The moon is full today, but I've been noticing it in the sky for the past few nights and that's why I held my 'esbat' Tuesday. I used to do rituals on the full moon. I'd have candles, herbs, ritual tools, and chants. I'd call Quarters, Deity, Elements, and cast a huge circle to hold it all. You know what? That wasn't a celebration, that was work. Now I light a lavender candle to keep bugs away, I drink a beer, and I smoke. Because really now, if I'm going to celebrate a moon I should be enjoying myself.
Sometimes I talk to the Moon Goddess. Sometimes I am quiet. I still do spell work, but these are done during the day or before I sit down to relax. Once I sit down on my porch, the goal is to rest and reflect. I have come to the conclusion that I need to charge in the moonlight just like my crystals do. I remember doing moon rituals with Air Witch and we'd spend two hours or more outside. We'd do our ritual then we'd lounge around our circle and talk and drink. That was the best part, the talking and drinking.
Tuesday, I thought about how much has changed in my personal practice of Witchcraft. I have paired down to barest bones. In the beginning of formally being Wiccan, I was intent on having all the 'right' tools. Now I hardly use tools. I use my cauldron nearly every day. I have a broom for sweeping negative energy from my home. Sometimes, if I'm in a really good mood, I wave my wand. I only have two other tools. On each Sabbat, I put on my mask and I tap my staff on the ground declaring myself the Witch of This Place. The mask really amuses me because I used to hate robes. Ritual robes tend to be long, flowing, and table sweeping. Clumsy thing that I am, I ALWAYS trip over the hem. Sometimes I manage to step on the sleeves. I can sum up in one word why I didn't like skyclad either- bugs. If you're going to walk around naked outside in the South, you might as well put a neon sign above your head which reads "SKEETERS- ALL YOUR SWARM CAN EAT HERE!"
So why do I wear the mask? I'm trying to be more than myself. I'm trying to be not just a person who practices Witchcraft, but a Witch who really belongs here. It's a simple thing, shifting perceptions by shifting appearances. But that's how magick works, by shifting the perceptions.
Except it's a little more complicated than that. It's a little more than lighting a candle, it's knowing what color would work best. It's not just meditating, it's knowing what to focus on. It's not just knowing the moon is full, it's knowing when the moon is closer to the Earth that's a different energy than when the moon is farther away. It's not just knowing your sign, it's knowing the energies of ALL the signs affect us every day.
I like to do magick when no one is watching. And it's not just that I think spells should be secret, but rather that I understand the more a person thinks about a spell, the more they twist it, until finally it is nothing like originally intended. On the flip side, I can do most magick in my head. No one knows if I'm mentally chanting as I cook. This is why if you took away all my tools, locked me up, and forbade me from ever casting a spell again, I'd still be a Witch. I'd go right on casting. I'm the magick. It's that simple, but it's more complex than that because my magick is not your magick. Even if I taught you everything I know, your magick would still be different because of your own talents, learning ability, life experience, and personal power levels.
Autumn is here. People everywhere are delighting in the cooler weather. Most of us are hauling out pumpkins and some are decorating for Halloween. Some people are preparing for the chill of winter, some people are clearing clutter, some people are working with the dead. It's one time of the year, and one million reasons to be happy, or scared, about the approaching darkness.