This my step-by-step guide for this monthly ritual in my home:
- Clean, clean, clean (which today I did not, as I'm exhausted from my period and I've been dealing with a headache all evening.
- Wait until night fall, preferably when the kids are in bed.
- Shower and pour Kuan Yin's Lotus Water on my head (headache prevented me this time).
- Pour all offerings, including the kathiskos, into the community offering bowl. Clean the lustral water bottle and the jar.
- Khernips wash.
- Get all of the offerings together and sat in their respectable place. Set up Hecate and the Ancestor's altar. Brew Hestia's tea.
- Light Hestia's candle, I turn my face upwards, arms open, palms up, "Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home, I light this candle to represent your sacred flame." Sprinkle the salted flour into the flame, "I ask that you accept this flour and this tea, as I show my love and gratitude for everything you've done, everything you do, and everything you continue to do to help myself and my family. Thank you."
- Light the sage stick, "Hestia, I light this sage in your name and ask for blessings over my home."
- Starting with Her shrine and traveling throughout the house, clockwise, I repeat, "With this sage, I cleanse this space all of negativity energies and entities." Ending with Her shrine, then I cleanse myself, only instead of "this place", it's "myself".
- Sitting the still smoking stick on Her shrine, I move over to Hecate and the Ancestor's shrine.
- Lighting the candle, face down, arms open, palms up, I address, "Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads and Spirits, I offer you this flame and my menstrual blood. Ancestors, I offer you this flame, milk, water, and chocolate. To thank you all for your love, teachings, and protection, I give these offerings in gratitude and with love for all that you've done, all that you do, and all that you continue to do for myself and my family. Thank you."
- The Ancestral offerings aren't always the same--sometimes I give moonshine, whiskey, bread, candy, water, milk, pomegranate (for Hecate, too), Witches Brew Wine, coffee, tea....just anything I think or know that they like, except for tobacco products. I never give that, because I don't want to support that industry.
- Next, I cut a bit from a used tampon and go outside to a potted plant. I kneel, face down, and knock three times on the ground, "Hecate, here is my offering of blood, as per our agreement." Then I bury the bit and go back inside.
- Going to the general Theoi shrine, I only turn the LED candle on that's on the Cthonic side, then kneel, face down, and knock three times, "Hades, Persephone, and the Gods and Spirits of the Underworld, I offer this "flame", the milk, water, and chocolate to you as I give my thanks for all that you do, on this Dark Moon. Thank you."
- Next, I take the community offerings and toss them outside, into the woods.
- Coming inside, I play Wendy Rule's Hecate three times, as I eat and reflect.
Sometimes I may even do some Spirit Work, but tonight I just don't have the energy.And once I find some good hymns and prayers for Hecate, I'll add those to this ritual.
One thought that I had tonight, was wondering if I should honor Dionysus during the Harvest season's Dark Moons, instead of just on the Harvest days and Ancestor's Day (Oct 31)? If I did, I'd use red wine to represent His blood and sacrifice, as I plan on doing on those days. I don't have red wine right now, so I didn't. But it's something to ponder.
(also posted on From the Mud)