I stand across the Circle from her. Even though I am inside a friend’s home, even though I am standing among what feels like thousands of candles, the December chill still makes me shiver. I cringe at the thought of the Circle being cast. I’m always cold inside the Circle. My host steps to the altar and mentally reviews her checklist to make sure everything is present. She unsheathes her athame and lays it across the altar. With a quick smile, she rings the altar bell and the seven of us turn our attention to the altar. The ritual is about to start.
She removes her hair from the loose ponytail and slips on a fragile circlet with a piece of moonstone resting on her forehead. Our host quickly explains that purpose of the ritual. “Tonight”, she says ” We are going to use the waning moon to rid ourselves of our fears. You each have a piece of paper. On it, I want you to write what you want to be rid of.” She left the room to give us a moment to prepare for the ritual. When she returned, she was no longer wearing the simple white skirt and tank top, instead she wore a long black dress. Her circlet was replaced with a simple black veil. “So dramatic” I thought to myself.
We gathered back around the altar. Our host, lifted her athame and led us in a visualization to cast the Circle. I shivered against the cold as the Circle spun around us. Our host requested that we speak the names of Dark Goddesses as she attempted to invoke Her in her darker aspects.
“Kore,” a faceless voice called out.
“Oya,” another followed suit.
“Lilith,” I finally said. I said finally. I looked across the altar at our host. She struck a match and tossed in into the cauldron. The flames leaped high and lit the room. By the light of the cauldron, I can clearly see our host’s face. Through her veil, I see a gleam in her eyes and she flashes a mischievous smile on her lips. The Goddess is here.
-Excerpt from my Book of Shadows (December, 2012)