07 June 2012

In the Moon's Light

The following posting was made a few years agon on my old blog and as due to the lunar theme, I thought I would repeat it here.

The excerpt is from Spirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft by Raven Grimassi, which is described as being "an one-of-a-kind guidebook" in which Raven Grimassi "presents an insightful portrait of the spirit of the Witch. He explores the spiritual element of the rituals, practices, and beliefs of Witchcraft, and how these elements apply not only to the seasons of nature, but also to the mystical seasons of the soul".

While the book does state that it discusses a more philosophical aspect to Wicca, if I was 100% honest, such information can already be found elsewhere - however Mr Grimassis' writing style does make things easy to read.

The following statement about Moon worship I found interesting, although towards the end I do personally feel that Mr Grimassi has taken a bit of "poetic license". But regardless, it is interesting.


In the Moon’s Light
By Raven Grimassi

(from Spirit of the Witch: Religion & Spirituality in Contemporary Witchcraft)

The Roman writers such are Horace, wrote of witches drawing the Moon down from the heavens. Indeed, the literature of witchcraft depicts an intimate relationship between the Moon and witches. It is clear that a belief has long existed concerning witches obtaining power from the light of the Moon.

In Charles Leyland’s Aradia: Gospel of the Witches (1899), we find a reference to witches gathering beneath the Moon:

“Whenever ye have need of anything, once in the month and when the Moon is full, ye shall assemble in some secret place, or in the forest altogether joined to adore the potent spirit of your queen, my mother, the Great Diana. She who vain would learn all sorcery yet has not won its deepest secrets, then my mother would teach her, in truth all things as yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery, and so you shall be free in everything; and as a sign that you are truly free, ye shall be naked in your rights, both men and women also …”

Proserpina
The Full Moon has called to something in the human spirit as long ago as the Neolithic period, if not much earlier. Images of the moon displaying a full circle, flanked by left and right facing crescents, appear in primitive art as early as 4500-4300 BCE. The coiled serpent flanked by these crescent shapes also appears during the same period and, as noted earlier, one of the Goddesses associated with witchcraft (Proserpina) is ultimately linked with the serpent.

The Goddess of the Moon was originally worshipped in groves where a lake or spring could be found. She was also worshipped in a grotto where water issued forth from between the rocks. Her priestesses bore the responsibility of caring for the sacred water within the grove or grotto. Traditionally a sacred fire tended which represented the moon’s own light, and this fire could not be allowed to go out, due to the ancient belief that the Moon Goddess was the light of fire itself.

The Moon Goddess, as a mythological being, belongs to the torch-bearing class of deities who themselves were always connected in some manner with the Underworld. The Underworld connection linked the Moon Goddesses to the Fates, and thus the power of divination was bestowed upon the worshippers by the light of the Moon itself and by the torches that represented the Moon’s light.


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