Goddesses of Sorcery

October 1st, 2013

The Moon Goddess

“Once it be in a month, and better when the moon is full…”(1)

By Meri Fowler HPS

The other day I on Facebook I was sorry to see a definition of Paganism as “people who worship the moon”. The moon is, as far as I know, a piece of rock that orbits the earth, although some people think it might be made of cheese! We don’t worship it, we worship God.

I had an argument with a doctor of theology who said that Pagans worship the forces of nature personified by deities that were invented by ancient people. He said they made up these deities to explain natural phenomena and then worshiped them, for example because they were afraid of thunder and did not understand it they made up and worshipped Thor, the god of thunder. Pagans don’t worship natural phenomena or made-up deities, we worship God.

Monotheism is the worship of one god; the Abrahamic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism are considered to be monotheistic by their followers. They are all supposed to be worshipping the same Deity but they often fight over the details. Paganism is seen by many to be Duotheistic or Polytheistic, meaning that they worship the Divine as two (duo) God and Goddess or many (poly). In fact many Pagans are also monotheistic because they view the God and Goddess as two inseparable sides to the Divine like two sides of a single coin, the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. Many Polytheistic Pagans are also really monotheists because they see the many forms of God as manifestations of the One.

So what about the moon? In Wicca the moon is a symbol of the Goddess and the sun is a symbol of the God, just like the little fishes Christians stick on their cars symbolise Christ. They don’t worship fish; it’s a symbol. Why do people need symbols? God is big! Bigger than we can imagine and feel and know and love. Bigger than us! God is a mystery. We can’t prove that God exists to an atheist, but we don’t need to because we feel in our bones that somehow, He/She is real!

There is a profound difference between Wicca and other religions. Wiccans see God as immanent and transcendent, masculine and feminine. We believe the God and Goddess are present in the world as well as existing even when the world ends. Our religion is focused on connecting with the immanent divine within nature. It is very difficult to connect with the great power that is God! It’s much easier to connect with a symbol or personification of God such as a deity, a saint or a prophet…or the beauty of the moon.

Lunar Goddesses

This brings us back to the moon and the Lunar Goddesses. When a Witch sets up her altar under the full moon and bows to it she is connecting to the Divine Feminine in nature through the symbol of the moon. She is not worshiping the moon just like the Christians are not worshiping the car-fish. There are many names for the Moon Goddess, such as Artemis, Astarte, Luna, Hecate, Selene, and Bastet. Each one has her history (herstory) and legend, symbols and rituals. Luna is an ancient Roman Goddess who was seen to ride a chariot through the sky drawn by two oxen and wear a horned crown. Sometimes she is seen to be part of the “diva triformis”(triple Goddess) along with  Prosperina and Hecate (2).

What will happen if you do a ritual to the Moon Goddess? You will be attuning yourself to the energy of the Goddess using the moon and the moonlight as the symbol of her beauty. You will experience a shift in your consciousness that is called in French “dans la lune” or in English “moonstruck”. In this deep meditative state call on her with sincerity and longing asking God in the form of the Divine Feminine and symbolized by the glorious moon to make Herself known to you. Meet Her and feel Her presence. This is the first step to knowing and loving the vast and wonderful unknown mystery which is God.

Lunar Altar: Silver altar cloth, a mirror, a white candle, moonstones, a crystal bowl of pure water reflecting the moonlight

Lunar symbols: the crescent or full moon, the owl,

Lunar prayer:

There’s a lady in my heart,

She rides on the wind,

Her light is the light of the moon.

Full moon on the rise,

Peace flows down like a cavalcade,

Her light is the light of the moon.

Come to me bright owl

Carry the light of my beloved

Touch me and awaken me

Let me know you!

Full Moon on the rise,

Peace flows down like a cavalcade,

Her light is the light of the moon,

Her light is the light of the moon,

Her light is the light of the moon.

I am the light of the moon.

 

Lunar ritual:

I set up my alter under the Willow tree with a silver cloth draped on the stones that form a table, a white candle lit beside a crystal bowl filled with water. The Full Moon is reflected in the water and it seems to shimmer and sparkle. I begin to chant the lunar prayer and invite the Goddess Luna to be present with me in the warm night. Slowly my soft chanting and the hypnotic movement of the breeze in the willow branches stills my mind and I feel completely relaxed and present in the moment. I am aware of the cool grass beneath my feet and the currents of air moving wisps of hair around my face. Taking my drum I begin to softly play a rhythm while gazing up at the glorious full moon. Gently a presence begins to form around me and I know that I am not alone. I feel invigorated by the energy of Luna, the Goddess of the moon and I ask her for the blessing of peace.

References:

  1. Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente
  2. C.M.C. Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

 

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