Although it is of course possible to enract ritual at any time in the moon's
cycle, the period just after the new moon lends itself more aptly to meditation
and the forming of ideas that can be further developed once the crescent appears
in the sky.
Candles and incense are unnecessary, but if you especially want them, then
use a small candle such as a miniature dinner candle or a birthday candle, and
a fresh incense with a slight tang or spicy overtones.
Wait until dusk and then sit comfortably upright and alert somewhere quiet
and dark, such as the room you use for ritual or in front of an altar or shrine. Be
open to the energies of the moment, really let yourself experience the way the
atmosphere around you seems to quicken and yet takes you within. Observe
closely how you feel. Consciously seek out the beat and rhythm of thoughts
and feelings so that you are filled with an excitement that is irritable and restless
as well. Take note of how this affects you, whether you experience it as exasperation
or eagerness. Take some short, quick breaths in and out, tense the muscles all
over your body and then give a sudden shout. This should release the extra tension,
allowing you to settle into the next stage of meditation.
Relax and breathe deep into your belly, imagining as you do so that your whole
being is opening and but taking you deeper within at one and the same time. This
sounds like a complete contradiction when written down, but try it and see how the
experience unfolds for you. Sense darkness within, but realize that this darkness
is not a total void; rather it is teeming with energy, potential and creativity. Keep
your breathing deep and regular, so that you seem to be inhaling and exhaling
through your navel area ..... really attempt to feel your breath entering low in the
body. Try to enter a state of listening awareness...... you are listening for your
thoughts, waiting for them to focus as well, but don't force them, and be alert
for fresh impulses too. As you breathe in, imagine that heat and power irradiate
your being; as you breathe out, visualize a small bright point of light within the
darkness, and watch it gradually grow, becoming stronger, clearer, and more
concentrated. Let the thoughts become focused too until you can separate them
out and see what they are trying to tell you. Sometimes this kind of exercise done
before the moon is visible, can teach us a lot about our own impulses and creative
drive, and ideas can emerge at this time that are more profound or more closely
aligned with our deepest intuitive promptings. Of course you don't have to do
more than at this stage ... just allow thoughts and impulses to show themselves and
to wait for your input before unfolding their potential. Some thoughts will not be
feasible, but some may be worth bringing into the light and incorporating into the
magical work of the month/lunar cycle ahead. Watch them all without judging until
one or two particularly draw you: these may be ones worth working with and
expanding. Let your intuition guide you over their relevance and worth.
Finally withdraw from the inner space and touch the ground to earth yourself,
then think about what you have experienced, or write it down in your magical journal.
Let its significance sink into your mind like seeds settling into the soil. In the next
few days these seeds will take root and begin to grow toward the light, becoming
visible with the moon 's first appearance in her current cycle. If you like, you can
take actual seeds and name each for a thought that inspires you and the plant them
in a bowl of earth.