Bay Leaf Blessings: A Celebration of Your Fire… with Fire
Lammas & Full Moon in Aquarius Ritual by Elyse Welles
This full moon, much like May’s was, is a series of celebrations. Beginning the month, August’s full moon is also the day of Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the first of three pagan Sabbats focused on the harvest. And then one week later, we wax into the Lion’s Gate, an astronomical event where the star Sirius, Earth, and the Orion constellation are all aligned. It is a gateway of rebirth and renewal, celebrating who you are and giving you the confidence to embrace that stronger. The full moon/Lammas day is also in Aquarius, the sign of fun and flight! So harness that joyous, silly energy—your inner child might really come out to play today!
For centuries these holidays have been celebrated as a time to reap reward for hard work. This moon, you’ll be celebrating your achievements, particularly in regards to the crossroads of prosperity, abundance, and passion. What are the feats and treasures of your life that give it meaning? How are you wealthy, rich, and blessed?
As this is a fire festival, we’ll be using candles. If you live somewhere where it is safe to do a bonfire at this time, you may want to go bigger than a candle! Go for it!
For this ritual you’ll need:
A yellow candle (or a bonfire!)
Dried herbs and/or essential oils or flower essences representing prosperity, abundance, and passion
One bay leaf (laurel) on which to write what you are celebrating
Fire-safe ink pen or pencil
Consecrated oil (any will do—olive, safflower, almond, etc. I use olive as its a tree significant in my practice)
Salt in a dish or bowl that the candle can stand up in
If your candle is narrow, a candle holder to hold it up safely
Ideas for prosperity herbs to use:
Ideas for passionate herbs to use:
Liquid vanilla extract
Set up your sacred space, making sure all the herbs and ingredients (and a lighter!) are set up and ready. The salt can be in the dish or you can pour it as part of the ritual. Mix the ground herbs you’ll be using in a small dish before you start.
Breathe deeply, play ritual music, drum, hum, chant, or sit in stillness focusing on your breath. When you feel the energy start to tingle at your fingertips, call in deities, the quarters, or elements as you normally do if this is part of your practice. You can also jump right into the ritual once you’re energetically ready.
With your magical tools in hand if you use them, and if you’re outside with a bonfire, say:
“Selene, Goddess bold, full moon high and bright above. As you lent blessing to the harvests of old, I entreat your blessings tonight. In gratitude I raise my hands to you, and ask you to join me here in celebration.”
Take the bay leaf and write what you are celebrating on the leaf. “Join me in celebration of ____” detail your accomplishments, speak them aloud.
If you’re using a candle:
Pour the salt into the dish if you haven’t, and draw any sigils or sacred symbols (a spiral, a star, a circle, etc.) into the salt. Over the salt, coat your candle in three drops of oil, allowing any excess to fall in the salt. Rub the oil outward from the center of the candle to the ends, charging it by envisioning all that you are celebrating tonight. When it is charged, sprinkle the herb mix over the candle fully, allowing the extra to hit the salt as well. Raise more energy with your drum, your voice, dancing, or by directing it with your hands towards the candle. Place your candle in its holder on the salt and say, “I offer the warmth of this candle to the spirits of place in my home, on my land, and _____ [state your gods, goddesses, or simply the Universe] in gratitude, and invite them all to join me in gratitude, that we may dance together in mirth and reverence.” Burn your bay leaf in the candle.
If you’re using a fire:
Sprinkle some salt into the fire, dancing round it, throwing it in little by little, feeling more grounded with each toss. Then pick up the herb mix, and dance around the fire doing the same, throwing it little by little, feeling celebratory. Smile, laugh, sing, screech or howl if you feel called to! When the energy is high, say, “I invite the spirits of the land to join me around this fire, dedicated to the Moon and to the _____ [state your gods, goddesses, or simply the Universe] in gratitude, that we may dance together in mirth and reverence.” Burn your bay leaf in the fire.
Enjoy the moment as long as you can. You don’t have to end the circle right away: play your instrument, sing songs, if you’re celebrating with others, talk a while. When the candle has ended and the fire has faded away, thank Selene and any other deities and spirits you called in for their presence.
Enjoy this Full Moon Ritual? Don’t miss the next one and the other profound revelations awaiting you in Metaphysical Times Full Moon Magazine. Head to our newsstand to grab the current issue or subscribe now to receive a year’s worth of mystical insights delivered right to your door! 🌙”