The moon has been associated with witchcraft, magick, and sorcery for many years and was considered to be the source of a witch’s power. In ancient times witches were common and those inhabiting the part of northern Greece known as Thessaly were infamous for being able to draw down the Moon as was written in an old Greek papyrus dealing with magick, which states:
“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.”
– Magical and Mystical Sites: Europe and the British Isles, Elizabeth Pepper, John Wilcock
A Drawing Down the Moon invocation is a ritual possession by the Goddess and considered a mystical experience. It is a core Wiccan rite that originated in Gardnerian Wicca, and is a central element of both Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wiccan ceremonies.
Within a cast Circle; the place between the worlds beyond the bounds of time where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one. It is a place set apart where Gods are met. Once the Goddess is present, incarnated within the Circle all the psychic power raised becomes Goddess power and on the night of the Full Moon or on the night immediately preceding or directly following it. A coven’s High Priest draws down the Moon, invokes deity, while the High Priestess shifts into an altered state of consciousness allowing the Goddess to take over her body and become incarnated within the cast Circle. Using the physical body of the High Priestess, the Goddess speaks directly to those gathered within the Circle sharing divine wisdom, advice, and prophecy. This is a unique opportunity for those gathered, to not only feel the presence of the Goddess, but to literally communicate and interact with Her. While She is present, the High Priestess is absent; she has released her conscious connection to her mortal vessel, and may for days after feel the lingering presence of the Goddess within her. Because the rite requires serious preparation, and a willful surrendering of consciousness to another spiritual force, it is usually done by only well-trained clergy.
The experience of Drawing Down the Moon can be overwhelming not only for the High Priestess, but for all those gathered within Circle. Depending on the energy raised within the Circle, the messages that come forth can be moving, poetic, and inspiring. Many individuals connect with the power of the Divine Feminine present during the rite and therefore with the power within themselves.
In the modern Wiccan rite, the coven’s High Priestess has the option of reciting the Charge of the Goddess, a text based in a mixture of writings by Gerald Gardner, Aleister Crowley, and Doreen Valiente, instead of allowing Divine possession.
For a solitary Wiccan to perform a Drawing Down the Moon, the individual should perform this ritual during the Full Moon and within a cast Circle. The Wiccan should assume the Goddess stance with both arms held high with palms up and feet just slightly parted so that the body and arms form the letter Y, while chanting an invocation of the Goddess.
Drawing Down the Moon is a rite of faith and belief. If you are an individual that does not believe and are not open to the possibility that a human being is able to shift their conscious mind so that deity can possess their physical body, then you will not experience it, but if you believe and accept that it is possible then a Drawing Down the Moon experience is something extraordinary to experience.