There are several lunar observances in Ár nDraíocht Féin which have grown organically through different subgroups in the last few years. As an orthopraxic organization embracing many hearth cultures, and straddling the oft-confusing line between administrative organization and church, to my knowledge there has been no attempt to view these practices holistically. Here is mine, and how I see these practices as part of a larger cycle in our home worship.
Defined here as the earliest visible waxing crescent, the New Moon is the observance of the Hearthkeepers’ Way. This is a time of the Hearth, of families and households, of beloved individuals coming together in worship. Hearths around the world offer to the Earth Mother, the Hearth Goddess, and the Ancestors, knowing in comfort that other people do as well. We reflect upon our commitment to living pagan lives.
I call out to our many Hearth Deities —
Westya, Hestia, Vesta, Brighid,
And all you whose bright fires illumine us.
Shine on our hearths and in our hearts.
Whether we are one or many,
Whether we have bonfires or candles,
Your caring love carries us from one moon to the next.
Bless each and every one of us,
We who light your lights,
And inspire us always to live with our values,
In virtue, and in love.
First Quarter (The Druid Moon).
Marked as an important date in both Tacitus and Pliny the Elder, many Groves hold observances (often for members only) at this time. Seeing the Druid Moon as a chance for fellowship, community, and more in depth-magical work, some Groves and individuals use the Coligny calendar and other sources to expand their cultural practices with named Moons throughout the lunar cycle.
This is a time of community, of Druids in fellowship, of honouring those along the same path as us — those in our Groves, our organization, and perhaps the pagan communities at large. We should pray for their blessings and discernment as the moon grows in brightness.
For our hearths, for our groves,
For druids, pagans, and all children of the Earth,
The Kindreds hear our calls.
O Ancestors, O Land-spirits, O bright and mighty Gods,
Bless us, we who do your work in this world.
Let us hear you, see you, and know you:
You who teach us with story, inspire us to action.
You who inspire us to action, strengthen us with virtue.
You who call us to the sacred Groves,
You whose names resonate in our hearts,
Show us the clear paths to deepen our worship of you.
The ADF Healers SIG leads a healing rite for all who ask for it, and the members of ADF at large join in with this work. Under the bright full moon who shines upon all of us, this is a time of the world, the global community, for all humanity, and for extending our love towards all.
Round is the moon that shines in our sky,
O Measurer, again you call us to worship
And to pray for all the world.
Round is the Earth that is under our feet,
O Mother, again you support us
Giving us all that we have.
Bright is the flame that burns in this place,
O Hearth Goddess, again you shine for us:
Under the same moon, on the same Earth, with the same bright flame in our hearts:
We join together to pray for healing, for blessing, for love.
As the moon wanes, we begin to look inwards and become quiet. This is a time of the Dead, the Ancestors, those who came before us but still show us the way. We pray to the Ancient Wise, to our own familial ancestors, and to our other important Dead for guidance and simply to remember them. We may also use this time to reflect on our own mortality, and knowing this, how to live our lives.
O Ancestors, before us you have lived and walked and worshipped.
You sought to connect with your gods, with your families, with each other.
Teach us what you know, share with us your wisdom
So that we may grow in life, in work, in play.
Teach us from beyond, for one day we will join you there,
Sharing what we know with our inheritors.
The Clergy Council prays in the dark of the moon for individuals requiring healing, and I think it well to pray for ourselves at this time also. This is a time of introspection, of shadow work, of resting and preparing for the coming month ahead. We focus on our journals, focusing both on reflection and planning, to reorient and remind ourselves – body, mind, and spirit – on our paths and to our true purposes.
At the dark of the moon, I rest, yet I pray:
I pray for rest in the Earth Mother’s arms,
A gentle embrace under shining stars.
I pray for reflection as I contemplate my actions,
In this moment, between past and future months.
Guide me to discernment, fixed and shining stars,
As I seek order, truth, and virtue.