State your purpose. Have a clear, short speech ready for this. A purpose that is complex is rather like a complex wish made to a genie–you don’t know what you’ll get. So you want to make sure your purpose is simple and direct. State it aloud, and give it your entire concentration–this is what you *WANT*. It should be the only thing on your mind at that moment.
The statement of purpose is followed by the body of the ritual. This will vary wildly depending on the ritual. Perhaps you will do candle magic, or perhaps you will meditate, perhaps you will enact a “spell” where you burn something, perhaps you will sit and travel out of your body in search of advise from a spirit guide. You may take a bath, wander on a quest through your back yard, look through an old photo album, or sing songs. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
We will go into possibilities for the body of a ritual, in detail, later on.
When you have finished doing whatever it is your ritual requires, you may choose to “end” by raising a cone of power. This involves envisioning something, be it light, butterflies, fire, flowerpetals, stars, sand, photographs, musical notes, feathers, soap bubbles or wild buffalo….well, maybe not the bison….something in tune with your ritual, something that contains your will, your wants, all the energy you’ve created within your circle, and you imagine it spinning clockwise. You may start to hum, or drum, or shake a rattle, or just imagine a sound or a song building (or imagine silence if that suits).
Make your magic spin faster and as it spins faster, raise it up. Lifting your hands helps here. UP and up and up and then, when you feel it can spin no faster, go no higher, throw up your hands and send it off!!
Ground immediately afterwards! Understand that even after you’ve used or sent off the magic/energy, you’re still sizzling with the residue. When you ground yourself after a spell or ritual, the excess goes back down into the earth. If you don’t do this, it continues to crackle around you; it can distract you, depress you, cause minor, klutzy accidents or, as with one person I talked, give you nasty headaches (etc. etc. etc.).
Grounding is simple–either touch the ground, or hold out your hands, palm down, toward the earth.
The centering at the beginning makes for better rituals, and the grounding at the end is *very* comforting, rather like taking a shower after working up a sweat. If, for any reason, you find that the grounding did not do the job, call a friend and have them talk you down–some people who are particularly powerful/magically or psychically sensitive sometimes have trouble with grounding and require assistance (they work up so much magic that they either get lost in it, or find that their efforts, alone, are not enough).
Some people like to follow their grounding with meditation in order to help “come down” from that rush of a cone of power.
To conclude–Thank your guardian (and/or the Goddess/God), dismiss the quarters (the dismissal is usually simpler and shorter than the calling, something like: “Powers of the East we thank you for your help. Go or stay as you will; may there be peace between us always”.
With the dismissal of the east, the circle is “open”–in some traditions, you point your Atheme or wand and, going counter- clockwise, undo the circle you cast at the beginning–in other traditions it is not thought necessary. Up to you.
And you can ritualistically say: “The Circle is open, but not unbroken, Merry met, and Merry part and Merry meet again”–yes, you can say this even if you are a solitary.
CREATING A RITUAL:
***Any ritual requires imagination and visualization–don’t just go though steps, envision the energy that comes out of your hands, your wand, when you use it, see the ghostly veils that part as you use your Atheme, imagine fairy lights, magic fire, the glow at the center of your crystal, the Milky Way spiral of stars that fills your cauldron, the dragons you command, the elves who obey your wishes, the phantom owl who listens and flies off to relay your message to powers of another plane. Etc, etc, etc!–*see* what you create and do! (ex: Don’t just burn the incense, *envision* the power you release with that fragrance! If it’s sage, *see* it’s slivery green cleansing power.) This envisioning is what alters a ritual from choreographed steps into a dance!***
Assuming that you’re going to work a ritual out ahead of time (and not do it off the cuff), here’s what you need to do for almost any ritual:
1) Decide on a date and time. Meditate or sleep on it, following what inspiration tells you. You may wish to choose either the next new moon or full moon, or you may wish to consult your astrological calendars or a calendar which can tell you what special (but obscure/magical) days are ahead.
2) Decide on a tone for the ritual– again, follow your instincts here; do you want it celebratory or serious, quiet or filled with music, dark with a single candle, or brilliant with a dozen lights? What kind of ambiance and tone do you want? What’s right for you?
3) Start a “shopping list” of things you’ll need. Keep it on a separate sheet of paper so that you can add to it, subtract from it, change it as need and inspiration arises. List everything you’re going to need from towels to dry your hands, to what you plan to wear (jewelry included), to decorations, the color of the candles, the flavor of the incense, etc.
4) Make a “to do” list for what you need to do ahead of time for the ritual, including shopping (buying candles, matches, oil, incense, cookies, a new table cloth, etc.), cleaning, arranging to get your spouse out of the house or your children to visit a friend’s, the cats fed, etc. All the pre- ritual stuff.
5) On scrap paper or the computer, start writing out the ritual. Start with decorating/cleaning the space, and–with help from the shopping list–note what needs to go where for the ritual (towels by the bath, incense in the burner, matches and an ashtray ready, plate of cookies right outside the space, etc.); remind yourself to turn off the phone ringer, turn down the sound on the answering machine, lock the doors, shut off the lights, and prepare the music.
6) On a second sheet, work out how you plan to do the personal cleansing, grounding, how you plan to cast the circle, call the quarters– write up all words you’re going to speak.
7) On a third sheet, work out the body of the ritual–how you plan to perform the ritual, what steps you’ll go through, what you’ll say and, most importantly *WHAT YOU WILL ENVISION!*.
8) On a fourth sheet, write up how you plan to conclude the ritual–if you’ll raise a cone of power and/or meditate, remind yourself to ground, and decide on how you’ll dismiss the quarters and open the circle.
Go over these pages; change the ritual until it works for you. If you like, write up the final form in your Book of Shadows (if you’re a Wiccan, this is your personal book of rituals, recipes, magic and spells). Or just write it up on fresh sheets of paper.
Highlight, use sticky pad paper, or paperclips to make going over the ritual easy. Remember that rituals are open book open note– it’s great if you’re familiar with your ritual and don’t have to look, but don’t be afraid to look (this is why a book of shadows is so great–it makes looking up what comes next *part* of the ritual!). Also, don’t be afraid to change, alter or improvise–you created the ritual, and you can change it on the spot if you need to!
Half-an-hour before the ritual, go over your notes. Re-familiarize yourself with it. Don’t be nervous, you’re not going to be tested; if you make a mistake, it’s alright, it *will not* ruin the ritual!
Likely your first ritual (within your very own sacred space!) will be a ritual to dedicate/consecrate that space to your guardian “power”. You might care to pair this short ritual with a Dedication ritual (or rededication as the case may be).
While both these rituals can be non- denominational, the dedication ritual is primarily Pagan/Wiccan. It is the Pagan/Wiccan equalivant of a Catholic’s first communion, a new Baptist’s baptismal, or a Jewish Bar Mitzvah–with less partying. This is where you make a commitment, where you dedicate yourself to God/Goddess, where you name/re-name yourself a Pagan/Wiccan. Wiccans rededicate themselves every year, which I think is good as it establishes a continuing commitment, and, each year, makes us pause to re-think the path we’ve chosen and, freely, to choose it once again.
The usual day for Dedicating/Re- dedicating yourself to the God/Goddess is Imbolc (Candlemas) which is on February 2, but you may Dedicate/Re-dedicate yourself on any day that seems right to you.
DEDICATING YOUR SPACE:
Alright, down to the nitty-gritty! What sort of ritual *should* you do to dedicate your space?
I’m going to toss out various ideas for you to use, discard, or modify–in the end, all rituals have to be yours–this is your space, your dedication to your guardian, only you know what is right, what needs to be there or not.
I believe that a ritual dedication of a space should be celebratory, rather like christening a ship or opening a road or cheering the New Year! It’s a new beginning when you create and dedicate a new space. So I would top my shopping list with a small, personal bottle of sparkling wine (or cider or water if you don’t drink!) with which to fill my goblet! (I’d go for a crystal flute to stand as my goblet! Make it special, as you usually only consecrate a space once!)–what a wonderful bit of ritual it is to pop a cork, watch the mist smoke off the bottle mouth, and then pour yourself a frothing, foamy glass! *Very positive*.
One nice idea might be to hang a ribbon across the doorway leading to the space after it has been cleaned and decorated. Part of the ritual would be to symbolically “open” the space with the cutting/untying of the ribbon. Or, use your imagination and create an invisible ribbon of power that your atheme can separate, thus symbolically “opening” the space to you!
Another way to consecrate a ritual space is to keep your guardian symbol outside of the space until it’s ready. Make setting the symbol in it’s place of honor part of the ritual so that you “crown” the space with it. This would likely occur after your have cast the circle and called the quarters.
Set the Guardian in its place of honor, light the candles and the incense, and then invite the Guardian to be with you always, and thank the Guardian for it’s presence in your new space.
One of the things you might want to do with this ritual is use incense or holy water to cleanse the space and/or your tools. Take the incense round the room counter-clockwise. Pass your tools, one by one through the smoke, or sprinkle the room with the water, and sprinkle your tools as well. You can also pass the tools through fire, or sprinkle some Earth upon them (or do all three, Earth, fire, water).
You might want to say something akin to: “I remove all negativity from this_______________(name the tool). For now and always, it will be used for positive ends” or something like that. Always envision *something* as you perform these acts– for example, imagine each item spotlighted, imagine the negative vanishing from it, the dullness replaced by the a positive, magical glow.
Now you want to consecrate the tools and the space–place the tools on the alter, in the center either in your cauldron or on your power symbol of choice (ankh, cross, pentagram….), call up energy between your hands, draw it up, from the earth, from the water, from the air, from the candleflames; envision this energy, it’s color, the color of your power–is it violet? Silver? Gold? Brighten it, and then infuse your tools with the light–just aim it at them with your hands–and say something like “By my will and thine,” (referring to your guardian and/or the Lord/Lady), “I consecrate these, now and forever. And it harm none, let my will be done.” Let the energy engulf the tools, and then dissipate.
Do the same for the space, only this time, let your power fill the room, and say instead “I consecrate this space, now and forever…etc.” And finally, place your hands on your alter and, sending energy into it, say: “I consecrate this alter, now and forever, by thy grace ________________ (name guardian), an it harm none, let our will be done.”
Don’t forget to GROUND!
End by popping the cork, filling your flute, and toasting the Guardian with a hearty drink of sparkling wine; then thank the guardian, and open the circle.
Burning or defacing written words, symbols or pictures poses a problem to most, law- abiding Westerners. This is because we associate such with negative images of fanatics burning books, attempts to censor and mob violence. We think of people burning those they despise in effigy, of flags burning in angry protest. And, from what we’ve seen, far from easing anger, the burning of such things usually incites people to burn down other things, like embassies.
So how can we go about burning/defacing written words, symbols or pictures in good conscience? More, burning/defacing them for our own personal good?
First, let’s establish that you should never burn/deface anything out of anger:
1) To burn/deface something in anger/out of hate will do you no good. It will not ease your anger. Like the ungovernable mobs, it could easily make you angrier–because you know that this is symbolic, not the real thing, and it’s the *real thing* you want to burn.
2) To burn/deface something in anger/out of hate is an act of vengeance—since you cannot harm your object of hate, you burn a symbol of it. But the intent is the same, to do it damage, to erase it. This is very like sending out a spell to do harm–and as all you Wiccans know, any magic you do with intent to harm will come back to you threefold.
3) Burning something in anger/out of hate is usually a spur of the moment act which, if you’d taken a moment to think it over, you probably would not have done. As said before, the act won’t make you feel better. On the contrary, it might leave you fearful (if you burn a Bible, you might end up fearing God’s retribution) or regretful (if you burn a favorite picture of someone you love, you might end up regretting later).
So, under what circumstances might you burn/deface written words, symbols or pictures?
In the East, it is a commonplace to write prayers on paper, then burn them. In Tibet, complex sand mandalas are created, fantastic works of art, that are then destroyed by pouring them into the sea–this to send the magic out, and also to remind the monks that nothing is permeate. There are also ceremonies where people burn symbolic objects to release themselves from whatever was holding them back.
There are, in short, two very good reasons for burning/defacing written words, symbols or pictures:
1) To send out their magic: in this case, you write down a wish or a prayer or a poem, bless it and empower it, then burn it at the end or the ritual, transforming it into air that it may spread its magic.
2) To release the power the words/symbols/pictures hold over you if their message (to you) is negative.
#1 being fairly obvious, we’re going to focus, primarily, on #2.
Here are the rules regarding burning words, symbols or pictures that represent a negative influence:
1) That you own the object you intend to burn (don’t burn a book someone else loaned you!) 2) That you burn it without anger. 3) That you are not burning it in an attempt to “hide/censor it” (like a fanatic burning a book so no one else can read it, or because they believe it is evil). 4) That the ashes be buried or dropped in running water, not in the garbage! 5) That you take care to burn it with *all* safety! watching that no burning ashes go floating away to start a fire. 6) That you burn it in a ritual for your own emotional, psychological, spiritual well being (or the emotional, psychological, spiritual well being of others).
Or, to put it another way, *INTENT* is what really matters when you burn/deface something.
I remember speaking to one former Christian who, though a long time practicing Wiccan, was still having paranoid anxiety attacks about the biblical Apolycolypse.
I recommended to her a ritual which included finding the passages that most disturbed her, tearing them out or Xeroxing them, and burning them. The aim here was to release her from the power these words had over her.
IT WAS *NOT* (and I emphasize this! NOT NOT NOT) to show contempt or hatred for another religion’s sacred book. There is no reason in the world that respect for another religion’s belief should interfere with a personal, private ritual wherein you release yourself, in whatever peaceful and harmless way necessary, from the dominating, destructive power of a written word, symbol or picture.
That said: In what other ways can you release yourself from the power that words, symbols or pictures have over you? Or people or things for that matter?
One way is to take the words, cut them up, and reform them into other sentences–in this ritual, you take a passage that has control over you and you take control over it, you remove it’s power, and empower yourself. You see the words for what they are: Words.
If a person has control/power over you (and here’s where we get to defacing!), like an old lover, dominating parents, or even a figure in the news, take a picture of them, and, with marker in hand, draw clown hats on their heads, silly mustaches, weird glasses, etc. Do this before you tear or burn the picture, as you need to reduce them from their position of Tyrant before you can, by tearing/burning, symbolically break their hold on you.
If it’s a thing or institution that has power over you, sketch a picture (or get a photo) of whatever might symbolize that thing or institution and do something likewise to it (deface, cut up, tear or burn).
Just make sure that you do this within the context of a ritual geared toward this purpose (to release you from this thing’s power!). This is a “freedom” ritual, and it’s intent is to transform *you*–you’re not going to change your parents, your old religious institution, your boss, or your old lover, but you can change yourself, how you deal with, react or view these things.
A ritual which involves burning, defacing, cutting or tearing words, symbols, pictures can do this, powerfully. Your recognition of it’s power is, in part, what makes you leery, hesitant or fearful of it–your caution is good. No such ritual should be done lightly. On the other hand, these methods should not be feared or rejected out of hand. Used wisely, well and *SPARINGLY*, they can really change your life–even save it!
WARNING: This section will be discussing some well, not exactly graphic but certainly frank and factual information regarding SEX! Be warned!
Rituals/spells involving SEX are among the most powerful that can be done, which is why you have to use GREAT CAUTION when using Sex in a ritual!
One of the best known uses of Sex in a ritual is the GREAT RITE where, through the union of the HP (High Priest) and HPS (High Priestess)- -(usually done away from the rest of the coveners in a secluded place)–the coven sends off it’s cone of power.
Here’s a more common type of ritual/sex spell that can be done by you and a loved one your very own home:
Decide on something you both want/need badly. Focus on a keyword for the need or want (I don’t think I need remind you that it should be a *positive* need/want–like healing magic or finding a much needed job). Cleanse and consecrate the bedroom (or wherever you’re going to do this), decorate according to purpose. Take a bath or shower together by way of self-cleansing. Together, cast the circle, call the quarters, and state your purpose.
Then…get to work!
Relax, use aromatic message oils, feathers, special music (whatever turns you on) and, well, do what comes naturally. As thing get heated, as agreed, you both need to focus and, as much as possible, think about the want/need. Visualize (again, as best as possible) the energy building around the two of you, pulsing, growing, sizzling. When you climax (and you need not, uh, come together), speak the keyword aloud or in your mind, over and over and over—send it off with the erupting energy.
Make sure you have both climaxed, then come down, *GROUND*–cuddle and snuggle awhile and then, before you go to sleep, open the circle.
Now, here’s what you have to remember before you race ahead to try this:
1) Be sure you *REALLY LOVE* your partner, and that you *really, really, really* want to be with them *forever*–’cause the more sex magic you do with someone, the more you bind them, Karmically, emotionally, spiritually to you (and you to them!). And *this* is not the *only* life in which you’re going to be with them! The more sex magic you engage in with them, the more likely you’re going to meet them again and again in your next life. You don’t want to be karmically bound to a jerk!
I told you this is *SERIOUS* stuff!
2) BOTH PARTNERS MUST FULLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO THIS! That doesn’t just mean that you say to your lover, “hey lover, tonight while we’re doing it, let’s think about a new house….”–No, no, no, no! Both of you have to be equally aware of what you plan to do, both of you have to agree and work out the ritual, both of you have to know what you are doing and believe in what you are doing!
3) DO NOT DO THIS RITUAL AT THE LAST MINUTE! This is not a ritual to do impromptu! The energy you’re calling up is too powerful! Choose the day/night with care and plan out your ritual IN ADVANCE! Obviously, the sex has to be “impromptu” (indeed, should be impromptu, creative, NEVER FORCED or stiff or mechanical!–you should, in all senses of the word *MAKE LOVE* or else you undermine the power of the sex) but everything else should be carefully choreographed. You want to feel confident about this.
4) If it turns out that, for all your planning, this just isn’t the night for one of you–stop, relax, laugh about it, and agree to do it another day.
5) Do not even *attempt* a sex ritual until and unless you feel yourself a competent ritual priest/priestess! This should not be one of the first rituals you try!
You’re probably wondering what will happen if you don’t listen to me–well, you can take it from me, the result will be a *DISASTER*! I messed up once (we won’t get into details on what I did wrong). The morning after, everything was completely out of balance- – things kept going wrong; negative dominated, positive was no where in sight. I had to restore the balance–which I did with a dismissal spell–*TWO of them!*
So heed this warning! Be very careful about using Sex in a ritual!
WHAT TO DO IF THINGS GO WRONG!
Sometimes rituals or spells can go wrong. Likely, when they do go wrong it’s from:
(1) Either forgetting to ground or shield (problems arising from these are very temporary unless you’re highly sensitive). (2) Because you used the ritual to deliberately harm someone. (3) You involved an unprepared partner (see the section on SEX MAGIC). (4) Your intent was not clear or befuddled by something else (usually a negative emotion like anger or hate).
The more rituals you do in a state of negative emotion, the more unbalanced/tangled your life can become.
So what do you do? Don’t panic! The effects usually do not last that long (30 days max). If they are not that bad, but really annoying and troublesome, try this little ritual from Silverwolf’s *TO RIDE A SILVER BROOMSTICK*:
*Decorate: Nothing more is needed here beyond a pen, paper and a pair of candles–a pair is good as it emphasizes balance. Pick two opposing colors, black/white, or rainbow candles. Use protective incense, wear protective symbols or gem stones.
Shield, and spend extra time centering.
*Cast the circle and call quarters. Your intent is to restore balance!
*Light candles, and by their light write something akin to the following:
On the day/eve of ________________ I cast a spell, The effect of which was ________________ May this spell be lifted and I be gifted with______________
If you write the spell, fold the paper three times and set it in the center of your alter or burn it. If you say the spell, say it three times while turning counterclockwise.
GROUND–and then spend a little time meditating, relaxing, feeling the balance restored inside you.
IF YOU HAVE A **MAJOR** IMBALANCE then try this ritual for restoring balance:
*In this case, go all out, cleansing, decorating–include a pair of scales in the ritual. Put something significant on the scales to unbalance them (coins, for example, if it involves money, I-ching coins if it involves divination, salt for almost anything else, sand for dreams gone wrong, or appropriate gem stones or herbs). Put all these to the right side if you feel that the imbalance favors the masculine while depriving the feminine. Put them to the left side if the opposite is true.
*Place the scale between the candles. Cleanse the area with smoke or saltwater.
*After self-cleansing, dressing protectively, casting the circle, calling the quarters- – invoke a god/goddess of balance to help you in this ritual along with your guardian deity.
*Light the candles and state purpose (to restore balance), and then with atheme or a wooden spoon (which you blessed) or your fingers, move objects (stones, coins, whatever) from one side of the scales to the other, little by little, until the balance is restored.
As you spoon or shift the objects, envision the objects glowing with your color or with a color appropriate to solving your problem (green or gold for money, for example). As each one is set upon the empty/opposite side of the scales, imagine the scales taking on a glow. The more they balance, the brighter they glow.
When the scales are balanced (make sure before hand, by the way, that they *will* be balanced–an odd number of coins won’t do it!), step back, and see the scales glowing with the radiance of balance.
*Infuse the scales with light, and then let the light dissipate/shoot out into the universe. Ground and meditate on being calm and balanced within.
*Thank the deities who helped you, dismiss the quarters and open the circle.
This ritual can also be done with a tangled bit of red string or a silver/gold necklace. As you untangle the string, imagine the tangle of your energy becoming untangled. When all knots are out, imagine the string radiating with energy, bright, brighter, until you can send it out.
If none of this works, contact friends and get some help–your energy is too tangled/unbalanced, you need others to help you untangle/balance it.
This ends Rituals: Sacred Acts in Sacred Space.
There are three other files regarding Rituals that were formed from the ritual study class. They are: CYBR.TXT an informal tutorial on how to create rituals in/for Cyberspace
LIFE.TXT discusses rituals for birth, adulthood, marriage, croning and death.
SABB.TXT covers holiday/Sabbath rituals: Yule (Winter Solstice), Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas, Vernal Equinox and Samhain (Holloween).
Peace and light to you, Sister or Brother; may all your rituals bring you the blessings of the Goddess and the God. So Mote it be!
Originally posted 2014-01-08 08:46:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter