My satchel of tools weighs heavy, pressing upon my spine as we make our way towards the clearing. We float, a serpentine weave of hip, thigh, and toe as we march on together through the woods.
Our circle is finally found, an quiet plane of grass among the trees. As we form into place, yellow eyes of stag and hare glance towards our coven from behind the trees, imploring our motive for disturbing their realm. The animals venture outwards, rustling leaves and knocking upon roots as they depart.
We proceed and set our altar atop a gnarled tree stump, drawing out a pentacle upon it's surface. Chalk dust flying upwards, reflecting the moonlit glow.
Me and my fellows light sixteen bright candles and place them along the perimeter of our circle. We press them deep into the black earth so that they stand firm. Upon lighting, they warm our space against the midnight chill.
The spinning arrow of my compass helps me find North as I begin to prepare for our directional devotions. I place our incense cones upon a wooden platform towards the east. My coven-mate places salvaged wood inside our cauldron and carries it towards the Southern edge. The bowl of moonwater glows brightly inside its vase to the West and our bowl of salt gleams white towards the North.
Preparations complete, the high priest and priestess take steady steps towards the altar. She reaches for the athame and I catch the reflection of moonlight as the priestess takes it in hand to cast our circle. The hem of her long white dress sticks and cleaves to her ankle with midnight dew as she walks barefoot along our perimeter, casting our circle.
Circle cast and space constructed, she begins to call the elements, imploring them to enter our circle.
Looking towards the east she lights the incense. I watch as the smoke billows and twirls, pirouetting towards the sky. The breeze carries it upwards, higher and higher, into the infinite. The wind careens my blond locks, separating the strands and flowing them to frame my face. I breathe in and let the cool air fill my lungs, expanding them with openness, intellect, and intuitive confidence. The flowing breeze carries a bitter taste of juniper and pine that tickle my tongue as I breathe steadily in and out. Wings of wind swirl among our circle, rippling our clothes and lifting our spirits as we smile in anticipation.
Reaching the Southern border, the priestess lights the wood inside the cauldron with a solitary match and the darkness springs into flame. Bright orange and red forms undulate, swirl, dance, and crackle through the air. The shadows maneuver between us, slyly filling the spaces between the trees. Memorized by the flames, I stare into the cauldron and feel a sensation of warmth, bringing an explosion of need and desire. The feeling urges me to open my arms as a kinetic energy spins around my thoughts. The high priestess glances towards me, her beauty fearsome and magnificent. Our eyes are wide, pupils dilated, as the power ripples and burns though our blood calling upon invincibility and strength.
As the priestess calls upon the watchtower of the west, the rush of a sudden cool tempers the internal flame raging though my veins. The sensation is soft at first, it tingles my feet as the gentle foam of a swell. But the roar of the tempest grows and builds as it travels though my body, waves crescendo and crash behind my heart as an emotional feeling of transcendent compassion transpires and a serendipitous solitary drop of the rush pools against my eyelashes.
Finally upon reaching the North, the owls hoot in welcome and the birds take flight, forming dark silhouettes between the branches as they take off. I feel the earth root and crawl between my naked toes. The boughs of the branches creek and crack against the wind. The pines bend and bow in salute. Off in the distance a canine howls, and we glance towards the orb above, mimicking their movement.
Hearing the steady drum to my left, I feel the rhythm pound into my bones. The time has come.
I take my neighbors' tender hand in mine and entwine our fingers, our necks pale and exposed as we gaze upwards. Looking towards the high moon and the infinite stars. The moment is temporary as the sound of a crow breaks our silence, and circle round we begin to go. Step by step, your hand in mine, joined as one, we circle. I am weightless without cares for I have come bearing spirit under the full moon sky. The moon is our remedy, it's color casts a shadow of glow upon our faces, filling our eyes with starlight as we dance round.
We stamp and stomp in motion, pale feet crossing ankles, a rolling thunder, a tide of movement. Around the circle we go. Step by step, from wrist to toe, we dance and fly round and round. Ecstatic energy circulates and spins as the beat pulls and tugs. Moving quicker now, leaping and bounding, round and round as the beat carries faster and faster. Building and building, our energy radiates outward and upward to the stars. Ecstatic tempo roars and erupts as it reaches climax.
At once our arms fly outward, spirit soaring, released towards the sky. Our hands let go and we gently fall down to soft green. Cradled and comforted by the tender Earth, it calms our palpitated hearts as our excess radiance begins to root back into the earth. We lay there, amongst the grass and dew for several moments, relishing our feeling of connection. Hazy clouds pass, wind twirls, and we lay relaxed atop the earth. As it becomes time to leave we stand and slowly begin to collect our things.
Before starting our journey back home, I venture one last look upon the full moon. Just as I turn my face upward, a cloud begins to pass, concealing the light as if saddened by our departure.
Don't worry, I speak softly to the Goddess, we'll be back soon.