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Now, I don't necessarily mean ritual in a traditional sense.

Not druids dancing in a grove, satanists killing baby goats and eating their hearts, or menstruation (which may or may not be on the full moon, but does tend to happen about every 28 days or so... mostly/hopefully).

What I'm talking about, is that for some reason or another, a big beautiful full moon always makes me want to do *something*. And it's evolved into the following: Always on the night in question, in the hour of about 1am or so, I am up on top of my roof, with a guitar, (occasionally a friend) and a few songs. If I'm lucky, preceding this, is a long walk on a cold beach.

The most memorable full moon was a full moon on the winter solstice last year. That night, a thick cloud of fog settled in the air, and didn't go away for nearly a week. It was like perpetually living in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow.

What do you do, if anything?

I step out the door, into the chill night. I walk for awhile, before catching my first glimpse through the clouds. My blood rages! My pace quickens. My lips quiver with anticipation, and I feel a pulling within my chest, dragging me forward from deep within the ages.

Headlights in my eyes, I hiss softly at the loud machines and the strange creatures that operate them. Uncomfortable in this odd land between the Network and the Sacred Forest, I clasp my soul tightly. Lifting it to my face, I inhale the musky scent of leather, listening to it's contents scrape together as I squeeze it rhythmically. Almost there.

No trains in sight, the short route it is. I place my left foot on the rail, and LEAP! landing on the other rail, and hopping to the next track. I look up at the dark mass rising before me, and I cannot help but to jump and skip recklessly. Through the parking lot, and to the trailhead, I run! I step under the canopy, and take a deep breath. Finally! Safety within the darkness of the forest. Boldly, I step forward, climbing the winding trail. My eyes adjust quickly, and I am nearly running up the mountain.

I come to the crossing, and look both ways... light, on a distant tree. I crouch behind a bush, my eyes covered as the monsterous brightness passes. My eyes unburned, I race across the road, ascending the stone steps to the heavens. My pace slows, as the warm moonlight bathes the uneven stones, and the flowers and herbs lining the path, with a warm glow. A bat brushes it's shadow softly against my life, and I smile.

As the slope levels, I peer out into the clearing. The drummers are there, in the middle, with their chants and their fires, their painted faces and fierce longings. As the smell of burning sage rips into my senses, I pull back into the forest, back onto the trails. Through the tall firs and viney maples I dance. The last obstacle is being passed, and I giggle with glee. Running, skipping through the forest, I go, listening as my beating heart replaces the drums.

I burst out of my covers, fearless in the presence of the Sacred Oak. His long, able arm reaches down to my feet, and I step into his hand. Up, and Up, not climbing, no, walking only I rise into the air, into the Halls of the Temple. Wrapping my arms around the trunk, I press my cheek against the Sweet Spirit, and feel the Warmth of the Earth around me. I look up to the Moon, and drink of her pale fullness. Again, my lip quivers, but now I cannot hold back. I throw back my head, and reach deep into my past, letting it burst forth into the present as I howl into the night!

Whilst I feel a connection to the full moon, it is what I call the Winter Moon which really gives a sense of awe.

The Winter Moon is when the full (or nearly full moon) is visible in the sky in the morning, hanging white and pale above the farm I live next to, against the crisp blue sky that a cold winter's day brings. I feel a need to be near to that airless rock, a feeling that twenty years is far too long, that that white circle has not been touched by man during my lifetime.

The full moon at night gives me a different feeling: I want to run barefoot through the grass, to stare at her, blissfully unaware of the time slipping away, of the cold nipping at my body. I want to strip naked and hug the trees. But mostly I sit inside the kitchen, nose pressed against the cold window, staring for minutes on end, wanting to be out there but wondering how to explain to my parents why their son is gallavanting around outside naked. I'm such a coward sometimes.

I write. Understand me, I'm a man with an engineering degree who turned my back on poetry in college because that would have been too many credits. But I'm from the beach, and we have these boxes that you can rent stuff out of, or make out on top of. On moonlit nights, however, they're usually free. So I get some paper, yes, real paper, and my pen and ink, and write poems as best I can by the light of the moon and the sound of water. Somehow, they're better than anything I can write ordinarily.

Since I've moved to Ohio, I can't do this. The best I can do is walk a mile or two out to a cornfield and stand at the high point--a ridge or a hill top--and whistle quietly, wishing I had any words left.

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