Two years ago, in conjunction with one of my classes at Ocean Seminary College, I realized that it was high time for me to try to offer spiritual nourishment and experiences to my immediate family members throughout the year. I want to be the priestess of my own hearth first. And it was at this time, my idea for Family Full Moon Fun was born and we’ve kept it up, with varying degrees of success, ever since.
I usually envision a delightful family ritual with loving connection, meaningful symbolism, spiritual experiences, and perhaps a drum circle. When asked what they want to do for Family Full Moon Fun, my kids usually want to eat treats and watch movies. Though we’ve had some profoundly magical experiences together, often the full moon sneaks up on me, leaving me feeling snappy and unprepared for having fabulous full moon fun and instead having more like rushed, mediocre full moon fun. Recently, I lamented that perhaps I was going to stop trying, because it just didn’t seem to work. Then, I had several realizations. One, in doing something like this for kids, I need to keep it simple. Two, less talking from Molly = more fun for family (the kids need to have active, verbal, responsive parts of the ritual). Three, my kids are already telling me what they think is fun, how I can pull that in to my vision of a regular spiritual date with my family, rather than reject what they’re telling me as not suitably ritualish enough? With these thoughts in mind, I jotted down a very simple ritual. We did it last month and it was wonderful. In fact, my seven-year-old son, who is known for his semi-wild, very physical, and not-particularly-mindful mode of engaging with the others or the world, asked us all to hold our candles up to our hearts and say that we were thankful for love and the light in our hearts. Then, he said, “thanks for doing this kind of stuff for us mom, I really like it.”
Here was our ritual, which we conducted standing out on our back deck in the light of the full moon. Each of us brought a candle and an item for our family altar representing something we’d like to grow and develop in the coming month:
- Circle up and place hands on each other’s backs and do a “toning” (group humming) together to unify our energies and sync us up/bring us into ritual space. I actually do this at every ritual I priestess because it is a very connected way of “casting the circle” with our own bodies and physical energy. We usually hum in unison three times. With kids, sometimes it is not in unison and my eyes met my husband’s over their heads in an effort to stifle laughter at the discordant chorus we created.
- Invocation using the body (I had a hunch this would work well for kids because it is physically involved, rather than just listening). Turn to the south and rub your hands together, feeling the heat generated by your own body. Fire lives in you. Welcome fire, welcome south (kids repeat with great energy and enthusiasm). Turn to the west and lick your lips, feeling the water of your own body and how it is connected to the waters around the world. Water lives in you. Welcome water, welcome west. Turn to the north and feel the strength and stability of your own body, connected to the earth. Turn to the person next to you and give them a hug, feeling their solid presence. Earth lives in you. Welcome earth, welcome north. Turn to the east and take a deep breath in unison, inhale, exhale, feeling the breath of life in your body. Air lives in you. Welcome air, welcome east.
- Then, holding our candles, bathed by the full moon’s light, we each shared our wishes and goals for the coming month as well as what we brought for our family altar and what it represented.
- Eat full moon cookies together to symbolize our commitment to our intentions.
- I offered a prayer for family togetherness that I made up intuitively and the kids all repeated each line after me, i.e. “May we celebrate each other’s successes, may we communicate positively…”
- Holding hands, I thanked them for participating, “may the circle be open…” and we adjourned inside to place our items on our family altar.
I’d also decided to make a simple dinner so that no one had to spend too much time in the kitchen, so I made chicken and potatoes in the roaster and a salad. We came inside and watched our favorite family reality show, Face Off, together while eating our dinner. We enjoyed more of our full moon cookies for dessert and the kids made hot cocoa to drink. And, then we did some drumming.
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. white flour
Mix together until stiff dough forms, adding a 1-2 TB more butter if needed. Roll out and cut in full moon circles. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. For half of our cookies, we melted chocolate chips and dipped one half of the cookie in the chocolate to make some half moon cookies to go with our full moons.
On a related note, one of the members of my Priestess Path group on Facebook recently shared her website with us, which is a collection of family ritual ideas to celebrate pagan holidays. It looks like a great resource: Pagan Family Sabbats and Esbats | Rituals for moms, dads, and kids to celebrate the 8 Pagan Sabbats and Esbats
Crossposted at Pagan Families.