Friday night saw a rare occurrence – a Full Moon on Friday 13th, and more so, a “Honey Moon” (a slightly more yellowy moon than normal). Like many Goths, I actually like Friday 13th – while some may see it as unlucky, others may see it as simply a time that the darker energies are heightened. For this reason, I again thought it would be fitting to honour the dark goddess Hecate once again. Additionally it also seemed very appropriate to pay tribute to the goddess Juno: June is her month, and the following day was a friend’s wedding (not to mention that next month is my own wedding!), and Juno is seen as a goddess of marriage. I prayed to Hecate for general protection and good health, as well as honouring the spirit of Gerald Gardner, father of modern witchcraft who additionally was born on June 13th. To Juno, I prayed for happiness and good luck with both my friend’s and my own marriage. As always, I followed my ritual with a prayer to Inari Okamisama, who may also be seen as a good omen for weddings due to the duality of her fox messengers, her symbolism as a deity of prosperity, and the role of foxes in Japanese folklore about marriage (they say that rain falling on a sunny day means a vixen is getting married).
Once again, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat spiritually detached during the ritual – as usual, there were so many distractions outside, such as rowdy people walking home from the nearby pub and the neighbours parking in the driveway. What’s more, the buildings surrounding my house and its orientation meant that I couldn’t see the Full Moon again. But then, something incredibly magickal happened that really gave the ritual incredible significance.
When I was returning from placing offerings of garlic (for Hecate) and honey (for Juno) at the nearby crossroads, I saw a fox on the road before me, look at me straight in the eye, and then vanish into the undergrowth. And then, as a drew nearer, a second, larger fox emerged. He looked straight at me, and then just sat down on a wall beside the road, very calm and peaceful, as if enjoying this auspicious night himself. Quietly, I sat down on a low wall just opposite him, very close by. He looked up at me every now and then, acknowledging my presence yet seeming totally unphased by me. We shared this silent moment together in the night for some time, watching each other, while I mentally thanked him for gracing me with his presence in his territory and letting me enjoy his company like this. When some more noisy people from the pub approached he disappeared, so I returned to the house, but I kept on watching from the window and I soon saw both the foxes emerge from the undergrowth and go about their lives.
As a follower of Inari, I find any encounter with foxes to be special, but this was particularly magickal due to the timing and nature of our encounter. I find it even more wonderful that we have a pair of foxes living by us – just like a mirror of the pair of fox statues I have on my Inari shrine. Whenever I see them, I cannot help but feel protected and uplifted by the spirit of Inari Okamisama.