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How To Celebrate an Autumn Full Moon - Group Ceremony

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FallFullMoon_1500.jpg

Celebrate the autumn full moon outdoors!

Image by KUMIKOmini/Moment/Getty Images

In addition to -- or instead of -- holding a monthly Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups prefer to have a season-specific full moon ceremony. The traditional autumn season includes September's Harvest Moon and the Blood Moon of October, and wraps up with the Mourning Moon of November. If you'd like to celebrate one or more of these moon phases with a ritual specific to the harvest, it's not hard. This rite is written for a group of four people or more, but if you needed to, you could easily adapt it for a solitary practitioner.

Try to hold this ritual outside. Fall nights are usually crisp and cool, and a perfect time for outdoor rituals. Ask each member of the group to bring an item to place on the altar -- something that represents the bounty of the harvest. Decorate the altar with these seasonal goodies. Some ideas would be:

  • You'll want to include quarter candles*, as well as a cup of wine or cider. If you're including Cakes and Ale as part of your celebration, place your cakes on the altar as well.
  • A basket of apples
  • Gourds, squashes, or small pumpkins
  • Indian corn
  • Colorful leaves
  • Stalks of grain or wheat

Assign a member of the group to call each quarter. Each person should stand at their assigned quarter holding their unlit candle (and a lighter or matches), and facing the altar. If there are more than four of you present, form a circle.

Some traditions choose to begin rites facing east, while others prefer the north. This ritual begins with the calling of the north quarter, but you can adjust or adapt it based on the needs of your own tradition.

The person in the north quarter lights their green candle, holds it to the sky, and says:

We call upon the powers of Earth,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the fertile soil of the land bring us
prosperity, abundance, and the bounty of the land,
in this time of harvest.

Place the candle on the altar.

The person to the east should light her yellow candle, hold it to the sky, and say:

We call upon the powers of Air,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the winds of change bring us wisdom and knowledge
in this season of abundance and bounty.

Place the candle on the altar.

Moving to the south, light the red candle and hold it to the sky, saying:

We call upon the powers of Fire,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the shining light of this season's moon
illuminate our way through the coming winter.

Place the candle on the altar.

Finally, the person to the west lights the blue candle, holds it to the sky, and says:

We call upon the powers of Water,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the cool autumn rains wash away
the last comforts of summer,
and prepare us for the chill that is to come.

Place the candle on the altar.

Have everyone in the circle join hands and say:

We gather tonight by the light of the moon,
to celebrate the season, and rejoice.
May the next turn of the Wheel bring us love
and compassion, abundance and prosperity,
fertility and life.
As the moon above, so the earth below.

Go around the circle, passing the wine or cider. As each person takes a sip, they should share one thing they are looking forward to in the coming month. Do you hope to manifest financial independence? Develop your intuitive powers? Or are you perhaps hoping to grow your relationships? Now is the time to state your intent.

Take a moment to reflect on the bounty of the season. When everyone is ready, either move on to your next ceremony -- Cakes and Ale, Drawing Down the Moon, healing rites, etc. -- or end the ritual.

Tips:

  • Quarter candles are colored candles based on the colors of the four cardinal directions: green for north, yellow for east, red to the south and blue in the west.

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