This month’s Full Moon rite had quite a few firsts for me.
For one thing, I actually had a cleansing bath beforehand. Actually, this was in part due to the fact that I have to get to work earlier tomorrow so I thought and evening bath would make things quicker than a morning one, and partly due to the fact that I have a bit of a chesty cough and cold at the moment so I thought a nice warm bath would help. And it did! I added some tea tree oil to the water both to help my chest and to purify me, which was really nice – tea tree oil has a pure, almost salty smell that’s very good for a ritual cleansing. As both a Shintoist and Pagan, bathing before a ritual is something I very much approve of, but often don’t seem to find the time – perhaps I should make more of an effort.
For another I decided to perform my Full Moon ritual indoors for the first time. As I’ve got a bit of a cold at the moment and as the weather’s turned very cold and wet, I thought this would be the most sensible.
Actually, performing the ritual indoors, at my new altar, turned out to be more spiritually fulfilling than I imagined. I created a sacred space with my besom and by intoning a Shinto purification prayer, and filled the ritual area with candles – including a big round candle on my altar to represent the Moon. Unlike performing the ritual outdoors, doing it indoors proved to be a lot more comfortable – both in terms of being out of the cold and being in a private place where nothing could interrupt me. Additionally, I could see the Moon right outside the window – often I can’t see it when I perform the ritual outdoors! The disadvantage is, of course, that indoors you do not feel so much in touch with nature, and I missed the presence of my Inari shrine.
As for the ritual itself, it was very similar to the one I performed for the October Full Moon. I still feel that Samhain is currently reigning the Wheel of the Year, and so I once more honoured Hecate in my rite. It’s coming up to the 100 year anniversary of the First World War, so it felt once again like an appropriate time to pray to Luna for peace for both the living and the dead. And finally, my sister still hasn’t given birth although she is due any day now, so once again I prayed to Diana for the safety and health of her and her child.
After my dedications to the lunar aspects of the Great Goddess, I attempted to scry with my newly-consecrated DIY scrying mirror. This was actually quite an eerie experience; I sat down and placed the mirror in front of me, with a single candle in the middle. The mirror is so dark that the prospect of seeing an apparition is rather scary! Perhaps that is why I didn’t seem to see anything concrete, although I did get the distinct feeling that the mirror was somehow showing a “gateway” to somewhere. For some reason, I don’t find scrying using crystals or water quite as eerie, but I think I’d still like to try again.
After scrying, I said a prayer to Inari Okami from my book of Shinto Norito – now my colleague has given me a charm from Fushimi Inari Shrine that I have on my indoor altar, I still a connection to Inari-sama even from my indoor altar. I then had a simple feast and closed the quarters.
I did quite enjoy doing the ritual indoors for a change, and I suspect I’ll do the same thing until the weather gets warmer. I do miss being with the foxes outside though…