6. Veneration of the Moon. Prayers to the New Moon
The veneration of the Moon is recorded in the lingering opinion that it is not allowed to point to the Moon with one's finger and it is wrong to urinate in the face of the Moon. It is believed that by pointing to the Moon with the finger you risk to cut your finger later, it may wither, go bad, decay. It is also believed that one's arm may wane or get paralyzed, that you may go blind or some other disaster will befall you, that you will be carried by the Moon in your sleep or else that you will stick your finger straight into the God's eyes.
Both in the past and now Lithuanian villagers set many stores by the appearance of the New Moon. The person on first seeing the crescent of the waxing Moon stops, turns to face it, removes his hat, bows and sometimes goes down on one's knees and says an old prayer.
Because of the influence of Christianity often a person makes a sign of cross (most often not with bare hand but tucked in the long sleeve, or a flap of the jacket or a handkerchief), sometimes three ‘‘Saint Mary’‘ prayers are said. Then in addressing the Moon the most common wish is for health, beauty, youth, merriment, wealth, happiness and fortune, the posthumous heavenly abode or the kingdom of the Thunder, Perkűnas, (Greimas 1990, 172-173). Here is one sample:
Also there were addresses to protect against different disasters:
New Moon, King of the Heaven
The New Moon was asked to cure warts, birthmarks sometimes herpes and tumors. Then the Moon was addressed as follows:
Then it may help to clean the face with a white handkerchief to make it as bright as the Moon. It is also recommended without moving from the spot where you happened to mark the Moon and without removing the eyes from the heavenly body take some soil from under your feet (gravel, snow whatever happens to be there) rub the warts and throw behind with the back of your hand. Then the warts will disappear. Others pour water on the hands and say: ‘‘I wish to be as clean as you are clean’‘. If you have no water on the spot, shout for someone to bring water because you are attacked by the warts (Balys 1951, 11-13).
Similar treatment is recommended for the toothache. On seeing the New Moon the bad tooth is covered with the thumb of the right hand and then say by looking at the sky: ‘‘I see now the New Moon and bite my dead tooth’‘ (Dundulienë 1988, 42).
Young girls that wish to see in their dreams who they would marry in the above circumstances have to fetch some soil from under the feet and put some into the scarf and without speaking to anyone go to bed. When fetching the soil it is best to say: ‘‘New Moon, the King of the Sky, let me (see, see in my dreams) with whom I will have to live’‘ (Balys 1951,12).
On seeing the New Moon for the first time it is also important to pay attention to the direction it is coming from. If it comes from the right or ahead of you then the month be lucky.
In the written sources there is met data from the 18th century that in the period of the New Moon by the imprinted stone there was bread, wool, flax, money sacrificed in the attempt to regain lost health, the strength of one's feet, eyes, hands (Lebedys 1976, 210).