Diana's Bow New Moon Esbat Ritual

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Moon Grove Shrine
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale
Presented by Moonpath Chapter
Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS)
Ritual By dragnfli DECORIUS ilfngard

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 all the participants, both the women and the men.

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 

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.

The Goddess Diana/Artemis in her Maiden aspect will be the focus of this ritual.  The 
Priestesses of Diana & Artemis will lead the ritual.  Diana's Attending Priestesses, 
representing the elements, will see to the female participants, the ritual details and stand 
at the elemental watchtowers.  And acting as Priestesses of the Directions, there will be 
Smudgers, an Anointer and a Challenger.  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.  
There is a Chant Leader and The Fire Mistress as well.

The Story Sage - Saille - to do Introduction on Church Patio

Priestesses of the Goddess
Diana - dragnfli - stand to the left (west) of the Main Altar.

Artemis - Chahanpi Melissae -  the right (east) of the Main Altar.
The Priestesses of Diana & Artemis will lead the chanting, ritual and meditation together.  
The Attending Priest/esses(s) - The Elements
Elemental Priestesses (quarter directions)
East  -  Sha'el	        (The Elemental Priestesses will help direct female participants 
South -  Saille         during the walk and ritual, hold their elemental position, and assist 
West  -  Elizabeth      with libation distribution from their direction going deosil.  They will 
North -  Red Orchard    be in the Circle with everyone else in the beginning of the ritual.)

Elemental Priests (cross-quarter directions)
Air - (NE) -  Sky Bear	   (The Elemental Priests, each representing a cross-quarter,  
Fire - (SE) - FritterMan    will assist with the coordination of the Ritual's male
Water - (SW) - Dark Storm   participants and the distribution of the libations.)
Earth - (NW) - Owldrum		

(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 Directional Priestesses
The Smudgers (Priestesses of the Cleansing Breath)
 will be standing just outside the entrance of The Shrine with Sage:
Above - Citrine & Edana Sidhe  - white scarf or shawl

The Challenger will be standing in the entrance to The Shrine:
Center - Saille - black scarf or shawl
("Do you enter here in perfect love & perfect trust?" 
If they answer, "yes," you reply "Welcome.")

The Anointer will be standing just inside the entrance to the The Shrine:
Below - Tigerlily Morningstar  - black scarf or shawl - (while drawing a pentagram on the 
forehead of the participant with holy oil you will say:)  "Blessings, Child of The Universe."

(The Directional Priestesses 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.)

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 Fire Mistress - Kassandra Cyrus - tend the ritual fire and ready/light the tiki torches

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."

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
Bow & Arrows
	Altar Clothe
	Elemental & Deity 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

Introduction Information
*New Beginnings - "the dark moon holds the potential of the full moon"
*Potential & Possibility
*The Mysteries of The Maiden Moon Goddesses, esp. Diana/Artemis & the Moon Mysteries
*The Moon will be in Her Crescent 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)

*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/Artemis' 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 
lunar calendar cycles.
* A New Moon is representative of the Maiden aspect of the Triple-Goddess and symbolizes 
new beginnings and freshness.
*June's Moon is the Honey Moon, and the Green Mother/Lover goddess is honored along with 
the Oak King, who is the Green God of the Woods; these are the Celtic Deities of the Summer 
Solstice.  The Goddess is pregnant from Beltaine with the Holly King who is to be born at the 
Winter Solstice in December.  The days are long and warm, and the crops are ripening and 
getting ready to be picked; the livestock is grazing for the fall.  It is a time for all to be 
cleansed and protected for a fruitful harvest, as they recognized the days would now grow shorter 
as the Sun starts to decline as the year moves towards winter which represents death and decay.  
*Summer Solstice is also party time and the veil between the worlds is very thin, making it a 
good time to connect with the Otherworld at this time.  Faeries now abound, and want to come 
out and play!  

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

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, the 
Goddess of the Sea, Yemaya, in the Yoruban/ Voudoun/ 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/Artemis 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

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. some their strength in this realm comes from our belief in them.  
I have often wondered if their size has anything to do with how much we believe in them.

There are a number of reasons for our Ladies to wear white and for the Men to wear black in 
this ritual.  First of all, to put us in the right frame of mind for the ritual and meditation it was 
important to engage all of our senses, so there is so we are outside with music, incense, fires 
and altars.  The visual effect of having each group of people wearing different very contrasting 
colors is intended to heighten our meditative state by bringing us out of the ordinary, mundane 
world into the mystical, majikal world of the Gods.  It is intended to make us think on a different 
level about what it means to be a Man and what it means to be a Woman. Think deeply about 
that mystery.  And finally, in many Neo-Pagan traditions the women would wear white for Moon 
rituals or Esbats.  And, of course, many traditions wear black in ritual, especially formal ones, 
so it is included for Men for this purpose, to honor the traditional.

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, and the wearing of black and white will be addressed also.

(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.)

Priestess of 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."  

Priestess of Artemis:  (also standing at the bottom of the center steps of the church patio, 
with a torch near-by) "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."

Priestess of Diana:  "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."

Priestess of Artemis:  "Ladies, please follow the directions of the Attending Priestesses.  
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 Priestesses of the Maidens & 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 we ALL 
approach the ritual circle.  The HPS of the Maidens, Diana & Artemis, will lead the way to 
the Ritual Circle.  The Chant Leader will begin the Chanting as they go to the ritual site.)
Chant #1 - "Yemaya, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna."[1]
(At the entrance to the Ritual Circle, The Priestesses of the Maidens will be smudged, 
challenged & anointed, and then take their positions on either side of the altar.  The Women 
Participants will start their Meditative Walk out to the Shrine directly after The Maidens, 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 Fire 
Mistress will already be in the Ritual Circle, tending the fire.)

The Cleansing & Anointing
At the entrance to the Ritual Circle, the Smudger (outside), the Challenger (in the entrance) 
and the Anointer (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 Priestess of Artemis.)

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

The Priestess of Diana:  (stepping to the center of the Circle)  
"Ladies and gentlemen, please join hands.  Now, close your eyes and take three deep breaths 
- in and out.  Breathe in clean, new, energizing air; and breathe out the negative, old, stale 
breath that holds you back."  

Priestess of Artemis: (stepping to the center of the Circle)  "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.." 



"A Story of Beginnings"
   a poem by Starhawk, from Truth or Dare [3]

Priestess of Artemis: (stepping into the center of the Circle from the left of the altar)
"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 Priestess of Diana:  
"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"

Priestess of Artemis:  
"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"

The Priestess of Diana:  
Watch the flame
Listen to the voice of the story, the first story
     whispered in the secret heart of your encoded
Hear the story (people)"

Priestess of Artemis:  
"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"

 The Priestess of Diana:  
     "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"

Priestess of Artemis:  
"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"

The Priestess of Diana:  
"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"
Priestess of Artemis:  
"Something must change, we know that
But are we strong enough?
And will we be given time?"

The Priestess of Diana:  
"This is the story we like to tell ourselves
     in the night
     when the fire seems nothing but dying embers winking
     and the labor is too hard and goes on too long"
Priestess of Artemis:  
     "when we can't believe that we can make it
	We like to tell ourselves
     that we remember the First Mother"

The Priestess of Diana:  
"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"

Priestess of Artemis:  
"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"

The Priestess of Diana:  
"You are alive in her as she in you
You are her
Your misty breath great clouds of gasses set in motion

Priestess of Artemis:  
   "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
The Priestess of Diana:  
"And the water
     	   softens every sharp edge into soil
     	   fills the basin of your oceans
In your veins flows ocean water"

Priestess of Artemis:  
"Remember the lightning, sparks striking into being
     	   something new"

The Priestess of Diana:  
"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"
Priestess of Artemis:  
    	   "and what goes beyond these and unites these
     	   the mystery"

The Priestess of Diana:  
"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"

Priestess of Artemis:  
 "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"

The Priestess of Diana:  
 "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 Priestesses of Diana & Artemis: (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.)

Priestess of Artemis:  "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."


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

The Priestess of 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."

Priestess of Artemis:  "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."

The Priestess of 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 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.)

Priestess of Artemis:  "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 
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 Chant Leader  and ALL
Chant #3 - "We are a circle, within a circle; with no beginning, and never ending." (X3) [8]

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

Aquarian Tabernacle Church (Sept. 2003)  "Diana's Bow New Moon Ritual."  

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

*Delyth, Jen.  (2008)  Celtic Mandala: Earth Mysteries & Mythology 2009 Calendar.  Amber Lotus Publishing:  

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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