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To heal and honor your mother self.
Construct a pentacle. Make it out of sturdy materials that can be cut out and colored. Color each point in accordance with its element. I suggest gold for spirit (or white), pale blue for air (or yellow), red for fire, deep blue for water, and green for earth. Or make up your own color system. Write in the qualities of each point. When you are done, set it upright upon your altar, so that it is facing you. Copy, color, and cut out a mother goddess image. place this upon your altar.

At the full of the moon: do this ritual by yourself out in nature. If it is safe and feasible, prepare to camp out overnight. Pack an altar bag as part of your equipment, containing: a red cloth, a red candle (with sturdy, fire resistant holder), two smaller candles, one black and one white, the pentacle you have made, the goddess image you have colored, a bell, some dried rose petals to burn, and anything else you consider essential to your mother rite. If you have children, bring pictures of them, or something they have made. Also pictures of your mother, grandmother, grandchilren or things they have made or given to you. Bring your magical journal along to keep notes of your experience.

When you select your campsite, look for a special place for the altar. Have your campfire close enough for burning magical herbs dunng your ritual. Situate your bedplace so that you can see your altar when you are lying down. Lay the wood in place for your campfire. Cast a magic circle by walking clockwise 'round the site and declaring it sacred space.

Arrange your altar just before sundown, placing all the objects with care. Add a few friends from the environment--a rock or two, a pinecone or leaf. Be aware that you are in the presence of the Goddess and that you have come to honor Her. Open yourself to the beauty and power of nature. Watch and listen for Her sounds and signs. Record any significant visions or apparitions in your Book of Shadows. Often She will speak to us through Her wild creatures, Her plants, Her breath of wind...

As the full moon rises, light the red candle, saying:

"Oh mother, I dedicate this altar to you. I dedicate this day and night to you. Come to me now and enclose me in your protection and love."

Light the white and black candles, saying:
"As the maiden and the crone are contained within you So do I light their flames also."

Light your campfire, and when it is blazing well, throw same of the rose petals into it. Take up your bell and ring it steadily, chanting:

"Awaken O loving spirits of the earth
Of the sky
Of the waters
And the fire
Awaken before me, behind me,
To the left and right of me
Above and below me
And deep within me
Awaken loving spirits of the Mother
Come to me now
Surround and protect me in this space
Heal me of all hurts and wrongs
Make me at peace with all creation ..."

Ring the bell a little longer, and then listen to its reverberations fade. Replace it upon the altar and chant MAAAAAAAAAA for as long as you like. (Ma is the universal mother call, and is a filling replacement for the male "om" chant.)

Direct your attention to the goddess image on your altar, and meditate in silence for awhile. Open yourself to any visions, realiazations or messages from the goddess within and without. Mentally take her image into yourself, and say the Goddess Blessing. Close your eyes and ground the energy. Snuff out the candles and prepare to sleep. Keep your journal beside you, so that you can record your dreams upon waking.

In the morning, relight your candles and burn some more rose petals. Write down your dreams and anything else you consider significant. At the altar, concentrate on the pentacle, turning each point upward in turn as you ponder the meaning of the live elements they represent.

For the rest, improvise. Let your imagination take over and create your ritual. The best rituals are spontaneous, and therefore alive with immediacy. Write down your inventions, that you may use them again in the future. When you ready, conclude your ceremony, pack up your equipment, douse your campfire thoroughly, and open the magic circle.

Written by Shekhinah Mountainwater

Book of Shadows © 2001, Dana (Huntress of the Dark)