Photo by Ganesh Dhamodkar Of all the ways an old building can be repurposed, the worst is for it to sit empty or be torn down. What a waste. At least let it be a refuge, where weary tr…
I have had to think on this post for a while. I have had some really amazing spiritual experiences this summer that have really added to the content of this subject. None of which I will probably be able to convey in writing that would actually do it any justice.
So, here goes.
As mentioned in my post on Drawing Down The Sun, drawing down the moon is the ritual in which the Goddess/Feminine is drawn into the person performing the ritual. It was once thought the Goddess energy could only be drawn into a priestess while God energy could only be drawn into a priest. This is now an outmoded idea. I believe that the energy that is called to you is the energy you most need at that moment.
I had performed a Drawing Down ritual of my own for the June 2, 2015 Full Moon. It was something I had never attempted before and was glad that I had others with me. As I had mentioned while writing my God energy posts, I really feel a connection with masculine energy. I was fully anticipating God energy, if anything, during this ritual. I did not expect the fullness of the Feminine that I felt. Maybe it is because I am now pregnant and am really feeling the connection with my inner Mother Goddess now. It was both beautiful and little terrifying. Since this ritual, I have been better able to feel the connection with energy work while performing rituals, meditations, and sometimes in daily life. Especially while cooking and baking. Really gaining a connection with my inner Feminine was one of the best things that I could have done for myself.
Now, I do need to mention (especially as I am writing this at a later date than the one posted) that the Drawing Down ritual was only the beginning of this journey. That connection was so very tenuous. I was privileged to be able to do some Goddess workshops and rituals at a Pagan festival in July. I did not realize before this that I had been slightly out of balance. Being able to combine my connection with masculine and feminine has been a boost to my spiritual growth and health. The workshops and rituals at Summerstar helped me to get a grasp on this and I now feel a balance. It is an amazing, calm feeling.
This particular blog post is way later than the date that will display. It isn’t that I have put off my personal lessons, I just don’t always have time to write about them. However, I am so very glad that I did wait to write about this one. Many things have happened that have really added to this one.
First, I find myself meditating on my feminine side a lot lately. I have found out that I am currently pregnant and expecting baby #4 in January of 2016. It is a little hard not to work with Goddess Energy during a time like this. I have felt more in tune with my plants and my growing things.
I also performed a drawing down ritual that opened my eyes a bit. I will be writing more on that in my next lesson.
I had the absolute privilege to attend Summerstar. I don’t feel I can completely explain all of my experiences, but I came away from it feeling refreshed and more connected. The Women’s Circle made me face some parts of myself that I am not always comfortable facing. The final Ritual made me let go of things that I had clung to too tightly. I actually feel lighter, happier, and more comfortable in my own skin. I am not perfect, but I am me.
In working with Feminine Energy, there can sometimes be a “sharpness” that isn’t quite found in Masculine Energy. At least that is how I perceive it. It can be more shadowy. Not exactly dark, though it requires the dark as much as the light. Where I feel God energy is somewhat vivacious, Goddess energy can be slightly reserved. Though not always. Letting out that Amazonian war cry sure does feel good. Stomping the earth around a drum circle, feeling that wild woman energy filling you feels good. It is an energy that uses exuberance purposefully, whereas God energy simply feels exuberant.
I feel the Goddess as I care for my growing garden, as I swim in Her waters, as I teach.
The Maiden can be impetuous and flirty. A person can be 100 years old and still flirt. She stays with us for life. She is our reminder that youthfulness is important.
One does not need to be or become a mother to recognize the Mother Goddess. She is also a fierce protector. There is a reason Mother Goddesses are also shown as Destroyers or Warriors in cultures around the world. That which creates can also take away. Artists can relate to this. Farmers can relate to this. Creating causes a bond. Artists, farmers, mothers all have a responsibility for nourishing and growing their charges.
The Crone can be frightening. She knows life and She knows death. She has the knowledge learned from a lifetime of living.
These are aspects we can embrace at any stage in our life. Some have an easier time accepting all of them than others. Sometimes we can only work with one aspect at a time, two, or all three.
Feminine or Goddess energy delves into the archetypal Goddesses: creation, birth, death, wisdom. As with masculine energy, this is not subject to only women to tap into. In fact, as I mentioned that I was fairly comfortable invoking the God, so do I know men who are fairly comfortable communing with the Goddess aspect. Balance (for me) is a key element in my personal spiritual happiness.
There are many ways to consider Goddess energy. As with my post on God energy, these ways may not necessarily be yours. And that is totally fine. We can go through the common triple goddess phases: Maiden, Mother, Crone. But I find that there is more to feminine energy than these phases indicate. There is also a Warrior element that can be found in Goddess mythos. Think Sehkmet, Kali, Coatlique, Diana, Artemis, Athena, The Morrigan, Valkries, etc.
Maybe it is because I am a female, but I seem to see a lot of darkness in Goddess energy. It isn’t exactly a bad thing. Not that all God stories are light and airy, but Goddesses can be downright scary. The moral of this little note is to make sure you do not underestimate the energy you are working with.
Gods. The masculine. Yang. A few common ideas come to mind when we bring up God.
We could even bring up Christianity. However, “God” means something different to every person. Even in Christianity. Some Christians will see their God as all-forgiving while others will see God as unforgiving and bringing down the wrath of the heavens. Pagans are no different. Some will honor Cernunnos and some will honor Odin. Some (similar to me) will honor the masculine that we feel in the Universe and not really be able to give it a name, but will honor different aspects of the Masculine by using different Gods (Odin, Hermes, Thoth, Quetzalcoatl).
Pantheons may not have completely matching Gods, but most of them will have similar God archetypes: Father, Trickster, Warrior, etc. For magickal purposes, when a certain aspect is required, it is easier to use a certain God as a focal point.
Now, not all the traits associated with Gods are considered Masculine by everyone. This is also something that will vary from person to person. And it is totally ok. Go with your gut feeling. If you feel you need a Warrior Goddess, then do so. If you feel you need a Nurturing God, then do so. The person who best knows what you require is you.
Drawing Down The Sun is the term generally used for calling a God into your body. Sort of sounds like possession, I know, but the accounts I have read on this have been very spiritual and even funny. The funny being when Puck decided to manifest.
I should maybe mention right now (especially since I uh maybe had this misconception) that drawing down the sun does not need to be during the day and drawing down the moon does not need to be at night. The terms are just used to differentiate between calling in masculine (sun) or feminine (moon) energy into your body.
When I started reading up on this, most of my books pretty much stated only male priests were able to draw down the sun and female priestesses were able to draw down the moon. Which I felt was pretty unfair. I have mentioned in a earlier posting that I felt pretty perfectly at ease in working with male energy in my circles. It was a little frustrating finding this kind of sexism in a religion that is usually so open about gender fluidity. Then I came across the article I posted above. And had a duh moment. Most of my books are older. And were written at a time when gender fluidity was not really a consideration. Turns out, if I had resources on drawing downs that were more recent, it is now perfectly acceptable for a priest to draw down the moon and a priestess to draw down the sun.
I had actually thought I would use this post to write a ritual for this. And, while I will be posting a ritual for a drawing down, it just isn’t ready yet. Before I had educated myself on this topic, I had figured this was something I could do as a solitary. Not so much. Drawing Down The Sun/Moon really does require a support team. You do not have to be part of a coven, but you should have one or more people in the Circle with you. It can be intense and the person who has drawn in a God/Goddess may need help after the ritual.
So, no ritual, yet. My coven will be joining me for the next Full Moon on June 2 and we will be experiencing a Drawing Down together. I am pretty excited about this. When I do post it, it will be found under Spells.
Ok. So this blog post has taken me way longer to compose than I had expected. I came to a brick wall on this one. So, I talked with a friend about this and I am going to try to incorporate his advice.
God energy, for me (it could be different for you), has a warmth to it. It is composed of animals, sun, sowing seeds, passion, violence, and death. Along with rebirth. The past week, I worked with God energy while fishing and working in my garden. I honored the fish I caught and made sure to use every part of them. The heads, tails, and innards are feeding my garden. The fish I could not eat immediately are in my freezer. This is my way of working with what I consider Male/God energy.
If you feel a calling to a certain God, study the attributes of that God. These callings can change, as you change. I find that whatever deities I feel pulled toward, they usually embody something that I need to work on. Be sure to pay attention to your intuition in matters like these.
My friend had recommended maybe typing up a God story or two. I thought about this and decided that once I am done with my year and a day lessons, I will start a Monthly Deity series. This way I can write more than one or two stories and spend a month researching each deity. I actually got so excited about this idea that I created a little start-up page for it. It only has one sentence on it so far, but I will be fleshing it out as I work on it.
After studying moon work, maybe I should have started on feminine studies, but I have actually come to the conclusion that I have worked with “male” centered energy for the past few years at least. I have taken on the role of priest in my coven as we have not had one. I feel as comfortable calling upon God energy as I do calling upon Goddess energy. Which probably also means that I do not need to do this lesson for myself.
Except that I do want to delve deeper into this aspect of my magickal path. Understanding and knowledge are a big part of my life and this is something that I would like to understand better.
This month and next month will be the only times that I intend to bring up the more religious aspects of Paganism. And these will not exactly be religious other than speaking of Gods and Goddesses. While I feel called to certain deities, I am not a religious person. I feel there is an energy we can call upon. We can give this energy some sort of form by using various deities as a focal point, but for the most part, I simply refer to it as The Universe. I do not worship this energy, but I do acknowledge it.
This is not the belief of every Pagan and I absolutely respect that. If you feel more comfortable with a specific series of Gods and Goddesses, then you need to continue with your religious practices. I fully believe that what everyone feels is right for them, then that is Truth for them. That includes Christianity, Atheists, Buddhists, Islam, etc. I may not share your beliefs, but I will defend your right to believe what you need to.
So, with that out of the way, on to Masculine Energy.
I believe everyone has a combination of masculine and feminine energy. Maybe different combinations. Some have more male or more female aspects. But, somewhere within all of us, we have access to both energies.
Even Yin has a little Yang and Yang has a little Yin.
Now to get really confusing. What I may consider to be God energy may not be recognized as masculine energy by everyone. I have known some Dianic pagans who do not recognize male energy at all. I found the concept interesting, but a little unbalanced for my own needs. It was the other end of the spectrum from Christianity’s overly male-oriented beliefs. With my own experiences with Christianity, I know that I require a balance of male and female influences.
What IS God energy? How is it different from Goddess energy? I associate God energy with sun and daytime. Summer. Heat. Passion. The physical. Where the Goddess IS knowledge, He is the embodiment of learning. These are what I feel when I feel God energy in the Circle.
*A note on Warrior aspect. Most of my Pagan friends would place this in the category of God and masculine magick. However, when I need to feel strong and protective, I call upon the Mother Goddess. Kali/Coatlique/Athena/Sehkmet are the ones that come to my mind. There are, of course, many others. There is nothing as ferocious and frighteningly protective as a Mother defending her own. I will go into this more when I work with Goddess magick next month.
Now, look into yourself and see within you what you feel would be considered masculine energy. This will not match up with my description of God aspects. Everyone is different and will view male and female energies differently. This month I will be meditating on the God/male parts of me.
I am rounding off my Moon Month with a discussion on moon magick. This actually ties in with my post, last week, on the moon’s personalities. I will also be mentioning what moon phase I am working with when I post spellwork on my Spells page.
Moon magick is not just setting up a ritual or a Circle. You can soak up the moon’s goodness by just sitting outside and enjoying the moonlight. I will often bless items by letting them sit outside during the full moon.
For May’s full moon, I have decided to do a slightly more formal ritual than my usual casual rite. I am using an idea from Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. I am toying with the idea of raising energy with chanting. I think that will depend on how many people are able to make it. Starhawk has some amazing group chants in Spiral Dance. Or I may use chakra chants.
The past four weeks have been a great reminder for me on how much I work with the Moon and all of her phases.
What? Personalities? The moon is a hunk of rock orbiting our planet. How can it have any personality, let alone personalitieS. Which is true, looking at the moon from a strictly logical point-of-view. However, even scientists are human and can be in awe of a hunk of rock.
From a magickal standing, the moon has quite the personality disorder. The different moons each month affect the meaning of the moon. Then, we bring in the Moon Signs and the Sun Signs. Now we have some personalities roaring around.
As an example, the next full moon for my area is May 3, 2015. It is often called Flower Moon, Grass Moon, Hare Moon. In other words, growing things are definitely showing up. It is no longer winter cold and food is becoming more bountiful. The reigning Sun Sign is Taurus. Earthy and steadfast. The Moon Sign is Scorpio. Deep and mysterious. Earth and Water elements. Both symbols of the Feminine aspect. Scorpio will add an element of mystery to the usually not-so-mysterious Taurus. Passion may run a bit higher. On an astrological level, this could be an interesting full moon.
I go into more detail on my page, Moon Work. The page is a work in progress and I will continue adding to it.