Reflections on tonight’s moon ritual…
Information on Argante is offered here: http://www.prairiefirecoven.org/marmoon04.html
Basics: Cedar and I established sacred space in preparation for the ritual. This involved casting the circle, calling the elements, acknowledging Lugh and drawing Argante (the Lady of the Lake who gave Arthur his sword) down into me. The other participants were not inside the space while we did this, which led to some strangeness I’ll discuss in a minute. Once I was aspected Argante, Cedar cut a gateway and stepped out of the circle to join the others and they sang a chant about passing through the Gateway. Argante stood at the gateway with a bowl of water and met each participant with a challenge to see their vision in the water. After gazing at the water, each participant entered the circle, where they then tranced to find their vision/quest for the year. This ties in with a class we had recently where we asked each participant to write a spiritual vision statement for the upcoming year. It also tied in with last month’s ritual in which each participant gave birth to themselves as hero.
At the end of the trance, Argante offered each participant a symbol to help clarify their vision. Then we raised energy with a chant and drumming, then cakes and wine and then we closed up.
Setting up the circle: As I said, Cedar and I set up the circle with the other participants outside. It was my idea, and at the time, seemed like the best answer to a part of our ritual wherein people were supposed to step through a gateway and into trance. After receiving feedback, and comparing it with my own feelings during ritual, I think it would be better to find another way to facilitate the gateway piece. MarshAster offered that it seemed appropriate to create sacred space for someone else when it is a rite of passage, but that it was a little distancing to have it that way for a moon ritual. Part of the problem was also that they could not see what Cedar and I were doing, which is a shame because there were parts of our creating sacred space that I thought were really good, particularly the calling of the quarters. We had a rhythm going with the two of us that felt (to me, anyway) very intuitive and natural. I would like to explore it more and look forward to teaching Elements of Magic with her.
When we were in the planning stages, Cedar was supposed to be responsible for the whole creation, but when I got there and had thought about it, it seemed weird for me not to help considering that I was going to be standing there, waiting for the aspecting piece. While it was beautiful, I think the aspecting will work better if it is the only piece I’m working on in future rituals.
Aspecting: I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this as it was the most formalized version of aspecting I’ve done to date. I felt my attention and energy was divided between aspecting and general priestessing, which I would like to change in future aspecting experiences. When we discussed it in the post-ritual feedback session, we all agreed it would be best if the person aspecting in a ritual only had that piece to worry about and if the aspecting took place outside of circle. So in tonight’s ritual, I would have had Argante drawn into me outside the circle, everyone else would have set up space and I/Argante would have appeared at the gateway and stayed for the trance and then left.
I didn’t have a strong feeling of being \”filled\” by Argante, but I did have the feeling of someone speaking through me. It was similar to what I feel when I lead trance and the words just come from the right place. I didn’t feel physically different, though I didn’t ask if I appeared different to anyone. I guess that would be a good feedback question. I didn’t feel fully “in” aspecting. I want to try it again. It is one of MarshAster’s goals to work on aspecting this year, so I will need to be cognizant of that and make sure we both have space to work with it.
Trance: The trance felt short to me, and yet, it felt like I said what needed to be said. Cedar’s drumming is getting so good and I am really looking forward to working with her more in this regard — as co-trancer and drummer. I wish I had more room to walk when I lead a trance and that the floor didn’t squeak. I would like to be able to move completely around the people who are trancing. I love working in MarshAster’s living room, but I do wish it were a little more square. I will ask for feedback on whether my voice was well-modulated and easy to hear.
General Thoughts: I am so glad that S. continues to be so committed to our group. Tonight we told her about our difficulties with ET as of late because we wanted her to understand why ET is not around. She took it well. I really like her, but I have a hard time reading her. I am glad MarshAster and Cedar have had “Grove Time” with her — that deepens relationships, I think. This process of getting to know students over the course of the year is such a rewarding one. I really love it.
My symbol was the triple moon – the one from the trance, I mean. I’m not sure what that means. It is hard for me to trance when I lead it. We did a meditation at the last class about finding our vision and I saw a leatherbound book with the PFC symbol on the outside. Tonight’s symbol of the goddess is one I associate with priestessing. I have been thinking a lot about taking the skills and tradition I have built with PFC out to Arizona. That could be what it’s about. I’m interested in hearing if anyone else has any insight. It’s always so much easier for me to figure out other people’s symbols and messages than it is for me to figure out my own.