One of the basic components of the branch of Stregheria I practice is the Rite of Union. It is in its most basic form a prayer. But it is also an alignment ritual. The words and gestures are meant to align our physical body with our spiritual selves and with the Gods. It is short and simple. The instructions for the hand gestures are given on page 115 of Hereditary Witchcraft.
Hail and Adoration to you O Source of my Enlightment.
I pray thee impart to me thy illumination.
Enlighten my mind that I may see more clearly all things in which I endeavor.
Illuminate my soul, imparting thy essence of purity.
I reveal my inner self to thee and ask that all be cleansed and purified from within.
When I first started practicing Stergheria I struggled to memorize all the new bits. I was being taught via the internet and eMail. My teacher was and is great, but far away. I didn't get the reinforcement associated with seeing and hearing someone else do this nor the benefit of doing the action with others.
Because the Rite of Union was both a part of many rituals and a smaller manageable bitsized piece, a Strega's prayer, I thought I should be able to memorize it easily. But I kept getting the words and gestures snarled up. One day I became so frustrated with not being able to remember all the parts of this correctly that I finally broke down and locked my self in a room in front of my Lasa Shrine and repeated these words and the associated actions over and over.
First just the beginning,
Hail and Adoration unto Thee O Source of my enlightenment.
So many times until it slipped from my tongue without thinking. Perhaps as a result of my initial frustration which became an internal plea, I ended up starting my Rite of Union with my arms raised in an outreaching V with my palms open. Hail and Adoration unto Thee O Source of my enlightenment. Which means for me, I am here. I acknowledge you O Source of my enlightenment. I reach out to you and honor you. And initially, while I struggled, a plea to help me get this, please!
Then, I pray Thee impart to me Thy Illumination
letting the action of creating the triangle of manifestation above my forehead bring the wide wonder and greatness of the one into focus. Me on the One and the One on me. Arms up reaching out Hail and Adoration.........
Hands into triangle ........ Thy Illumnation.
Then on to the triangle over my forehead... until it seemed so practical, so natural. Of course I would want to have my thoughts enlightened. Of course it would be natural for this enlightment to come to the location of the 3rd eye.
Enlighten my mind that I may see more clearly all things in which I endeavor.. Over and over again.
Now what? Why am I here? I am here for my soul, because this is my spiritual path, my center. So the triangle of manifestation goes over my solar plexus with the words: "Illuminate my soul, imparting thy essence of purity.". Not just my mind. Not just in your head. But your SOUL.
And then because there is alway the opportunity for more and because I want to bring this illumination into my core, I open my arms saying, I reveal my inner self to thee and ask that all be cleansed and purified from within. Cleansed and purified. Allow me to be open. See my arms are open, I am open. Allow me to start fresh, clean and purified. Again I did each section over and over again.
Until I decided to try the whole thing together and low and behold! It just worked. All the hand gestures all the words flowed as they should and their meaning flowed into me as well.
Now I can break into the Rite of Union at any time (well when I'm pretty sure no one is looking or will care). I do it to the Full Moon. I've done it at sunrise or sunset, to an oncoming storm front, to a magnificent bush of gardenia flowers. Or of course as part of ritual. Even when I do my rituals inside because my back yard does not offer enough privacy to do circle casting ritual outside, I always start the Full Moon Ritual by going outside and doing the Rite of Union to a Full Moon. My teacher encouraged this and was, of course, right.