Tag Archives: circle

Ritual/Circle Etiquette

Ritual/Circle Etiquette

If you are attending a publicly advertised ritual, you need to check to see if they have any special requirements (check the website or call if they provide a number). 


Individual covens or groups often have their own set of rules to adhere to in a ritual or circle setting.  If you have been invited to attend a private coven/group ritual, do not assume it’s okay to bring someone else with you (this includes a spouse or significant other) and certainly don’t assume children are allowed.  If there is someone you’d like to bring, you need to contact the High Priestess (HPS) and/or High Priest (HP) for permission.  Please be respectful of their choice.  Also note, that if a ritual/circle is not ‘advertised’ or for public consumption, do not make it public!  Respect the privacy of the members and do not mention their names, or the ritual to outsiders.  Keep in mind, some traditions/covens take an oath of secrecy and take those oaths very seriously.  Please be mindful of the requirements for private covens (i.e. dress, jewelry, electronics, etc..)

 

Having said this there are some general guidelines for attending ritual/circle:

·       Never attend a circle/ritual under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

·       Time:  Make sure you know the time you must be there by and allow for a few hours total (this of course can vary from circle to circle).  This will include prep time, ritual time & ‘down’ time.  If you are on a time constraint it may be best not to attend, whereas someone who’s obsessed with the time may disrupt the flow of the ritual.  BE ON TIME!!!

·       Clothing Requirements: Some groups prefer clothes that move freely to avoid constricting energy flow (like ritual robes), some prefer shoeless, some prefer specific colors, etc…  Please make sure whatever you wear is comfortable and avoid t-shirts with ‘sayings’ or ‘images’ so it’s not a distraction.  Some covens/groups work skyclad (clothed only by the sky), if you are not comfortable in this setting, please don’t accept the invitation.  Also, if it’s going to be an outdoor ritual, dress accordingly!  Also, remove hats!!

·       Jewelry:  Some covens/groups have special requirements for the types of jewelry within circle, be sure to ask.

·       Fees/Costs:  Some groups have a fee for attendance to help cover expended costs, be sure to inquire about this and how payment is to be made (is check okay, credit card, paypal or cash only)

·       Food:  Many rituals/circles are followed by a ‘feast’ of some kind or sometimes just a snack setting.  Be sure to ask if you need to bring a food item if so, are there any allergens or special requirements and how many should you ‘account’ for when preparing food.  If it’s a Sabbat, you may want to research what foods are typical for that Sabbat and incorporate it.

·       Drink:  Again, don’t assume alcohol is okay.  If you are bringing drink to share, inquire as to whether alcohol is allowed or what other drinks are acceptable (some don’t like high sugary drinks).

·       Electronics:  Never assume electronics are okay in circle (more often they are not).  Most covens/groups prefer electronic items not be in the ritual space.  So remove watches, cell phones/pagers (have them turned off so they don’t go off) and store them in a safe place.  Cameras/Video are also not typically allowed within circle. 

·       Bags/Purses/Backpacks:  The circle/ritual is a sacred space and often ‘mundane’ objects are a distraction and inconvenience if circle dancing is involved.  Please leave these items in a safe place and out of circle.

PRIOR TO RITUAL/CIRCLE:

·       Make sure you have bathed/showered prior to a ritual (remember the old adage “cleanliness is next to godliness” ).  A ritual bath or shower helps you begin to get into a certain mindset.  It’s during this time you begin to focus on the upcoming ritual and to wash away any ‘negatives’ you may be carrying around during the day.

·       Make sure you have all the items you’ll need for ritual (special clothing, jewelry, ‘tools’, etc…)

·       Make sure you have any food/drink items ready to go

·       If it’s an outdoor ritual, be sure to bring and apply insect repellant ahead of time!

·       Be aware of smoking rules (do not smoke in a circle at all), but be aware of designated smoking areas and be sure not to leave cigarette butts on the ground.  Dispose in dispenser (if provided) otherwise pocket it until you find a trash!

·       Find out if shoes are allowed or where they are to be left outside of the circle.

·       Make sure to listen carefully to directions during prep time to fully understand what is expected of you.

ENTERING CIRCLE:

·       Be mindful if there is a special ‘order’ in which to enter a circle.  Some covens/groups prefer a balance and therefore ask that people alternate (female, male, female, male).

·       Once people have begun to ‘line up’, it’s time to stop talking.  Now is the time to begin to center yourself and focusing on leaving your ‘mundane’ self behind as you enter circle/ritual as your magic(k)al self.

·       There may be a special spot for smudging or self consecration prior to entering, be aware of this and follow directions (these are for spiritual cleansing).

·       Never touch someone elses tools or altar items without explicit permission.

·       Move Deosil (clockwise) at all times in circle (unless directed otherwise for specific purpose).  When you enter circle, turn left, you’ll always be going in the right direction then.

·       You may be asked for a special name and/or password when entering a circle (others may ask once inside circle at specific times).  If you don’t have a craft/magic(k) name, don’t worry, just use your regular name

·       Make sure you’ve used the restroom!!!!

 

IN CIRCLE:

·       Again, remember to move Deosil and never touch tools without explicit permission.

·       If you are asked to touch something on the altar, it’s often requested that you use the right hand to either pick up or put down (The right hand is considered the active hand and the left is considered the passive hand).

·       Be aware of the circle boundaries.  Do not step over them, move your arms over them, etc.  Remember a ritual circle is a space between space and a time between time.  The circles are cast as a protective place and breaking that may allow undesirables to enter.  IF you break a circle, please notify the high priestess and/or high priest or coven member so it may be properly closed again.

·       When the quarters are being called, turn (deosil) to face those quarters.  If you’re unfamiliar as to what to do during this time, just quietly ‘follow along’.  (Due to some space restrictions, be sure to ask if personal athames are allowed ahead of time), a couple pointed fingers are the typical substitute for ‘saluting’ the quarters.

·       NO TALKING.  Unless you are specifically invited to do so.  Conversations within circle are meant to stay craft related.  Remember whatever you hear in circle stays confidential (kind of like what happens in vegas stays in vegas).  If you find value in info. or stories shared within circle, ask permission before sharing it outside. 

·       During some rituals, the HPS or HP may invoke the Goddess or God during ritual.  During this time, there is absolute quiet among the coven with the exception of the HPS or HP during the invocation.  During this time you should be directing your energies to the one doing the invocation (to lend them a hand in bringing down the Goddess or God).  Once invoked into the body of the HPS or HP, they (the Goddess or God) speak through the HPS or HP, so if asked a question at that time you do need to answer, or you may be given a message that is meant just for you (if you don’t understand it, just keep it in your mind to discuss later with the HPS or HP).

·       During most rituals there is a time called cakes and ale (or cakes and wine).  If you are passed something to eat or drink, do NOT immediately consume them.  Many covens/groups have a libation cup that is also passed around to give to the Gods.  After ritual, this cup is usually ‘returned’ to the earth.  During cakes and ale, is often a time for small ritual discussion or questions.

·       If you must leave circle during ritual (illness or absolutely can’t wait for the bathroom), ask a coven member to properly ‘cut you out’ so they can properly ‘re-seal’ or close the circle again.

·       If circle dancing is planned and you are not physically able to join, make sure the HPS or HP are aware of this ahead of time, so they can plan to ‘cut you out’ prior to the dancing (you may stand outside to continue to raise energy to send forth).

AFTER RITUAL:

·       Now is the time for hugs, discussion, etc…

·       Ask if there is anything you can do to assist in clean up or for feast preparations.

Circle Casting for Solitaries

Circle Casting for Solitaries:

Place your quarter point/element candles or symbols in their appropriate quarters (colors of quarters/elements: North =Earth = Green; East =Air = Yellow; South=Fire=Red; West=Water=Blue).

Set up your altar (typically facing North). Your altar should include: candles, water, a bowl of salt and incense.

Light all the candles & light the incense.

Using athame, Bless the water:

“I consecrate and cleanse this water in the names of _______ and ______ (or whatever deities you prefer), so it may be purified for use in this rite.”

Using athame, Bless the salt:

“I consecrate and bless this salt in the names of _______ and _______, so it may be purified for use in this rite.”

Add some salt to the water.

Take the athame or sword, begin walking deosil (clockwise) drawing a circle (envisioning a white or blue light forming all around) , saying:

“O circle be a place of peace, love, joy and truth. A shield against all evil, a place of protection that shall contain the energies I shall raise within thee. I do bless thee and consecrate thee in the names of _______ and _______.”

Pick up the salted water, starting in the East (walking deosil), sprinkle the salted water around the circle.

Pick up the censer (incense), starting in the East (walking deosil), cense the circle.

Pick up the athame, go to East. Drawing an invoking pentagram, say:

“Hear me watchtowers and guardians of the East, look now upon me, guide and protect me in my rite.”

Follow with all the quarters just replacing the East with the correct direction.

Your circle is now ready for whatever work you intended to do.

To close your circle:

Thank the Lord and Lady.

Pick up the athame, go to East. Drawing a banishing pentagram, say:

“Watchtowers and guardians of the East, thank you for attending my rite. Let us live with peace and love in our hearts. Hail and farewell.”

Follow with all the quarters just replacing the East with the correct direction.

Extinguish all candles.

by: Lady Pagan/The Pagan Musings

Yule Blend (loose incense)

I didn’t get a chance to post this before Yule, but didn’t want to forget to post it for next Yule 😉

Our Yule Blend:
Frankincense: Sun – Protection & Spirituality
Myrrh: Moon – Protection, Healing, Spirituality
White Oak: Sun – Protection, Health, Money, Healing, Potency, Fertility, Luck
Bay: Sun – Protection, Psychic Powers, Healing, Purification, Strength
Cinnamon: Sun – Purification, Prosperity
Sage: Jupiter – Longevity, Wisdom, Protection, Wishes
Rosemary: Sun – Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Purification, Healing, Sleep, Youth
Juniper Berries: Sun – Protection, Love, Health
Nutmeg: Jupiter – Luck, Money, Health, Fidelity
Pine: Mars – Healing, Fertility, Protection, Money
Holly: Mars – Protection, Luck, Dream Magic
– Lady Pagan/The Pagan Musings

New Year ritual to banish negatives

the Secular New Year might be a great time to rid yourself of some unwanted or negatives in your life.

Items you’ll need in your ritual circle with you:
Pen (or something to write with)
Parchment or paper to write on.
Small cauldron (to burn inside of)
banishing herbs (some examples – basil, cedar, cinnamon, rosemary, lavender)

The ritual:
Cast your circle as you normally would.

Think about the things that you want to rid yourself of. When you feel ready, write down all the things you want to let go (keep them simple, clear and concise).

As you burn your list, say:
“As these negatives leave my life and the Gods remove my strife,
let me grow in a positive way, every hour of every day”

Make sure the list has completely turned to ash. Thanks the Gods and close your circle as your normally would. Dispose of the ashes as you see fit.

Some suggestions for disposal:
scatter the ashes to the wind to take it away
bury it in the ground
flush the ashes down the toilet

by Lady Pagan/The Pagan Musings

Circle Casting & Calling Quarters – Solitary

Circle Casting for Solitaries:

Place your quarter point/element candles or symbols in their appropriate quarters (colors of quarters/elements: North =Earth = Green; East =Air = Yellow; South=Fire=Red; West=Water=Blue).

Set up your altar (typically facing North). Your altar should include: candles, water, a bowl of salt and incense.

Light all the candles; light the incense.

Using athame, Bless the water:
“I consecrate and cleanse this water in the names of Cerridwen and Herne (or whatever deities you prefer), so it may be purified for use in this rite.”

Using athame, Bless the salt:
“I consecrate and bless this salt in the names of Cerridwen and Herne, so it may be purified for use in this rite.”

Add some salt to the water.

Take the athame or sword, begin walking deosil (clockwise) drawing a circle (envisioning a white or blue light forming all around) , saying:
“O circle be a place of peace, love, joy and truth. A shield against all evil, a place of protection that shall contain the energies I shall raise within thee. I do bless thee and consecrate thee in the name of Cerridwen and Herne.”

Pick up the salted water, starting in the East (walking deosil), sprinkle the salted water around the circle.

Pick up the censer (incense), starting in the East (walking deosil), cense the circle.

Pick up the athame, go to East. Drawing an invoking pentagram, say:
“Hear me watchtowers and guardians of the East, look now upon me, guide and protect me in my rite.”

Follow with all the quarters just replacing the East with the correct direction.

Your circle is now ready for whatever work you intended to do.

To close your circle:

Thank the Lord and Lady.

Pick up the athame, go to East. Drawing a banishing pentagram, say:
“Watchtowers and guardians of the East, thank you for attending my rite. Let us live with peace and love in our hearts. Hail and farewell.”

Follow with all the quarters just replacing the East with the correct direction.

Extinguish all candles.

by: Lady Pagan/The Pagan Musings

Circle Casting & Calling Quarters – Group

Casting The Circle (Group)
Janet and Stewart Farrar

Set up : place a candle in each of the four cardinal directions. Lay the rest of the tools on the altar cloth or near it. The altar can be on the ground, a table, a rock or a stump. The altar should be in the center or just north of center of the Circle. Light the six candles and the incense, start the music and begin the ritual.

The Ritual

Facing North, the High Priest and Priestess kneel in front of the altar with him to her right. She puts the bowl of water on the altar, places the point of her athame in it and says:

“I exorcise thee, O Creature of Water, that thou cast out from thee all impurities and uncleanliness of the world of phantasm; in the names of Cernunnos and Aradia”

She then puts down her athame and holds up the bowl of water in both hands. The High Priest puts the bowl of salt on the altar, puts his athame in the salt and says:

“Blessings be upon this Creature of Salt; let all malignity and hindrance be cast forth hence, and let all good enter herein; wherefore so I bless thee, that thou mayest aid me, in the names of Cernunnos and Aradia.”

He then puts down his athame and pours the salt into the bowl of water the High Priestess is holding. The High Priest then stands with the rest of the Coven outside the Circle. The High Priestess then draws the Circle with the sword, leaving a gap in the Northeast section. While drawing the Circle, she should visualize the power flowing into the Circle from off the end of the sword. She draws the Circle in a East to North or deosil or clockwise direction. She says:

“I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, that thou beest a meeting place of love and joy and truth; a shield against all wickedness and evil; a boundary between men and the realms of the Mighty Ones; a rampart and protection that shall preserve and contain the power that we shall raise within thee. Wherefore do I bless thee and consecrate thee, in the names of Cernunnos and Aradia.”

The High Priestess lays down the sword and admits the High Priest with a kiss while spinning him deosil and whispers “Bless Be”. He then admits a women the same way. Alternate male female male. Then the High Priestess finishes closing the Circle with the sword. She then names three witches to help strengthen the Circle. The first witch carries the bowl of consecrated water from East to East going deosil, sprinkling the perimeter as she/he goes. They then sprinkle
each member in turn. If the witch is male, he sprinkles the High Priestess last who then sprinkles him. If female she sprinkles the High Priest last, who then sprinkles her. The bowl is replaced on the altar. The second witch takes the incense burner around the perimeter and the third takes one of the altar candles. While going around the perimeter, each person says:

“Black spirits and white,
Red spirits and grey,
Harken to the rune I say.
Four points of the Circle, weave the spell,
East, South, West, North, your tale tell.
East is for break of day,
South is white for the noontide hour,
In the West is twilight grey,
And North is black, for the place of power.
Three times round the Circle’s cast.
Great ones, spirits from the past,
Witness it and guard it fast.”

All the Coven pickup their athames and face the East with the High Priest and Priestess in front, him on her right. The High Priestess says:

“Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the East, ye Lords of Air; I do summon, stir, and call you up to witness our rites and to guard the Circle.”

As she speaks she draws the Invoking Pentagram of Earth in the air with her athame. The High Priest and the rest of the Coven copy her movements with their athames. The High Priestess turns and faces the South and repeats the summoning:

“Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the South, ye Lords of Fire; I do summon, stir and call you up, to witness our rites and to guard the Circle.”

She does the same pentagram and then faces West and says:

“Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the West, ye Lords of Water, ye Lords of Death and Initiation; I do summon, stir, and call you up, to witness our rites and to guard the Circle.”

She faces North with rest of the Coven and says:

“Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the North, ye Lords of Earth; Boreas, thou gentle guardian of the Northern Portals; thou powerful God and gentle Goddess; we do summon, stir and call you up, to witness our rites and to guard the Circle.”

The Circle is completed and sealed. If anyone needs to leave, a gate must be made. Using the sword, draw out part of the Circle with a widdershins or counterclockwise stroke. Immediately reseal it and then repeat the opening and closing when the person returns.

Farrar, Janet and Stewart; “Eight Sabbats For Witches”; Robert Hale 1983 and Valiente, Doreen; “Witchcraft for Tomorrow”; Phoenix Publishing 1985

The Patterns of Wiccan Ritual 1.1

The Patterns of Wiccan Ritual 1.1
Copyright © 1989, 2000 c.e., Isaac Bonewits

This is excerpted from what was to have been a chapter on ritual in my unpublished book on Witchcraft. I’m posting it here now so that folks will have a general idea of my research and practice on the topic. It will be expanded to include a full ritual script, but not for a while, as I have other promised items to post on my website first.

In the Beginning

In the 1940s and ’50s, a retired British civil servant and amateur folklorist named Gerald B. Gardner (referred to affectionately as “GBG” or “Old Gerald”), together with his friends, began to either reconstruct or invent what they chose to call “the Old Religion” of “Witchcraft.” They claimed that Margaret Murray had been correct when she postulated that an underground Pagan cult had survived in Christian Europe, and that the members of this cult had been the “witches” whom the Church tried so hard to exterminate during the Renaissance. Furthermore, Gardner and his associates said that the Old Religion had continued to exist even into the 20th Century. See A Very Brief History of Witchcraft for details about Gardner and of how he fits into the overall history of the word “witchcraft.”

Regardless of the conflicting historical claims about whether or not there was ever a “real” coven which initiated Gardner, it is very clear from his own notes that he could easily have created the root liturgy of what was to become known as “Wicca” from published sources and his own experiences in other Western occult organizations. I have studied the first draft materials in a hand-bound text he called Ye Bok [sic] of Ye Art Magical, of what eventually developed into the first Book of Shadows (“BOS”). There is nothing there that can be demonstrated to be a remnant of a surviving underground British Pagan cult (though some parts resemble those of Hindu Tantric rituals).

A famous saying among scholars goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” and this saying is usually true. However, in this situation the missing concepts become quite important. People writing liturgies almost always start out by reworking ceremonial materials with which they are already familiar. For one example, the Episcopal and Lutheran liturgies resemble the Roman Catholic Mass. For another, the rituals that Aleister Crowley wrote for his branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis (an offshoot of the Free Masons that he turned into a more magically “oriented” group) incorporate phrases and actions from the older rituals of the Masons, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the initiation rites of the pre-Crowlean O.T.O. Most of the early A.D.F. rituals included segments from the R.D.N.A. rituals I had learned previously (some of them, at least as I perform them, still do).

The earliest versions of Gardner’s initiatory and liturgical scripts are full of obvious borrowings from the Masons, the Renaissance “Goetic” grimoires (magical books), the writings of Crowley, etc. There are no prayers, incantations, ritual actions, or liturgical patterns that reflect any other sources than the (Judeo-Christian) Western mainstream of occult tradition, the then available published materials on anthropology and folklore, some tantric methods he could easily have picked up in the Far East or through Crowley, and a few lines of gibberish in an unknown “language.” If Gardner had attended genuinely Paleopagan (or even Mesopagan) rites in England, their patterns of worship should be visible in his private notes, even if he were forbidden to put secret words and phrases down on paper. Yet Pagan liturgical patterns are invisible in his early notes. They only begin to show up in the 1950’s as the Goetic and Crowlean materials were gradually removed, under the influence of Gardner’s priestess, Doreen Valiente.

At this point the authenticity of Gardner’s “apostolic succession” becomes rather irrelevant. If there was a real coven that trained Gardner, they apparently didn’t show or tell him much of anything that was genuinely ancient or Pagan, at least not liturgically.

This may not matter much. Gardner (or perhaps the committee he was taking notes for) was extremely creative. He changed the Goetic magical techniques to make them usable by small groups of people instead of solitary magicians. He rewrote the first three Masonic initiations to make them applicable to both men and women. He made sensuality and eroticism a central part of his new/old religion by borrowing tantric techniques and symbolism. Finally, and most importantly, early in the 1950’s he added Dion Fortune’s theology of Isis and Osiris and other polytheistic elements to make his creation genuinely (albeit Meso-) Pagan. Around 1954, all of the notes he had made during the 1940’s and early ’50’s were transferred to a new book, which became the first official Book of Shadows, and Ye Bok was retired to the back of a file cabinet, where it would lie forgotten for twenty years.

Whatever their origins, the first versions of the Wiccan rituals (especially those for the holidays) were extremely sparse, usually being only a page or two of text. Following Gardner’s advice that “it is ever better to do too much ritual than too little,” the members of his new religion began to add materials to each of them. Over the years the rites have expanded considerably, with enormous variations in detail but with the same liturgical structure usually being more-or-less retained.

Current Variations in Craft Liturgical Structure

For a variety of historical reasons, most of them having to do with the secrecy of which Wiccans are so fond, there is no universal pattern for Wiccan ritual, although the general shape is similar from group to group. Different traditions do more or less the same things but in differing order.

Almost all the traditions start with the participants doing some sort of personal purifications (herbal baths, fasting, etc.) before the ritual actually gets underway. These purifications are not prompted by a sense of impurity or sinfulness on the part of the participants, but rather reflect a need to begin focussing consciousness, clearing away irrelevant thoughts, and showing respect for the Goddess and God, as well as fellow coveners, much as members of many other religions do before attending services.

The people attending the ritual then either dress in ceremonial robes or else strip down to a state of ritual nudity (becoming “skyclad,” from a Hindu term for naked sages living in the woods who abandon all social concerns and class distinctions in their quests for enlightenment). The specialness of one’s clothing (or lack of it) is another cue to one’s inner beings that sacred activities are about to take place, as well as another way to show respect to the Deities.

Almost all Wiccan groups use a circle as the shape of their sacred space. Some have this shape physically marked on the ground or floor, most do not (which is why it often turns into a “magic oval”). Most will have candles or torches set up at the North, South, East, and West intersections — called “Quarter Points” or just “the Quarters” — of two invisible lines drawn through the center of the circle, either just inside or just outside of the circle’s line. Some traditions have the altar outside this circle when the rite begins, others place it inside either at the center or near one of the Quarter Points.

Some groups have everyone except the presiding clergy (usually a High Priestess and a High Priest, sometimes also a Maiden and/or a Green Man as assistants) wait outside the ritual area (usually in the Northeast, for reasons having to do with Masonic initiations) while it is prepared for the ceremony, and bring them in afterwards. Others have everyone in the circle from the start.

Traditions that have the people in the circle and the altar outside of it may start with “the spiral dance” as first described by Gardner in Witchcraft Today and later in Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance (she got it from the NROOGD tradition). After everyone has spiraled into the center of the circle and spiraled out again, with an exchange of kisses along the way, and are once more standing in a circle holding hands, this ring will be broken and the altar will be brought in. Unfortunately, as all too many can testify, the spiral dance often turns into a spiral “crack the whip” game (and no, I’m not referring to ritual scourging here), which is why I usually don’t recommend it except with groups composed solely of young and healthy types dancing on a smooth, flat surface.

Salt and water are usually exorcised and/or blessed by the presiding clergy, sometimes along with other substances such as incense, oil, candles, etc. These items are used, either before or after the circle is “cast,” to exorcise and/or bless the circle as a whole and/or all the people in it. As with the personal purifications mentioned above, exorcisms done in Neopagan rituals have little to do with banishing evil spirits and much to do with retuning the spiritual energies of the objects and/or persons involved to make them appropriate for the work at hand — much as a cook who had been chopping garlic would take care to wash his or her hands and the knife before beginning to chop the apples for a pie (at least we hope so!).

The circle is cast by having (almost always) the High Priestess walk around it in a clockwise direction, starting at either the East Quarter Point (most common), the North (less common), or the South or West (both rare), with a consecrated sword or knife. This weapon may be held in the air at any of several heights, pointed up, down, forward, or outward, or else dragged point-first along the floor or ground (the original Gardner technique, where it was done by a male “Magus”) along the desired circle boundaries. The term “casting,” by the way, used to mean “cutting” or “carving,” which is why the Goetic magicians used sharp swords to actually mark the ground — and why a ceremonial Wiccan sword should have a sharp point.

If the congregation waited outside the circle while it was cast, they will then be brought into it through a “gate” (usually in the Northeast) either symbolically cut for them at that time, or left “open” during the casting process (and “closed” after their entry). People are brought into the cast circle in a formal fashion, usually with exchanges of passwords and/or kisses, often with aspergings, censings, annointings, etc. Groups that practice binding and scourging may do it at this point in the ceremony, both as a purification process and as a way to start a flow of sexually tinged mana, and/or they may wait until after the “Quarter Point Invocations” have been done. (“Mana” is a useful Polynesian word that means magical, spiritual, artistic, emotional, athletic and/or sexual energy. I haven’t found another word yet that combines all these meanings so well.)

As a general rule, after the circle has been cast, exorcised, blessed, etc., and the people are all present inside it (also exorcised/blessed), a series of invocations will be done, at each of the Quarter Points, to “the Mighty Ones,” or “the Lords of the Watch Towers,” or totem animals, or nature spirits, or “the Kings of the Elements,” etc. Some groups will add an invocation to the center, and some to the nadir and zenith as well. All these invocations finish the process of creating sacred space, by asking for the protection and cooperation of spiritual Gate Keepers. The reason there are so many, as contrasted to Paleopagan rituals or modern Neopagan Druid rites, is that the entire sacred space is considered “between the worlds,” and is in essence a single wide-open Gate. The multiple Gate Keepers focus and attune the energies allowed or encouraged to pass between the people in the circle and the spiritual beings encountered.

In Starhawkian Wicca (and some of the other liberal trads) , the circle casting, Quarter Point Invocations, exorcism/blessing of the circle and people, etc., can be done completely or fragmentarily, in any order or all at once, depending upon the consensus and/or whims of the participants.

Once the circle is complete, the usual next step is a ritual process known as “Drawing Down the Moon.” This means that the High Priestess(es), or all the women in the circle, or everyone in the circle, will attempt to manifest the Goddess of the occasion through divine inspiration, conversation, channeling, or possession. If only the High Priestess is doing this, she will often deliver a memorized speech known as “the Charge of the Goddess,” but may (if sufficiently inspired or possessed) give the members of the congregation, individually or as a whole, pointed advice and information presumed to be from the Goddess.

Some Wiccan traditions will then do “Drawing Down the Sun” upon the High Priest(s), all the men, or everyone in the circle. If done upon the High Priest, he may then deliver a “charge” or divine message from the God of the occasion. Some traditions might do the drawing down of the God before that of the Goddess at certain holidays or during certain seasons of the year.

Other forms of trance may be added to or substituted for Drawing Down the Moon and/or Sun. A ritual dance, more scourging, songs and chants, sexual play, ritual dramas, initiations, handfastings (weddings), or other rites of passage, seasonal games, and/or spell-casting (in any combination and order) may follow or replace the Drawing(s) Down.

At some point, however, a ritual will be done known as “Cakes and Wine” (or “Cakes and Ale,” etc.). This involves the blessing of food and drink by (usually) the High Priestess and the High Priest, and passing them around for the congregation to enjoy. Some traditions offer libations (to the ground, outdoors, or in a bowl, indoors) before consuming the food and drink. Whether this communal meal is done before or after a rite of passage is performed or a spell is cast, and whether the meal is accompanied by general or topical discussion (if any), depends upon a given trad’s theory of the meal’s function.

Along with or (usually) as part of the Cakes and Wine ceremony is a magical act known as “the Great Rite,” which is the primary symbol of the Sacred Marriage between the Goddess and the God, a central concept in Wiccan duotheology. The Great Rite was originally (in Gardner’s notes) ritual sexual intercourse between the High Priestess and High Priest, or sometimes by all the couples in the coven, done to raise magical power, bless objects, etc. However, almost from the beginning of Wicca, it has been usually done symbolically (“in token”) rather than physically (“in true”), through plunging a dagger or wand into a cup of liquid to bless the wine or ale. Gardner was, after all, working with a bunch of middle-class and working-class British occultists, not the lower-class or upper-class types, or the tribal peoples of ancient India or Britain, who might have been less inhibited in their sexuality.

Occasionally the Great Rite is used as part of a spell-casting or initiation, or to consummate a handfasting. A handful of traditions insist that some or all of these functions require the sexual act to be physical rather than symbolic, but even these few traditions usually remove the acting couple from the sight of the rest of the coven.

When the participants are ready to end their ceremony, the Goddess and/or the God, as well as the entities invoked at the Quarter Points, will be thanked and/or “dismissed.” In some traditions, excess mana will be “grounded” (drained). These steps are done in varying order. At the end, the circle is often cut across with knife or sword and the ceremony is declared to be over.

There is confusion in the Wiccan traditions over the use of the terms “open” and “closed” when referring to the magical state of the circle. Some groups will say “the circle is closed” early in the rite to indicate that the magical barriers have been fully erected (after casting and exorcism/blessing, etc.) and that therefore no one is to enter or leave without special permission and precautions (gate making). Others will say, “the circle is closed” at the end of the rite, to mean that the ceremony has come to a close. Conversely, some traditions use the phrase, “the circle is open” at the other’s same early stage of the ritual in the sense of being “open for business” or the Gates between the worlds being open for communication with the Other Side. Still other groups will say “the circle is open” to mean that the ceremony is over and the magical barriers have been taken down. This conflicting use of terms can be very confusing until you find out how a given group functions. Originally, the circle was opened at the beginning and closed at the end, following the Masonic practice of “opening” and “closing” lodge ceremonies (whence Gardner took the terminology).

This whole collection of variations in Wiccan ceremonial patterns fits roughly within the “Common Worship Pattern” I have described elsewhere, with some traditions matching it more closely than others. I believe that Wiccan ritual can be far more powerful and effective, both thaumaturgically and theurgically, if a liturgical design is chosen that is as close a match as possible to that pattern, primarily by adding missing steps.

One of the things that you’ll notice quickly if you attend many Wiccan rituals is that they tend to be “top-heavy” — half to two-thirds of their liturgical structure consists of setting up sacred space and doing the preliminary power raising (calling the Guardians of the Quarters, etc.), with the Drawing(s) Down and spell casting or rites of passage, supposedly the purpose for the rituals, taking much less time, and the unwinding of the liturgy being positively zoomed through. Perhaps these rites would be less top-heavy if extensive trance, dancing, or other mana generating and focussing methods were used, as I think Gardner originally intended, instead of the usual two to three minutes’ worth common in current Wiccan rites. However, perhaps Gardner reasoned that modern Westerners need more time and effort to escape mundane reality than folks from other times and places did, so he deliberately elaborated the opening parts of the liturgy. Be that as it may, the ritual design presented next inserts the missing parts of the common worship pattern and makes the middle of the ritual more important than the beginning or the end.

The Over-All Pattern of “A Generic Wiccan Rite”

I’ve underlined the items that are mentioned in the Common Worship Pattern. The numbered items, on the other hand, are the observable steps of the ceremony as it is performed. Remember that this is my expansion and ordering of the steps as I have done Wiccan rituals for several years now, with great success. I sincerely suggest that people experiment with adapting their liturgies to match this pattern.

First Phase: Starting the Rite & Establishing the Group mind
Clear cut Beginning: Consecration of Time
(1) Announcement of Beginning
The Consecration of Space
(2) Blessing of the Elemental Tools
(3) Casting of the Circle
(4) Blessing/Exorcism of Altar, People, and Circle
Centering, Grounding, Linking & Merging
(5) Opening Unity Meditation/Kissing Dance
(6) Specification of Ritual Purpose & Historical Precedent
(7) Specification of Deity(ies) of the Occasion & Reasons for Choice

Second Phase: Opening the Gates & Preliminary Power Raising
Invoking the Gatekeepers/Defining the Circle as Center
(8) Inviting the Guardians of the Quarters
(9) “Between the Worlds” Chant or Affirmation

Third Phase; Major Sending of Mana* to Deities of the Occasion
(10) Descriptive Invocation of Goddess and God
(11) Primary Power Raising
(12) The Sacrifice (a.k.a. the “Drop” or “Release”)

Fourth Phase: Receiving and Using the Returned Power
Preparation for the Return
(13) Meditation upon Personal and/or Group Needs
(14) Induction of Receptivity
Reception of Power from Deities of the Occasion
(15) Drawing Down the Moon
(16) Instruction from the Goddess; the Charge
(17) Optional Activity: Drawing Down the Sun
(18) Optional Activity: Instruction from the God; the Charge
(19) Optional Activity: the Great Rite (or in step 23)
(20) Cakes and Wine (Blessing and Passing)
(21) Acceptance of Individual Blessings
(22) Reinforcement of Group Bonding
(23) Optional Activity: Spell Casting or Rite of Passage
(24) Optional Activity: Second Ritual Meal with Conversation and/or Instruction

Fifth Phase: Unwinding and Ending the Ceremony
(25) Thanking of Deity(ies) Invoked
(26) Thanking of Guardians of the Quarters/Closing Gates
(27) Affirmation of Continuity & Success
Unmerging, Unlinking, Regrounding & Recentering
(28) Closing Meditation/Kissing Dance
Draining off Excess Mana
(29) Charging of Tools
Deconsecration of Space
(30) Circle Closing
Clearcut Ending: Deconsecration of Time
(31) Announcement of Ends

At some point in the not-so-distant future I will post here the text of a “Generic Wiccan Rite” according to this pattern, along with a detailed analysis and explanation of why and how each step is performed.

Copyright © 1989, 2000 c.e., Isaac Bonewits. This text file may be freely distributed on the Net, provided that no editing is done, the version number is listed, and this notice is included. If you would like to be on the author’s personal mailing list for upcoming publications, lectures, song albums, and appearances, send your snailmail and/or your email address to him at PO Box 372, Warwick, NY, USA 10990-0372 or via email to ibonewits@neopagan.net

Basic Ritual Structure

Basic Ritual Structure

Set up and Purification of Altar and Ritual Space.

Purification of Participants.

Salt and water are consecrated and combined and then the salt water is used to purify those who will be in the Circle. This is done by the Priestess or her delegate.

Grounding and Centering.

Grounding and centering are done by group visualization.

Circle is Cast.

Circle is cast by use of Wand, Athame, Hand, or Mental Visualization.

Quarters and Elements are evoked.

Quarters are called in the following order: East, South, West, North.
(Center may also be called, depending on the working, as may the Powers Above and Powers Below)

Goddess and God are invoked.

The deities are addressed as the Lord and as the Lady; names should be appropriate to Sabbat, Moon, or other ritual purpose and used in teaching/storytelling and/or spellwork.

General purpose of ritual is performed/Spellwork/Raising/Sending Power.

Power is raised by use of drumming, and/or chanting, etc. Teaching, study, spellwork, scrying, healing, etc. are all appropriate at this time.

Bless the Cakes and Wine.

Consecration of feast food (food in addition to ritual foods).

Feasting

Time for reflection and for enjoyment of the circle.

Thank Deities, Quarters and Elements.

Circle is Opened.

Magickal Tools

The Working Tools
by the Farrar’s

There are no magical supply shops, so unless you are lucky enough to be given or sold tools, a poor witch must extemporise. But when made you should be able to borrow or obtain an Athame. So having made your circle, erect an altar. Any small table or chest will do. There must be fire on it (a candle will suffice) and your book. For good results incense is best if you can get it, but coals in a chafing dish burning sweet-smelling herbs will do. A cup if you would have cakes and wine and a platter with the signs drawn into same in ink, showing a pentacle. A scourge is easily made (note, the scourge has eight tails
and five knots in each tail). Get a white-hilted knife and a wand (a sword is not necessary). Cut the marks with Athame. Purify everything, then consecrate your tools in proper form and ever be properly prepared. But ever remember, magical operations are useless unless the mind can be brought to the proper attitude, keyed to the utmost pitch.

Affirmations must be made clearly and the mind should be inflamed with desire. With this frenzy of will you may do as much with simple tools as with the most complete set. But good and especially ancient tools have their own aura. They do help to bring about that reverential spirit, the desire to learn and develop your powers. For this reason witches ever try to obtain tools from sorcerers, who being skilled men make good tools and consecrate them well, giving them mighty power. But a great witch’s tools also gain much power; and you should ever strive to make any tools you manufacture of the finest materials you can obtain, to the end that they may absorb your power the more easily. And of course if you may inherit or obtain another witch’s tools, power will flow from them.

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Book of Shadows

The Book of Shadows is the workbook of the witch. In it is recorded: Rituals guidelines, Invocations, Spells, Runes, Rules of a particular Coven or Tradition, Symbols, Poems, Chants, and anything else of use to the witch during ritual.

Traditionally the Book of Shadows was always hand written by the individual. A common custom was for new initiates into a Coven, is to hand copy his teacher’s Book of Shadows exactly as it appeared, then later to add his own material as he progressed in the craft. Today with the advantages of technology, they are often typed, photocopied, and even computerized onto Floppy Disc’s.

To make your own Book of Shadows, you can use any form of blank book, but perhaps the best to use are those of a loose-leave nature, thus allowing pages to be shuffled around when preparing for rituals.

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Athame

The athame is the traditional ritual dagger of the witch. Commonly it has a black handle and steel – double-edged blade. Many Wiccans engrave the handle or blade with magickal symbols indicative of deities, spirits, or the elements as sources of power.

The athame is a tool of command; used to direct what power we pass through it. It is used to cast circles by tracing the circumference, to charge and consecrate objects and banish negative energies. In most traditions, the Athame is never used as a mundane knife for cutting purposes etc., being used strictly of magickal purposes only.

The athame is one of the elemental tools of the craft, and in most traditions it is associated with the elements of Fire, in others it is associated with Air. The phallic symbolism of the knife links it with the God.

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Bell

The bell is a ritual tool of invocation and banishment. The bell is a feminine symbol of the creative force, that of the Goddess. The bell can be rung to indicate the start of a rite by banishing negative influences before the ritual begins. Often it is used to invoke the Goddess during ritual, or sounded at the four quarters to call forth such spirits as the Watchers and Elementals.

Bells can be used to guard the home by warding off evil spells and spirits, or evoking good energies when placed in cupboards or hung on doors. Hung from a cord, the bell symbolizes the human soul suspended between heaven and earth.

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Broom or Besom

The broom is a ritual tool of the witch, sacred to both Goddess and the God. The God – through its symbolic phallic shape, The Goddess – through its three- piece make up, the stick, brush and binding cord being symbolic of the triformis aspect of the Goddess.

Traditionally the broom was made from three different woods. Ash for the handle, Birch twigs for the brush and Willow for the binding cord. Ash is protective and has command over the four elements. Birch is purifying and draws spirits to one’s service. Willow is sacred to the Goddess.

The broom is used for a variety of purposes. Generally, the broom is used to purify and protect. It is used to ritually cleanse an area before magick is performed, by symbolically sweeping away negative energies and astral build up. It is used to guard the home and persons within against psychic attack or evil curses, by placing the broom across the threshold, windowsills and doorways. Also place it under the bed or a pillow to protect the sleeper.

Traditionally and perhaps the use which most people identify it with, are the old wedding ceremonies of the Gypsies and the early American slaves, where a couple leapt over the broom to ensure fertility, domestic harmony and longevity. Today, pagan hand-fasting rituals often include a broom jump.

Witches’ Broom/Besom

The Witches’ broom is as much a part of the Craft as the pointed hat or cauldron. Once charged with magical intent, the Witches’ broom, or besom, can serve many purposes. It can direct energy like a wand or athame. You can even cast a circle with it. And as we’ll see here, it is perfect for protecting the home. First pluck three straws from your broom and light them like a candle. Carry them through your home like a smudge stick to clear out any negativity. For protection, sprinkle some salt near your front door, then sweep the salt away from your home. To bless a new home, anoint the tips of the bristles with a bit of honey and sweep your front porch. And if a grouch has just left your home, sprinkle some ground cloves at your front door, grab your trusty broom, and sweep his energy away.

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Cauldron

The cauldron is probably the tool most associated with witchcraft and is steeped in magickal tradition and mystery. The cauldron is the container in which transmutation, germination, and transformations may occur. It is symbolic of the womb of the Goddess, and is the manifested essence of femininity and fertility. Everything is born from the cauldron of the Goddess and everything returns back to it. It is also symbolic of the elements of Water, reincarnation, immortality, and inspiration.

In ritual the cauldron is used as a container for making brews and potions, or to contain a small fire for the use with spells. It can also be used for scrying (divination) by filling it with water and gazing into its depths.

In ancient times the cauldron was used as a cooking vessel and for brew making. Traditionally it was made from cast iron, resting on three legs and has an opening smaller than its widest part. Cauldrons were made in many sizes but can be difficult find, so you will need to persevere if you want one.

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Cords

Can be either a heavy string used in binding & releasing magick, or it can refer to the piece of apparel circling the magician’s waist. In many covens and magickal lodges, the color of the cord indicates the wearer’s degree of attainment.

Another Tradition says that cords are of importance in initiate groups, in which cords often symbolize the bond of love and responsibi1ity shared by the members. Cords are also used in some initiation rites. Cords can certainly be used by the Solitary wiccan, but needn’t be constantly on the altar. The cords are truly tools of coven working.

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Pentacle

The pentacle is a traditional tool of the craft. Originally, it is thought, adopted from ceremonial magic? It is usually a round solid disc often made from stone, wood, or cooper. On the disc is engraved or painted the five pointed star (Pentagram), inside a circle. In some traditions other symbols are added indicative of deities, spirits, or the elements as sources of power.

The pentacle is normally the centerpiece on the altar. Objects are placed on it to be consecrated or charged. Such things as amulets, charms and tools are placed on it, as is the salt and water for blessing.

The pentacle is one of the elemental tools of the craft, and represents the elements of Earth. It is sometimes used to summon the Gods and Goddesses.

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The Chalice or Cup

The Chalice is one of the four elemental tools of witchcraft and represents the elements of Water. It is a symbol of containment and often represents the womb of the Goddess. The base is symbolic of the material world, the stem symbolizes the connection between man and spirit and the rim or opening symbolically receives spiritual energy.

The chalice can be made of any material, in times of old – Horns, Shells and Gourds were used to hold sacred liquids during ritual, and then in later times -Silver became the preferred material, having long been associated with the moon and the Goddess. The chalice is used to hold the blessed water and wine during ritual. It is traditional in many covens to pass the chalice around all members, who then take a drink as a token of unity.

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Censer

The censer is an incense burner used to contain burning incense during ritual. Any type of censer can be used, even a simple bowl filled with sand will do. The censer represents the elements of Air and is normally placed before or beside the images of the Goddess and God on the altar.

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Wand

The wand is one of the prime magical tools of the witch. Traditionally the wand was made from the wood of a sacred tree. These include the Willow, Elder, Oak, Apple, Peach, Hazel and Cherry, to mention just a few. Its length should approximate the crook of the elbow to the middle of the index finger. These days many modern materials are used instead, and even tipped with crystals and gems.

The wand is a tool of invocation, used to evoke Gods, Goddesses and Spirits. It is also used to bestow blessings, charge objects and draw down the moon during ritual.

The wand is one of the elemental tools of the craft and in most traditions represents the elements of Air, for other traditions it represents the elements of Fire.

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White-Handled Knife or Boline

The Boline or White-Handled knife as it is now known, is the practical knife of the craft. Traditionally it was used to harvest herbs and had a blade in the form of a small sickle. Today it is normally a mundane knife used for cutting and carving. It has a white handle to differentiate it from the Athame, which has a black handle and is used only for magickal purposes. The boline is used to cut wands and herbs, to mark and carve candles with symbols and to cut cords for use in magick. Any other ritual function requiring the use of a knife, such as cutting flowers for the altar, can be performed with the boline.

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Crystal Sphere

Also called a Crystal Ball. Most crystal balls on the market today are made of glass, leaded glass, or even plastic. Genuine quartz crystal spheres can be determined by their high prices and inclusions or irregularities. The crystal has long been used in contemplative divination. The diviner gazes into the ball until the psychic faculties blossom and images seen in the mind or projected by it into the depths of the crystal reveal the necessary information. Its shape is Goddess symbolic, and its icy cold temperature is
symbolic of the depths of the sea, the Goddess’ domain.

Make your own Crystal Ball

Use a clear glass filled to the brim with water, seat it on a piece of black velvet, in a low lighted area – like a single candle placed behind you, so as not to reflect too much light onto the glass itself. You can use incense to set the atmosphere (Stands are usually preferred when using balls).

Learn to gaze, not stare into the glass of water. Do not be afraid to blink your eyes, just relax. Breathe deeply; inhaling fully and exhaling fully. Do not try and picture anything while you are doing this – and do not gaze for too long – not more than ten minutes, maybe push it to fifteen, no longer. If nothing happens, do not give up, just put it away and try again another time. You will eventually see a picture within the glass, maybe with a foggy like smoke that will fill the glass as well, maybe not. Most see moving pictures.
What you see may be symbolic – interpreting can be a problem, you must read into what it is you are seeing. Like for instance, the dog was running through the woods and came to a split – the person you are reading will soon have a decision to make, something like that. We are going back to that dream interpretation conversation of many moons ago. I would suggest meditating before you gaze on what it is you are wanting to know, then fix your gaze with NOTHING on your mind. After readings begin to be seen, you could gaze for half an hour, but I wouldn’t recommend any longer. It is draining.

After you have figured out if this is for you, you can purchase a ball – chose a comfortable size. The larger they are the greater the chance of an imperfection. The material can be anything that is clear enough to view in- glass, quartz, amethyst or even rose quartz can be used. Be careful not to scratch them.

Once you perfect this art then the imperfections are not as important. Every full moon it should be washed and dried and exposed to moonlight. Never expose it to sunlight. If you choose one of quartz it will emit energy as all minerals do which may help in your readings. It is kind of like the 3D pictures, once you see it, you wonder why you never could before.

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Smudge Sticks

You can make smudge sticks out of other herbs besides Sage. You take the herbs when they are still fresh and bind them with cotton twine or string(must be cotton as synthetics will melt and give off possibly toxic fumes). You’ll want to use branches that are about 6 to 8 inches long and when you wrap them do so in a criss-cross manner to make a stick. Once you have a nice tightly wrapped stick wrap the string tightly around the base several times and then give it a nice tight knot. You then want to hang the bundle in a nice dry place so it can dry and won’t get moldy. Make sure your stick is nice and dry before using it.
Using already dried herbs can be difficult since they will crumble when you wrap them.

Some herbs I’ve heard being used in smudge sticks are rosemary, pinon, pine, juniper, cedar, mugwort,
sweetgrass, lavender, copal, vervain, peppermint, St. John’s wort, hyssop, of course sage, or a mixture.

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Mini Altar Pouch

Tools for pouch

Thimble- Chalice
Coin with a pentagram etched into it- pantame or altar pentagram
Small twig-wand
Shell- Represents the Goddess
Small piece of Antler horn- Represents the God
2 small candles- altar candles
Ground up herbs for incense (or a stick/cone)
Sea Salt- for purification
Small bottle of oil – for anointing
9 ft cord
Small finger bowl
Small stone that is small, smooth and round to represent Earth
Small Feather – Color of your choice (white or yellowish is best) to
represent Air
Small candle to represent Fire
Small amount of Ash to represent Spirit
Small vessel of pure water to represent Water
You may add gifts of your choice to give to the God and Goddess or the spirits.

Consecration of the pouch

Present filled pouch to all four elements (air, fire, water, and earth) and say:

Blessed be by the spirits of East,
Blessed be by the spirits of South,
Blessed be by the spirits of West,
Blessed be by the spirits of North.

Bless the pouch by touching it on each element. Always start in the East for a gesture of power by tracing a crescent moon or a pentagram on it. Once this is completed say:

O Great (Deity names) bless and empower this pouch and all this is within it. Making it a bridge to power, I am linked to thee and you are linked to nature. We are 1 from 3, we are the triangle manifest in the names of (Deities). So be it done!!!!

This is a larger version of this which I created. The list is not set in concrete. You do not need every item or you can exchange them. Remember, the most powerful tool a witch has is their mind. As we can only perceive reality, we can bend it by changing states of consciousness. The universe is like a web, we can change the strands, and we can even break them with our magick. Be careful of what you do. Before every magickal working ask yourself:

‘Do I dare disturb the fragile energies of the universe?’

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In The Closet?

If you have to keep your magickal practices quiet, here are some ways to work magick that are more subtle:

*Incorporate angels in your decorating scheme. Most people don’t question the positive energy of angels.

*Sew herbs into the lining of drapes or place under rugs.

*Draw protective sigils on the back of floor mats.

*Slip stick incense into drinking straws. Keep the straws in their original box.

*Convert a bread box to store magickal tools or notes.

*Use trial-size products, use the contents, then convert them for storage of oils, powdered incense or holy water.

*Draw a magickal symbol for abundance beside each deposit entry in your checkbook.

*Mist ironable clothing with empowered water. Iron. Chant as the steam rises.

source: Silver Ravenwolf’s To Light a Sacred Flame

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Tools of a Kitchen Witch

BLENDER : Mingling with others, Stirring up energy

COOKBOOK : Book of Shadows, Excellence, Virtue

COOKIE TIN : Sweet things in life, Pleasure

CRISPER : Invigoration and Restoration

CUPBOARDS : Savings, Supplies, Providence

DISH TOWEL : Stricture, Determined precision

DISHWASHER : Leisure, The Water Element, Convenience

DRAIN : Troubles, Burdens, Bad habits

DRAWERS : Hidden matters, Material goods

FOOD WRAP : Prudence, Conservation, Control, Secrets

FORK : Piercing, Penetrating, Perception

FUNNEL : Flow, Unhindered order, Coaxing energy along

KNIFE : Cutting away, Sharpness of mind, Separation

MEASURING CUP : Evaluation, Allotment, Caution

MICROWAVE : Acceleration, Legal expedition

OVEN: Passion, Fertility, Fire Element

OVEN BURNERS : The Four Directons/Elements

OVEN FAN : The Air Element, Movement, Clearing vision

PITCHER : Abundance, Invigoration, Refreshment

REFRIGERATOR : Cooling temper, Preservation, Protection

ROLLING PIN : Discipline, Moderation, Control

SIFTER : Sorting out confusion, Organization, Filtering negativity

SPATULA : Sensibility, Recycling, Changing directions

STEAMER : Slow processes, Even temperament

TEA KETTLE : Divination, Alertness, Kinship, Health

THERMOMETER : Observations Skills, Analysis

WHISK : Excitement, Increasing bounty

WINDOW : Winds of change, Refreshment, Vital energy

source: Patrica Telesco, “A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook”

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Magickal Tools Cleansing

It stands to reason that our magickal tools should be cleansed periodically, and the waning Moon is the best time for that task. Gather up your tools and place them on a clean cloth away from your altar. Assemble a bowl of salt water, a burning smudge incense blend, a smudging feather or fan, some clean cloths and a white candle. Light the white candle and invoke your guardians. Begin a methodic cleaning of your tools, wiping down with salt water those that can be exposed to water without harm, and then passing them through the smoke from the smudge while focusing on clearing and cleansing them from unnecessary influences. For items that cannot get wet, pass them three times through the smoke from the smudge or hold them near to the smoke while directing it with the feather or the fan. Thank your guardians and return your tools to their proper places.

By: Winter Wren
Source: llewellyn.com