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Rite and Ritual

The Magick of a Summer’s Night Full Moon

The warm evening slowly melts, giving way to the night. Cooler air begins gently drift further out from the river’s banks and creep across the forest floor. A full moon crests above the fir covered ridge north east of the river’s course. I stand at the entrance of the path, tuning myself to the moment while looking up to the moon through the darkening cedar boughs. My feet melt into the Earth, seeking a deeper connection as I fill my lungs with the forest’s breath. Sweet and warm fills my senses within the sated content that slows my vibration. I think I can almost hear the entire forest sigh with satisfaction. For these are the days and the nights the magick of last month’s solstice have enchanted. The fleeting moments upon the Wheel where Nature itself is granted a brief respite from the rigors of change the Wheel’s turning brings, along with an opportunity to savor the sweetness. As I stand still before the forest’s edge the last remnants of evening vanish into the night and darkness begins to stir with its kind. Some crickets are first to break the silence as I enter the forest and start down my path. The moon is not yet overhead but high enough to occasionally, peer into the forest and softly illuminate the path. While I walk down the path I think about the different names given to this full moon. Some say it is the Full Mead Moon or the Honey Moon and others call it the Rose Moon. I have heard it called the Thunder Moon, the Summer Moon, the Ripe Corn Moon and the Crane moon but I prefer the Buck Moon. Where I live, out in the forest near the base of Mt Hood, this is the time of the year when the male deer start to get their antlers. To me this the first hint of the coming turn of the God aspect from father to sage. It is just one small step, more of a passing thought and fleeting realization that his peak of strength will soon turn to patient wisdom. I understand that not all and quite probably most do not see this moment on the Wheel or this full moon the same way I do. It almost seems to me that the coming of antlers and the Full Buck Moon symbolize a passing of the torch. It is the God’s first acknowledgement of all he has helped create within Nature along with his initial realization that soon enough the Earth will call him back to the shadows. This is not that day though and as I continue down the path to the river I pull my thoughts back to this night’s magick. The rush of the river slowly starts to drown out the buzz from night’s dance of insects as I get closer to the river’s edge. Every single time I stand here, beside the river, under a full Moon, I am nearly moved to tears. The Full Buck Moon’s light shines down over the river and brightly dances upon the white water where it crashes against stone. I watch the bats dart between the shadows and light over the river homing in on the caddis flies breaking free from their previous forms. Sitting down on a large flat rock I open my small back pack and start to set up a small altar. I pull out my wooden chalice, a jar of Lord of the Forest incense, a charcoal, matches, a large crystal, my blade and a bottle of local mead. I light the charcoal and set it on rock partially hollowed out over the years from the river’s rage. I take a pinch of incense and sprinkle it over the glowing coal. Its rich, musty forest scent fills the space around me, triggering my memories and pulling me into a deeper sacred space. I set the crystal into the dark grey sand between the rocks, smiling as the moon’s light sets it aglow. My right hand closes around my blade. I put a slightly larger pinch of incense on the charcoal and I stand, arms spread out under the moon. As I look up to the moon, then out over the sparkling water and across to where the forest and the river touch, I am in awe. I stand alone in such wonder, humbled yet elevated to a connection that exists beyond words’ capture. I will not cast Circle this night, for it is perfect and needs not anything more from me than just my witness. My thoughts drift over what I see, what I feel and what I seek to comprehend. I wonder about what lies ahead of me, I smile as I acknowledge all that I have had a hand in creating and I sigh with content as I consider all I’ve been graced to touch. Breaking away from the Moon, I sit back down and reach for the mead. I fill my chalice, take a big swallow, savoring the sweet taste of honey and Summer. The bats are done hunting and everything seems quiet. There is a beautiful stillness tonight, a peaceful, contentment that moves through all of Nature, and I am blessed.    .    .