SGP Ritual for the Super Blood Blue Moon Eclipse

This ritual is designed to fortify ourselves with inner strength, cunning, bravery and the will to persevere. Into the underworld we roam like werewolves and creatures who trespass the boundaries of the normal, finding a sacred freedom there. It can be performed alone or in groups.

Background:

A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a month. For some Australians, it won’t technically be a Blue Moon as it takes place after midnight on the 31st of January.
A Supermoon is a full moon that appears extra-large and bright in the sky; the moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its elliptical orbit.
A blood moon is a colloquial term for a total lunar eclipse. The moon will be passing through the darkest portion of the Earth’s shadow (the umbra); some of the light reflected off the Earth’s atmosphere will make it glow a luminous red.

The site timeanddate.com has useful information about times and the direction the moon will be travelling through the sky in your area.

Tools:
Spring water
Dragon’s blood stick incense
Clean bowl
Red candle

For afterward:
Salty snacks, journal & pen

Kitchen substitutes:
Chilled or filtered tap water, oranges/orange oil, roses, rose petals, other incense, ext. Hot water poured over herbs like a tea can produce pleasant scents as an alternative for people sensitive to smoke. A tea light in a red glass, ext.

Location:
An outside liminal space, such as the beach, a park, your yard, ext.
If being outside isn’t suitable, by a (preferably open) window.
The eclipse can also be watched live online here:
https://www.timeanddate.com/live/

Setup:
Create an altar to be the focus for the working, and practice/learn the chant.
Place the red candle in the center, with a stick of incense on each side.

Suggested altar items:
Black and red objects such as fruit or statues
Bones, mushrooms, and other items associated with death and the underworld
Sea salt
The Strength and Moon tarot cards
Red stones: sandstone, jasper, carnelian ext.
Moon-related stones: selenite, moonstone, quartz
If you’re a person who presently menstruates, related sanitary items
Sand or sea water

Chant:
Bathed in blood and clothed in flesh
Into the darkness we dare step

The ritual:
Prepare in a manner that befits your practice. Ground, ward, cast a circle, enter into magical space/headspace.

Read out the ritual intention three times (Once by the ritual leader, then thrice as a group if working with others).

Ritual intention:
Between the worlds, we embrace our birthright as the strange ones.

Have the ritual leader read out the liturgy:

Liturgy:
The dominion of the othered, the queer, the witch, the seer, is an ability to step between the worlds while fully inhabiting none. There is power in our unique perspective, value in our rarity. In the underworld we find cradle, truth and power. The fertile ground for challenge, growth, the hidden and obscene. Like the darkness, sovereign and strong, we cannot be denied.

Begin the chant.

At the height of the eclipse, direct your hands and arms upwards to the moon and envision using them to guide energy like a silvery light down into the bowl of water, turning it into blood.

Take turns drinking deeply from the bowl.

Let the chant naturally fade into a hum, and then silence.
Lay back and watch the rest of the eclipse, close your eyes or stare into the candle. Allow yourself to feel the power of the spring water coursing into your veins and enriching your blood, or engage in visionary experiences.

When it feels appropriate, return.
Blow out the candle, snuff the incense and close the circle, banish, thank, ground.
Eat some salty snacks or the food off the altar.
Journal your experiences.

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Sacrifices and Sympathetic Magic

Like many pagans, sympathetic magic is a substantial part of my personal practice; be it drawings, photographs, statues or other symbolic representations. Although I do work with live plants, incenses, resins, animal remains and more, the real thing is not always appropriate, possible or practical.

My shrine to the Outsider uses battery-powered LED candles and lanterns because its hidden position makes using real fire dangerous-and I rather enjoy the humour of using fake fire for pop-culture magic.
The consumption of large, juicy strawberries is a perfectly acceptable substitute for human hearts in ritual as far as Lilith is concerned, as another example.
Since the issue of live animal sacrifice is a purely hypothetical one for me in my current circumstances, I leave those moral quandaries to be unpacked at another time. What I can do, however, is make symbolically appropriate sacrifices.
Although I’m not a strict reconstructionist, I do enjoy research and adapting ancient practices to fit my modern lifestyle. In this research I found accounts of animal sacrifice substitutes in ancient Greece being made with bread, beeswax and reeds. As the sacrifice of livestock would have represented a substantial financial commitment for anyone who wasn’t particularly wealthy, I imagine these sympathetic magic substitutions would have been reasonably common.
I have a lot of local natural beeswax on hand from making my own devotional candles, so it seemed the obvious material to use if I were to create my own effigies. It turns out carving/modeling straight beeswax is incredibly difficult and my first attempts were an ugly mess. Instead, I adapted my sculpting and casting knowledge to create small dog and bull effigies, sculpting them in modeling clay then creating a silicone mould so they could be easily replicated in wax.
I use the dogs as apotropaic offerings to Hekate as part of a cleansing ritual, since my relationship with Hekate has a strong bent towards cleaning. I’m yet to test out the bulls, but I have one set aside for dedication and sacrifice to Dionysus. Bulls are symbolically rich animals, however, and could be used for any number of other deities or purposes.
Since I was on a roll sculpting, I also made a tiny human heart replica for healing/cursing or whatever else one fancies. My companion uses them for enchanting and enclosing within his taxidermy pieces, which is delightfully creative.

In the future, I’d like to experiment with various additives such as incense or tiny pieces of dried bull (Companion jokingly referred to it as ‘homeopathic bull’) or dog hair. I’m not sure how I feel about using the shed hair of still-living animals for sacrifices since my practice has always had a distinctly necromantic bent. But does using the parts of an already dead animal nullify the effect of a ‘sacrifice’? Is the intent all that matters in sympathetic magic? Food for thought.


Devotional cooking: Koresh Fesenjan for Hekate

Suffering chronic fatigue, I usually don’t have the energy for big, flashy ritual. Once a month on the day of the new moon, I clean my house as best I can in service to Hekate, and we share the evening meal. If I’m able, I try to incorporate relevant foods such as egg, garlic, leek, honey, and pomegranate.

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Last month I made Koresh Fesenjan-a Persian chicken, walnut, and pomegranate stew.

Ingredients:
(I don’t measure things when I cook; it’s why I’m terrible at baking)
2 spoonfuls of honey
Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper
Salt-I don’t normally add salt to my food but Hekate requested extra after I’d plated it up
Chicken tenders, cut into small strips
Cup of chopped walnuts
Liquid chicken stock
White rice
Olive oil
Pomegranate molasses

Process:
1. Toast the walnuts in a pan for a few minutes until golden brown and fragrant.
Lightly crush with a mortar and pestle. When cooking for two, using a food processor isn’t worth the effort it takes to clean.
2. Cook the rice.
3. Lightly brown the chicken in a pan and toss in the spring onions with a dash of oil.
4. Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil.
5. Add spices, honey, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses.
6. Simmer until the stew is no longer watery.
7. Serve with rice, garnish with walnut, parsley or pomegranate arils.

It’s a very sweet and sour, rich tasting dish.
I lit a candle and served it with a cup of fruit tea. Hekate seems to have a penchant for dark chocolate as well, which we had for dessert, although she seems insistent on sharing whatever I’m eating. Afterwards, I take her portion to my three-way crossroads altar, as well as a customary offering to the restless dead which I do not eat from.

Some months I’m not able to cook the food myself or make anything quite as elaborate as this, but it is my duty to share this meal and to remember the dead.