Written by Algoth’s Grove
Drawing Down the Moon, or alternatively Drawing Down The Goddess is both a practice taken by a High Priestess within ritual in the bounds of circle, or a ritual practice on it’s own performed by a solitary practitioner. In this article we will be providing the words and ways of using them both, we will also be outlining where this ancient ritual practice originated from and why it is done.
“I am the womb: of every holt, I am the blaze: on every hill,
I am the queen: of every hire,
I am the shield: for every head, I am the tomb: of every hope.”
Excerpt restored by Robert Graves, The White Goddess
A ritual of invocation. It is in all its aspects the action of invoking the goddess in her entirety into oneself. Whenever we call her into ourselves, or whenever we invoke her, we call it Drawing Down the Moon. The original ancient call has been lost, changed and rewritten so that we are only left with fragments of the original call. However, the three laws of magick are: Focus, Intention and Will. Beyond all tools, talismans and space if you have these three laws you have any ritual and magick ritual in its core essence.
The act of Drawing Down The Goddess is a spiritual state of encompassing the feminine aspect of the universe in all its magnificence. There is really no more to it except the finer details of invoking a certain aspect of her, which has only risen to popularity in modern pagan circles, calling it Drawing Down the Moon as well. The original ritualistic act was in order to bring her down in her entire form. It was not done by an unskilled practitioner due to the incredible force that the vessel or practitioner would have to withstand. The control would be paramount and it is imperative to understand that this ritual, whether as High Priestess or solitary practitioner is not for the untrained mind.
The Goddess was drawn into the practitioner so that she would be able to commune with others in the circle who could not see, hear, touch or feel her. She would only be invoked by a skilled High Priestess and the very rite of invoking her at this level was an honor of the highest magnitude.
Today, Drawing Down the Moon is practiced by anyone who has a mind to invoke the goddess. The rite itself has been watered down and it has been altered to suit the practitioner. It is common practice to be seated under the full moon and perform the ritual. The original function was to channel her essence to the people so that She could directly commune with them, today it is simply to feel her essence, or the essence of her many archetypes.
Ritual outline (Drawing Down the Moon for High Priestess)
Excerpt taken from Janet and Stewart Farrar, Eight Sabbats for Witches.
The High Priestess stands in front of the altar with her back to it. She holds
the wand in her right hand and the scrounge in her left. She crosses her
wrists and crosses the wand and scrounge above them while holding them
close to her breast. The High Priest stands in front of her and says:
“Diana, queen of night
In all your beauty bright,
Shine on us here,
And with your silver beam
Unlock the gates of dream;
Rise bright and clear.
On Earth and sky and sea,
Your magic mystery
Its spell shall cast,
Wherever leaf may grow,
Wherever tide may flow,
Till all be past.
O secret queen of power,
At this enchanted hour
We ask your boon.
May fortune’s favor fall
Upon true witches all,
O Lady Moon!”
The High Priest kneels before the High Priestess and gives her the Five
Fold Kiss; that is, he kisses her on both feet, both knees, womb, both
breasts, and the lips, starting with the right of each pair. He says, as he
“Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways.
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar.
Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be.
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty.
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.”
For the kiss on the lips, they embrace, length to length, with their feet
touching each others. When he reaches the womb, she spreads her arms wide,
and the same after the kiss on the lips.The High Priest kneels again and
“I invoke thee and call upon thee, Mighty Mother of us all,
bringer of all fruitfulness; by seed and root,
by bud and stem, by leaf and flower and fruit,
bylife and love doI invoke theeto descend uponthe body of
thy servant and priestess.”
During this invocation he touches her with his right forefinger on her
right breast, left breast, and womb, repeats the set and finally the right
breast. Still kneeling, he spreads his arms out and down, with the palms
forward and says:
“Hail Aradia! From the Amalthean Horn
Pour forth thy store of love; I lowly bend
Before thee, I adore thee to the end,
With loving sacrifice thy shrine adore.
Thy foot is to my lip
(he kisses her right foot)
my prayer up borne
Upon the rising incense smoke; then spend
Thine ancient love, O Mighty One, descend
To aid me, who without thee am forlorn.”
The High Priest stands up and steps backwards. The High Priestess draws the
Invoking Pentagram of Earth in the air with the wand and says:
“Of the Mother darksome and divine
Mine the scrounge, and mine the kiss;
The five point star of love and bliss
Here I charge you in this sign.”
The High Priestess should be in a trance now. This is a good time to do the Charge of The Goddess or the Witches’ Creed, or if the High Priestess so wishes, to do messages and workings for the coven members.
The Witch’s Creed by Doreen Valiente
Hear now the words of the witches,
The secrets we hid in the night,
When dark was our destiny’s pathway,
That now we bring forth into light.
Mysterious water and fire,
The earth and the wide-ranging air,
By hidden quintessence we know them,
And will and keep silent and dare.
The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.
Four times in the year the Great Sabbat
Returns, and witches are seen
At Lammas, and Candlemas dancing,
On May Eve and old Hallowe’en.
When day-time and night-time are equal,
When the sun is at greatest and least,
The four Lesser Sabbats are summoned,
Again witches gather in feast.
Thirteen silver moons in a year are,
Thirteen is the coven’s array.
Thirteen times as Esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.
The power was passed down the ages,
Each time between woman and man,
Each century unto the other,
Ere time and the ages began.
When drawn is the magical circle,
By sword or athame or power,
Its compass between the two worlds lie,
In Land of the Shades for that hour.
This world has no right then to know it,
And world beyond will tell naught,
The oldest of Gods are invoked there,
The Great Work of magic is wrought.
For two are the mystical pillars,
That stand to at the gate of the shrine,
And two are the powers of nature,
The forms and the forces divine.
The dark and the light in succession,
The opposites each unto each,
Shown forth as a God and a Goddess,
Of this did our ancestors teach.
By night he’s the wild wind’s rider,
The Horn’d One, the Lord of the shades,
By day he’s the King of the Woodlands,
The dweller in green forest glades.
She is youthful or old as she pleases,
She sails the torn clouds in her barque,
The bright silver lady of midnight,
The crone who weaves spells in the dark.
The master and mistress of magic,
They dwell in the deeps of the mind,
Immortal and ever-renewing,
With power to free or to bind.
So drink the good wine to the Old Gods,
And dance and make love in their praise,
Til Elphame’s fair land shall receive us,
In peace at the end of our days.
An Do What You Will be the challenge,
So be it in Love that harms none,
For this is the only commandment,
By Magick of old, be it done.
Eight words the Witches’ Creed fulfill:
If it harms none, do what you will.
When the Charge or Creed is finished, the Goddess must be dismissed. It is
bad magical practice not to do so.
The High Priest faces the Priestess and says:
“We thank you Our Lady for attending our rites. We bid you farewell
next we call you. Blessed Be.”
Drawing Down the Moon for the Solitary Practitioner
Begin with a cleansing bath, use music and incense to allow you to enter into the frame of mind needed for sacred space. If you wish to add oils or herbs to your bath, mugwort, wormood, sage is excellent. Alternatively, a cup of herbal tea containing mint, vervain, mugwort, wormwood and some honey to taste is brilliant to open yourself to the art of the rite you are about to perform. (If you are pregnant do not ingest or bath with these magical herbs.)
Remember to take a journal and pen/pencil into the circle. Writing down your thoughts once you have invoked the Goddess is wisdom that is not easily obtained beyond ritual.
Now that you are cleansed, open circle. You are allowed to wear a flowing dress, your ritual robe or go skyclad if you so wish.
Once in circle, seat yourself and recite:
The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente
Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.
She who is the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Her. For She is the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. from Her all things proceed, and unto Her all things must return; and before Her face, beloved of gods and men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, She has been with thee from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.
Breathe deeply three times, stand with your feet shoulder apart and hold your athame in your power hand, hold it up to the full moon and repeat this invocation:
Goddess above, threefold darkness and light in one,
Lover of the fiery sun,
Mother of the unknown,
Mother of the earth,
Power of the pitch black
Power of the hearth,
I call to thee,
Come to me,
Breathe in me,
Let my eyes see,
My heart believe,
Great Goddess I call to thee,
Come to me,
We are one.
Come to me,
We are one.
You are in me,
We are one.”
You may now write in your journal and perform any working that you prepared. Once done, make sure to say farewell to the Goddess and close ritual space as per normal. Doing this ritual on every full moon is a fantastic way to connect with the primal feminine energy and does wonders for both male and female practitioners alike.