August Dark Moon Esbat

Two weeks ago, Aradia and my mother helped me lay the foundations of my house-wards.  Since then, though, my dreams have been more troubled than my waking life, alone, can account for.  I’m accustomed to living in a tightly Warded space, and although the neighborhood is quiet … it’s not that quiet.  Besides, I’ve been performing the Qabalistic cross daily for the entire interim: I was ready for a badass ritual, and I needed to prepare the space for rituals to come.

I began with a shower – a ritual cleansing that I often forgo.  I cleansed the space with a blend of sage, lavender, and kava – not my usual mix, but it was what I had on hand.  I called up an elemental circle, asking the powers, creatures, and beings of the quarters to guard my space so long as I abide there.  I charged a bottle of Dark Moon water to mix with my flying potion, and for whatever other uses I can find in the next month.  I made sacrifices to my household gods and spirits – mead for Dionysos and for the Nameless Ones; absinthe for the Nameless Ones, my journey-mask, and Tsu. 

Drawing on the theories of Frater Barrabbas, I opened a vortex within my initial circle and raised a cone of power as well.  With that power I turned to my oldest, but in some ways best, tricks: my Pentagram Ward, a structure upon which I will build more sophisticated wards and protection spells.  My power raised and protections in place, I could do what I’ve been putting off to long.  Doning my mask and downing my flying potion, I returned to the Underworld.

The world tree took me down to my Inner Temple, where Tsu, one of the spirits I work, with was waiting.  She pointed me toward a portal, and I followed.  Interestingly, the portal led first to campus, where I found another portal that led me into a void where I found the Leopard of Dionysos.  I was relieved to see her – I’ve been lax in my practice for a while, and I was afraid my allies had deserted me – but she reassured me that he was unconcerned by my absence; Rhea, on the other hand, was waiting for me.

I descended to a grassy plain I’d seen before, and went deeper into the Underworld via the Temple of Rhea I had seen before, during my initiation.  Dionysos appeared briefly – a translucent image, but still a presence – and I descended further.  I found the Magna Mater in a vast cavern, gargantuan and reclining as before.  I abased myself and apologized for not delivering Pasiphae to her before I left Kansas City.  A realization came to me suddenly: “This is all for my benefit, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” she conceded, and pointed me to a tunnel leading down.

That tunnel, in turn, led to oceanic depths I had encountered before, most recently while exploring the Elemental Realm of Water.  It occurred to me that perhaps the Power I had encountered here had not been knocking me around for her own amusement, but that perhaps there had been a purpose.  I swam in the direction she had thrown me and discovered a passage leading up.

That passage led me to more familiar territories, the caverns beneath a ziggurat I had “discovered” in my earliest spirit-journeys.  Reaching light at the top of the zigurat, I encountered a spirit I had almost forgotten – a winged stone serpent placed atop that temple, whose nature I have never determined.  After a brief, silent communion with him, I was returned to the heart of my Inner Temple.

I concluded my journey with a brief but fruitful conversation with Tsu, and returned to my body to put a lid on the vortex and close the circles.