During my late teens and early twenties I was following the advice of St Bob to ‘join as many occult groups as possible’. These days I think this advice rather flawed for a number of reasons. However, back then as a uni student with no family responsibilities I eagerly joined and associated with many interesting and strange groups indeed. I also collected and squirreled away many reams of useless papers, some of which I have not looked upon since. Every so often I remember something, dig into the archive boxes and come away not with my intended quarry but something forgotten and interesting. Hence this post.
One of the strangest bods I met around this time was a Witch in his mid 50s who had the unfortunate Craft name of ‘Weasel’. He however, was very proud of his name, which he said has been given to him by his ‘Magister’ from a traditional (pre-Gardnerian) English coven. We sniffed around each other on and off for a few months, playing the game of ‘you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine’ – occult secrets, that is 🙂
Eventually, I lent him some old Co-Masonic papers (privately printed but hardly secret) I found at the Trash and Treasure. In return he described several of the rites from his coven. These I jotted down in my diary, nodding excitedly, but secretly doubting the claim of a centuries old Witch religion in the UK. Some of what he described was fascinating, much simply a watered down version of Grimoric magic and the odd item, really bizarre. I came away accepting that he belonged to an old tradition of folk magic but balking at the Goddess religious aspect as he used modern concepts and terminology.
It was several years later that I discovered that many of the rituals that Weasel described were based upon or related to material Simon Goodman had collected and stored away in his immense occult collection. By then I had lost touch with him and to this day do not know if he was once part of Simon’s circle and had access to the material that way, or if he and Simon had a common source in the UK. This ‘Calling in the Moon’ rite is a case in point. Below are my (grammatically corrected) notes from Weasel’s description and here you can find the scanned in document from the Simon Goodman collection. One is obviously based upon or related to the other, though I do not know which is the older.
Now, despite the “In use since 1700” note to the Simon Goodman collection document, I doubt this ritual is that old. For one thing, the idea of “the Goddess” is too Wiccan and too contemporary. And secondly, the ritual from Simon’s collection purports to be from a rural area where, in 1700, the average commoner would not have easy access to three mirrors. This detail and others from Weasel leads me to conclude this ‘tradition’ started off as Grimoric one, practiced by the richer members of society. It may have later incorporated Wiccan beliefs and concepts.
Anyway, hopefully this is of interest or use 🙂
“Calling the Moon
Oil, salt and water are needed to be present and three round mirrors.
This brings the Goddess of the Sky into the centre of the world. She comes through the womb of the priestess [Weasel used the term priestess in a generic sense; any woman doing magic was a priestess, any man was a priest].
An altar is erected upon the centre of the magical circle, outside in a clearing of the forest or bush. The moon must be able to be seen at the timing of the rite. High in the sky, well above the horizon.
Water, oil and salt are consecrated by lifting them to the moon in the old manner. [Weasel in another conversation explained this was by offering them to the moon and then touching them to forehead, lips and genitals].
The Priest bows and kisses the hand of the Priestess; she then blesses him, who rises and calls to the moon [Weasel had a card with the invocations and other words on, but I never saw it clearly so cannot be sure if he read the entire invocations to me or not].
Hail, most beautiful and fairest in heaven and upon the earth. Listen to my voice and hear my heart as I annoint this Priestess to call to thee.
Priest removes robe or opens cloak of Priestess, she naked underneath, no underwear [I remember Weasel saying ‘no knickers’ but I wrote ‘no underwear’ – obviously my distaste for that word goes back years 🙂 ]
Annoints first feet, knees, vulva (actual area), navel, both breasts, left then right, forehead.
Lies Priestess down next to altar or on altar if it is created bier fashion.
Takes first mirror, shows to Moon Goddess and pours water over it as reciting: Thou who art in every woman, young and old, smile into this mirror and fill it fully with thy secrets of the art (reflection in mirror) – fill it with the pearls of thy pleasure, fill it with the fire of thy fulfilment.
Mirror is placed on naked vulva, open legs if needed.
Priest takes another mirror and water, moves around so Moon can be seen in mirror on vulva and then pours water over it as reciting: Come most secret source of women and their mystery, touch this mirror with silver fingers and fill it with they warmth which welcomes the living wand of man until it blooms and seeds the welcoming furrow.
Mirror is placed on naked womb.
Priest takes another mirror and water, moves around so Moon can be seen in mirror on vulva and mirror on womb and then pours water over it as reciting: Welcome maiden of maidens, most precious, most loving of mothers, most wise of women. Enter into the mirror and use it to enter the heart of this Priestess.
Mirror is placed between breasts after touching left then right nipples.
Goddess is drawn into the Priestess at three points and She will then speak or mirrors removed for the Great Rite.”
I have never actually conducted this ritual in this manner, so am unsure how it works. Good luck to anyone who gives it a go 🙂