Drawing down the moon: You’re not alone

The new song “You’re Not Alone” by Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy really expresses to me one of the things that Drawing Down the Moon is all about. These lovely lines capture it:

Open up, this is a raid

I wanna get it through to you

You’re not alone

Wicca’s focus on an immanent deity that all of us are part of, that all of us can have direct experience of, is one of its distinguishing features as a religion. The idea of “drawing down the moon” is hard to get across sometimes; it’s been described as an ecstatic trance state, which doesn’t quite do it justice, and as something akin to the experience that Vodun practitioners have of being “possessed” by the spirits, which is more accurate but tends to bring up all sorts of strange negative connotations in the minds of most monotheists. One of the things that seems strange or scary to those not familiar with it is that drawing down is an overwhelming experience; it’s not destructive, but it so transcends the everyday individual experience we’re used to that it’s amazing, uplifting, awe-full (filled with awe), and overwhelming. This song captures one aspect of that overwhelming for me.

The God and Goddess are so overwhelming in part because they do love us; they love us just as we are, every day, all the time, in all places. We are never alone, never separated from them. But becoming aware of that, truly sharing in the spirit of that, touching the face of the divine, kissing the limitless, however you want to put it, that awareness is overwhelming. It’s so all-encompassing that most of us are afraid of it. We resist it, we bar our doors and straightjacket ourselves within the confines of our one little mind and self and conscious awareness. The amazing thing, though, is that deity never stops calling – never stops being there, knocking at our doors, waiting to overwhelm us with the most amazing love possible. Drawing down the Moon is a way of learning to open up instead. And it’s incredible. So go on – open up to the raid of divine love. I dare you. At the very least, let it fill you enough to know that you’re not alone.

Video and full lyrics below the fold.

Link to performance on the Colbert Report. Since I don’t know if that will stay up permanently, here’s one of many YouTube videos of it as well.

Lyrics:

You’re not alone
I’m with you, I’m lonely too
What’s that song
Can’t be sung by two?

A broken home, a broken heart
Isolated and afraid
Open up this is a raid
I wanna get it through to you
You’re not alone

You’re not alone, every night
I stand in your place
Every tear on every face
Tastes the same

A broken dream, a broken heart
Isolated and afraid
Open up this is a raid
I wanna get it through to you
You’re not alone

An open hand, an open heart
There’s no need to be afraid
Open up this is a raid
I wanna get it through to you
You’re not alone

I wanna get it through to you
You’re not alone
I’m gonna get it through to you
You’re not alone

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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