making Holy Water, but it does keep the charge longer (if you are making enough to keep it in storage) and the salt is added because it acts as a purifier.  If making edible (when added to food during the cooking process) or drinkable Holy Water, these are the only two ingredients you will use.  For non-edible Holy Water, then you can add as many or as few herbs as you wish, depending on what you will be using the Holy Water for.  If you do use herbs, you will need to strain the water before placing it into its storage container.  Make sure to use a strainer that has not nor will not be used for anything else.  But, back tot eh salt.  To determine how much salt you will need, you will use three pinches of salt for every cup of water.

Once made, you will want to store it in a clean glass jar or bottle that has not been used for any other purpose.  Holy Water is the most potent when used immediately, but if you plan to make enough to lat a while, then you will need to store it safely.  Make sure the container has a good seal otherwise the contents can either spill or evaporate or time.  A jar with a screw-on cap or a bottle with a cork stopper will work just fine.  Try to refrain from using a plastic container as it is a slightly porous material which will alter the contents of the water.  If you plan to use a pray bottle to disperse the Holy Water, then you will obviously need to use a plastic container, but try to only place enough of the Holy Water into the spray bottle as you need at that time and store the rest in the glass jar or bottle.

The next issue is to address where to store your bottle of Holy Water.  This will depend on either your tradition or what your intuition tells you to do.  Followers of Pow-Wow, also called Hex-Craft, keep their Holy Water on their altar.  The Balinese regard Holy Water with such respect that it must be kept in an elevated position to help maintain its purity.  Perhaps you have a magickal storage cabinet where you keep your other working objects?  Try to find a cool and dry place where your Holy Water will not be in direct sunlight.  Decide for yourself where you believe would be the most ideal place to store your May Day Holy Water.

Lastly, before we get into the Holy Water spell, let’s address when you will enact it.  If possible, to tie into Diana’s energy, you will ideally want to perform it on the day of Beltane.  If that’s not an option, you could collect the water on May 1st and perform the spell during the Full Moon Cycle, preferably the night of the Full Moon.  To get even more specific, try to perform the spell during the planetary hour of the Moon.  There are two schools of thought on the planetary hours.  One is to use the standard chart that assigns the hours of the day to the various planets.  The other is to use a formula to get the exact astrological planetary hour.  Base your decision on how much time you have to figure out the planetary hour: the chart method is much easier and the formula method requires more patience and skill.  But, if you find that the planetary hour doesn’t work with your schedule, you could always make your Holy Water at midnight.  If none of these options work for you, you can make your Holy Water during any moon phase at any time of day; simply state “may all astrological correspondences be correct for this working” during the spell-work.  And, if you have the time to wait, a Lunar Eclipse is an ideal time to make Holy Water.

So, now that you have the water, the salt, the bottle, the storage space and the day and time for your spell-work, you’re almost ready to go!  At this point, you need to decide if you will be using a ritual blade or not.  The ritual blade is used to direct the magickal energy.  Wiccans like to use an Athame and Pow-Wows with use a kitchen knife.  If you cannot or chose not to use a blade, you can simply use the finger of your power hand.  If you desire, you can also have a candle burning on our altar, but it is not necessary.

THE SPELL

Set up your altar with all of your supplies to one side (for now).  Begin by cleansing the room with sage.  Next, Ground and Center, meditate and connect to the goddess Diana. To finalize your preparations, you can either create Sacred Space or cast a Magick Circle, depending upon your tradition.

Call the goddess Diana to aid you in your spell-work by saying:

“I cal to Diana, the Dewy One

Lady of the Night, Consort of the Sun.

I ask for your aid in my work tonight,

And bless me with your silver moonlight.”

If you wish to have a (silver or white) candle for your working, light it now.  To state the purpose of your spell, say:

“Diana, this night I call to you

To make Holy Water with May Dew.”

With either your finger or blade, draw an inverted triangle, the symbol for the Element of Water, over your altar.  Depending on how many ingredient you have, determine how to place them around this invisible triangle.  If you have two ingredients, water and salt, place these on either side of the triangle.  If you have three ingredients, water, salt and herbs, then place them at each point of the triangle.  The blade, if you are using one, can lay parallel with the uppermost line and the glass bottle or jar should wait to be filled inside of the triangle itself.

Because you are making Holy Water, you will now banish all negative energy from these items.  First, pick up the bowl of water.  Either hold your power hand over it or plunge your blade into it and while envisioning it filling with white light say:

“Bowl of water, Element of Water, I remove all negativity.

In the name of the Triple Goddess;

the Maiden-Mother-Crone, emis-Diana-Hecate, so be it!”

Put down the bowl of water and pick up the bowl of salt.  Either hold your power hand over it or touch the blade tip to the salt and while envisioning it filling with white light say:

“Bowl of salt, Element of Earth, I remove all negativity.

In the name of the Triple Goddess;

the Maiden-Mother-Crone, emis-Diana-Hecate, so be it!”

Set down the bowl of salt and pick up the glass bottle/jar.  Either hold your power hand over it or touch the blade tip to the bottle/jar and while envisioning it filling with white light say:

“Bottle/Jar of transformed sand, Element of Earth, I remove all negativity.

In the name of the Triple Goddess;

the Maiden-Mother-Crone, emis-Diana-Hecate, so be it!”

If you are using any ash or herbs, then set down the bottle/jar and pick up the bowl.  Either hold your power hand over it or touch the blade tip to the herbs and while envisioning it filling with white light say:

“Bowl of ash/herbs, Element of Earth, I remove all negativity.

In the name of the Triple Goddess;

the Maiden-Mother-Crone, emis-Diana-Hecate, so be it!”

Now that all of the negative vibrations have been cast out and because Nature abhors a vacuum, it is time to add the blessing.

First, take up the bowl of water; blow over it envisioning silver-white sparkling moonlight and say:

“In the name of the Maiden emis”

Blow over it a second time and say:

In the name of Diana, Mother of Aradia”

Repeat for a third time and say:

“In the name of the Crone, Hecate”

Set the bowl of water down, take up the bowl of salt and repeat this step.

Set down the bowl of salt and take up the bottle/jar and repeat this step.

If you are using any herbs or ash, then set down the bottle/jar and repeat this step.

Now is the time for the making of the Holy Water itself; adding the cleansed and consecrated salt to the cleansed and consecrated water.  Depending on your tradition, you are either using your blade or your fingers.  If using a blade, use the tip of the blade to gather a few grains of salt and if using your fingers, simply take a pinch of salt.  You will put salt into the water three times (either three pinches or three sprinkles).

The first time say:

“In the name of the Maiden emis”

The second time, say:

In the name of Diana, Mother of Aradia”

The third time, say:

“In the name of the Crone, Hecate”

If using herbs or ash, then use the same formula.  But, before transferring the Holy Water to its storage bottle/jar, it needs to be strained.

One last thing to do before putting the Holy Water into the bottle/jar.  Either place your power hand over the bowl or plunge your blade into it while envisioning silver-white sparkling moonlight and say:

“In the name of the Triple Goddess, Maiden-Mother-Crone,

On this night of the Full Moon light shone;

emis-Diana-Hecate, please bring your light,

And bless this Holy Water that I made tonight.”

Now is the time to transfer the Holy Water into the storage bottle/jar.  Make it glow as bright as the Full Moon and ground your excess energy into it.  Draw and equal-armed cross (cross-roads) over the bottle to seal it and say:

“By the Triple Goddess of the Crossroads, emis, Diana-Hecate

This bottle/jar is sealed, so I say.”

Place the cap or the cork over the bottle/jar. Draw the same equal-armed cross and say:

“By the Triple Goddess of the Crossroads, emis, Diana-Hecate

This bottle/jar is sealed, so I say.”

You work is done.  Mediate and give thanks to Diana.  Ground and Center again if needed.  If you cast a magick Circle, take it down in accordance to your tradition.

SOURCES

  • Beltane: Springtime Ritual, Lore & Celebration by Raven Grimassi
  • Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui: Learn the of Space Clearing and Bring New Energy into Your Life by Karen Kingston
  • Hedge Witch: Spells, crafts & Rituals by Silver RavenWolf
  • Hex-Craft: Dutch Country Magick by Silver RavenWolf
  • Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation by Silver RavenWolf
  • Sticks, Stones, Roots & Bones: Hoodoo, Mojo & Conjuring with Herbs by Stephanie Rose Bird
  • Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and the Witches’ Qabalah by Christopher Penczak
  • To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf
  • Wicca Handbook by Eileen Holland
  • Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca and Neo-Paganism by Raymond Buckland
  • Witch’s Notebook: Lessons in Witchcraft by Silver RavenWolf