I wanted to thank everyone who gave me encouragement on my last article, New Moon Example Ritual. There was an overwhelming amount of responses that honored me and inspired me to write a few more rituals for those who need help coming up with something unique for their full moon rites. I want to thank each and every one of you that wrote to me and told me what you thought of the ritual I wrote and those who gave constructive criticism; it’s just what I needed! I may be continuing to write more example rituals to show folks that there is no limit to the creativity that can go into these workings. Any and all may use this ritual as long as credit is given to Shining Quill the Unicorn and Deeply Rooted Church. My words and all of my artistic energies are dedicated to my community.
Full Moon Anansi Yule Ritual
History, Lore, and Purpose
December 22nd’s full moon will be happening on the Winter Solstice! It will be an exciting time for everyone as the year comes to a close, gifts are passed back and forth between friends, and we face the longest, darkest night together. I can think of no better way to spend this shadowy, somber night than sitting around the Yule log telling stories that warm the hearth and heart. Creativity and cunning are what is needed to be a successful story teller as well as the will to tell the stories lest they be forgotten. This ritual is geared towards invoking the deeply imaginative forces of an ancient God whose intent was to originally make the world a more colorful place through the act of story telling. Story telling is both a gift to the writer as well as the audience who is huddled around listening to the intricate play of words and whims woven by the clever author.
In this ritual, we will be invoking and honoring the African Spider-God, trickster, and master story teller, Lord Anansi. Originally the son of the Sky-God, Nyame, this handsome fellow observed that the world was becoming quite a stale and monotonous place to live. Being clever, Anansi decided to spin a silken web up to His father, Nyame. Lord Anansi did so with ease and approached His father to ask Him if He, Lord Nyame would release all of the stories that He greedily kept in a box so that the world below would have some access to the sacred traditions. Nyame, so impressed with His son’s cunning, decided to give Anansi an impossible task in trade for the tales and folklore stored away in His treasure chest.
Anansi was charged with bringing four very dangerous creatures to His father and the Spider-God quickly agreed. The Spider-God used His incredible gifts of shape-shifting and trickery to take down these foes and deliver on His word to His father the Sky-God. Nyame, true to His word, presented the box of stories to His son so that all the world could share and embrace the artistry known as story-telling. The full lore of Anansi can be read here so that you can get a good idea of the deity that we will be working with on this Solstice night.
We can see that Anansi is a river of ideas and creativity that can be tapped into if given the proper respect and reverence. As a Priestess who enjoys making pathways to different Gods and exposing folks to new ideas, I feel a kinship with Anansi. Not only as a writer, though also wearing the hat of Trickster from time to time to help others in the Clergy process see sides of themselves that they would not have originally considered.
The purpose of this ritual will be to give Lord Anansi remembrance in this time of gift-giving and togetherness. If you’re a writer, artist, or a musician, this will be a perfect ritual for you to channel the bright-full moon energies into a visionary well-spring of ideas for the new year. Even if you’re not the creative type, we can all do with some new intellectual and ideological stirrings to keep our lives flowing in a positive direction so that we can continue to discover the best of ourselves. Those who are leaders, Clergymen, and healers will also benefit from the fertile web of Anansi whose ideas will help enrich community and give tremendous momentum to future goals and intent. So in this ritual, let us remember and honor the ancient Spider-God and His sacrifice to make the world a brighter, more enjoyable place to inhabit. HAIL LORD ANANSI!
Author’s Note: This ritual can be scaled to any size. Whether you are a solitary practitioner or a Coven of witches, just include more ingredients to suit the needs of however many participants will be in your ritual. If you need assistance in doing so, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
For this ritual, you will need the following materials:
Cauldron – To represent the cauldron of wisdom that Anansi has dominion over and shares globally with the planet.
1/2 cup Vinegar, 1/2 cup Water and 1 Tbsp Salt mixture – Ritual purification of our spiritual area
1 Plastic Spray Bottle – This is for the mixture of vinegar, water, and salt above. Make sure it can produce a fine mist. The goal is to cast this mist over your ritual supplies to sanctify your intent and protect your ritual materials and space. You can find these spray bottles cheaply in Walmart or your local Dollar Store.
We will be making a mixture of 4 herbs to represent the four creatures that Anansi had to defeat in order to keep His word to His father, Nyame. If you can not find or afford the following items, write the names and properties of each herb on a piece of paper and envision what they look like as you work with them. The creative place of the mind is just as powerful as the physical world. I also chose very simple herbs for this spell as not everyone has access to more advanced materials. If you desire, you are free to substitute whatever herbs work best for attracting luck, manifesting dreams, bring forth wishes, and strengthening mental powers. As Above, So Below!
4 Pinches Allspice – Attracting luck
4 Whole Star Anise – Manifesting Dreams
4 Whole Bay Leaves – Wishes, Prosperity
4 Pinches Caraway – Strengthening mental powers, enhancing psychic abilities
1 Black Marker – For writing your Yule petitions to Lord Anansi!
1 Doily – Yep, you heard me. You know those things some of our grandmothers wove in their spare time? This is to represent Anansi’s web. You can find these cheaply in thrift stores or you can substitute any woven material.
1 SM. Tub of Play Doh or any clay – The purpose of the clay is to make a dolly to represent ourselves. If you want to get fancy, feel free to use some of the more expensive types available at the larger craft stores or online. Play Doh is easily found at Walmart for about .50 cents a tub. Pick a color that suits you best.
1 Gold Candle – White candles are always a substitute for any of my spell workings. A nice glass petition candle is available at the local dollar store or you can use a tea light if you must. In this spell, I will be using a gold federal style candle to represent the conduit between our world and Anansi’s domain.
1 Candle holder – Something steady if you are not using a free-standing glass petition candle. Do not leave any candles unattended while burning them. It is suggested that this candle burn out to the very end, so you may blow it out and restart it as necessary to keep your home safe from a fire.
Incense stick or Palo Santo Bark – This is to purify ourselves and the ritual materials. I prefer Palo Santo, however, an incense stick or cone may be substituted if you’re on a budget or materials are scarce.
Lighter / Matches – I prefer to use a lighter because of the sulfur content of the matches. Sulfur is another ingredient that can affect the outcome of the spell so I would prefer not to have it in this particular ritual. If you only have matches, you can light a separate candle to light your main ritual candle. Have this done during your preritual process.
1 Banana – This is an offering to the Spider-God, Anansi. Any African fruit may be used however bananas are usually the easiest to come by when you’re out and about in rural Wisconsin. I also like to give a drink of coconut milk which is available cheaply at your local Walmart for about $2.50 per can. You can also substitute sugar, candy, or alcohol for this work. When working with deities, it’s always important to offer something as you are petitioning Them for Their time and energy. If you were being asked for a favor, think of how you would like to be treated. A small gift goes a long way and helps build a firm connection between this world and the next.
Cakes and Ales – Simple bread and juice can suffice in a limited budget or you could even get as fancy as cooking a traditional African dish to pass. The sky, like Nyame, is limitless!
If you have an altar that is pre set-up and works for you, then by all means, go ahead and use it! If not, you can use whatever crystals or minerals that you’ve collected over time. These will help amplify the spell work. Make sure to give each crystal a bath in salt water (unless it’s Selenite!) If you want an added psychic boost to your crystals, you can also give them a bath in a weak-tea made from mugwort.
If you can find a representation of a spider, all the better! I know some folks have a very real phobia of spiders so this is not required for the spell. If you do not have a fear of spiders, then by all means, decorate your altar accordingly. You can use Samhain decorations, plastic toys, or carved statues. If you have a pet Tarantula, you can place his or her cage safely on your altar, just be sure to be attentive to your pet in the process!
Another material to gather if you’re not the faint of heart, is actual spiders or cobwebs. I live in the rural areas of my town so my house is filled with little eight-legged creatures at any given time. Often, they die in a corner over time and I collect their webs for use in spell work. I do not recommend killing a spider for this ritual as that would be dishonoring the spirit of Anansi whose spiritual body is made up of arachnids. If a spider died of natural causes or you have some cobwebs around your house, gather them up and put them aside for the ritual. I’ll show you how you can use these little treasures in your work to add a boost to completing your goals for the new year.
Begin your preritual work by taking a cleansing bath. It’s essential to take these relaxing moments not only as a ritual of self-care, yet also a way of channeling and getting ready for a Magickal mindset. You can dress up your ritual bath with whatever herbs, oils, incense, or candles that help you calm down and release from the material world. Prepare yourself to enter the realm of Gods, ancestors, and spirits. Leave behind the cares of this world for the work that awaits in the next world. Getting into the Magickal mindset helps us transform our work from the mere idea into authentic actions that can change our lives and help us overcome whatever seems to be burdening us at the time. Everything we do stems from our thoughts, so these rituals, elaborate or simple as they may be are but one tool in our metaphysical arsenal.
Now let’s work on our ritual space and materials. Have ready the mixture of vinegar, water, and salt in a spray bottle. You can even dress up this concoction and make it proper Four Thieves vinegar if you chose to make your ritual more elaborate and traditional to Southern Hoodoo custom. Assemble all of your materials and set the spray bottle to that delicate, gossamer mist setting. Lightly spray over your materials and heavily spray the area in which you will be working. Take care not to spray anything such as Selenite or fine clay statues that will be damaged by the blend. If the smell of vinegar is too much, you can add organic fabric softener such as Meyers brand to the mix or essential oils to cut the strong smell of the concoction.
As an added punch to your workings, try this little exercise before workings with the Vinegar. Awaken your vinegar fusion by saying this over the bottle. Speak to it as if you are speaking to a living human being as a way of honoring the vinegar, water, and salt spirits that are using their energy to protect and cleanse your space and energy. Shake the bottle gently, allowing tiny air bubbles to form from the motion and say the following, “Fiery Brother Vinegar, Cleansing Sister Water, Wispy Brother of Wind and Air, and Stoic Sister of the Salted Earth, awaken and combine! Please lend to me your protective and cleansing energies so that my materials and space will be unburdened by negative entities and adverse energies. Assist me and amplify my workings so that the greatest possible good can come from this act! So Mote it be!”
After you’re done with the Vinegar, light up your Palo Santo or incense. Intone the following, blowing gently on to your bark or incense stick and passing it all around your ritual space and materials, “Brother Palo Santo, please create a clean, clear conduit of communication between this world and the spirit world so that the greatest possible good can come from this act! So Mote it Be!”
Now it’s time to dress the golden candle. You can work your favorite oils on the candle as well as roll whatever herbs feel right to you that correspond with the intent of this rite. You can even engrave the name of Anansi on one side of the candle as well as your own personal sigil or spiritual name if you have one on the other side. It may seem strange to use a golden candle on a full moon, yet this is also the time of Yule. We are awakening and enlivening all of the prosperity and rich warmth that the season affords us through the conduit of the candle. Gold also represents royalty, and when I work with African Gods and Goddesses, I like to acknowledge Their Divine roles as Kings and Queens as a way of honoring them further in my workings since I am not traditionally born of African culture. It’s my way of being humble in my practice which goes a long way when working with all deities and those of the spirit world.
Now place your newly consecrated and cleansed cauldron on the doily with the golden candle and holder spaced well behind it so not to cause a fire risk. Place your 4 herbs around the cauldron, at the ready. Set your black sharpie marker next to the bay leaves. Put your clay out and get it ready to be worked with. If you happened to collect those cobwebs, place them by the clay. Your offerings of banana, coconut milk, candies, and alcohol should be set around the golden candle for the indulgence of Lord Anansi. The ritual is ready to begin, let’s get to it!
For this ritual, we will begin in the south to honor the spirits of Africa who we invoke this full moon eve. I make it a practice to also provide some small offerings to the Elements as we are also requesting their help in this matter. Candy or alcohol does a very good job to satisfy the needs of these entities.
“I call upon the Great Element of Fire to the South, and all of the Salamanders and good elementals wherein to come forward in this ritual, aide us in our workings, and protect us! I call upon You, Great Element of Fire to the South!” *knock three times on your altar surface or stomp three times on the floor to awaken this element. Provide your elemental offering if you have one by placing it in the respective direction.*
“I call upon the Great Element of Water to the West, and all of the Mermaids and good elementals wherein to come forward in this ritual, aide us in our workings, and protect us! I call upon You, Great Element of Water to the West!” *knock three times on your altar surface or stomp three times on the floor to awaken this element. Provide your elemental offering if you have one by placing it in the respective direction.*
“I call upon the Great Element of Earth to the North, and all of the Gnomes and good elementals wherein to come forward in this ritual, aide us in our workings, and protect us! I call upon You, Great Element of Earth to the North!” *knock three times on your altar surface or stomp three times on the floor to awaken this element. Provide your elemental offering if you have one by placing it in the respective direction.*
“I call upon the Great Element of Air to the East, and all of the Salamanders and good elementals wherein to come forward in this ritual, aide us in our workings, and protect us! I call upon You, Great Element of Air to the East!” *knock three times on your altar surface or stomp three times on the floor to awaken this element. Provide your elemental offering if you have one by placing it in the respective direction.*
“I call upon the Great Element of Spirit from within to come forward, join us in our workings, and protect us! I call upon You, Great Element of Spirit from within! May this Circle be Open but never broken! As above, So below, So below, As above! So mote this be!” *knock three times on your altar surface or stomp three times on the floor to awaken this element. Provide your elemental offering if you have one by placing it in the respective direction.*’
Envision a Circle of golden-white light surrounding you and your ritual area. It forms an egg shape around you and all that you are in it’s protective bounty. You are now protected by the elements and Magick of the elementals.
These are my simple, traditional quarter calls. Because this ritual is very involved, I kept it very basic. Feel free to improvise here. I also call upon the Element of Spirit in my quarters as awakening my own personal energy and accountability into the space.
In a clear, direct voice, speak to the Spider-God! I wrote this invocation as an example to folks of something they could use to invoke Him. You may use this example or create one of your own! Do what speaks to your heart! That’s the whole purpose of Magick!
I call out to the ancient Lord Anansi!
He who cleverly rose to the dome of the sky,
to bravely ask His father Nyame,
the questions of the earth, who and why,
Eight-legged wisdom giver,
with a treasure trove of stories,
of mountain, moon, and river,
Spin Your sticky, delicate web,
for humans who dare to dream and write,
so that curiosity and creativity will never ebb,
Please give to the world Your creative touch,
guide the hands of story tellers, writers, and visionary masters,
and those who need You all too much,
Break the chains of the barren, desolate mind,
clear away the shadows of abuse,
and create the golden threads that bind,
Teach us to rise above what we can easily see,
show us who we can truly be,
We rise up with the letters in our heads,
to write a different future,
and manifest the dreams from our beds,
Humans who dare for more in an unspeakable land,
will reach and claw,
and aspire to join Your merry little band,
They will write Your stories, spells, and what will be,
Always He will be remembered,
The Spider-God, Lord Anansi!
Hail and Welcome, Lord Anansi!
Make sure to offer your gifts to Lord Anansi and tell Him how delighted you are to have His presence in your ritual. This is a new opportunity to make yourself known to a new deity and build a real connection with Them. Tell Anansi about yourself, your intents, and your passions to further create a clear conduit of communication between the two of you. It’s now time to get to work on the next step!
Light the golden candle that you have inscribed and open the Pathway between this world and the next.
Petition / Activity
Now that you have made your connection to the spirit world active, it’s time to do some practical activity Magick! This exercise helps unite mind and body when working in the realm of spirits. We will be addressing the God as “Kwaku Anansi” which means “Wednesday Anansi” because this symbolizes the first day the God’s soul incarnated and was known to the world.
“Kwaku Anansi, I give to You this tribute of allspice for Your clever defeat over the monstrous python Onini. Please bestow to me the gift of attracting my own good luck to assist me in my pursuit of creativity and imagination for the new year.”
As you offer the herb of Allspice, speak to it. “Brother Allspice, please awaken and be accepted by Lord Anansi in all of Your glory. Thank You for Your assistance in this ritual!” Now gently place the Allspice in the cauldron before you as it sits upon the web of Anansi.
“Kwaku Anansi, I give to You this tribute of star anise for Your clever defeat over the ravenous leopard Osebo. Please bestow to me the gift of manifesting my dreams into this world to assist me in my pursuit of creativity and imagination for the new year.”
As you offer the herb of Star Anise, speak to it. “Sister Anise, please awaken and be accepted by Lord Anansi in all of Your glory. Thank You for Your assistance in this ritual!” Now gently place the Anise in the cauldron before you as it sits upon the web of Anansi.
“Kwaku Anansi, I give to You this tribute of caraway for Your clever defeat over the savage forces of the Moboro hornets. Please bestow to me the gift of strengthening my mind in this world and the spirit realm to assist me in my pursuit of creativity and imagination for the new year.”
As you offer the herb of Caraway, speak to it. “Brother Caraway, please awaken and be accepted by Lord Anansi in all of Your glory. Thank You for Your assistance in this ritual!” Now gently place the Caraway in the cauldron before you as it sits upon the web of Anansi.
“Kwaku Anansi, I give to You this tribute of bay leaves for Your clever defeat over the cunning Faerie Mmoatia. Please bestow to me the gift of my personal petitions to assist me in my pursuit of creativity and imagination for the new year.”
As you offer the herb of Bay Leaves, speak to it. “Sister Bay Leaf, please awaken and be accepted by Lord Anansi in all of Your glory. Thank You for Your assistance in this ritual!” With your marker, write four goals you would like to accomplish in the New Year. Think of the year that has passed before you as you do, and envision all of the energy you have put into your past passions going into these leaves. This is the Yuletide, and it’s time to bestow and accept the gifts from this world to the next! As you place the four leaves into the Cauldron, think about what you will be doing to physically manifest these ideas into reality. All dreams must be followed by physical action to assist in materialization.
With the Play Doh, form a simple (or even elaborate) dolly to represent yourself. If you collected some cobwebs, you can infuse them into the clay to have Lord Anansi’s touch upon you at all times. If you wish, you can add a drop of blood to the dolly, however this is a very binding act so think about if you really want that kind of responsibility in your work. Personally, I’m big on working with blood if the need is great enough. When you are done with the dolly, push it into the Cauldron of Wisdom and envision the gifts of Lord Anansi being passed to you in the spirit of assistance of your goals for the new year. As an added boost to your work and connection to the Spider-God, you can make an Oath to Lord Anansi of some thing that you will do to honor His name. This can be the retelling of stories and lore, educating folks on African culture, or perhaps drawing Him a picture or writing Him a simple poem. Deities adore this kind of attention and I find that it amplifies the work as well.
When the ritual is over, you will be throwing these spices into the wind (or alternately, you could burn them) and burying the tiny dolly into the cauldron of the fertile earth. You might have to wait for spring if you live in a northern climate like me! Make sure to save the burnt remains of the candle wax for your next full moon ritual to add to the “Magickal momentum” of your workings.
When you are done, speak directly and clearly to Lord Anansi. “May this energy go out into the Universe for the greatest possible outcome! From my mind, to my lips, to the astral plane and back into manifestation in the physical realm, SO MOTE IT BE!”
Cakes and Ales
Now is the time for passing along the bounty of the year! Light the Yule log, huddle together and pass around the cakes and ale that signify the bonds between this world and the next!
“Lord Anansi, please accept this modest offering of cakes made in Your honor. May You never hunger!” Offer a cake to Lord Anansi and set it by the golden candle as it burns.
“Lord Anansi, please accept this humble offering of ale poured in Your honor. May You never thirst!” Offer the ale to Lord Anansi in perhaps a little cup or poured on the ground if applicable. You may place the chalice by the golden candle when you are done. If there are more folks in your gathering, be sure to pass each offering clockwise throughout the Circle until finished.
You can also use this time as a way of passing gifts between you and your friends if you are celebrating with a larger group. After this is done, it’s time to close out the ritual.
“Lord Anansi! Thank you for joining us during this ritual! Stay if you can, go if you must! Hail and Farewell!”
“Great Element of Air to the East and all of the elementals who have assisted us in this rite, thank You for joining us this Yuletide eve! Hail and Farewell!”
“Great Element of Earth to the North and all of the elementals who have assisted us in this rite, thank You for joining us this Yuletide eve! Hail and Farewell!”
“Great Element of Water to the West and all of the elementals who have assisted us in this rite, thank You for joining us this Yuletide eve! Hail and Farewell!”
“Great Element of Fire to the South and all of the elementals who have assisted us in this rite, thank You for joining us this Yuletide eve! Hail and Farewell!”
“Great Element of Spirit from within, thank You for joining us this Yuletide eve! Hail and Farewell!”
All that’s left is enjoying your time during the final part of this year, looking for signs in dreams and every day life, and sharing the company of friends and family. Happy Yule and many thanks to all who have taken the time to read this work! Please feel free to ask questions or provide constructive criticism!