Full Moon Ritual
Isabelle Ghaneh

We all sit, we three. Three, the sacred number. The number of the circle of blood, water, the moon. I tried the tarot, the astrology chart, the intuitive reading. They all tell me the same things but I need to hear them, again and again. Now I will try the caldron, black and forbidding, it speaks of dark nights; crones sitting, cackling, telling the old secrets.

I come for the blood myself. I come for the ancient retelling, deep places, dark purple nights. Hall-o-ween. The dark sun in Scorpio. The harvest moon. The ritual sacrifice. Thatís why Iím here.

I sit back and watch the priestess, dressed in black. The druids matched black for women, white for men, the Christians, the monks, came and replaced it she tells us. They reversed the costumes, the dress, the rituals. They replaced everything, those wily old monks.

Mithraism became Christ. Mithraism day, December 25 now its Christís day. Christmas, born on the back of Mithraism. Sheís right, I checked.

I come because of Hawthorne and Goodman Brown. He awoke one night to see his people: neighbors, friends, wives, husbands, children; cavorting like demons around a fire. The hatred, the lust, the envy, the rage, etched in their faces under a hallowed moon, a harvest moon. Scorpio again. Walking slowly back to their puritan homes they clothed again their desires, hates, cruelties with the mornings rebirth. Poor Goodman Brown.

He never recovered from seeing the insides of peoplesí souls. A bitter man, a terrible man, a wise man.

I come because of the painted bird, written by a polish born Jew. He wrote with a crooked pen, he had a crooked nose. A Jew nose was like a witches nose, back then. Long and crooked, they sniffed out the hollow places, the bad smells people try to perfume over. He was thrown in a dung heap as a child, a child Jew, hiding from the poles, hiding from the nazis. Hiding as we all hide from the killer, the bully, the murderer, the crazy parent. A child long tainted with names; baby killer names, Jesus you murdered names, scapegoat names. The old blood rite. The child realized in the middle of the dung heap the night rules the day. Beelzebub rules the world. In the middle of the dung heap, covered in shit, he had a vision, an epiphany, a revelation. From then on he too saw people as monsters under the skin. Smiles that hide the fangs.

I come to listen to the cauldron, to hear itsí hissing. I come to remember the baying of the hounds hot on the scent of the fox running, tearing him to pieces, the smell of his blood its everywhere, you can sniff it out, even without a witch nose. I come here again me, born with Scorpio rising. Plutoís my ruler. In November I share with Melville the coming up of coffins, the trailing behind the funeral walk, the mingling of lust and of power, the allure of the evil one.

I hated California with all its sweet sunshine. Everyone out there is crazy anyway; how could you not be? The hot sun, those endless days repetitiously rolling downhill one after the other and the other eternal summer. I prefer New England. I prefer the awakening in spring, the brief summer, the long fall, the cold winter, all hallows eve and the day of the dead.

In-between I come here again. Spirit called you here I was told by the tarot reader and the rune teller. These Sybils. I come again to reply to the dark night, to answer the wind swept sidewalk covered in leaves, some gold, some red, some brown. All dying.

I come here for the blood, for the lust and the envy and the hatred. For the lies and the cruelty and the cheating. I come here to be me in the midst of all this dying, itís the only place I feel truly alive.

The priestess intones the chant. We three close our eyes. Implore the goddess to intervene. This is the full moon rising. This is the night and the dark. This is the feline baying of hounds. This is me. It was the scent of the blood that called me back.

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