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From the PublisherMoon Magic is a delightful treasury of lore and spiritual musings that should be essential to any planetary magic-worker's reading list.
--David Salisbury, author of The Deep Heart of Witchcraft
The word 'esbat' is believed to be derived from a French word s'esbattre which means to 'joyfully celebrate' and is actually quite fitting. The term esbat is usually used now to mean a coming together of like-minded people to celebrate the phases of the Moon with a ritual and/or spell work. It doesn't have to be on a Full Moon or New Moon, it can be for any of the phases of the Moon or planetary alignments and may involve teaching, lessons or training of some sort as well.
The Lunar Cycle
Firstly we need to understand the basics of the lunar cycle so here is the technical bit:
The Moon has several cycles, but the one that is the most obvious and that concerns us principally is that of the Moon's phases.
The light of the Moon is reflected from the Sun. Although from a more subtle perspective it is evident that moonlight has its own special properties, the Moon herself has no luminescence.
The phases of the Moon are caused by the light of the Sun being reflected in a different way, owing to the changing relationship between Earth, Moon and Sun.
The phases of the Moon are the same all over the Earth. When it is a Full Moon in Britain it is also a Full Moon in Australia, China and the United States.
The passage of the Moon from New Moon to New Moon takes 29½ days. This phase cycle is called the synodic month, but this can vary by as much as 13 hours because of the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit around the Earth.
As there are 365 days in the year, most years have 13 New Moons or 13 Full Moons, but never both. Occasionally a year will miss out and only have 12 of each.
The lunar cycle can be divided and subdivided in a variety of ways because it's a cycle, and the different parts of the cycle naturally blend.
The usual way of considering the lunar cycle is to divide it into four – New Moon, Waxing Moon, Full Moon and Waning Moon – or eight with the addition of the Waning Crescent (or Balsamic), the Waning Gibbous (or Disseminating), Waxing Gibbous and Waxing Crescent Moons.
Within these parts there is continual variation, as the energies involved are perpetually on the move, growing and decreasing.
Why do we try to correspond our workings to the phases of the Moon? It is because corresponding magical workings to the phase of the Moon will add more power to them.
We consider it to be the New Moon up to 3½ days after the official New Moon. She rises around dawn, sets around sunset. Because she is between the Sun and the Earth nothing or very little is reflected and for a few days the Moon is lost in the brilliance of the Sun. When we cannot see any Moon in the sky, after the Waning Moon and before we see the first glimpse of the Crescent it is often referred to as the Dark Moon (see further chapter for more details).
As the Sun and Moon are on the same side of the Earth, the pull on us is the strongest. Because the Sun, Moon and Earth are all in a straight line this creates a time when the high tide is higher and the low tide is lower than usual.
This is a wonderful time to make new beginnings of all types. It is especially good for getting rid of bad habits. Habitual ways of thinking that are harmful and negative can also be abandoned at this time. It is also a good time to start something creative. New projects at work can also be launched.
The first day of the New Moon is really best devoted to the planning stages of ventures. It is good to feel just a little excited and filled with anticipation, although your energy may not be at its highest. A day or two into the cycle is the time to take the initiative, apply for that job, and start house hunting or any similar endeavours. It is also good for attracting positive energies, bringing about change, good luck and growth.
New Moon Colours
Green, white, orange and red
New Moon Herbs, Oil and Incense Ingredients
Sandalwood, frankincense, copal, myrrh, rose, saffron, sweet grass, heather, patchouli, cinnamon, lavender, verbena, witch hazel, jasmine, cardamom, cypress, ginger, nutmeg, orange, chamomile and lemon
New Moon Crystals
Garnet, petalite, sapphire, quartz, labradorite, carnelian, charoite, peridot and phenakite.
New Moon Oil Recipe
4 drops patchouli essential oil
3 drops cedar wood essential oil
4 drops sweet orange essential oil
Add to a base oil such as sweet almond or grape seed (about 15mls of carrier oil should be about right).
New Moon Incense Recipe
2 parts copal resin
2 parts sandalwood
1 part dried rose petals
A few drops of myrrh essential oil
New Moon Meditation
Relax and make yourself comfortable. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, deep breaths in ... and out ... Visualise the real world disappearing.
As your world dissipates you find yourself on a high cliff, behind you is a huge eyrie, the nest of an eagle. There is a light breeze, clear blue sky above you and the sun is shining.
You turn to face the eagle and connect mentally with its subconscious ... Ask it to show you the pathways and opportunities available to you.
The eagle stands and stretches its huge wings, you realise it is an invitation for you to fly with him. Take some time and gradually shape shift into an eagle. Start with your feet, by morphing them into claws ... then stretch your arms out and feel the feathers forming ... your fingers changing ... then your head slowly changing to form a beak ... gradually you start to feel comfortable in your eagle shape.
A light breeze ruffles your feathers and your eagle companion makes ready to fly. You both perch on the edge of the cliff. The eagle suddenly takes flight ... soaring across the sky ... you take a deep breath ... then leap ...
Feel the air beneath you, feel it whisk around your feathers, glide on the current ...
Follow the eagle as it soars across the skies ...
As you fly take a moment to look down, take in the landscape and the scenery as it rushes past. What you see while flying will give you insight into your options and pathways that are available to you.
Gradually the eagle leads you back to his eyrie.
You land safely on the cliff, exhilarated and full of ideas and plans.
At this point the eagle may give you a message ...
When you are ready, slowly change yourself back from an eagle form to your own shape.
Then gradually come back to this reality, stamp your feet and wriggle your fingers.
New Moon Ritual
You will need:
A small plain white candle dressed with sage oil (or dressed with almond/olive oil and rolled in crushed sage leaves)
A goal you wish to achieve, it doesn't have to be grand
Cast the circle by saying:
Maiden cast this circle white
Free from shadow, pure and light
Mother cast this circle red
Cast any negativity from our head
Crone cast this circle black
Grant us the knowledge that we lack
This circle is now cast unbroken.
Call the quarters by saying:
I call to the East and the Element of Air, you who are mist and cloud, you who are fresh breeze and wild hurricane, Spirit of the Hawk, Spirit of the Sylph, hear me, bring into these rites purification and clarity, sweep through and remove stagnation. Blessings and welcome!
I call to the South and the Element of Fire, you who are the crackle of bonfires, you who are the golden Sun and glowing lava, Spirit of the Phoenix, Spirit of the Flame Dancers, hear me, bring into these rites your spirit of creativity and passion. Blessings and welcome!
I call to the West and the Element of Water, you who are the Undines of the rivers, and the sirens of the crashing ocean waves, you who are the Naiads of the Grottos, come to me. Spirit of the Shark, hear me, bring into these rites your deepest intuition and truest emotions, teach me to be flexible, to adapt and flow, like your waters. Blessings and welcome!
I call to the North and the Element of Earth, you who are bone and crystal, you who are tree and root and branch, Spirit of the Wolf, Spirit of the Gnome, I call upon you. Bring into these rites your spirit of prosperity, of stability and manifestation. Blessings and welcome!
Invocation to Deity. Say:
I call upon Vesta, Goddess of the home and the sacred hearth flame, join this rite today and bring with you inspiration and passion. Blessings and welcome!
It is the New Moon, everything is still, but there is a feeling in the air, a sense of something exciting, a building of energy and growth, new potential, new ideas and opportunities. The energy of the New Moon will guide you towards your goals; all you need do is put the ideas forward and into motion. The possibilities are out there and they are endless.
Look inward and find the beginnings of ideas, be prepared to set them in motion.
Now take your white candle and while you light it, repeat quietly to yourself what it is you want to achieve. It doesn't have to be a long-term plan; it can be something quite simple and basic.
Once your candle is burning brightly sit quietly and watch the flame. See how it fires and dances around, so much life, and so much potential. Ask out loud for Vesta to bring you ideas and new opportunities. Spend some time in quiet meditation now and let the ideas come to you ...
If possible, allow the candle to burn out (safely).
Thank the quarters by saying:
Guardians to the Element of Earth, I thank you for your presence in this rite, I bid you blessings and farewell.
Guardians to the Element of Water, I thank you for your presence in this rite, I bid you blessings and farewell.
Guardians to the Element of Fire, I thank you for your presence in this rite, I bid you blessings and farewell.
Guardians to the Element of Air, I thank you for your presence in this rite, I bid you blessings and farewell.
Thank Deity by saying:
Vesta, Goddess of the home and sacred hearth flame, I thank you for your presence in this rite, may your flame of inspiration stay with me. Blessings and farewell.
Uncast the circle, walking widdershins, and say:
This circle is open but never broken.
New Moon Spells
I like to write a cheque to myself on the New Moon. I make it out to myself and write 'paid in full' in the amount box, then sign it from 'the law of abundance'. I fold the cheque into three and add three drops of peppermint essential oil on top after laying it in the bottom of a dish I keep on my altar, and then I sprinkle over it dried mint and lay three sticks of cinnamon on top. This works really well to keep enough money coming in.
At the very first sign of the Moon, just the slightest glimpse of her, stand outside and look up. Turn around deosil (sunwise or clockwise) three times and make a wish on the New Moon.
New Moon New Job Spell
If you have decided you need a new job, work this spell on the first night of the New Moon.
What you need:
Two brown candles (to represent your job)
One green candle (for prosperity)
One other coloured candle of your choice (this represents you) Cinnamon oil
A talisman (this can be a pendant, a pebble, a shell, whatever you wish to use)
Put one of the brown candles in the centre of your altar with the green one to the right of it and your personal candle to the left of it. Put a dab of cinnamon oil on each of the candles.
Light the personal candle and visualise yourself working in the job you would love to do. Next light the green candle and visualise you earning enough money for your needs. Light the brown candle and visualise the company you would like to work for.
Leave the candles to burn out completely and send up a thank you to the Goddess/God/the Divine.
On the next six evenings light the second brown candle and let it burn for six minutes each time and visualise your goal.
When the six nights are up, if you still have some of the brown candle left, bury the remnants in the earth.
One of the easiest charms to use for luck is a hag stone (stone with a hole in it). These are found on many beaches and river beds. Leave the stone out on the night of a Waxing Moon, then thread a piece of green ribbon or cord through the hole and wear it as a pendant or hang it from your handbag, your altar or in your car to bring you good luck.
Saving Money Spell
We could all probably do with a bit of extra cash now and then in a savings account for emergencies. Money spells will always work better if we have a real need for the money to cover our basic living costs or specific essential needs rather than just wanting loads of cash to go on a frivolous spending spree!
What you need:
Three gold or silver coins
A green envelope or piece of green paper
Gold or silver thread
Moon water (or rain water works well too)
Hold the coins in your hand and visualise yourself with the money that you need to live on, or purchasing an essential item that you need or have to replace.
When you are ready, put the coins in the envelope or wrap them in the piece of paper and then tie the silver or gold thread around it seven times, visualising your goal as you do so.
Send up your wish and thanks in advance to the Divine and then knot the thread three times. Next, you will need to bury the coin package in the earth, somewhere in your garden (or in a pot on your windowsill) where it will catch the moonlight. Sprinkle the earth where you have buried it with the water.
The Waxing Crescent Moon occurs 3½ to 7 days after the New Moon. She rises in the mid-morning and sets in the evening. The Moon's light is quickening. As the Moon has dropped back until she is about 1/8th of the way behind the Sun, we see her lumination as a crescent shape.
You will see the first quarter Moon from 7 to 10½ days after the New Moon. She will rise around noon and set around midnight.
As the Moon is at a right angle to the Sun the difference between high and low tide is minimized. Because light and dark are in balance, the Moon will appear to be a Half Moon, but the area of light will continue to grow each day.
The Waxing Gibbous Moon occurs between 10½. and 14 days after the New Moon. She rises sometime in the mid-afternoon and sets in the early dark hours of the morning.
As the Moon has fallen back around 3/8 of the way behind the Sun, one side of the Moon is seen fully and the light on the other side bulges out, but does not yet fill all of the Moon's face.
Now your projects can get into their stride. Be aware, however, that overstrains are more likely at this time and that the body takes things in and absorbs them more readily with a Waxing Moon.
It is also a good time to build yourself up if you have been unwell or otherwise off-colour. Absorbing, boosting your energy and taking up supplies are crucial now. Go on an active holiday, get in touch with friends, plan a party, arrange meetings and increase communication.
As Full Moon approaches, notice what isn't working and shed it in order to focus your energies more effectively. Remind yourself to slow down a little and conserve your strength. This is a time of regeneration and to gather information and resources.
Waxing Moon Colours
White, pastel colours, red and silver.
Waxing Moon Herbs, Oils and Incense Ingredients
Coriander, geranium, juniper, marjoram, nutmeg, St. John's wort, tansy, thyme, caraway, mace, rosemary, rue, spearmint, bay, carnation, mugwort, pennyroyal, saffron, eucalyptus, cedar, hyacinth, ginger, pine, sandalwood, cinnamon and sweet pea.
Waxing Moon Crystals
Carnelian, citrine, aragonite, green aventurine, malachite, ruby and banded agate.
Waxing Moon Oil Recipe
6 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops basil essential oil
2 drops pine essential oil
1 drop nutmeg essential oil
Add to a base oil such as sweet almond or grape seed (about 15mls of carrier oil should be about right).
Waxing Moon Incense Recipe
2 parts juniper
2 parts cedar
1 part pine
1 part eucalyptus
Waxing Moon Meditation
Make yourself comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breathing ... deep breaths in and out ... Visualise the real world disappearing.
As your world dissipates you find yourself at the foot of a hill, the grass is green beneath your feet and you can feel a gentle breeze on your face.
Excerpted from Pagan Portals - Moon Magic by Rachel Patterson. Copyright © 2013 Rachel Patterson. Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted March 31, 2014
No text was provided for this review.