Diana's Bow New Moon Esbat Ritual

RECEIVING THE MYSTERIES OF DIANA – GIFTS OF THE NEW MOON GODDESS

 

Thursday, December 25th at 7:30pm

Moon Grove Shrine, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale

 

Sponsored by Moonpath Chapter, Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans & The Sisterhood of Ahel Adom
MoonpathCUUPS.Org 

 Ritual By dragnfli

 

PARTICIPANTS & EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE RITUAL MUST WEAR THE FOLLOWING:

                        MEN – must all wear plain black clothes, whether robes, pants & shirts, whatever, as long as they are plain black.  You may also wear majikal jewelry and carry your majikal tools if you so choose.

 

                        WOMEN – must all wear plain white clothes, either dresses, robes, skirts, shirts, pants, shorts or whatever, however, you may adorn and accessorize yourself in any other way that pleases you with colorful scarves, jewelry, makeup, majikal tools, etc.

 

NOTE:  There will be plain white & black t-shirts available to participants who are not, for whatever reason, wearing the appropriate color clothing.

 

PLAYERS IN THE SACRED DRAMA

The Goddess Diana in her Maiden aspect will be the focus of this ritual but the Great Mother and the Crone aspects of the Goddess will also be present as well as Diana's Nine Attending Maidens, representing the directions, who will see to female participants, the ritual details and to stand at the elemental watchtowers.  There will be Drumming & Chanting Mistresses.  There will also be Priests, who will represent the elements and stand at the cross-quarters, who will assist with directing male participants.

 

Priestesses of the Goddess

The Maiden, Diana, dragnfli, will lead the ritual and stand behind (north) the Main Alter.

 

The Great Mother, Gadith, will be leading the singing and will assist Star with directing the chanting.  She will be to the left (west) of the Main Altar.

 

The Crone, Enodia, will lead the guided meditation.  She will be to the right (east) of the Main Altar.

 

Drumming & Chanting Mistresses

The Drumming Mistress, Sophia Linus, will provide a heartbeat drum rhythms during the walk out to the Ritual Circle.  She will be seated under the oak tree on the North side of the circle.

 

The Chanting Mistress, Starwind, will lead the chanting.  She will be to the East of the Main Altar.

 

 

 

The Nine Attending Maidens – The Directions

Elemental Maidens

North – Kami              

South – Elaina                                     

East – Gigi                                                   

West – Calypso                                  

 

(The Elemental Maidens will help direct female participants during the ritual, hold the elemental position for their direction, and  assist with libation distribution from their direction going deosil; with the assistance of the Directional Maidens.  They will be in the Circle with the Priestesses in the beginning.)

 

(NOTE:  Elemental Maidens please wear an appropriately colored scarf or other item to indicate your direction – North is green, brown or orange; East is pale yellow, lavender or silver; South is gold, red or white; West is blue, purple or black)

 

Directional Maidens will be standing along the trail to and at the entrance of The Circle:

Below – Lisa – smudger, black scarf or shawl

Above – Heather (?) – smudger, white scarf or shawl

 Center/Spirit – Virginia – challenger, black scarf or shawl

Left – Olga – anointer, black scarf or shawl           

Right – June (?) – anointer, white scarf or shawl      

             

 ("Do you enter here in perfect love & perfect trust?" If they answer, "yes," you reply Enter.") (while drawing a pentagram on the forehead of the participant with holy oil you will say,  "Welcome, Child of The Universe.")

(The Directional Maidens will then join the Elemental Maidens in the Ritual Circle and will assist with directing the female participants, handing out libations, and any other stuff that needs to be done.  Maybe one of the Maidens can be the Firetender during the Ritual???)

 

Priests

There will be four Elemental Priests in attendance, each representing a directional cross quarter, who will assist with the coordination of the Ritual's male participants and the distribution of the libations.

 

Elemental Priests (cross-quarter direction)

Air – (NE) Shaper

Fire – (SE) Spelcastor

Water – (SW) Nereus

Earth – (NW) Ken

 

Master Fire Tender - Nereus

 

CHANTS

Chant #1 - Entering Circle

"Yemaya, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna."

 

Chant #2 - Directly before the Guided Meditation with women holding hands in The Circle, men

       holding hands on the outer rim of The Circle (9x):

"I am in You, and You are in Me."

 

Chant #3 - Upon Opening Circle (9-12x)

"We are a circle, within a circle; with no beginning, and never ending."

 

MEDITATIONS

*New Beginnings - "as the dark moon holds the potential of the full moon"

*Potential & Possibility

*The Mysteries of The Maiden Moon Goddesses, especially Diana & Women's Mysteries

*This ritual is designed to enhance a person's spiritual self and provides an opportunity by which one or more of the Mysteries can be discovered by the participants.

 

SYMBOLISM & MYTHOLOGY

*Diana's Bow New Moon happens three days after the New Moon.  At this time, the moon

looks like an archers bow and is equated with Diana's hunting bow, given her by her father Jupiter.

* A New Moon is representative of the Maiden aspect of the Triple-Goddess and symbolizes new beginnings and freshness.

*December's moon is the Oak Moon, and the goddess Minerva is honored during this month.

 

STAGING/PROPS

Church Patio Gathering Area

                        Tiki torches (x2) on either side of the center steps, in the plant beds

Walk through Memorial Garden to Moon Grove Shrine

                        Tiki torches (x4) on the pathway toward the Ritual Circle

The Ritual Circle in the Moon Grove Shrine

                        Tiki torches (x8), at each quarter & cross-quarter

                        Fire, just south of center

The Altar, just north of center – make sure there is a bell on the table, Gentle Gwendolyn

The Offerings Table, just west of center

The Libation Bowl, just east of center

                                                                                                                                                                                                (***NOTE:  14 tiki torches total)

 

PRELUDE

Information will be given to the CUUPS Gatekeeper and/or Meeting Leader about the Diana's Bow New Moon so that the participants will understand what is going on in this ritual.  Information about the Goddess, Diana, the New Moon Esbat, and the ideas of a balance of energies will be addressed also.

 

 

THE RITUAL

Introduction

(The Ritual proper will begin on the Patio outside the Sanctuary with an Introduction, followed by a Meditative Walk through the Memorial Garden to the Moon Grove Shrine.)

 

The Great Mother:  (standing at the bottom of the center steps of the church patio, with a torch near-by)  "The New Moon is a time of renewal and a remembering of older wisdom and ancient ways.  The wisdom of the ages and your own experiences can guide you on your journey if you are open to What Is, to the flow of the Universe, and the lessons that come into your life.  Remember that you are sacred and a part of the Whole.  Allow yourself to become one with All.  For this is one of the Mysteries." 

 

"This evening, our women will be directly participating in this ritual through meditation, chanting, singing and touching.  All women are to be wearing white, and as they enter The Inner Circle, before the men, they will do so facing into the center of The Circle, ready to accept Their Own Personal Mystery from the Goddess."

 

"For this ritual, our men will indirectly participate, by acting as the Guardians of the Mysteries.  All men are to be wearing black; and, as they enter The Circle, following the ladies, they will do so with their backs to the women, forming a second circle with held hands around the women, protecting them from the intrusion of any unwanted energies.  Our men are asked to please respect The Mysteries of Womanhood by not peeking at the Ritual, though they are welcome to hear all that is taking place. 

 

"Ladies, please follow the directions of the Attending Maidens.  Gentlemen, please follow the directions of the attending Priests.  Blessing to you all."

 

(The Great Mother is then to go to the Ritual Circle ahead of the participants and The Chanting Mistress.  She will be smudged, challenged & anointed, and then take her position to the left of the altar.)

 

Meditative Walk out to the Ritual Site – The Chanting Mistress & ALL

(The Chanting Mistress will be standing at the first torch on the path to the Shrine.  The women will go first, led by The Chanting Mistress and the Nine Maidens who will assist the women participants, and then go to their direction or quarter.  They will be followed by the NE Priest, who will stand in his cross-quarter after making a full pass around The Circle, and the other Priests, who will coordinate the male participants chanting walk to the Moon Grove Shrine.  They will then go to their cross-quarters, and assist the male participants form their circle.  The Priestesses of Diane (Maiden, Mother & Crone) will already be in The Circle, at the Altar, as will the Drumming Mistress.  Her heartbeat drum rhythm will start as soon as The Great Mother starts her walk to the Ritual Circle, and will be heard louder and louder as the participants approach the ritual circle.)

 

Chant #1 – "Yemaya, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna."[1]

 

(Once all the participants are in their circles, there will be a moments pause, a bell will sound, and then The Great Mother will sing "Be Still" followed by a guided new beginnings meditation by The Crone.)

 

SONG – "Be Still" by Shawna Carol (3:56) [2] – The Great Mother (and ALL to join in.)

 

The Maiden, Diana:  (standing behind the altar)  "In this time of New Beginnings, think of the new things happening in your life and all around you, or of what you would like to see manifest into your life.  What are your hopes and dreams?  Either focus on one, or allow yourself to just be aware of all the possibilities and potentials for growth and renewal, for these are the things I can assist you with.  I can help you focus on what it will take to achieve your goals – the bow is raised and the arrow aimed, all you need to do is let go……"

 

(SOUND BELL X1)

 

The Great Mother: (stepping into the center of the Circle from the left of the altar)

 "A Story of Beginnings"

   a poem by Starhawk, from Truth or Dare [3]

 

"Out of the point, the swelling

Out of the swelling, the egg

Out of the egg, the fire

Out of the fire, the stars

Out of the rain of stars

     the congealing, molten world

 

The fire remains, see it burn in the center of the circle

Watch the flames, filled with points of light that

     spark and dance

Watch the fire, as in and out of your lungs flows breath

     the most ancient river

The air you breathe passed through the lungs of dinosaurs

     and chittering, big-eyed lemurs, ancestors

Feel yourself rocking

     cradled in the night sky womb arching around you

     alive with a billion billion dancing points of light

Breathe

Watch the flame

Listen to the voice of the story, the first story

     whispered in the secret heart of your encoded

     memories

Hear the story woman

 

She says

     the labor is hard, the night is long

     we are midwives, and men who tend the birth

          and bond with the child

     we are birthing, and being born

     we are trying to perform an act of magic-

     to pull a living child out of a near-corpse

          of the mother we are simultaneously poisoning,

          who is also ourselves

 

She is alive in you as you in her

Warm your human hands at the watchfire

See the stains on the cloak

Feel the wounds too deep for healing

 

There are times, sisters and brothers

     when we are afraid that we will die

     and take the whole great humming dance of life

     with us

Something must change, we know that

But are we strong enough?

And will we be given time?

 

This is the story we like to tell ourselves

     in the night

     when the fire seems nothing but dying embers winking

     out

                             and the labor is too hard and goes on too long

                             when we can't believe that we can make it

                        We like to tell ourselves

                             that we remember the First Mother

 

                        She is alive in you as you in her

                        A power keener than the weapon's edge, a healing deeper

                             than the wound

                        Feel her in your belly, at the bottom of breath

                        Her power is life; it is stronger

 

She is a being who is spinning, fire covered with a

     sweet crust shell

Feel her pulse, remember in your nerves winks

     the spark of the first fire

You are alive in her as she in you

You are her

Your misty breath great clouds of gasses set in motion

     by your spinning dance

     swirl and cool and rain

     for thousands and thousands of years

     while you build up, tear down, and rearrange

     the ridges and valleys of your skin

     carve and smooth your wrinkles

And the water

     softens every sharp edge into soil

     fills the basin of your oceans

In your veins flows ocean water

Remember the lightning, sparks striking into being

     something new

Life, teeming, greedy life

That grows, cell by swelling cell, divides, devours, unites

     and changes, filling your ocean belly, flinging a green

     cloak over the land, learning to swim, crawl, run,

     stalk, fly, caress, and stand erect, made of

     earth air water fire

     and what goes beyond these and unites these

     the mystery

 

She is alive in us:  we are alive in her as in each other

     as all that is alive is alive in us

     and all is alive

 

When we are afraid, when it hurts too much

We like to tell ourselves

     stories of power

     how we lost it

     how we can reclaim it

We tell ourselves

     the cries we hear may be those of labor

     the pain we feel may yet be that of birth"

                                               

(A pause and then SOUND BELL X1.  The Great Mother to move back to her position to the left of the Altar.)

 

Chant #2 –The Chanting Mistress & ALL :  (move into the center of the circle to direct chanting)  "Ladies and gentlemen, please join hands and chant with me.  First, close your eyes and take three deep breaths - in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Breathe in clean, new, energizing air; and breathe out the negative, old, stale breath that holds you back."  (Breathe x3, pause, and begin chant.  Build up the chant and then bring it back down again.)

 

Chant #2 –"I am in You, and You are in Me." (x9 or 12)  [4]

 

(SOUND BELL X1)

 

   

GUIDED MEDITATION –

The Crone: (move into the center of the Circle from your position to the right of the altar) "Keeping your eyes closed…"  ******(Enodia, you take it from here as far as what you want to say.  Please make sure that the meditation moves smoothly into the meditative song that comes next.)  (The Crone to move back to her position to the right of the altar.)

 

SONG – "Spirit Song"  by Shawna Carol (5:02) [5] - (Everyone to just listen and meditate to this song.)

 

GROUNDING & RELEASING THE ENERGY

The Maiden Diana:  "Now that you have touched the Mysteries, now that you have let loose your arrow, reach your hands up to our Father, the Sky, and then place them upon our Mother, the Earth, grounding yourself and your energies, keeping what you need and letting go of the rest.  Keeping open to the flow of the Universe and its possibilities."

 

(SOUND BELL X1)

 

OFFERINGS/LIBATIONS

(Plates with honey cakes and trays with small cups of grape juice will be passed around by the Maidens.)

 

The Maiden, Diana:  "We shall now partake of an offering of cakes and wine.  We will be sharing with each other, woman to man, and man to woman, each in their turn.  As we share with each other, so too do we share our Godliness with each other."

 

The Great Mother:  "Ladies please turn around to face the men.  As it is, and as it ever shall be, we must care for and share with our men.  Passing the blessings of the Gods on to our daughters and sons both.  So be it."

 

The Crone:  "Gentlemen please turn around to face the ladies.  As it is, and as it ever shall be, we must protect and be open to our women.  Passing the blessings of the Goddesses on to our sons and daughters both.  So be it."

 

The Maiden, Diana:"As I pull back my bowstring,

                                    More power will be available to you...

This is the blessing of prosperity --

Threefold, sevenfold, ninefold, more:

All that you give to the cauldron,

Seed-time to harvest, so shall you receive.

SO BE IT!!!" [6]

 

(As the men and women are facing each other, they are to serve each other moving deosil -clockwise - starting in the east, the first woman feeds the man next to her, and the man feeds the woman next to him, and so on until all have partaken.  The Priests & the Nine Maidens will assist in passing around the libations.)

 

OFFERING & LIBATIONS SONG – "Blessed Be" by Shawna Carol (5:48) [7]

The Great Mother & ALL:  (this will be played/sung while the offering/libation is being done.)

 

(There will be a Libation Bowl –east of the Circle's center- for offerings to the Fire & Medusa.  Priestesses, Priests and Maidens to start and direct this activity.)

 

OPENING OF THE RITUAL CIRCLE – The Blessing

The Maiden, Diana:  "Thank you all for gathering here on this night to celebrate the Diana's Bow New Moon.  May all your hopes and dreams become possibilities available for manifestation in ways that fulfill your highest purpose, and guide you to happiness, peace and love.  So Be It!!!"

 

Chant #3 – Opening the Circle – The Chanting Mistress & ALL

Chant #3 – "We are a circle, within a circle; with no beginning, and never ending." [8]

 

 

REFERENCES-

[1]  Chant orally passed on by the Lady Demeter, and altered by dragnfli.  (The original is "Isis, Astarte, Diane, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna."  This is a fairly well known pagan chant.)

[2], [5], [7]  Carol, Shawna.  (1998)  "Be Still", "Spirit Song", & "Blessed Be."  Musical tracks from the album:  Goddess Chants-Sacred Pleasure.  Ladyslipper Music, Inc.:  Durham, NC.

[3]  Starhawk.  (1987)  "A Story of Beginnings."  A poem in Truth or Dare:  Encounters with Power, Authority, & Mystery.  Harper & Row, Publishers:  San Francisco, CA.  Pp. 1-3.

[4]  Chant created by the Sisterhood of Ahel Adom (2003).

[6]  Blessing from the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (Sept. 2003)  "Diana's Bow New Moon Ritual." http://www.aquatabch.org/calendar/dianasbow.shtml.

[8]  Chant suggested by Starwind Evensong, of unknown origin.

 

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