LITURGY FOR THE FULL MOON

INVOCATION – Opening to Possibility (Inside)

Responsive Call to the Four Directions
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the East, from where we first perceive the Light.
All:    Light of Light, Light of Inspiration, Light of Earth’s Sun, Light of Earth’s Moon, Starlight, Firelight, Cosmic Light that speeds on the Winds from the Center of the Universe, Empower us. [Light the East candle]
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the South, from where we first perceive the Fire.
All:    Fire of Hearth, Fire of Compassion, Fire of Earth’s Sun, Fire of Earth’s Moon, Starfire, Earthfire, Cosmic Fire that speeds on the Winds from the Center of the Universe, Empower us. [Light the South candle]
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the West, from where we first perceive the Water.
All:    Waters of Life, Waters of Emotion, Waters of Earth’s wells, Waters of Earth’s storms, Primal Waters, Cosmic Waters that speed on the Winds from the Center of the Universe, Empower us. [Light the West candle]
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the North, from where we first perceive our grounded Mystery.
All:    Soil of Earth, Rocks of Earth, Caves of Earth, Fecund Earth, enfolding Earth, protecting Earth, Cosmic Earth that speeds on the Winds from the Center of the Universe, Empower us. [Light the North candle]

Chant Gathered Here in the Mystery of this Hour
        Gathered here in silver Moonlight
        Gathered here in the Wonder and the Power
        Spirit Draw Near!

Readings

Thomas Aquinas:
"Some people presume that because God works in every active thing it is God alone who does the work and that no created power produces anything real.  For example, that fire does not burn, but that God does.  This is impossible, however.  For such a situation would destroy the causal structure and interplay of the universe.  And it would lead to positing a weakness in God, since it is from strength that any cause gives the power of causing to its offspring.  Furthermore, if causal powers in fact did nothing and God did it all, then things would simply not have any power.  They would be shams if you took away their proper activity, for they exist for their work.  Thus, when speaking of God’s universal causality, we must be careful to safeguard the proper activity of creatures.  God attributes power of action to created things, and this is not out of a weakness on God’s part, but rather out of God’s most perfect fullness, which is sufficient for sharing with all beings."

Brian Swimme
"Newton and others early in the modern period regarded the Moon as a conglomeration of stable, unchanging atoms.  With such a conception it is easy to hold that the Moon simply forms a wall off of which the light from the Sun bounces.  But when we examine the physical processes of “light,” “atoms,” and “bounce” we find a much more complex and even astounding dynamic.

"First, the elementary particles and atoms are not permanently existing objects, but are events that are vibrating at extremely rapid rates ... particles exist in one location and then exist in another location without traversing the space in between.  So, as bewildering as it might sound to us, it is more accurate scientifically to say that the particles and atoms are flashing into existence, surging into existence, and then just as suddenly they are dissolving from their place to surge forth in a nearby location, all happening so rapidly that the unassisted human eye cannot catch the movement.

"The Moon is not a dead object, but is instead an ongoing scintillating event.

"Second, it is false to think of photons as “bouncing” the way a ball would bounce ... Instead, the photons from the Sun “interact” with the particles of the Moon. ... Thus, it is not true to say that the photons of light arriving here from the Moon have just been bounced from the Sun.  Moonlight comes from the Moon, for moonlight is created by the Moon."

MEDITATION UNDER THE MOON (Outside)

[Light Central Fire]
Chant:    Fire Flow Free
        Fire Flow Through Me
        Fire Flow Free
        Fire Flow Through Me
        Fire Fire Fire Fire
        Fire Fire Fire Fire    Kiva

[Repeat until the Fire is going; sit or lie on the ground around the Fire, facing the rising Moon

Guided Meditation

We have learned from Thomas Aquinas that the natural world has its own power and integrity, and from Brian Swimme that the Moon is not simply a dead object that reflects the light of the Sun, but a living Being that creates its own light in interaction with the Sun.  Suppose we also could create our own light in interaction with the Moon – for we are also living beings,
radiating light.  We too have power and integrity.  What Power might we realize in interaction with the Moon?  

The Moon has been a source of Magic Power for millennia.  And what is Magic?  Sometimes folks try to use Magic to manipulate or change the natural order.  We all know that doesn’t work.  But Magic is also another word for Transformation.  Dionne Fortune, an occultist from the early 20th Century, defined Magic as the Art of Changing Consciousness at Will.  So, to put it simply, Magic really works to transform the Magician.  In this meditation, I invite you to experience changing consciousness – to begin to transform our perception of ourselves and our relationship with the Moon.

Start by making yourself as comfortable as possible.  You may sit in a chair, or lie on your back on the ground, but whatever your position, be sure that you can easily gaze at the rising Moon.

Moonbeams have been a pathway to dreams since time began.  Remember?

Wynken, Blynken and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.

Now that everyone’s remembered how, begin to follow the path into the Moonlight.  Feel how the Earth holds your body, like your mother’s lap, or maybe your Father’s backpack, or your grandfather’s old wooden shoe.  

Now as you go, imagine that you are looking DOWN and OUT at the Moon and the Stars.  

You may feel a little dizzy, as you step out or down into the Moonbeams.  Take a deep breath.  You will not leave the Planet.  Take another deep breath.  Relax into the certainty and safety of Earth’s gravity.  Feel how your weight is not heaviness, but the Power that keeps your body here.  Take a third deep breath.

Now open yourself to the Moonlight.  

Without light there is no life anywhere in the universe.  For life comes from light.  And because we know that there is light everywhere in the Universe, we know that there is life.  Imagine how the photons from the Sun interact with the photons from the Moon, and how the photons from the Moon interact with the photons in your body.  

We come from the light.  We are made of light.  Breathe in the Power that lives in the Light.  What is the nature of that Power for you?  For plants, it’s photosynthesis – the breakdown of sugars to energy.  What is the Power the Light brings to you?  What transforms in your life when the Light interacts with it?  What is the Light that you shine before your community?  Your family?  What is the Power you would like to bring back from the Moon?

Now begin to come back, finding your way along the Moonbeam, or riding the Wooden Shoe back to where your body lies, safely bound to the Earth.  Look away from the Moon, to the Earth around you.  Move your hands and feet, reconnect to the Earth, and when you are ready, be sure you are firmly grounded, and open your eyes.  Those lying on the ground, roll over on your side and push yourself up on your hands, then sit up.

Before we end this portion of the ritual, let’s pass the decanter of Water around the circle.  Hold it up to the Moonlight, and infuse it with the Power you brought back with you.  If you wish, you can say the Word of Power that you are adding to the Water.

Song    Many and Great O God Are Your Works    (Dakota Hymn)

RESPONSE (Inside)

Communion

[Words of Institution (from Matthew Fox’s Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, p. 271).  Pour wine, break bread, feast; decant the Moonwater into small bottles for each one; and share prayers and intentions for the group and community.]

CLOSING

Song  Spirit of Gentleness    NCH 286

DISMISSAL

One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the North, from where we first perceive our grounded Mystery.
All:    As we return, we will remember. [Extinguish North candle]
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the West, from where we first perceive the Water.
All:    As we return, we will remember. [Extinguish West candle]
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the South, from where we first perceive the Fire.
All:    As we return, we will remember. [Extinguish South candle]
One:    We who are creatures of Earth face the East, from where we first perceive the Light.
All:    As we return, we will remember. [Extinguish East candle]

ALL:    Peace!  Shalom!  Amen!  Hoh!  Blessed Be!

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