Drawing down the moon is one of the most important rituals in Wicca, as well as in pagan traditions. So what is it, why do we do it, and how do we do it?
Drawing down the moon is typically considered to be a group ritual and is often done in covens. However, if you are a solitary witch you don’t have to be excluded from this beautiful ritual. You can do it on your own, too. When it is performed in a goup, the high priestess goes into a trance and along with the help of the high priest, invokes the Goddess into her. Since the Goddess is characterized by the moon, and in essence you are drawing the Goddess into yourself, the term is referred to as “drawing down the moon.”
Witches in ancient times were thought to be able to control the moon and that is how this ceremony first got started. In other times, a popular tract stated that: “If I command the moon, it will come down; and if I wish to withhold the day, the night will linger over my head; and again, if I wish to embark on the sea, I need no ship, and if I wish to fly through the air, I am free of my weight.”
Today, you can simply use your own words during this ceremony. Although some people do use the Charge of the Goddess, others have poems that they like to recite, or simply be spontaneous in their address.
During the ceremony, altered states of conscious can exist and the ceremonial energy that is raised can be astounding. Words that emanate from the high priestess, or the one that has drawn the Goddess into her, are listened to with seriousness as they can inspiring and moving. Even the other women in the ceremony can benefit from this energy and connect with the power.
When the ritual is practiced, it is usually within a circle. The circle is raised by psychic power and is known as raising the “cone of power.” When the power has been raised, either through chanting, dancing, singing, or music, then it can be focused or directed towards a purpose or destination.
The energy can be so great that some people claim to be able to feel it days after the ritual has been completed.
If you don’t belong to a coven then you can still perform the ritual as a solitary one, although it might take on different aspects. Solitary Wiccans still perform the ritual within a circle, but it’s one that they have cast themselves and not one that has been cast by a group. That doesn’t make it less powerful, of course.
It is more powerful when performed under a full moon. In fact, you can gather a lot of energy if you perform it outside. However, if you live in close proximity to a lot of neighbors who might look out their window and think that you’re up to something no good, then you might want to keep it indoors.
When performed on my own, I am lucky enough to be able to use my backyard. After casting my circle, I move my body into the Goddess position, with my feet apart at shoulder width and my arms up and open in a “V” shape. Facing towards the full moon, you can begin by welcoming the Goddess into you. There are many things that you can say to encourage this, but a popular one is: “Goddess of the Moon, You have been known by many names in many lands in many times. You are universal and constant. In the dark of night, You shine down upon us and bathe us in Your light and love. I ask You, O Divine One, to honor me by joining with me, and allowing me to feel Your presence within my heart.”
It’s not uncommon to cry or laugh or to do both when you feel the Goddess move into you. In fact, I sometimes alternate between the two and do both several times. You may have visions during this time, or you may find that some things suddenly become clearer to you. This might even continue on once you have finished. After all, the energy is very potent.
When I feel that I am finished I end the ritual with the words: “I look down upon the sands of the desert, I crash the tides upon the shore, I shine on the mighty trees of the forests, and watch with joy as Life continues every cycle. Be true to Me, honoring that which I have created, and I shall be true to you in return. With harm to none, so it shall be.”
I then use some time to meditate on what I just did and felt and then I close my circle.
It’s a very powerful ritual and whether you perform it in a group or on your own you should be prepared for intense emotions. You also have to go into it with an open heart and without any fear. You are opening yourself up to powerful emotions and energy and it’s important that you be ready for them.
Here is hoping that your days ahead are filled with love and happiness.
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”