Thursday, August 26, 2010

My first Esbat

I remember telling a friend that I was going to start doing rituals with the changing phases of the moon, as lately I've been feeling disconnected with natural cycles of things and felt a need to get back on track.

Well, I did it, which in itself surprises me. I could have done one for the August new moon, but I didn't feel prepared for it and had no idea what kind of ritual I would do anyway. I ended up browsing some websites and found one at which offers some basic information on Wicca along with nice ritual formats.

The ritual itself wasn't anything terribly complex, and another reason I felt compelled to do one is that there would be a purpose for the energy raised. A friend of mine is crafting a leather case for my Tarot deck (it's the Robin Wood version, if you were curious), and so in return I'm making an alter paten/pentacle for her, woodburning the desired design into a pine disc. Since I just got all my materials together, and it's something for ritual use, I felt it proper to ask for some blessing so that this turns out well.

Thankfully this ritual had a list of materials needed; as I was at my parents' house at the time, I quietly gathered up what I could: a bit of red wine was easily available, and for cakes I used almonds; tied some dried grass seed-stalks together for a broom, found a small "wand" made of a fallen branch from the silver maple out back. Still not sure what I think about the matches not lighting though... three strike-anywhere kitchen matches that didn't light from anything, so I ended up holding the candles and charging them with energy rather than lighting them. I skipped having one candle per quarter because of that as well.

For north and earth, I had a dish of small stones collected from the playground of my elementary school back in the day. For east and air, a crow feather and a small narrow vase that held a stick of incense (not lit, unfortunately), while for south I just had a plate of candles from the Girl Scout camp my sister and I know and love. (Some were tea candles, some were hand-dipped in different colors.) For west and water, I placed a piece of white coral-stone I had brought back from Hawaii to remind me of the ocean.

When it came time to charge each of these quarters' items, the energies did feel different to me. Water was smooth, yielding, and gentle, Earth was very strong and firm, Fire needed coaxing as nothing was actually burning, and Air seemed neither here nor there, which makes sense I suppose.

When calling on the God and Goddess, I did think of them as Freyr and Freyja, and I think They approved.
or at least they didn't mind.

After casting the circle and calling quarters and raising energy, I then asked the Gods to guide my hand and bless the materials I'm using to craft the paten. It seemed fitting, and went along well with how the ritual format suggested thanking the Gods for something good and asking for guidance with a problem before ending the rite.

It was just as well that I held the ritual at midnight, though I would have liked to have done it outdoors: the night was clear and bright, and the moon's light was strong enough to read by. as it was, my parents were sound asleep and my cat only needed one squirt from my buddy the squirbottle in order to settle down halfway through.

All in all, I'm happy with how it went and how easy it was to put together even in a place where I didn't have access to all my various tools and toys. It was also a lovely way to reconnect with the moon's phases since I feel like I've been getting out of touch with moon-rhythms; the Big Eight are no problem since I celebrate those with my proto-grove, but this seems more personal. It feels like I'm supposed to do this myself, and all the success or lack that happens is entirely from my own effort.

It'll be interesting to see how the next ritual goes. I plan on doing one for the new moon, and banishing laziness will definitely be in order as the fall semester begins soon.


  1. I love your blog!

    Have a nice time!

  2. It sounds like you had a beautiful ritual. But hey, laziness has its place in the world. :-) I just recently went to my first public ritual. It was an Asatru ritual held in Berkeley honoring the Vanir, especially Freyr and Freya. We made a wheat mare, feasted, and danced and everything. Many Blessings for your future rituals.