Diana's Bow New Moon Esbat Ritual

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

 

Thursday, January 13th, 2005 at 7:30pm

Moon Grove Shrine, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale

Presented by Moonpath Chapter, Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS)

 

Ritual By dragnfli DECORIUS ilfngard

 

RITUAL PURPPOSE & INTENT

This Diana’s Bow New Moon Esbat Ritual is designed to enhance a person's spiritual self-awareness and the possibilities and potentialities of new beginnings of all sorts.  It is intended also to provide men the opportunity to experience and perhaps bring them to a closer understanding of, Moon and Women’s Mystery within the setting of an open and mixed-sex group.  Traditionally, some Moon/Women’s/Blood Mystery rituals are open only to women.

 

This ritual is not intended to limit or make inferior the attributes, abilities or potentials of either biological sex.  Instead it is intended to bring them together in supportive ways that try to honor and understand the other.  This ritual is intended to provide an opportunity by which New Moon Mysteries can be accessed by which all the participants, both the women and the men.

 

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

MEN – please 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 – please 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.

 

PLAYERS IN THE SACRED DRAMA

The Goddess Diana in her Maiden aspect will be the focus of this ritual but the Crone aspect of the Goddess will also be present as they are very closely connected.  Diana's Attending Priestesses, representing the elements, will see to the female participants, the ritual details and stand at the elemental watchtowers.  The Attending Priests will represent the elements and stand at the cross-quarters, and will assist with directing male participants.  The Drumming Mistresses will be keeping a heartbeat rhythm through the ritual as appropriate.  And acting as the Directions, there will be Smudgers, Anointers, a Challenger and a Fire Master.

 

Priestesses of the Goddess

 The Maiden, Diana - dragnfli - will lead the ritual and the chanting, and will stand to the right (east) of the Main Altar.

 

The Crone & Master Firetender – Dragonfly - will lead the guided meditation and stand to the left (west) of the Main Altar.

 

The Drumming Mistress –Sophia Linus- will provide heartbeat drum rhythms during the walk out to the Ritual Circle, and were appropriate elsewhere in the Ritual.  She will be seated under the oak tree on the North side of the circle.

 

The Attending Priestesses(s) – The Elements

Elemental Priestesses

North  – Emily               (The Elemental Priestesses will help direct female participants

South – Bandora          during  the walk and ritual, hold their elemental position, and assist

East    – Sarasvati         with libation distribution from their direction going deosil.  They will

West   – Angelica          be in the Circle with everyone else in the beginning of the ritual.)

 

Elemental Priests (cross-quarter direction)

Air – (NE) – Shaper (Max is understudy for this position)

Fire – (SE) – Finn                            (The Elemental Priests, each representing a cross-quarter,

Water – (SW) – Spelcastor             will assist with the coordination of the Ritual's male

Earth – (NW) – Ken             participants and the distribution of the libations.)

 

(NOTE:  Elemental Preists(esses) 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)

 

The Directions

Smudgers will be standing just outside the entrance of The Shrine:

Below – Jen - black scarf or shawl

Above – Star - white scarf or shawl

 

The Challenger will be standing in the entrance to The Shrine:

Center – Red – black scarf or shawl

("Do you enter here in perfect love & perfect trust?" If they answer, "yes," you reply "Enter.")

 

Anointers will be standing just inside the entrance to the The Shrine:

Left – Sarasvati                                                      (while drawing a pentagram on the forehead

Right – Deep Sea Star – white scarf or shawl   of the participant with holy oil you will say,

                                                                                    "Welcome, Child of The Universe.")

 

(The Directions will join the Elemental Priestesses in the Ritual Circle and will assist with directing the female participants, handing out libations, and any other stuff that needs to be done.)

 

CHANTS

Chant #1 – On the Meditative Walk through the Memorial Garden to the Shrine and Entering

        the Ritual 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 (if possible) - (9x):

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

 

Chant #3 – At the end of the Ritual, Upon Opening the Circle (9x)

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

 

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 (x4), at each Quarter

(***NOTE:  10 tiki torches total***)

 

Fire, just south of center

 

The Altar, just north of center

Bell

Bow & Arrows

            Altar Clothe

            Elemental & Diety Candles

            Incense & Holders   

            Elemental Items & Tools

 

The Offerings Table, first just inside the Ritual Circle and then moved to put just west of center

Altar Clothe

(NOTE:  Offerings will be given to the Nature Spirits of the UUCFL & Medusa following the Ritual.)

 

The Libation Bowl, just east of center

            Altar Clothe

            Large Plate with Cornbread & Honey

Libations Offering Bowl


RESEARCH & BACKGROUND

MEDITATIONS

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

*Potential & Possibility

*The Mysteries of The Maiden Moon Goddesses, especially Diana & the Moon Mysteries

*The Moon will be in Her Cresent Phase – three days after the new moon - at this time so it is a perfect time to hone in on your goals, clarify your needs and desires, and plan how you will go about attaining them.  What do you really want? (Timotek, 1996)

 

SYMBOLISM & MYTHOLOGY

*Diana's Bow New Moon happens three days after the New Moon.  At this time, when the moon is first visible in the sky, the moon looks like an archers bow and is equated with Diana's hunting bow given her by her father Jupiter/Zeus.

*In the Jewish tradition, they also celebrate the third day after the new moon, as this is when the moon is first visible in the sky, known as Rash Neish.  The Jewish religion is marked by the lunar calendar cycles.

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

*January's moon is the Wolf Moon, and the goddess Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of Light is honored during this month.

 

MYTHOLOGIES

Diana of Ephesus

As a child Jupiter, her father, asked Diana what she'd like to have as gifts. She replied that she wanted eternal virginity (in the sense of always being true to her own nature), as many names as Apollo, a bow and arrow like Apollo's, the office of bringing light (providing guidance to others), a saffron tunic with a red hem, and nine nymphs as her maidens.  On one occasion as Diana was bathing (ritual bath symbol) with her attendants (faeries), when Acteaon the Hunter chanced upon them. As he spied upon her, Diana changed him into a stag, and his hounds promptly killed him (defeating the arrogance of human desire).  Diana was believed to hunt in the moonlight with her hounds. She can see clearly in the dark, guided by the moon (her own intuition).            by Qu'Aryn Teal Moon (website research, 10-03)

 

Other Names for Diana:  Goddess of Light, Moon Goddess, Queen of Heaven, Lunar Virgin (note that to the Romans, “virgin” meant a woman who had never been married or pregnant, not a woman who had never had sex), Goddess of Wildwood, Divine Huntress, Protector of Animals, Lady of Beasts. 

 

The Goddess Diana & The Faeries

ELEMENTAL ASPECTS OF THE UNIVERSE

 

Diana is known as the Queen of the Faeries.  She is also equated with several other Goddesses in the Celtic and Italian Strega traditions, as well as, according to my own interpretation, the African/Yoruban traditions.  These Goddesses include Morgan La Fey, the Morrigan in the Celtic; the Mother Goddess, Diana in the Strega; and the Supernal Mother, Yemaya, in the Yoruban/ Voundoun/ Santeria.  These Goddesses are seen primarily as the Mothers of the Elemental Spirits – earth, air, fire, water, spirit and all the Fey- who represent Universal Life Forces in Elemental Form.

Diana is the "Triple Goddess" as (1) Lunar Virgin, (2) Mother of Creatures, and (3) the Huntress (Destroyer).       (Church Universal & Triumphant, 1997 – website research 10-03)

 

Associated Goddesses:  Artemis, Oya, Selene, Hathor, Ishtar, Luna, Erzulie, Hina, Danu, Coatlique, Chalchiuhtlique, Yemaya, Ix Chel, Lilith, the Shekinah, Jezanna, Bomu Rambi, Isis, Changing Woman and Ata Bey.

 

Symbols:  Moon, Water, Forest Items, Sun; Bow; Arrows; Hounds; Stag

Incense:  Sandlewood; Lemon; Rose

Colors:  White; Silver; Indigo; Black

 

THE ELEMENTALS

Faeries are nature spirits.  Most cultures and religions the world over have them in their mythologies under a wide variety of names from the Old Ones, to the Little People, the Hidden Children of Eve, pixies, brownies, elves, sprites, undines, salamanders – and many, many more.  They have been variously feared, loved and worshipped.  They also have been given great powers "like the ability to turn dead twigs and leaves into gold, to change their shapes, to cause farms and fields to flourish or fail, or to make mortal men fall forever in love" (Mager, 1999, 13).  Anyway…their strength comes from our belief in them.  I have often wondered if their size has anything to do with how much we believe in them.

 


THE RITUAL ITSELF

 

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 Maiden, Diana:  (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.  Ladies, please walk to the Ritual Circle before the men.  When you get to the Shrine, please form a circle facing into the center, ready to accept Your Own Personal Mystery from the Goddess."

 

"For this ritual, our men will indirectly participate, by acting as the Guardians of the Mysteries.  Gentlemen, please follow the Ladies as they walk to the Ritual Circle.  When you get to the Shrine, please enter the Ritual Circle with your backs to the women, forming a second circle with hands held, if possible, 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.  This ritual practices a way that we can honor one another by acknowledging and supporting each others differences and similarities.”

 

"Ladies, please follow the directions of the Attending Maidens.  Gentlemen, please follow the directions of the Attending Priests.  If you have any Offerings, please place them on the table just inside the Ritual Circle after you are anointed.  Blessings to you all."

 

Meditative Walk out to the Ritual Site – The Maiden, Diana & ALL

(The Drumming Mistress will already be inside the Ritual Circle under the Oak tree in the North.  Her heartbeat drum rhythm will start as soon as the Priests/esses and Participants start their walk to the Ritual Circle.  The drum will be heard louder and louder as the ALL approach the ritual circle.  The Maiden Diana will lead the way to the Ritual Circle, beginning the Chanting as she goes.)

 

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

(At the entrance to the Ritual Circle, The Maiden Diana will be smudged, challenged & anointed, and then take her position to the left of the altar.  The Women Participants will start their Meditative Walk out to the Shrine directly after The Maiden Diana, led by the Attending Priestesses who will assist them and then go to their quarter.  The Ladies & Priestesses will be followed by the Attending Priests who will coordinate the Male Participants chanting walk to the Moon Grove Shrine, and then go to their cross-quarter.  ALL will be smudged, challenged and anointed before entering the Ritual Circle.  The Crone/Master Firetender will already be in the Ritual Circle, either tending the fire or standing to the right of the Main Altar.)

 

The Cleansing & Anointing

At the entrance to the Ritual Circle, the Smudgers (outside), the Challenger (in the entrance) and the Anointers (inside)

 

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

 

SONG – "Be Still" by Shawna Carol (3:56) [2]

 

The Maiden, Diana:  (stepping to the center of the Circle) 

"Ladies and gentlemen, please join hands.  Now, 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." 

 

"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……"  (step back to the left of the Altar.)

 

(SOUND BELL X1)

 

GUIDED MEDITATION

The Crone: (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 Crone to move back to her position to the left of the Altar.) 

 

The Maiden Diana: (move into the center of the Circle to begin and direct Chant #2.  Build up the chant and then bring it back down again.)

 

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

 

(Step back to the Altar & SOUND BELL X1)

 

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

(A Plate with Honey Cakes will be passed around by the Attending Priestesses.)

 

The Maiden, Diana:  "We shall now partake of an offering of faerie cakes & honey.  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."

 

"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."

 

"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."

 

 

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 Elemental Priestesses will assist in passing around the libations.)

 

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

(This will be played 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.  Elemental Priestesses and Priests 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 Diana's Bow New Moon.  May all your hopes and dreams become possibilities available for manifestion in ways that fulfill your highest purpose, and guide you to happiness, peace and love.  So Be It!!!"

 

Chant #3 – Opening the Circle – The Maiden, Diana & ALL

Chant #3 – "We are a circle, within a circle; with no beginning, and never ending." (X3) [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 dragnfli for 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.

 

SOURCES:

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

 

Carol, Shawna.  (1998)  Goddess Chants-Sacred Pleasure.  Ladyslipper Music, Inc.:  Durham, NC.

 

Mager, Marcia Zinn.   (1999)  Believing in Faeries:  A Manual for Grown-ups.  Saffron Walden/The C.W. Daniel Co., Ltd.:  Essex, England.

 

Starhawk.  (1987)  Truth or Dare:  Encounters with Power, Authority, & Mystery.  Harper & Row, Publishers:  San Francisco, CA. 

 

Timotek.  (1996)  "Moon Awareness Guide."  Doorway Publications. (flyer)

 

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