PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Drawing Down the Moon
Chinese Harvest Festival: Moons & Mooncakes

I am very fortunate to be marrying into a Chinese family so I have been learning about the traditions. Coming up this week is the official celebration of the Harvest Moon. In China, the full or Harvest Moon in October is celebrated with mooncakes, which are offered to the Goddess Chang-O, the Lady in the Moon. This is the time when wheat and rice are harvested, making it an important time of thanksgiving for food to have on hand through the winter season.

The rice and the wheat are baked into cakes that look like the big round moon up in the sky and are used as offerings, along with melons and pomegranates, to the goddess. The women making the mooncakes put their intentions into them by whispering secret wishes into the batter. The unifying action of blending and mixing the tasty cakes represents family harmony. One sweet aspect of this ritual is the selection of a young girl to enter the “heavenly garden.” At the ritual feast for the goddess of the Harvest Moon, this young lady becomes the prophet of her family and community, and she is urged to share her visions about the coming year and the prosperity of the village or the land. Feasting on mooncakes and other ritual foods is followed by games and singing under the bright light of Chang-O’s moon. Here is a traditional wish for the season

Last modified on
In Which the Priest Answers the Inquisitive Child

Yes indeed, it was I in the mask and the paint last night; that's no secret. Everyone knows it.

But the god was there also.

Did you for a while forget that it was me, and see and hear only the god, even if just for only for a little?

You did, and that's the mystery, and the power: that if I do my work well, and you do your work well, then sometimes, for a little, the god will consent to cast his shadow over his priest, so that in this way he may speak, and dance, and sense.

And you too may see him then, and speak with him, and dance with him.

Why does he consent to do this? He does it because we are his people, and he loves us.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
To Goddess

Sometimes in contemporary paganism we're waiting for our language to catch up with us.

Many of the new paganisms are characterized by embodied gods.


So how to talk about this?

Possession. An “outside” word. Its implications of violence and external agency are wholly inappropriate to pagan experience, which explains why we don't use the term.

Drawing Down. “Our priestess draws down Hekate,” I've heard people say. This Wiccan phrase at least has the advantage of being vocabulary from within. There's a noun form as well: a draw-down. Unlike the Moon, though, not all gods are above us. (And even with the Moon, it's only some of the time.) Besides the spatial problems, there's the matter of agency. Is this phenomenon really something that a human being does to a god? Is it something that a god does to a human being? Or is it something that two beings do together?

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch says #
    I have always used "drawing down" because, of course, "my High Priestess told me." I like "to goddess" as an action. I'm not sur
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I wasn't attempting a comprehensive list. Since both "invoke" and "evoke" are terms in more general use as well (e.g. calling the
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    My tradition calls it skinriding. That's specifically a term from the Bersakrgangr magical tradition, and isn't necessarily used t
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Now that's evocative. Is it a recent coinage, do you know? It's certainly well within the ambit of received tradition if so. With
  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester says #
    I find it strange that your list does not include "INVOKING". I thought that was the most common term for bringing a deity "within

Additional information