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Old 11-04-19   #1
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Default Drawing Down the Moon

Drawing Down the Moon

As a subject this has been upon my mind quite a bit recently. In part because I think the common idea of it as a subject is wrong. The idea of “Invoking” the goddess into one’s body as the Wiccan belief system employ’s it I think is incorrect. Not specifically the idea of Invocation / Evocation itself but the rational that lies at the core behind its inclusion in the Wiccan structure.

The fact the Wiccan High Priestess or High Priest tries to “Invoke” the goddess into his / her body by drawing down the moon to become one with the Deity is a common practice. Filling themselves with the “Spirit” or “Essence” of said deity and becoming one with them. Basically, allowing themselves to be ridden and possessed. Allowing the deity to speak through them in some instances or provide guidance.

Of course, let’s not ignore all the warnings that go along with the Drawing Down the Moon references.

However, if one goes back into antiquity and the Thessalian witches Drawing Down the Moon didn’t pertain to any of that. There was no idea of Invocation / Evocation at all. That and the rite pretty much applied to one specific Goddess. That goddess being Selene though you could expand it to Luna perhaps if you looked at the Greco / Roman world. But it certainly didn’t apply to Diana, Artemis or even Hekate or any other goddess. One could stretch it to apply to Hekate in her celestial / heavenly influence noting the movements of the moon through the heavens I suppose. But then it would be very specific movements and times that were being tracked.

Figure one of the things that was done was to collect the “Moon Juice” (Virus Lunarae) from the surface of plants and other places. Then incorporate it into love potions and similar things. A foamy substance that would be left upon things. Perhaps a dew like substance from the moon’s presence as it touched the face of the ground.

One might sort of get the idea of the story of Selene and Endymion from that imagery. It suggests the moon being both up close and personal and having a strong love aspect. It also suggests another worldly influence in that Endymion fathers 50 daughters with Selene but retains his youth and looks while he dreams and sleeps. There is even a Thessaly connection as Endymion initially hails from there. There is also an astronomy connection as well in that Endymion was also supposed to have been an astronomer which is where he gets his love of Selene.

Part of drawing down the moon occurred during eclipses when the moon was blood red and you took the blood of the goddess. Part of drawing down the moon occurred when the moon was hung unusually low on the horizon so seemed to be touching the earth anyway.

I recall being at sea and one moon stayed low on the horizon when we were in the Aegean Sea. That night the moon never rose but sat there on the horizon and cast a bright singular beam across the ocean which shown upon our ship. Looked like a spotlight directed at our ship to be honest. The moon so bright it knocked out the stars in the sky. Yet the other ships that were outside of that beams seemed shallow somehow. Yet every wire in the mast was illuminated, water on the decks sparkled like diamonds and the ship seemed to glow under the light. Even the green algae from our wake seemed to glow brighter. The ships in the beam with us had the same surreal look about them, almost like ghost ships. Spent 6 months in the Med and never encountered another night like that.

Part of Drawing Down the Moon also seemed to know which plants and things to harvest under which moons. Medea is spoken of as drawing down the moon in reference to Luna when gathering “items” that appear to be herbs and plants. But once again it is both a knowledge of plants & herbs but also a knowledge of heavenly movements. Reading the signs in the heavens to say when certain things are to be gathered or are their most potent.

One thing appears clear to me anyway and that is Drawing Down the Moon is about celestial movements and timing. It has nothing to do with Invocation’s or bringing the energy of a goddess into one’s body.

The witches of ancient Thessaly from where the term originates had a connection to Hekate in her dominion of the heavens / celestial influence. They watched the heavens and knew how Selene moved and when she would eclipse or would hang low on the horizon. When her essence and energy would touch the earth with its greatest influence and used that to their benefit. Used it for necromancy, transformation, love workings, wild gathering of plants & herbs and other things.

To me that has always felt wrong and caused me issues in accepting it over the years. Even trying to discuss it with others it felt wrong to me.
So, though I’d share these thoughts of mine. Ironically as all this has been stewing away in my head, I happened to come across the second reference item. Haven’t ordered it yet as I just found it last night. Plan to order it though and will give an opinion once I get it in.

THE WITCHES OF THESSALY http://www.astrosynthesis.com.au/wp-...rian-Clark.pdf

Drawing Down the Moon: Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World - Radcliffe G. Edmonds III An unparalleled exploration of magic in the Greco-Roman world - ISBN:
Published: 07/02/2019
Copyright: 2019
Pages: 496
Size: 6.12 x 9.25 in.
Illus: 22 b/w illus.
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Old 11-07-19   #2
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Default Re: Drawing Down the Moon

Though I'd further this topic a bit and present a few theories for discussion and see what people think about them regarding “Moon Juice” (Virus Lunarae) and what I think it could possibly be. Granted it's just speculation on my part and some UPG without any legitimate source to back it up source wise. Then give a bit of mythological and historical lore of the area as frontal information which might be informative if nothing else.

First here's a map of ancient Thessaly to orient to the 5 regions that made up the area. Don't figure the exact names are important to this particular discussion at this point. The main points that are important I think are Mount Olympus home of the Gods laid on the Northern Border, Mount Pelion home of Chiron the Centaur laid on the Southern end and was considered one of the most magical spots for healing / teaching. Thessaly itself was considered to be backwards and somewhat remote from the more advanced and civilized Southern Greece and Macedonia to the North. Additionally, due to its mountainous borders it was also somewhat protected from other areas.

As I presented earlier "moon Juice" or Virus Lunarae was a foamy substance that would be left upon the surface of plants or other things when the moon was drawn down. So the idea of the Moon being drawn down was either pulling it from the sky to the earth or pulling it from the sky during an eclipse where it turned red (blood ?) and vanished. Leaving this "Moon Juice" upon the landscape. Yet the stories imply this was done during the night, though they don't say if it was early night, late night, close to dawn as the moon falls, etc. Only that it was during the night. The hours when the witch would be protected by the darkness. Yet just for discussion purpose's lets add the idea of Hekate as a liminal goddess to the mix and her period of liminal time being dusk and dawn. Disclaimer this is conjecture on my part here.

Part of the landscape of Thessaly is mountain range, used to great extent to protect and conceal. Yet it is also subject to clouds, fogs, mists, rain which tend to obstruct, conceal and reduce visibility. I live in the mountains and have seen ground fogs that develop in minutes that block the sky out in nothing flat. The moon simply vanishes. High winds come in and bring high clouds and again take the moon out. Yet no sound is made down in the valley. That or a low scream or roar across the peaks is all we hear but if you don't know what it is.

Still that doesn't explain what the "moon Juice" is. A foamy looking substance. In the winter it could be a form of hoar frost or rime frost. Doesn't have to snow or anything for that to develop. All you need is a bit of moisture and a bit of cold air or cold air and wind and it will appear on everything. Often can be a foamy white looking color, almost like semen. Collect it and store it as it's easily gathered off of whatever surface its collected on and can be stored in any container as it melts. It's pretty pure as it contains no pollutants and would be seen as coming from the god's / goddesses. It only lasts in its frozen / purified form until Helios touches it first thing in the morning and flushes it away into the soil to hand it over the the underworld as a chthonic offering basically.

So that works for late fall, winter and early spring. But doesn't work for the rest of the year. But then what is hoar frost and rime frost made from? Basically it's dew. Nothing but plain dew, moisture in the air that collects on the surface of plants and other things that subjected to cold freezes. Yet dew is seen during the rest of the year as well. Go into the fields or mountains just before dawn and you'll find it on the leaves and such. Let a light source hit it and many times it will reflect the light like a foamy glob. Watch the rising sun hit a spider web with the nightly dew still hanging upon the strands and it shimmers and has a shinny sheen about it.

However, dew or frost alone still to me doesn't fully answer the question. I think the surface that it is collecting on also comes into play. Again as I pointed out above when I was at sea on the ship the moon barely rose above the horizon on that one occasion. The rigging on our mast sparkled with the moisture and the moon's beams upon it. The water droplets on the hull and weather decks looked like diamonds on our ship and made the other ships near us look like ghost ships they changed so much in how they appeared that night.

So I think the same would apply upon land and what ever plant the water was collecting upon. In that case the person collecting the "moon Juice" would have to have knowledge of herbal properties I think. In part because I think the properties of the particular plant will in part be infused into that "moon Juice"

While the "Moon Juice" was seen for love influences there are references to it being used for other things as well. The moon Juice created during a normal full moon would technically be different than that created during a lunar eclipse for instance.

I haven't discovered if the Hellenic lore recognized different moon's to the extend of say harvest moons / blood moons / hunters moons / etc. Yet in other lore each of those moon's has not only a distinct size but often a distinct color so potentially would produce a distinct "moon Juice". Which could potentially produce something aimed at different usages. Far beyond simply the blood of say an eclipse moon.

Granted again this is pretty much me speculating on "moon Juice" and what I think it might have been and how it might have been created. That it would be an everyday occurrence would be normal but that which was created on the full moon or eclipse moon would be extra potent as it were. I think certain harvest sites would be more powerful than others, as would certain times would be more powerful than others of the night.

SO what do others think of my theory?
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Old 01-07-20   #3
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Default Re: Drawing Down the Moon

Hello MonSno - it's been too long. I have been dealing with my back, work demands and more, so pretty much absent. But that's about to change - and how great to come back and see this interesting and detailed thread. I'm reading now and perusing the site, hope to invigorate things a little in 2020. I think we can all use some sanity and sanctuary in our lives these days,

"if you don't know how to think, you'll always be a one legged man in an ass kicking contest".

Shane Parrish
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