What makes the full moon so special?

I have a lot of friends who are skeptical of “energy” as is seen by Pagans. This is fine and I encourage questions because it forces me to think and reevaluate my spirituality. Let’s face it – sometimes things are a matter of faith and that’s that. Someone experiences unverified personal gnosis and it’s his/her word against yours. End of story. But there are also plenty of times when spiritual people have to be open to scientific explanations. Science won’t necessarily devalue what you believe, either. In fact, I often feel quite the opposite and I don’t understand why more religious people and scientists can’t reconcile. For me, science and religion are two sides of the same coin. Someone once said that science answers the how and religion can answer the why or the who. I’m not arguing that one is better than the other or that people from both schools should accept that wholesale … but really. I think most cases, like creationism and evolution, can be viewed as two sides of the same coin.

ANYWAY.

Today I thought a bit about the moon, particularly the full moon. I always notice the big, beautiful moon in the sky. It invigorates me, comforts me, and inspires me. Could it be, scientifically speaking, that the light given off by the moon not only pleases us for psychological reasons (light helps us see in the dark and avoid danger), but also for physical reasons? The sun’s rays are reflecting off the moon onto Earth. Does it also reflect vitamin D? Does it trick us into feeling somehow more awake and that’s why I often want to dance when I see a full moon?

Lunar Observations

The moon begins to wane and I’ve been feeling restless and lazy. I thought about working on some creative projects but then decided that I really wasn’t in the mood. I did some work, tidied the house, and read a little.

My husband and I went to Muin Mound last night to celebrate Imbolc with the grove. The ritual was held outside in negative three degrees weather! Now I feel like a hardcore Pagan! Last year we did a lot of rituals inside because of the snow/cold and then a surplus of water and mosquitos in the nemeton. A lot of people were feeling disconnected so we vowed to go outside for ritual more. Thank the Gods it wasn’t windy. My poor toes, even in my new cozy boots, were so red by the time we got inside. The ritual was definitely faster than usual, but it was somehow powerful and meaningful at the same time. Huddling close to the fire, I felt a more intense gratefulness for Brighid and her fire. I also felt the blessing of community, which was interesting because the omens reflected this.

Before and after the rite, actually, I felt better bonded with my grovies. We made Brighid crosses and chatted before the ritual. I’ll have to take and post photos later. (My husband made a triforce from the Legend of Zelda Games out of wheat.) After the ritual was the potluck and more socializing. Phoenix showed me her new art studio and we talked for some time about arts and crafts. Skip and I talked about training programs. He’s happy that I’m becoming more active on the forums and chats. He also showed me a photo of he and the other previous Arch Druids naked (backside only) and covered in body paint. LOL! Jen, Candy, Skip, and I talked excitedly about Wellspring this year. Jen seems quite excited that we’ll be there and in the Muin Mound camp this year. I am stoked.

Community is important to me. That’s part of why ADF speaks to me so. It’s about family and coming together to learn and worship. Muin Mound is starting to feel like a spiritual family to me. They are so welcoming and inclusive of both myself and my husband. Such reassurance couldn’t have come at a better time now that MVPN has gone through such a change.

Today the snow falls thick and fast. Another winter day in the North Country. I am grateful to my own resourcefulness and Brighid’s protection for the shelter and warmth I have. I pray that my husband makes it home from work safe. I think our grocery shopping and laundry chores will have to be put on hold today,,,

An Amendment

Because I’m trying to document my feelings/energy levels in conjunction with the cycles of the moon…

Although I stated that today has been a day of rest, at the same time I am still up at 1:24 AM. Full moons always make me feel mentally awake, I suppose, even though I’ve been lazing around after work.

Full Moon

Heehee. I’m amused by the number of people who have told me about the bright full moon tonight. I’m worried people think I don’t read the news or look out my window! That said, I had been thinking the full moon would be on the night of Jan 30th, not the eve of the date. In other words, perhaps my calendar is more Celtic than I gave it credit for. 😉 When I started to read about how bright the full moon would be on the 29th I became very perplexed indeed about the seeming discrepancy in calendars…

Anyway, it’s a big shiny full moon and I have felt… relaxed, I guess. I still took care of some creative pursuits, but it was more or less a day of rest. We can think of the moon as at its climax. Tomorrow it will begin to wane until the dark moon – a time of shrinking, lessening, resting, healing, and, ultimately, renewal.

My greatest spiritual/creative accomplishment today was making a Brighid’s cross (with my husband’s help). I don’t have any green rushes around. It was quite a bitter day up here in the North Country after all. There is a small creek near us at the edge of a forest. Separating the tame from the wild is a wall of (currently brown and dead) tall grasses. When I returned from work this afternoon, I harvested several and soon realized that they were too fragile to bend in their moribund state. My husband helped me steam the centers. It worked like a charm! The plants were probably not the best for this sort of project, but this is the first time I’ve made one and, I must say, I’m very proud. I’m going to leave it in the window tonight to soak up the moonbeams. Then it will make its home over my door as a protective charm.

Pagan Elders

I posted this on the MVPN forums first but decided to put it on my blog in case anyone else wanted to chime in. 🙂

Pagans and magic practitioners alike have some very intriguing, innovative, and (in)famous elders. They’ve inspired us with their rhetoric and ritual. They’ve given their lives to helping others. They’ve taught others, authored books, and made the occult more acceptable and understandable. They’ve bastardized cultural practices and pantheons. They’ve founded some of the most beautiful traditions in modern religion. They’ve been saints and sex-addicts. Whatever you feel about Gardner, Crowley, Starhawk, Z. Budapest, Cunningham, Buckland, Bonewits, Erynn Rowan Laurie, Diana Paxson, or any of the other people we can’t stand and look up to… You can’t help but admit that they’ve helped to shape modern Paganism.

If you could meet any Pagan elder, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you talk about? Would you laud them or slap them? Or both?

Lunar Challenge

My friend Katrina challenged me to keep track of/honor/contemplate the phases of the moon and how it effects my emotions and such. Since leaving Wicca, I haven’t really done much with the moon besides silently stand in awe of it and find it beautiful. I’ve always felt energized by the full moon, but I haven’t given it much other thought. ADF doesn’t take any official stance on the moon. The Henge of Keltria has lunar festivals however, so it’s not unheard of for modern Druids. I decided to give it a shot.

I could have done a better job keeping track of things in January. I have decided to blog more about it here. Overall, despite my illness this past week, the waxing moon has found me feeling more creative. I’ve been working on several projects after a brief lull. I wonder if I work on fewer things during the waning and dark moon?

Teacher Fox

 

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’ve been working through Paxson’s Trance-Portation. I mentioned a few entries ago that I’ve been revisiting animal spirits / spirit guides. Paxson suggests asking a companion animal to lead you to a spirit who can teach you to better navigate the inner realms.

Last night, while the husband was at work, I took advantage of my free/quiet time and prepared to trance. I took a cleansing shower to help me release the stress and tensions of the day. While there I felt compelled to chant which felt great. Chanting really gets me in the mood for spiritual activity.

I then sat at my altar, honored the kindreds and lit a stick of incense to honor my spirit guides in particular.

Going into trances is coming easier and easier to me given the right mental cues. It used to be a real effort for me to guide myself into anything. Now it’s almost second nature to call on the Two Powers and enter my inner nemeton. I’m finding that my inner realm has a definite landscape that I can navigate. I’ve really not ventured far. Beyond my nemeton is a field and, in the distance, more forest. In the middle of the field is a big rock that I’ve visited plenty of times in Katrina’s rock meditations. An Dagda likes to frequent it.

Before leaving my nemeton, I called to my long-time spirit guide, the lynx. I’ve been trying to work with him more and feel like I have a better relationship with him. I asked if he could lead me to a being who could teach me more about trancing and navigating. We walked through the field and a few animals passed by, including a deer. They weren’t interested in stopping. Finally a fox walked in our path, stopped, and waited for us. I asked her if she was willing to teach me and she said yes. At this point I felt a pull from my physical body – my throat was irritated and I knew I was going to cough but I held back. The vixen laughed at me, called me a foolish human, and basically said that if I need to cough I should just get it over with. She then said that I needed to finish healing before I come back to her and sent me off.

It was an interesting experience, that’s for sure. And then today I kept seeing red foxes *everywhere*.