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                                     SOLITARY MOON RITE 
                             By: Ellen Reed, Coven of Sothistar
           This rite may  be used for either New or Full Moon.  The difference is
           in  your meditation and mental attitude in preparation.  Remember that
           the New Moon  is a time of  outward work and thought,  building to the
           peak which is the Full Moon.  At  the Full Moon, you should be prepar-
           ing to lessen the outward flow of energy, bit by bit, until the period
           before New Mo  on, during which  you are passive,  building a pool  of
           energy within you, in preparation for the New Moon.
           The altar should  be placed in the  center of the ritual area.   On it
           should be placed a rose or stick of incense on the eastern side, a red
           votive candle to the  South; a cup of water on the West, and a bowl of
           salt or living plant on the North.
           Around your ritual  area, you should place an unlighted  candle at the
           cardinal point of each direction.
           To begin your rite,  enter your darkened temple, carrying  one burning
           candle, white or lavender, with you.   Place it on the center of  your
           altar, sit, and meditate  on the meaning of  the rite.  When  you feel
           the time is right, stand,  and go to the eastern point,  carrying with
           you, the burning taper.   Light the votive at the eastern point and go
           to the  southern, picturing, as  you do, an  arc of pure  strong light
           curving from one candle to the next.  Continue to the West, and then
             to the North, lighting the candles as  you go, and then walk to your
           eastern  candle again,  having formed  a circle  of pro  tective light
           surrounding the area in which you worship.
           Return to the  center of the circle, replace the  candle on the altar,
           and say:
           My Lady of  the Moon, who is called Diana,  Artemis, Levanah, Isis and
           by any other names,  I come to you to  bring you my love and  my devo-
           tion.  May you grant me the joy of your presence.
           Mentally divide the room  into four quadrants by visualizing a line of
           silvery moonlight from  the southeast to the northw est,  and from the
           northeast to the southwest.  Go the  East, taking with you the rose or
           incense.  Say:
           Sweet Goddess, the gentle breeze is the touch of your loving hand, the
           wind of storm a reminder of your strength.  The s ound of the trees in
           the wind is your voice, and the fragrance of flowers borne on the wind
           is your gift of beauty.
           Place  the rose  next to the  votive candle,  then stand  there as you
           picture  the  quadrant  filling with  moonlight.    See  the moonlight
           streaming quietly and gently into the room, filling the quadrant
           from center point to the edge of your circle.
           When this is  complete, take the red candle  to the South.   Place the
           gift and see the quadrant fill with moonlight.  Say:
           Most loved  Lady, the light  of the candle is  a guide along  our path
           leading to you; its warmth  the reassurance of your presence  and your
           love.  The light of the Sun is the knowledge you impart to us, driving
           out ignorance and those things which can survive only in darkness.
           At the West:
           Lovely One, the  quiet pool is the  serenity of your being.   The vast
           sea  where life  began on this  planet is  the vast sea  of your being
           whence all life came; its waves  are the ebb and flow of the  universe
           you rule.
           At the North:
           Goddess of  all, the fertility  of the  earth is a  sign of  your fer-
           tility, whence all  life rose.  The solidity  and permanence are still
           of  it are  still less than  yours.   The Earth's  fertility feeds our
           bodies, and your fertility feeds our souls.
           Go to the center of your temple, which is now filled with moonlight. 
           Everything in the  circle is touched  by it, blessed by  it, including
           you.   Sit down and feel this  moonlight around you.   Know that it is
           the  Goddess.  Realize that you are in the center of a sphere of light
           that is half above and half above and half below where you sit.  Begin
           to breathe slowly and  evenly, deep breaths that penetrate  your whole
           body.   When this rhythmic breathing becomes natural, imagine that the
           moonlight by which you are surrounded enters you, fills you entirely. 
           With each exhalation of your  breath, some of the essence  of yourself
           leaves your body, and with each inhalation, the light enters you.  You
           are  being filled  ever so  gently with  this beautiful  light.   This
           light, which  is the presence, the being of the Goddess, is within you
           as well as without.  With each breath, you  are less yourself and more
           the Goddess.
           When you are filled with light, filled with the Goddess,  the shell of
           your body fades  away.  You have no body; there is nothing to separate
           you from  the entire being  of the  Goddess.  Nothing  exists but  the
           being of  which you  are apart.    You have  ceased to  be a  separate
           entity.   You are nothing and everything.   All that was, that is, and
           all that will be, you are.
           Enjoy this  feeling as long as  you like.   When you feel it  is time,
           picture the outer  shell of  your physical body  reformi ng,  becoming
           solid again.  It is being built out of the Universe of which you are a
           Now,  as  you continue  your slow  deep  breathing, see  the moonlight
           flowing out of your body, as gently  and slowly as it entered.  As  it
           flows out, realize there is a difference.  Because you have become one
           with  the Goddess, with the Universe, your  being has changed.  As the
           moonlight flows out  of your  body, it takes  with it  a part of  that
           which was  yourself, now part of the Goddess, and leaves behind a part
           of the Goddess, forever now part of you.  You become yourself again, 
           solid as you were, but changed.  You are surrounded by the presence of
           the Goddess, which now contains a part of yourself .
           Move again to the  East.  As you  speak, and after, picture the  moon-
           light  in  that quadrant  flowing back  to its  source, lea  ving that
           quadrant as it was. 
           Do this at each quadrant, until  all the moonlight has returned to the
           At the East:
            My Lady, guide my thoughts.  Let them lead always closer to you.
           At the South:
             Gracious Goddess, guide my actions.  Let them  always help and never
           harm others or myself.
           At the West:
             Lovely One, guide  my emotions:   Let  them be  healing and  touched
           always by you.
           At the North:
             Sweet Goddess,  let my mind always be fertile and storng, that I may
           grow always toward you.
           Return to the East to complete the circle and say:
           Queen of Heaven,  I thank you for your presence,  both now and always.
           My love and devotion are yours.  Blessed be!
           All  spirits who  have joined  me  tonight may  depart, with  my love.
           Return to your proper places.
           Walk again around your circle,  but this time counterclockwise, extin-
           guishing the quadrant guards as you go, and at the same time, mentally
           erasing the white line which surrounded your circle.  When the candles
           are out and the circle gone, rap on your altar and say:
           The rite is ended.

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