Pray to the moon when she is round
Luck with you shall then abound
What you seek for shall be found
In sea or sky or solid ground.
I’m not sure where the above rhyme originates. I learned it when I was a kid, first reading about Paganism and trying to practice the rites on my own. I use it in my Kwannon album Oisin, for a song named “Queen of Heaven.”
Oddly, I don’t have a profound connection with the moon, an unusual quality in Pagandom. I’m more of a solar creature, woven of the mid-morning sun, birdsong and light catching on dewdrops — bright, strong, somewhat ephemeral. I prefer the brilliance and hue of the day to the mystery of night: better to see the birds, the wonder around you, the seedlings in the garden bed.
And I suppose that’s one of the things I love about Druidry: it’s not particularly lunar. It follows the path of the seasons: Sun and Earth, Grian/Aine and Danu. We do have two somewhat lunar rights, of course: the Mistletoe Rite on the sixth night of the moon, and another when no sun or moon are in the sky. But those rites, unlike the Wiccan esbat, really aren’t about the moon, or its resident God/dess (almost always a Goddess to most Wiccans).
The timing of the two Keltrian rites has to do, in effect, with positionality — the placement of sun and moon in relation to the practitioner. Why the sixth night? The night is brighter but not at its climax. Both moon and sun will be in the sky at sunset, which is the start of the Celtic day; the full moon, on the other hand, rises as the sun is setting. So, in effect, you have the involvement of both types of light: the veiling brilliance of moonlight, the exposing shine of sunlight. It seems appropriate for a healing rite.
And the other is pure mystery, pure veil: neither sun nor moon in witness, only the light spun of candles, sparked by human hands, primal fire governed and contained.
I do, on occasion, honor full moon nights in ritual — but not to a goddess, or even to Midhir, whom I honor as the (male) god of the moon. Instead, I honor Manannan at the time of flow tide. I admit I have some philosophical issues with the typical Pagan “the moon is always female” sentiment. Since the post I’ve just linked was written, I’ve transitioned from honoring both a female sun and a female moon to a female sun an a male moon, which in my mind may be more true to the original Celts. And, well, it just feels right to my experience!
Still, I am closer to Aine than Midhir. I honor her during my Mean Samraidh rite, and with prayers during the height of the day when I see her (and remember to do so). I honor Midhir with prayers when I see him as well, but I haven’t been inspired at this time to do an honoring rite. I do love and appreciate the story of Midhir and Edain, however, and think on it often.
Just some musings before I head out for the day, and apologies for my silence. I’ve been busy working on the latest Kwannon album, to be titled “Ancester.”