Saturday, June 26, 2010

Drawing Down the Moon


I tried to photograph the moon last night, but did not succeed. The daytime sky was gorgeous yesterday, textured with traces of angel wings. Beautiful, yes?

I only did it once, officially at least. You see, I never used to be able to appreciate the full moon. Perhaps because I was born at the dark moon, or maybe just because I'm (as my mother used to say) "too sensitive," the energy of the full moon gets to me. It feels buzzy and crazy, like listening to two radio stations at the same time. Or at least it used to.

We were at witch camp in the mountains of W. Virginia. The teaching team was planning the week's evening rituals. When I suggested that I opt out of the full moon ritual, one of the other teachers said, "Reya, all witches draw down the moon. For some witches, that's all they EVER do." It's true. One of the classic books about modern witchcraft, written by NPR reporter and witch Margot Adler, is named Drawing Down the Moon. But in Reclaiming we were so solar-oriented. I was an initiate and a teacher, but had never formed a relationship with the moon.

My co teachers promised to stick with me through the experience. The ritual itself was conceptually so beautiful. The one hundred campers and eight teachers stood in concentric circles, the tallest on the outside edges, the shortest close to the center. I was dead center. The idea was that I would call down the moon. The participants were to begin toning at the center of the "bowl" of people when they felt the energy arriving. As moonlight filled the bowl, the toning would swirl and circle outwards from the center until the bowl "overflowed" with moonlight. At the peak of the ritual, all of us would be toning together. Very cool ritual plan, eh? Reclaiming rituals were such artful pieces of spiritual theater.

I had planned an invocation very carefully, even written it down so I could deliver it properly, but in the moment when it was time for me to draw her down, something took over and I just started howling LUNA LUNA LUNA. I think I also shouted "Come down, come in, come down" ... just phrases, nothing eloquent came out of my mouth, believe me. I was like Marlon Brando yelling STELLA in that famous scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. I don't remember the sound of people toning or anything else about the ritual, actually. What I do remember is that the moon looked so big, really huge. I could see every crater, I could see the ridges on the edges of moon's horizons. My eyes were wide open and I was drinking in that view. It was like looking through a telescope.

The next thing I knew, I was being nudged to devoke. One of my co-teachers was on the ground holding my feet, an indication that I had really done it. She was holding me down so I didn't fly off into space, apparently, or so she told me later on. I said my proper goodbyes, but I was bluffing, the way you bluff when you come home stoned and have to talk to your parents, pretending to be sober.

I didn't sleep that night; I kept getting up, walking outside the cabin to look for her, see where she was in the sky. Oh man. That was such a crazy night.

Since then, needless to say, I have built a relationship with the moon. Some full moons are mild and have no effect on me anymore. Some moons ... well ... Last night's moon, for instance, got way under my skin. I truly understand the werewolf myth. I felt like getting crazy, but I behaved. My relationship with the moon is contentious, yes, but I am a grown up and can resist the urge to rip off my clothes and run through the streets howling like a lunatic. At least I did last night. Drank some wine with my housemates and went to bed. Had the weirdest dreams in the world, not the dreams I expected, of course.

The full moon has turned, the eclipse is done and now it's onwards and upwards. The task at hand now is to surf the crazy waves of resonance from yesterday's big event. Shalom.

16 comments:

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Night before last I attempted to photograph the moon but only got blurry images. Could that be a sign in itself? Guess I need to break down & buy a tripod.

I certainly felt blurry yesterday. I left my cell phone at a store, in a purse I was trying out for size, got home with my new purse & when changing over realized what I had done. Had to go back to town, ring my number with the G-man's cell phone, & retrieve mine. Too weird. I'm blaming it on the moon & not on something terrible being wrong with me.

Mrsupole said...

That must have been an exciting time. I guess you relate more to the moon than you do to the sun. I wish I would have been there to see when, it had to of been awesome.

I will still watch out for the moon tonightand keep a watch out for the other drivers. I think they drive crazy when there is a full mooon out. I hope I drive careful when the full moon is out.

Have a great weekenend!

God bless.

Butternut Squash said...

Wow, excellent ritual. Ride those waves!

The usually evasive sleep on full moons was totally solid, I simply went black.

I did do something crazy last night. I told my neighbors, doctors and lawyers and such that my true tales were just printed in a synchronicity book. It was like farting in public.

Where you get the courage to lay it all out there like it is, I don't know, but 'Yeah Reya!'

ellen abbott said...

WOW!. The moon pulls at me. The full moon grabs my attention. She is such a beauty. At one time we had rented a building 3 blocks from home and walking to the shop one morning the full moon hung above the tree line, setting into the west, and it was like that...huge, every crater illuminated. It was amazing.

steven said...

the moon has always been like a distant cousin to me. i sense the connection, feel the ebb and pull, love the fullness, the sliver that leads to its shadowy wholeness but it's not speaking to me the way clouds or the sun do. i read that it was made from a collision of a mars-like planet and earth. that has some really interesting spinoffs (did i really say that?!) peace fullness. steven

Nancy said...

Wow! And I though I was affected by a full moon! :-)

Reya Mellicker said...

Lizzy, blame it on the moon. All my attempt to capture it digitally turned out blurry, too, and I was using my tripod!

I am MUCH closer to the Sun than the moon. The Sun is my brother, the moon? Some weird relative I'm kind of embarrassed about.

WERE your stories just published Butternut? I need to go visit your blog. Wow. Believe me, I DO NOT lay it all out on the blog. I am very careful about what I do or do not write. You have no idea how careful I am.

The Bug said...

I took two moon pictures this week - Thursday night & last night. Both pictures are on today's blog post. I really like last night's - that giant orange orb in the sky. If you click on the Friday picture you can see the outline of the pine trees just below the moon.

Steve said...

I noticed the moonlight last night when I walked the dogs -- I don't think it affected me in quite the same energetic way, but it was nice. :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve you are immune to the power of the planets. Or else maybe you've changed your life so drastically in the last year that big upheavals like yesterday can't touch you.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

as a double moonchild, i seem to be wildly affected by the moon. last night i had the most incredibly intense dreams - i shudder at all the images - ran the entire gamut of life and death....i expect tonight will be more wild rides

am hoping the sky will remain clear to try out the new camera on photographing the moon...

Reya Mellicker said...

"The entire gamut of life and death ..." Yes Kim, that would be completely right. Wow.

Ronda Laveen said...

Your angel winged clouds are very tender, like angel food cake. I tried to photograph the moon too. No luck.

The story of your drawing down the moon ceremony was intriguing. Your invocation, although not eloquent, had a raw passion to it.

I had crazy dreams too last night. Oh, yeah!

Mary Ellen said...

Loved the wild tale. Once I devised my own private moon ritual - my backyard, a glass of wine, and (ahem) somehow it seemed, the necessity of taking off my shirt. Ah, well, those long-ago 20s. My sense was that the moon was a face, flickering with all the moods and knowledge and quirks of womanhood. My true sistermother over my shoulder. I knew the moon (that ball of rock up high) was working as a mirror for me, upon which was projected something I didn't quite know how to connect to in myself.

Missed the moon last night - quite a big dramatic rainstorm happened instead.

Val said...

i love that spiritual theater image - must have been so powerful! wow. This is such an interesting time altogether. fascinating x

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Ronda, the angel wings were tender. That's the perfect adjective.

Raw passion, yes. I am a passionate person. I used to try to be "cool" but it's too late in life to go against my own nature!