On October 13, 2019 on the night of a Full Moon, Pagans from a variety of backgrounds and spiritual practices gathered together in New Braunfels, TX to perform a ritual for the media. It was filmed live for a Facebook Audience as well as attended by two staff members of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung; Mikala Compton, Photographer and Lindsey Carnett, Writer.
The purpose of the ritual was to awaken positive communication and understanding in those who have closed hearts and minds about people who practice their faith differently. Collectively, we all wanted to encourage an energy for education and understanding that Pagans are not bad nor evil, just different.
The following is the ritual that was performed. Please note below the ritual there are links to the Facebook live video as well as the link to the article on the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung website.
Full Moon Awakening Ritual
Elethea begins to film…
Chol: "I want to thank you all for coming tonight and thank you to all of our viewers. This is a publicized ritual and a chance for us to connect with a larger audience though Facebook Live Coverage and through the New Braunfels Herald News.
The ritual will also be posted on my blog and free for anyone to download and use. I have created hard copies for everyone present and attending tonight.
Florence would you now give a brief explanation and then cast out all energies that are harmful. "
Casting out all that is harmful
Florence: " …[Star Ruby]…"
[Link to the words and explanation of Star Ruby is also below]
Take in all that is good and healing
Chol: "We will now pass the sweet grass smudge stick and each of us will take a turn smudging each other with it. We will pass to the left until everyone has been smudged. We do this to honor the good things and sweet things we want to come into our lives. The Star Ruby cleansed the space much like sage would do, but we now acknowledge the drawing in of that which is good and healing."
Pass the sweet grass smudge stick around.
Each person who has the sweet grass will smudge the person to their left’s aura and then pass it, and keep smudging and passing the stick until all have been smudged.
Ground Center and Shield
Chol: "We are different practitioners of paganism and no two of us practice the same. Each of us, in our own way and with a brief moment of silence, will ground, center, and shield ourselves."
Wanda: "The purpose for this is to align our energies with the earth, which gave and gives us life; with the universe, which gave and gives us insight; and within ourselves, which is our own divine light.
Just as a lightning rod channels energy, so too can we… as we stand upon our earth and visualize our connections."
Chol: "When you are done grounding, centering, and shielding yourself please place your hands over your heart chakra so we all know when everyone is done."
Moment of silence while everyone grounds themselves. Once everyone has signaled that they are grounded, centered, and shielded…
Seshen: "We have gathered at the twilight hours on the night of a full moon; to call upon the moon when she is full with an abundance of energies to tap into. Tonight, we open our hearts and minds to endless possibilities and to receive the fullness of the full moon’s energies!
We declare in this full moon light, the answers to our call!
We declare on this magickal night, the highest good of all!
So mote it be!"
All: "So mote it be!"
Chol: "Through communication and love we have the ability to lift the shroud of negativity, doubt, and fear that is on the pagan community.
It is with communication and love we gather here this evening to share our energies and the energies all around to show we are not bad, just different, but no less worthy of equality to practice our faiths.
With communication and love we hope to spread the growth of awakening and understanding. Tonight, we gather with the intention to spread these energies so that people who have closed hearts and minds will come to know pagans are not evil, bad, nor wrong, … we are just different, and worthy of equality.
Wanda: "This whole world is filled with a variety of differences. Let us offer up the energies of communication and love so that many can learn to understand and no longer fear that which is different."
Energies from the 4 Directions
Chol: "We call to the 4 directions. This is a Full Moon ritual & we follow the path of the moon. Rising in east, setting in west. We do this to bring balance & the energy from each direction into our circle."
East/Seshen: "East is the direction we face to call forth its energies.
To the wind that carries the seeds…
To the air, the breath, and the words of wisdom.
[Light the Yellow candle…]
Energies of the East, be with us this night!"
All: "Be with us! [or] Hail and Welcome!"
South/Chol: "South is the direction we face to call forth its energies.
To the divine sparks that lead to creation…
To the fire, the passion, and the flames of rebirth.
[Light the Red candle…]
Energies of the South, be with us this night!"
All: "Be with us! [or] Hail and Welcome!"
West/Florence: "West is the direction we face to call forth its energies.
To the flowing rivers that nourish and cleanse…
To the water, the emotions, and the reflecting well.
[Light the Blue candle…]
Energies of the West, be with us this night!"
All: "Be with us! [or] Hail and Welcome!"
North/Wanda: "North is the direction we face to call forth its energies.
To the roots of the tree running deep…
To the earth, the nutrient soil, and the firm foundation.
[Light the Green candle…]
Energies of the North, be with us this night!"
All: "Be with us! [or] Hail and Welcome!"
Call on the Higher Energies
Chol: "I call on the energies of The Creator! Divine being of many names! You who is everywhere and nowhere, in everything and of nothing!"
[Light First wick on the tri wick candle…]
Florence: "I call on the energies of the Divine Feminine! Divine being of many names! You who is in balance and mixed with the Divine Masculine!"
[Light Second wick on the tri wick candle…]
Seshen: "I call on the energies of the Divine Masculine! Divine being of many names! You who is in balance and mixed with the Divine Feminine!"
[Light Third/Last wick on the tri wick candle…]
Chol: "Guide us and lend your aid! Be welcome!"
All: "Be with us! [or] Hail and Welcome!"
Cast the Circle
Wanda: "A circle is one of the most ancient symbols throughout history. No matter where we go on earth, somewhere in its past or present, there are circles in the culture, art, architecture, and in their ancient spiritual places."
Chol: "The circle is an important symbol and has energy that has been known, and is known, and will be known… it transcends time and space and we use it tonight to be the boundary for working with the energies… our magickal working."
Starting with Chol, and going deosil (clockwise) around the circle, grasping hands with the person to the left and say…
All: "Hand to hand I cast this circle!"
… and continue this way until everyone has clasped Hands.
Chol: "This is a time that is not a time, on a day that is not a day, in a place that is not a place. We are between the worlds. What happens between the worlds, changes all the worlds. The circle is bound with magic all around. Within it we stand protection at hand.
All: "Blessed be!"
Full Moon Awakening Ritual
Seshen: "In the words of Tina Malia from her song the “Silent Awakening, …
We are only a dream of a dream
This world is not what it seems
We are the wind that carries the seeds
We are the roots of the banyan tree
We are love offered on the wing
That stretches across eternity
We are recording life's symphony
We are the silent awakening."
Chol: "Through the medium of film and photography, our actions and words will be shared with a broad audience.
Our purpose is to awaken positive communication and understanding in those who have closed hearts and minds about people who are different. We want to encourage an energy for education and understanding that pagans are not bad nor evil, just different.
I would like to open the floor to the many practitioners of paganism that are gathered here. This is your moment in circle to say aloud what you want the world to know about your belief, a “prayer” or affirmation of the purpose of the ritual, or share something aloud that will lend energies to awakening."
Does not have to be in any particular order but everyone participating in the circle will then say aloud their wishes/prayers/affirmations.
Chol: "Our words just now and the chant we will do, are sounds that carry our vibrations outward. We are adding to the recording of life’s symphony. May our sounds be heard.
I am passing out an envelope of wildflower seeds. Please take one and pass it on.
Wildflowers are full of bright and cheerful energies! With the ability to lift spirits when they are low, and always a reminder of summer sunshine and warmth. With these seeds we shall send out “awakening energy,” but first we will charge them with the magic that is all around us. By chanting and passing the seeds amongst us, we shall charge them with our intentions of awakening and opening that which is closed."
While chanting pass the packets of seeds to the left, one person/one packet at a time, around the circle deosil (clockwise).
All (3x): "Weave and spin, weave and spin…
This is how the work begins.
Mend and heal, mend and heal…
Take the dream and make it real."
[Link to the song is also below]
Chol: "So mote it be!"
All: "So mote it be!"
Chol: "These seeds are now charged and ready to be spread to the world. Plant them at home, gift to a friend, toss them out to the “wild”, scatter them around areas that need awakening, … whatever it is that compels you to spread their energy out. With these seeds and the recording of this rite, we have sent out our intentions."
Send out the Higher Energies
Chol: "To the divine Masculine, Feminine, and creator! Thank you for your presence this night! Go now from whence you came or stay as you will!
[Douse the tri wick candle.]
Thank you and farewell!"
All: "Thank you and farewell! [or] Hail and Farewell!"
Send out the 4 Directions
North/Wanda: "By the earth that is our body, …"
[Douse the Green candle]
West/Florence: "By the water that is the womb, …"
[Douse the Blue candle]
South/Chol: "By the fire that is our bright spirit, …"
[Douse the Red candle]
East: "...and By the air that is our breath."
[Douse the Yellow candle]
Chol: "We thank you for your presence this night!
Thank You and farewell to the elements!
Thank you, luminous love of the night, the moon!
Bright silvery circle in the sky, we thank you for the added energy from your fullness and we are grateful for the light you have shed upon us this night."
Open the Circle
Everyone clasp hands.
Chol: "The circle is open but unbroken! May peace and love go ever in our hearts!
All: "Blessed be!"
For the most part we all know that when planets go retrograde things can get a little crazy. For those who don’t know, retrograde is a term used for when the planets, from our view point on Earth, appear to go backwards for a time.
The reason for this is the earth completes its cycle around the Sun faster than other planets in orbit. Just like lanes on the highway, a slower car appears to be going backwards to a faster car, even though they are going the same direction. Some people have felt this as a dizzying moment and even have vertigo in the process. Some people can handle this illusion and vertigo better than others, however this dizzying moment is the best way I can explain what happens to those on earth when planets are in retrograde.
Each planet has a different energy or aspect that effects us in different ways, depending on which planet is in retrograde. So for a few weeks to several months at a time we could be having “dizzy” moments in certain aspects of our life because the planetary energies are giving us all vertigo. There are even transition periods (usually referred to as “shadow periods”) that could be felt for days or weeks at the onset or offset of a planets retrograde period.
All planets go retrograde and I end up telling people, no matter which planet(s) are in retrograde, to have more patience. Retrograde is a learning experience, a chance to better ourselves: to “Re” -vise, -direct, -search, -solve, -visit, etc. Retrograde planets teach us that by going backwards and “re”-looking at things, or projects, can help us to have more insight for the future. As humans, sometimes we have to be presented with a challenge before we can evolve and grow.
We are in luck, as retrogrades do not last forever. Once the Earth completely passes the planet in retrograde, the motion appears normal and this is said to be “direct” or “prograde.”
There is a ton of information on the World Wide Web about retrograde planets, what to avoid during, and what to do to help people through it. Usually, just a lot of patience and trying to see things from a different perspective. However, what about the times when nothing is in retrograde? Yeah everything is steady for once, but is there anything to expect or do? Or not do?
So, if retrograde is for looking back and we are warned against starting anything new (based on the specifics of that planets characteristics & aspects), then when all planets are going direct... it’s time to start looking forward and/or start anew. When the planets are direct, or prograde, then it’s time to look at the future.
Now that you have learned many lessons throughout the retrogrades, it’s time to put them into practice and start taking the steps forward. Forward to new goals, or forward with the same goals but different and better directions than before.
When all the planets are prograde, then all the planetary energies are in a forward momentum that all humans can access, to help carry them forward in their endeavors. “Pro” meaning “forward,” the planets are for “pro” -active, -claim, -ceed, etc.
Here’s to the prograde of planets and the energies they bring, forward movements and new beginnings!
Planets retrograde & prograde...
Mercury - Planet of mind, communication, intellect, reason, language, intelligence, & technology.
Mercury retrograde: this is a time to have patience with people, and yourself, trying to communicate. Get in touch with old friends/family. Back up electronic devices and data, edit and clarify thoughts, dust off old writing and communication projects. Check in and update social media profiles.
Mercury prograde: Time to go with the flow! Make new friends and new business contracts. Start new writing and communication projects. Purchase new electronics. Be direct in your communication, speak your truth.
Venus - Planet of love, attraction, relationships, art, beauty, & harmony.
Venus retrograde: Time to look at healing and removing blocks from relationships (family, friends, and/or lover/spouse). Learn whether or not the relationship is healthy and if you need to love on. Get closure from past loves or reunite on a more positive note (even if it is just friends). Time to make peace with the past. Make extra time to honor the women & femininity in your life.
Venus prograde: Blocks removed and healing has begun! Keep the forward movement or know that it’s time to start with new friends and/or lovers. Begin new projects together!
Mars - Planet of drive, energy, aggression, sex, competition, courage, & passion.
Mars retrograde: The pressure is on and conflict abounds, learn how to handle all of this and not boil over. Patience! Release grudges and learn to lay down your “weapons.” Now is not the time to rush, but to take the time to breathe, think, then act. No one will be upset that you took this extra time to orientate. Cops are more active and car accidents abound. If you have sex with past loves, do so with caution. Good time to work out and exorcise to release tension. Make extra time to honor the men & masculinity in your life.
Mars prograde: Conflicts are solved, and everyone is little more driven and energized. Take this time to put all those “muscles” into the new projects or goals you have. Take action on what you are passionate about.
Jupiter - Planet of luck, growth, expansion, optimism, abundance, understanding, & wisdom.
Jupiter retrograde: Avoid large purchases, like a house or car. Don’t take unnecessary risks, be sure to take extra time to evaluate before risk taking. Time to research or go back to school. Re educate yourself on matters that link with your life. Relook at old entrepreneurial ventures. Travel to old and familiar places to help with any thinking and understanding processes you may need.
Jupiter prograde: You’ve done the research and there is no more you can do. Now is not the time to overthink, you’ve already thought it through, now leap!
Saturn - Planet of structure, law, responsibility, discipline, fears, challenges, obligation, & ambition.
Saturn retrograde: Only goes retrograde once a year, thankfully! Time to rethink careers and goals for your future. This is a time of self discipline. Instant gratification during this time and quickly sink your ship and leave you feeling overwhelmed and drowning. This is a good time to work through any issues you may have with your father or father figures.
Saturn prograde: Reality is clearer! Career choices should be open and clear, or the one you are on smooths out and you can “see” more of the positive future. Still don’t give in to the instant gratification, however your ship won’t sink and drowning is less so. Your father or father figure in your life may have a lighter feel to the relationship. Take that father daughter/son trip you’ve been putting off.
Uranus - Planet of change, eccentricity, rebellion, reformation, unpredictability, & originality
Uranus retrograde: We all have a rebellious side, however during this retrograde make sure you are solid on the cause of your resistance. This is a time to double check your sources of political, scientific, environmental, etc. and see how they fit with where you stand on topics. Try to avoid the destructive and disruptive people in your life who negate on your stance. Remember to have informative debates and not “I’m right and your wrong” arguments.
Uranus prograde: Going with the flow of change can be fun! Now is the time to enjoy the changes and see how they have shaped your life. The stances you take in life (political, scientific, environmental, etc.) are easy for you to explain and you feel the ease of understanding in those you communicate with. Humans seem easier to deal with at this time. Inspiration is also easier to harness.
Neptune - Planet of dreams, intuition, mysticism, imagination, delusions, & healing
Neptune retrograde: Look out for people who want to drain your energies during this time. You won’t have much energy yourself, let alone to willingly (or unwillingly, aka psychic vampires) give to others. Time to rely on dreams and mediations to help heal yourself from the inside out. A time to incubate/hibernate. Do things that help to calm the spirit like creative projects, listen to music, or go outside and let nature speak to you. A great time to explore and question your spiritual beliefs. Be wary of codependency.
Neptune prograde: Always beware of energy suckers, but less so during Neptune prograde. No more hibernating, time to get out and smell the roses; so to speak. Some higher spiritual energy activities are easier attained and fun! You can still be creative and listen to nature, however you will feel lighter during this time and easier to let the flow of inspiration to take you places.
Pluto - Planet of power, death, rebirth, evolution, & transformation
Pluto retrograde: Pluto has had a hard time remaining a Planet, however no matter what it remains an influential cosmic power in the astrological world. It still effects us. When this planet retrogrades its time to look at our “shadows.” Time to delve into our old fears and limiting beliefs and break up those patterns. Remove energies toxic to you and invite the light in. Inviting in the light will help to see what lies in shadow so you can actively work on it and understand it... which in turn helps you in the long run. Careful not to let your shadows overshadow others. Your baggage is your own to deal with, not someone else’s. This is a good time to reorganize and space clearing. Burn some sage in the home to dispel negative energies. During this time it’s easy to get ourselves into unsafe situations, try to look ahead for pitfalls. Recognize the bullies in your life and shield yourself, however be carful not to become the bully yourself. This is a good time to do past life regressions and getting hypnotized to work on your shadows.
Pluto prograde: You have done enough shadow work. Time to put those lessons to rest and rejoice in all you have learned. This is a rebirth time and to enjoy all the clear spaces you have before you. You are more free to invent yourself anew and proceed with your life as you are, not as others see you. Remember to always be yourself!
Pagan Pride Day was organized for people to show pride in our spiritual diversities. It is a day that gives us the ability to be more verbal and visual in the hopes of educating the public, bridging barriers, and breaking stereotypes.
The article written by Naomi Fry about the portrait series “Major Arcana: Witches in America,” by photographer Frances F. Denny was one of my inspirations to start thinking about the power and magic that comes from what we wear. The portrait series is a powerful display of spiritual women who call themselves “witches.” The whole series aimed to avoid “easy formulas and, instead, to exhibit the heterogeneity and individuality of modern day witches."
As a community coming together for pride in our diverse spiritual beliefs, we must realize this power we wield by just the clothing we wear, let alone what we say. Just as Denny gathered a very diverse group of women, and asked them to “wear an outfit or bring along an item that they felt would represent their practice and identity as witches,”… I ask and encourage our diverse community, not just the women, to be a visible pagan when attending events like Pagan Pride Day. To show us your pride by wearing that which represents your identity as a Pagan.
As I prepare, organize, and center myself for a day of pride, I want to do my best to be a Visible Pagan. To wear something that represents my practice as an Eclectic Pagan: someone whose belief system is outside the main world religions. Coming from a place of agree to disagree, of live and let live, I hope to inspire everyone to teach and learn from each other. For this is the process of growth
In magick, we ground ourselves as a way to feel connected to the earth and the sky. We do this so as to steady ourselves before we pray, mediate, or do magick. When we call on and visualize the energies that come from below and above, we align ourselves with the energies of earth, which gave and gives us life, and with the universe, which gave and gives us insight. Just as a lightning rod channels energy, so to can we as we stand upon our mother earth and visualize our connections.
Below is a simple "calling" of the below and above energies and was most recently used in this past Eclectic Traditions ritual for Imbolc. The High Priestess of the ritual used her body as a visual. Touching the earth and reaching for the sky. She asked that people visualize with her as she called on these energies. The "calling" was written in a broad manner so as to let people visualize in each their own manner, so as to let themselves be guided by their own minds eye. According to the ritual leader, she believes this helps people to connect to the ritual on a more personal level and not controlling their experience.
In ritual she walked to the to the middle of the circle and kneeled down. While she said her lines in a slow rhythmic tone, she mimicked the rising of the energy using her body.
(Note: High Priestess, for Chol, just means the person in charge of the ritual or circle.)
“I call upon the divine energies that come from below us.
Deep below us, beneath layers of dirt and rock, …
Deep, deep Below… Where rock gives way to heat and energy…
This is the heart of the earth, the deep soul within…
We draw up these energies from the deep womb of creation.
Filling… Filling… Filling our being.
Hail and welcome below!”
The High Priestess has now risen high with hands to the sky.
ALL: “Hail and welcome below!”
While standing high she started her lines again in a slow rhythmic tone. She then used her body to mimic the energies explained by her words and lowered her hands…
HPs: “I call upon the divine energies that come from above us.
High above us, beyond the sky and stars,…
High, high Above… Where stars give way to endless expansions…
This is the realm of possibilities and creation…
We draw down these energies of infinite potentials.
Filling… Filling… Filling our being.
Hail and welcome above!”
ALL: “Hail and welcome above!”
Hello, and welcome to the PS Times.
Why call it PS Times?
First, let me explain what is “Pagan Standard Time” or better known as PST. PST is a common utterance in the pagan community for people who are challenged when it comes to schedules, rituals, classes or anywhere at the scheduled start time. This also goes for the time of departure as it often takes as long to say good-bye as it does to say hello, it happens when it happens.
In certain circles, especially among my group of pagan friends, we joke about PST and those who keep to its rhythm. All joking aside, I don’t truly believe it is a good or a respectable practice to be late for deadlines or scheduled rituals. One who is constantly on the PST schedule will often find themselves locked out of rituals or simply never invited again. As a coordinator of pagan events and rituals, I find it very disrespectful when people show up late when something is time sensitive. I understand the delicate balance of trying to keep a schedule, and at the same time I won’t turn anyone away who was doing their best to arrive on time and in communication about it. But overall, for those who make it a habit of being late, it is viewed as disrespectful.
Now let me also contradict myself… I also believe that for certain situations, it is perfectly ok to be more flexible with time, to go with the flow and not resist. With this in mind, I did try to give my community a chance when time is concerned. For the events I schedule, I actually give a time of one hour before ritual actually starts. I also do not hide this fact; I specifically say that the time for ritual is an hour later then on the invites. This helps those PST people to actually be on time and sometimes even early. There are times when I feel that “time” should not always be so strict and rigid. PST should have its place and, well, time. ;) Besides, it takes about that long for folks to wonder in and say hello!
I have often talked about writing more on topics that are close to my heart and soul and eventually have a magazine, printed newsletter, or blog. In the past, I had often joked about calling said magazine “PSTimes” because “you never know when we will come out with an issue,” especially since I often have many irons in the fire, that writing blogs or articles often sits on the back burner. The name, PSTimes was funny at the time and many who I told mentioned it was a catchy name.
Long story short, PSTimes is now reality and I can free flowingly write when the inspiration strike me.
Like the cocoon, is to the butterfly…
Like hibernation, is to bears…
The winter season should be our time to wrap ourselves up and catch up from the constant movement of Spring, Summer, and Fall. Winter is our cocoon, our time to hibernate; in each our own way. Winter can often be looked upon as very bleak, negative and dark… but I believe there is knowledge and understanding in darkness/Winter that always has a lesson to teach us.
In ancient times, Winter is when people stored food, hunted, and conserved to survive. They all drew inside and rarely ventured out for the harsh weathers outside. To pass the idle time away people would hone their skills, practice their craft, tell stories, build friendships, ponder about life… Winter became a time of reflection and drawing inward. I believe this is an important lesson that Winter teaches. Its almost like a forced break.
Today, there are so many conveniences and modern technologies that keep the human being going that Winter is no longer a restful time, it is just more time to keep moving and going. We keep working, keep stressing, and never stop. It seems harder and harder to find any real time to be idle and rest. Modern day America, there is no such thing as having real down time and you come back from a vacation more tired than when you left.
I find Winter’s lesson needs to be reaffirmed and put back into practice, at the very least for myself, and it doesn't have to be during Winter. Winter is just the metaphor I am using, since it is the season that has helped me remember to rest, reflect, and draw inward. There is so much healing by learning to “cocoon” or “hibernate” for a time so that we may rest our bodies, minds, and souls; rejuvenate and recharge our batteries.
After real rest is achieved, you will know when the time is right to unwrap yourself from your cocoon and fly to new and greater heights. :)
Chol Roman is also an avid writer on a variety of topics. She has been published in newspapers & magazines in NM & TX.