Okay, you prepared your space. You sat and raised the Circle. You called your allies and astral entities to help. You have called the Quarters, done the Middle Pillar, communed with the Spirits, traveled to the Akashic Record.
You cut the Circle and dismissed the elements. You sent the energy off to do whatever that Power does to cause your spell to work.
What happens next? Most individuals will start putting away the trappings of their ritual and get on with their life, but I think there is a time here that is more important to the magician than simply cleaning up.
This is the time of Aftercare.
In most sexual practices and relationships, there is a time when after the Deed is done and you and your partner are laying together, you simply exist in each other’s arms for a while. You lay with each other and simply commune with them and be. There is no pressure to do anything, no real discussion of anything, simply existing in the after glow of an incredible experience, mutually shared.
Why can’t we do that with our Spells? Why can’t we use that time to commune with the Gods and to exist with Them? Taking time to revel in the energies raised and to exist for a little while in that Sacred Space that you spent so much time creating and getting into, why must it be totally destroyed by immediately starting the cleanup?
Some activities to think about in this time period of “after the spell and ritual” for you and your group:
- Divinations; do some tarot readings for everyone, for yourself and to see how successful the spell is going to be. After all, you spent all that time and energy getting into the mood and working to get into that alternate state of mind to do the magick, why not use that time while you are in that state to do some other related workings that aren’t as labor intensive?
- Reinforcing the Wards on your place of worship; it has always confused me, you spend all that time raising power, getting it to do what you want, making it move in certain specific ways, just to send it all into the Earth when you are done. Why? I understand that loose energy is a danger to the practitioners and to those in the immediate area, but why waste it? Spend a few minutes pulling all that Power together and using it to shore up your personal defenses or your group Wards. That Power won’t show up anyplace except in your protections and it won’t be attracting things that should not be there. It will be helping you keep safe and it’s not just sitting there like a patch of tar on a white carpet.
- Grounding; instead of grounding the energies into the actual ground, why not ground the energy into a “power sink”, a metaphysical battery? By doing this, you recharge the battery from what bleeds off and you put that grounded energy to a good use. You can do this with any enchanted object you possess and it becomes another source of Power for you to draw upon next time you do a ritual or spell.
- Party; here you are, you invited all these spirits to you, your ancestors, your allies, your Gods, possibly even some angels. And once you are done you just dismiss them and move on with your life? How crass can you be? Calling them out of their warm home, to give you some power and then you say “KTHXBY!” Oh, you may tell them thank you, you can even say “stay if you will”, but what about saying, instead, “okay, go if you have to, but we are going to have a PARTY and you are invited to participate!” Then commune with them. Allow them to be part of your life, be part of theirs. I know your ancestors will be interested in finding out what has been going on and how you and your children are doing, even finding out how your parents are. Most ancestors are gossipy old things, and they need news, so share it with them. Talk about your family to them, Tell funny stories, make it an event.
- Creation; once again, you are in a ritual mindset. What’s wrong with using that mindset to create something? You already started with the ritual and the spell, because isn’t that just creation of a set of circumstances you desire? So why not go the next step and actually use that mindset to create amulets, talismans, sacred art, ritual tools, or just to write in your ritual book (whether you call it your Grimoire or your Book of Shadows)? How about taking that mindset and using it to write your impressions of the ritual down, so that the event is preserved for future magickians? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it just needs to be what you saw and felt. If everyone in the ritual does this, think of the group mind that can be built from that spiritual consensus.
- Gardening; I know it sounds nuts, but why can’t you spend a few minutes hugging a tree and letting that tree absorb some of the extra energies or planting a seed that has to be planted at night? Some plants do better if planted in the light of the Full Moon, and the Gods know there are enough potions and spells that call for components from plants harvested at night. So mark those plants while you are out one day with some nice wide colorful ribbon and go out looking for them after your ritual. You won’t have to get into a sacred space again to harvest the herbs, since you already are there.
- Reinforcement; I know that once you cast a spell you aren’t supposed to think about it once you have cast your spell, but there comes a time when you have to do some reinforcement of a spell you already cast. It can be as simple as giving it extra energy or as complex as retargeting it to another changed goal. But those spells usually have to be helped along by the caster’s active participation.
As with any exercise or activity, use your head. It will be massively counterproductive if you do a ritual to create a servitor for your group and then do another major ritual which involves the creation of Wards after everything is pulled down, dismissed and put up.
Maintenance is the key word here. If you would normally do a small ritual to maintain a spell or process that already exists, this would be perfect to maintain and repair it in the after time of a ritual. It’s a small use of Power that pays out immensely when you have the time and which most people do a whole ritual for.
Once you feel tired and like you are coming down from the high that the ritual has put you into, simply stop and move on with your life. But you have to do something to dismiss those extra energies or they can stay and pull more energy to it, and those new energies aren’t always the nicest of energy. A lot of times they cause far more problems than they solve.
Eating food, drinking a sports drink, grounding the energy into the Earth, all these are the classic ways of getting rid of excess energy after a ritual. Try to see if you can’t come up with other means of using that extra next time you do a major ritual. If you can, then that’s one more rite you won’t have to do later.
And Time is always at a premium.