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Moon rituals in Wicca
Wicca is a modern religion based on neo-pagan beliefs, reverence for nature and witchcraft. The moon and its phases are very important to Wicca practitioners, and rites, known as esbats, are held every month to celebrate the full moon and honor the Wiccan deities. The Wiccan calendar is known as the Wheel of the Year and rituals to celebrate the lunar cycle are regular occurrences. New moon rituals are generally not as common as full moon rites in Wicca, because the full moon is considered a more powerful source of magical energy.
Importance of the moon in Wicca
The moon is very important in Wicca as whenever a Wiccan priest conducts spell-casting rituals, the phase of the moon must be taken into account, as it affects the available energies. Many Wiccan practitioners do not cast spells at times of the dark moon, as it is considered to be a good time for reflection and spiritual awareness, rather than a propitious date for magic. The new moon signifies a time of optimism and hope, with new beginnings and fresh starts. As the moon begins to wax, Wiccans focus on spell-casting for creativity and positive transformations. The time of the waxing new moon is a good phase for making self-dedication rites honoring the Goddess. The waning moon, on the other hand, is a powerful energy force for problem-solving and letting go. Casting spells to aid in quitting bad habits, like smoking, is one way to utilize the energy of the waning moon.
The full moon esbat, or sabbath
When the moon is full, it marks a time of wish fulfillment, achievement of dreams and protection. Wiccans believe the mind is more magically powerful at the time of the full moon and most covens hold regular esbats to worship the Goddess and God accordingly. A full moon esbat may be held outside or indoors and involves the ritual cleansing and sealing of the circle used for worship. Once the celebrants have entered the circle, they are not allowed to break the invisible seals that close it and act as protection from evil spirits. During the full moon esbat the deities will be invoked and honoured and the required magical ceremonies and spells will be conducted. You can find out more about Wiccan rites if you read The Gardnerian Book of Shadows, which is available online.
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New moon rituals
Although many Wiccans avoid spell-casting at the dark time of the moon, the waxing new moon is a good time for the casting of spells heralding in new beginnings. Diana's Bow New Moon Ritual is a circle worship ceremony that can be conducted every month to welcome the new, crescent moon. Wiccans also use the period of the new moon to perform solitary rites of self-dedication or self-blessing.
Solitary new moon ritual of self-dedication
If you are considering joining the Wiccan faith, a self-dedication rite is an example of a solitary new moon ritual you can do at home. The ritual involves dedicating yourself to the Goddess and is a first step towards practicing the Wiccan Way, it can also be used at any time to banish evil influences or as an exorcism.
How to perform the self-dedication rite
To perform a self-dedication ritual you will need a quarter-teaspoon of salt, approximately half-an-ounce of water, an ounce of wine or juice and a candle. The ritual should be performed at the time of the new moon and from sunset onwards. You should choose a quiet place to perform your ritual and should be naked.
Firstly, you should sprinkle the salt on the floor and stand on, while lighting the candle. Bask in the warmth emitted by the candle and begin to feel its warmth entering your body. You should then mix the water with the wine or juice and recite the following out loud: “Bless me, mother for I am your child”.
Dip the fingers of your right hand into the water and wine/juice liquid and anoint your eyes with the liquid and then recite: “Blessed be my eyes, that I may see your path”.
Then anoint your nose, and say: “Blessed be my nose, that I may breathe your essence”.
Anoint your mouth, and recite: “Blessed be my mouth, that I may speak of you”.
Then anoint your chest and say: “Blessed be my breast, that I may be faithful in my work”.
Move on to anoint your loins, saying: “Blessed be my loins, which bring forth men and women as you have brought forth all creation”.
Finally, anoint your feet, and say: “Blessed be my feet, that I may walk in your ways”.
You should then stand quietly for a while and meditate, celebrating the fact that you have dedicated yourself to the Goddess and contemplating the feeling of calm achieved by this ritual.
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Following the practices of Wicca is not an easy choice to make and it will take you a long while to pursue this path of knowledge and achieve true wisdom and status within the Wiccan community. If you choose to join a coven, you will find support and teachings available from a supportive peer group.
The video below highlights some of the dangers of following faiths such as Wicca and is included to give an alternative viewpoint of the Wiccan faith and how it is practiced in various parts of the world.
Video talking about the dangers of practicing Wicca
© 2014 Dawn Denmar