The Sunday Full Moon was the first ritual they were going to do together since the Spring Equinox. As Nola drove she left the other aspects of her life behind and became teacher and priestess. The last few weeks had teetered between being what felt like Owen's friend and almost business partner to his pagan 3rd degree teacher. She supposed that the teetering meant there was a balance in there somewhere. But she couldn't ever remember having such an intense student who was so committed to doing all the rituals and who read and thought so thoroughly about them. It was a unique combination of practical Taurus Sun and mentally driven Aquarius Moon with that wash of uncontrollable Sagittarius intensity. There was no way that this student could have learned by the methods she had, by necessity, been forced to find. Hands on was pretty much the only way for him and so she was off for another Full Moon Ritual. She looked back on her many years of study and practice and could honestly say she had never been this consistent in her own practice. Teaching always ended up giving something back in return.
It was a minute or 2 after 9PM and the moon had been up for a little more than an hour. Owen had been keyed up all day. He knew that Nola's lesson last week was specifically designed to ensure that he knew the rituals were to align him with the energies of the universe, to connect him to something outside and himself and as worship. And when he separated the components mentally and spiritually he knew that he understood. But the physical was an integral part of his nature. The physical was how he reached what allowed the other aspects to come together. And what Owen knew in his bones was that the Full Moon Ritual could and in his mind should have a sexual component. The Full Moon Ritual meditations took him to a place, the ancient grounds around Lake Nemi. What happened at that place had either been his creation or a vision of what could or should happen. He had every intention of finding out which it was tonight.
He knew that Nola preferred not to have the mundane world blend into the ritual energies. She liked the way they tended to ease almost immediately into the ritual soon after she arrived. He had already set the altar and opened the wine. He was waiting and beginning to pace when, she pulled into the driveway. He came out of the kitchen door and gave her a welcoming hug before they went into the kitchen.
He handed her the glass he had been drinking from and she swirled and sipped and said, "hmmmm Brunello, the traditional Veglione wine".
"Is it? You hadn't said that."
"Oh, I meant our traditional Veglione wine. We've had it every time. I thought it was intentional on your part."
"Oh, well not consciously. But I like the idea. Traditional Veglione wine it is." And he took the glass from her and took a sip and handed it back and said, "Shall I meet you poolside for some moonlight before we start?"
She nodded, "Let me change." and went into the downstairs bathroom to change out of her street clothes. Owen went into his office and did the same. When she reached to get her cord, which was the only thing she needed now that the robes had come off at the Equinox, she noticed Owen's robe wasn't in the closet.
Owen was standing outside in the moonlight in his robe. He turned as Nola came out of the door and saw her silhouetted against the light from inside. He saw the curve of her breast and the dip at her waist and the cord swing against the length of her thigh as she walked up to him and smiled and started to untie his cord. "The robes come of and stay off until Autumn Equinox." And she removed his cord and draped it around her neck where it fell between her breasts. Then she reached down and began to lift his robe over his head. He finished the job and was left standing there with the robe in his hand. She then removed his cord from around her neck and retied it around his waist. And he thought that her approach was very professional. And then thought, what a strange way to think about the fact that this naked woman had just removed his clothes and left him naked with a cord tied around his waist.
She smiled and turned to the moon and closed her eyes and soaked up the moonlight. He dropped the robe and did his best to breathe with her as she started the Right of Union. She did it very slowly and seemed focused on pulling the moonlight into her as she completed the hand gestures. When she was finished she closed her eyes and stood there for a few seconds before she wrapped her arm around his and said, "That pool is so beautiful it makes me want to walk right into it so I can bathe in the moonlit water. But I know that the minute I stepped in I would be so cold that I would step right out again, so maybe it's best if we go inside and do the ritual." And he nodded because that was all he was capable of doing. All his ideas about what he thought should happen tonight shifted around as he adjusted to the fact that the evening had not started the way he envisioned.
She picked up the small vase of white flowers and herbs she had brought with her and they went into the living room. She smiled when she saw he had already set the altar. "Will you cast?
And he said "Sure" and as soon as he began the casting process he calmed down into a more relaxed ritual mode. Nola enjoyed the confident way he cast the circle and concentrated on calling to the Old Ones. Please, she asked, let this ritual be solid. I don't want the Spring Equinox to unsettle him or affect the progress we've been making. When he used her blade to lay the circle, she thought he needs his own. When called, the Grigori entered with a strong and immediate presence. Owen rapped the wand on the altar and the circle was cast.
They charged and drank some wine. Then both settled into a comfortable position on pillows on the floor before Nola led them on a meditation. They both knew where they were going.
"It is a beautiful pleasant night.... The moon is high in the sky and stars shine through the wisps of high light clouds.... You make your way slowly over the edge of a bowl shaped valley... following a small, bubbling stream as you walk along the soft path.... You smell the earthly scent of the oaks and the crisp scent of the pines as you walk along the path... you step out of the trees to a smooth lake made silver by the light of the moon... you breathe in the moonlight... and then slowly make your way to through the columns of the round temple.... you enter... and acknowledge the God and Goddess statues...... and then you step into the pool of moon light coming through the center of the roof..... You breathe in and out and align yourself with the energy of the moon........ You then leave the temple and make your way up a path that takes you to a high ledge in the side of the bowl-like valley..... You lay down on the ground under the moon and stars and open yourself up to the universe and all its wonder......"
By this time they were practiced at the meditation. They had both reached a place where they could be still and listen. And what they each heard was:
"The gods are attracted to our rituals... because of our worship which is vitality. They are attracted by the ritual fires and incense and by the purity of our naked bodies. They give and take the vital essences that we both need, through the power that we raise."
"All acts of reverence toward Nature and toward life are acts of worship. So it is too with love and pleasure."
And Owen asked for the confirmation he wanted, "Lovemaking and pleasure are a part of how we worship?" And he smiled and relaxed as the Grigori answered him "Yes, Owen your instincts are good. Love making and pleasure a part of how you connect to the greater universe and learn and grow." And he thought again that this is exactly why Nola could take pleasure in the small things. She knew this was an act of worship.
Meana brushed Nola mind, "You are safe. The rituals are pleasing and appropriate and will allow you to learn and grow and be happy. Do not doubt yourself." And Nola thanked the Old Ones and her teacher and her initiator and her Grimas for opening her up to these possibilities.
After what seemed like a long while....Nola's voice broke in as she said... "in the distance you hear the howl of one wolf..... and then the answering calls of others..... you pick yourself up and slowly make your way back..... past the temple.... past the silver lake.... through the oaks and pines .... following the small stream .....up to the top of the rigdeline...... where you return to the world.....
Owen slowly opened his eyes as he came back to himself. Nola did the Veglia and blessed the cakes and wine. She offered the plate with the cookies on it to Owen and took one herself allowing the process to ground them. She took a sip of wine and then handed it to Owen. She refilled the spirit bowl and relit the flame. Then the both sat quietly and watched the flame.
They finished the chalice of blessed wine and then Nola gave the Charge and Closing Prayer. She relit the spirit bowl and then took the spirit blade from the altar. Owen stood up and faced her with his arms open. She stepped into his arms and put the blade to her chest. He pulled her close until the blade was wedged between them, more careful with the point now that there were no robes between them. Then they hugged gently moving their hands up and down each other's back. Nola then removed the blade from their embrace and put it back on the altar.
Owen was still standing very close and when she stood back up he enfolded her in his arms and kissed her softly. And with Meana's words still echoing on her mind Nola returned his kiss. And Owen kissed her more urgently and she wrapped her hands around his neck and they embraced fully. Owen moved them kneeling to the pillows. Nola closed her eyes and gave herself over to the experience as Owen held her around her waist. He kissed her neck and then watched as her nipples hardened. He caressed her breasts, holding the full globes in his hands. She sighed as he sucked on her nipples. She moved so she could reach for him and she found his hard sex and held it gently in her hand. Then she moved down to him and held his sacks gently in her hand, running her finger along the raised blood vessels and nerves between his testicles. She then held him and moved her mouth to cover just the end of his penis and circled it slowly with her tongue, once, twice, three times before she moved her tongue down the raised blood vessels and nerves on the underside of his penis before returning to try to take all of him in her mouth. And in her own way she worshiped the God. Owen was lost to the experience. This was a woman who truly loved making love. She had a choice to make. Finish him, he was so close, and it made her wet thinking about his pleasure or move to change and extend the experience. She chose the later and Owen complied. She moved her mouth from him and replaced it with her hand and she held him and then ran her palm over the tip of his penis and Owen pushed her down and kissed and caressed her breasts before moving the tassels of her cord as he kissed the top of her mound and found her sex with his tongue. She too was hard and wet and she moaned with pleasure and desire for more. When he saw her arch her back slightly and shiver he moved to enter her. To be entered so soon after she had climaxed was exquisite. She wanted all of him and she rose to meet him. She moved her leg up onto his shoulder to allow him to drive deeper and she moved again with him still in her turning her back to him like a mare to a stallion and pushed against the floor with her hands to drive him deeper. He put his hands on her waist and pulled her to him as he drove into her and she squeezed and pulsed to caress him from inside. After Owen exploded with one last final push she raised herself from the floor her back against his chest and he caressed her breasts before she leaned forward and allowed them both to collapse on the pillows. They didn't want to separate so they stayed connected in an intimate spoon for a very long time.
He finally moved and slid from her and she turned to him and smiled, running her hand in his chest hair. "You know traditionally the circle comes down before that happens."
And he smiled back at her and said "Well we'll have to work on following tradition a bit better next time." and he kissed her and nuzzled her neck and noticed again how that made her nipples harden, so he caressed them. She moved closer to him and put her leg left leg over his thigh so she could get as much of her body against him as possible and kissed him again. And then she got up leaving him on the pillows splayed out in mock exasperation. She straightened her cord and added just enough spirit flame to the bowl to take the circle down. She looked back at him to make sure he was standing before she said Ave Vale to the Grigori and snapped over the elements and extinguished the candles. And he came up from behind her and said, "Who are we to thwart tradition." and picked her up and began to carry her to the stairs.
"What are you doing?!"
"As I understand it, what is traditionally done."
He had reached the stairs. "You are not going to carry me up the stairs."
"Yes I am."
"No, it is not necessary. I'll walk."
And he smiled and put her down and kissed her hard and took her hand and they went upstairs and did as is traditionally done.
It was after 1AM and Owen was alive and amazed at how alive he felt. Nola had fallen asleep in his arms after their second round of lovemaking. She had been curled up on her side on the pillow next to him for 20 or so minutes when she stirred. He turned to her and ran his hand up her side from her hip to her breast and leaned in and gently kissed and tugged her nipple. And she sighed and said. "Oh please don't tempt me again. I have to leave."
"I have to go." But she didn't say it with much enthusiasm.
"I have to go." And she was sitting up and he said,
And she said, "I have to go and use your facilities." And he smiled as she got up off the bed and walked to his bathroom.
From behind the closed door he heard her gasp. "Oh my god."
He sat up and said, "Nola? Are you OK?"
"Oh my god that is the most decadent shower I have ever seen."
And he got up and went to the door and knocked. "I'm coming in. OK?"
And he found her standing in the doorway of the shower looking at it with amazement. So he moved her in and shut the door behind them and began to turn on the many shower heads and jets, careful to make sure that the water was warm before he moved her into it. She let the warm water wash over her and then she let Owen run his hands over her water slick body before she ran her hands over his. She found the soap and they soaped each other up and they enjoyed a warm and slippery embrace and kiss before they rinsed off. He was able to magically shut all the water off at one time and they stepped out of the steamy shower and he wrapped her in a huge oversized towel before getting one for himself.
She said to him "I think that we've had our fair share of love and pleasure this evening. I'm going downstairs to get dressed."
And he said again, "Please Nola....."
And she hugged him and said, "I have to leave. Please let me leave. I can not stay."
And he heard Papa Eric say, "You have to let her go tonight, son." And when he did not push her again she moved quickly down the stairs and was dressed in a flash and had her purse in her hand to leave and was at the back kitchen door attempting to do just that when he hit the bottom of the stairs.
"Nola, wait." And he put his hand on her arm and asked, "What will it take for you to stay?"
And she hesitated before answered his specific question with, "Planning."
And that made him hopeful and he assumed there was more but she opened the door walked deliberately down the driveway to her truck and was very grateful for the device that allowed her to control the opening and closing of the gate.