Drawing Down the Moon

Drawing Down the Moon An important ritual in some traditions of Wicca in which a coven’s high priestess enters a trance and becomes the Goddess, who is symbolized by the Moon. The transformation may be accomplished with the help of the high priest, who invokes, or draws down, the spirit of the Goddess into the high priestess.

The origins of Drawing Down the Moon can be found in classical times. Ancient Thessalian witches were believed to control the moon, according to an old tract:

“If I command the moon, it will come down; and if I wish to withhold the day, night will linger over my head; and again, if I wish to embark on the sea, I need no ship, and if I wish to fly through the air, I am free from my weight.”

In the modern rite, the high priestess may recite the Charge of the Goddess, a poetic address written by Doreen Valiente, high priestess in the Gardnerian tradition (see Gerald B. Gardner), or she may deliver a spontaneous address.

Drawing Down the Moon is considered one of the most beautiful of all rituals in Wicca. Depending upon the high priestess’s trance state and the energy raised, the words that come forth can be moving, poetic and inspiring. Through Drawing Down the Moon, many women connect with the power of the Goddess and therefore with the power within themselves.

A similar rite for invoking the Horned God into the high priest is called Drawing Down the Sun or Drawing Down of the Horned God. Similar Pagan rituals are called Calling Down the Moon.

Further Reading:

  • Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon. Revised ed. New York: Viking, 1986.
  • Fitch, Ed, and Janine Renee. Magical Rites From the Crystal Well. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1984.
  • Starhawk. The Spiral Dance. Revised ed. San Francisco: Harp- erSanFrancisco, 1989.

The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

Rituals in Witchcraft

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