Sabbats, already briefly discussed, are based on the sun/earth cycles and are used as days of celebration. Esbats are based on the moon/earth cycles and are used as days of power. Followers of the Goddess use her symbol, the moon, to draw and focus and use power. Not only the full moon, but the new moon, quarters and half moon are all used to draw power and work magick. The full moon is for many the most powerful day for magick.
I would imagine that for some one who is very adept at magick there is a difference between the working on the full moon and working the day before or day after, but I am not that good at it and find that there are several days around the full moon that work just as well for me. Because of this I have developed a personal ritual for the full moon that I am going to share with you.
I think that many of us, perhaps most of all those of us raised in a Christian faith, get into kind of a bubblegum machine mentality when it comes to our religion. We go along calling ourselves xxxxx, something big happens in our lives and we need help, we drag out the prayers or the spells, we make all sorts of promises to the divine and ka-ching....we get an answer to our spell/prayer and life goes back to normal.
I think this is why as a kid I really got into the Catholic High Mass on Christmas and Easter. We weren't asking for anything. We were just celebrating. A lot of people thought those High Masses were boring, which is why the Church did away with them. I thought they were great, sort of befitting a God. But they only came around a couple of times of year....the rest of the time I played with the gumball machine. Everyone that I knew did.
Paganism was a big eye opener for me in the fact of having an everyday appreciation and relationship with the Deities. A day to day connection and sense of being able to call on the divine. I know that there are people in the mainstream religions who have this, but I sure wasn't one of them. I was just playing the gumball machine except for maybe two days a year.
You think I have totally lost track of the reason for this post, don't you?
Hang on, I'm going to tie this all together.
I am so grateful for the daily presence of the Goddess in my life that I try to do a small ritual during the full moon that is not intended for power raising or magick. And as I already said, I am not so good at raising energy that one day one way or another makes any difference in my magick. I can raise all the power I can handle on another day.
On the night of the full moon, I try to get outside during the full moon, even if only for a few minutes, even if it is cloudy.
I take a few minutes to calm my mind and draw a little energy.
I do not cast a circle, but I do call the Elements and ask them to be witness.
I ask the Goddess and the God to hear me.
I thank the Goddess for her presence in my life.
I offer whatever I am feeling in my heart about being guided to her path.
Then I tell the Elements to leave (I may ask them to come but I tell them to leave. I don't want them hanging around with nothing to do.)
I thank the Goddess and the God for hearing me and ask them to leave in peace.
That's it. No big ritual, no magick. If I am inside I use some candles but just because I like candles. I'm sure some will think that this a waste of an opportunity to use the available power, but there are 13 full moons in a year, if I need to use one for power there are lots to choose from.
Maybe this is my payback for all those years of gumball religion. I don't know, but it feels good.
The next full moon is tomorrow, Saturday August 16.