Designing Rituals

When performing rituals, though it is acceptable to follow another’s ritual design, it is a good idea to write and personalize rituals of your own. Most rituals should include the same basic procedures and some procedures do not have to be included at all. The ritual outlines will vary from religion to religion. For now you will learn the Wiccan ritual.

Preparing the Area

Preparation of the area includes cleansing and consecrating the area in which you are working and setting up the tools in and around the altar space. Make sure that the quarter candles are arranged around the outside of the circle with the correct color in the correct direction: yellow for east, red for south, blue for west, green for north. All of the tools that are needed for the ritual should be placed on the altar and the illumination candles and the charcoal for the incense should be lit.

Preparing the Body

Before any ritual you should take a cleansing bath or shower. Baths are best as you can bathe in oils and bath salts that correspond to your working. On the correspondences page and within the recipes page, you can find different oils and salts that you may want to use for specific spells and rituals. Clean all parts of your body. Work at relaxing and cleansing your mind as you do this. Unless you are a practiced witch, you should remove all jewelry and anything else from your body that is not natural. You should not wear anything in your hair or any makeup. If you choose to wear clothes, you should wear a light cotton, silk or wool robe. The robe must be loose and must be of natural materials only. It is better, however, to work skyclad, or naked as clothing impedes the flow of magick and energy.

Casting the Circle

When properly drawn, with the candles of the Elements at the cardinal directions and the altar in the center, the circle becomes a mandala, or sacred drawing, upon which the magician stands. The circle is drawn by the dagger, sword or index finger of the power hand as protection against potentially dangerous forces or spirits. It concentrates the cone of power raised within its boundaries. In magick, a properly drawn circle becomes an invisible boundary, having power in this and other realms. Once cast and sealed, it is unwise to cross the boundary until the ritual is finished and the Elements dismissed. Cats and small children for some strange reason are able to cross the boundaries without upsetting the power flow.

Casting the Circle

Holding your ritual tool of choice in your power hand and beginning in the eastern quarter of the area to be circled, aim the weapon at the ground or floor while visualizing an intense silver-blue flame coming from the point. “Draw” a circle clockwise with that flame, overlapping the ends of the line in the east. More important than a perfectly round circle is that you see, at least with your inner eye, the boundary of silver-blue flame around you.

The actual area of the circle may be marked out with chalk or masking tape, but should be redrawn each time it is used for ritual.

The symbols and/or candles representing the four Elements are set just inside the circle at the four directions. Use a compass to establish the correct cardinal points. Walking deosil, sunwise or clockwise within the circle is for positive magick and walking widdershins or counterclockwise is for banishing or cursing. After the circle has been cast and sealed, it is important to the power flow that you turn or walk within the cast circle according to the type of magick you are using. When the magickal procedures are finished, “cut” the circle by a backward or reverse movement of the sword or dagger across a section of the circle. The silver-blue flames will wink out of existence.

Set the altar up facing east and have everything ready before you enter the circle from the east.

Take up your tool or use your finger to draw the magick circle, beginning in the east. Visualize the silver-blue flame and draw the circle, remembering to overlap the ends in the east. While you are drawing the circle, say:
"I consecrate this circle of power to the Ancient Gods.
Here may they manifest and bless their child."

Move back to the altar, facing east. Raise your tool in greeting. Say:
"This is a time that is not a time
In a place that is not a place
On a day that is not a day.
I stand on the threshold between the worlds, before the veil of the Mysteries
May the Ancient Ones help and protect me on my journey."

Set the water chalice on the pentacle disk. Hold your dagger over it and say:
"Great mother, bless this creature of Water to your service.
May I always remember the cauldron waters of rebirth."

Hold your dagger over the salt, say:
"Great Mother, bless this creature of earth to your service.
May I always remember the blessed earth, its many forms and beings."

Sprinkle a little salt into the water, touch the chalice briefly to the pentacle disk, then hold the chalice up high, say:
"Great Mother, I give you honor!"

Beginning in the east and moving clockwise, sprinkle the water-salt mixture lightly around the edges of the circle. Replace the chalice on the altar. Hold your dagger over the lighted incense burner, say:
"Great Father, bless this creature of fire to your service.
May I always remember the sacred fire that dances within the form of every creation."

Hold your dagger over the incense. Say:
"Great Father, bless this creature of air to your service
May I always listen to the spirit winds that bring me the voices of the Ancient Ones."

Put a little incense on the charcoal. Touch the burner briefly to the pentacle disk, then raise the burner high, saying:
"Great Father, I give you honor!"

Carry the burner around the circle clockwise, beginning in the east. Return it to the altar. Go to the eastern quarter of the circle, light the yellow candle, and hold your hand up in greeting.
"I call upon you, Powers of Air, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

In the southern quarter, light the red candle and greet the element.
"I call upon you, Powers of Fire, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

In the western quarter, light the blue candle and greet the element.
"I call upon you, Powers of Water, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

In the northern quarter, light the green candle and greet the element.
"I call upon you, Powers of Earth, to witness this rite and to guard this circle."

Move back to the central altar, and stand facing east. Raise your arms in greeting:
"This circle is bound,
With power all around.
Between the worlds I stand
With protection at hand."

Proceed with your planned spell working or ritual ceremony. When complete, hold your hand or dagger over the altar and say:
"By the powers of the Ancient Gods
I bind all power within this circle into this spell.
So mote it be."

Closing the Circle

When you are ready to end the ritual, go to the east and extinguish the yellow candle. Say:
"Depart in peace, O powers of Air. My thanks and blessings."

Extinguish the red candle in the south. Say:
"Depart in peace, O powers of Fire. My thanks and blessings."

Extinguish the blue candle in the west. Say:
"Depart in peace, O powers of Water. My thanks and blessings."

Extinguish the green candle in the north. Say:
"Depart in peace, O powers of Earth. My thanks and blessings."

Return to the altar and say:
"To all beings and powers of the visible and invisible, depart in peace.
May there always be harmony between us.
My thanks and blessings."

Cut the circle with a backwards movement of your tool to release all remaining traces of power for manifestation. Say:
"The circle is open, yet ever it remains a circle.
Around and through me always flows its power."

Put away the tools and clear the altar. Make sure to wash all dishes and put the remainder of cakes and ale (if you choose to do a dedication ritual or holiday ritual) outside for the little people. Leave any objects which must remain either to burn or be empowered for a stated period of time.

Dedication Ritual

(Special tools: chalice of wine, white taper candle in cauldron, piece of magickal jewelry, perfumed oil)

The dedication ritual should be performed when you have decided to devote your time and being to the craft. You do not have to perform a dedication ritual in order to be able to perform spells and rituals just as a Baptist does not have to be Baptized in order to pray. It is simply a symbolic self-dedication to your new way of life, should you choose it as your path. Prepare yourself beforehand with at least one hour of meditation. This ritual should be done on the full moon. For the dedication ritual, one should be skyclad. You may have a piece of magickal jewelry chosen at this time which will stay with you and be worn under your clothing and during ritual and spellwork in the future. This should not be worn, but placed on the altar for the dedication ritual.

Begin by casting the circle. Insert the following where the sample circle casting states:
“Proceed with the planned spellwork or ritual.”

Put a pinch of salt on your tongue and say:
"I am a mortal, loved and cared for by the Triple Goddess and the Great God.
Through the Great Mother, all things are born; to her all things, in their season, return.
Through her sacred cauldron, I enter and leave this physical world,
until by my actions I no longer must return to learn."

Set the perfumed oil on the pentacle. Kneel before the altar and say:
"I, (magickal name), come into this sacred place willingly.
I come to dedicate my life to the pagan way, to the Old Celtic Gods, whose power is still strong and vital.
Here I give my word-bond to follow the ancient paths that lead to true wisdom and knowledge.
I will serve the Great Goddess and give reverence to the Great God.
I am a pagan, a stone of the ancient circle, standing firmly balanced upon the earth,
Yet open to the winds of the heavens, and enduring through time.
May the Old Gods witness my words"!

Rise and go to the eastern quarter.
"Behold, O powers of Air! I, (magickal name), am a follower of the Lord and Lady."

Go to the south.
"Behold, O powers of Fire! I, (magickal name), am a follower of the Lord and Lady."

Go to the west.
"Behold, O powers of Water! I, (magickal name), am a follower of the Lord and Lady."

Go to the north.
"Behold, O powers of Earth! I, (magickal name), am a follower of the Lord and Lady."

Return to the altar. Take the perfumed oil and, with a drop on the forefinger of your power hand, anoint your forehead. Say:
"Let my mind be open to your truth."

Anoint your upper lip. Say:
"Let my mouth be silent among the unbelievers."

Anoint your heart. Say:
"Let my heart seek you always."

Anoint the center of the palms of your hands. Say:
"Let my hands lift in praise of you."

Anoint the tops of your feet. Say:
"Let my feet always walk your sacred paths."

Stand in silence to receive a blessing. Lay your piece of jewelry on the pentacle, saying:
"This emblem shall I wear for all things magickal.
Bless this (name of jewelry), O Great Ones, that I may be blessed and protected in all ways."

Place the wine chalice on the pentacle for a few moments. Then lift it high, saying:
"To the Old Gods! Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.
Drink the wine, saving some to be put outside for the little people."

Now is a time for meditation.

Close the circle.

Rituals

Rituals are an important part of a Witch’s life. Ritual is most often performed on a holiday, but can be done at any time, depending on the ritual. Ritual is done within the magick circle. Rituals other than holiday rituals may include rituals of thanks, rituals of love and/or dedication, pet rituals for naming pets and so on.

Spells

Always remember, when casting spells, to mind the rule of three. Some believe that it will come back three times what you send out. Others believe that it will come back equally. Whatever you believe, know that it will come back to you. Always do good deeds. Good will always return. Casting spells on others, even if you think that they are good spells, should never be done without that person’s permission. No matter how good the spell, it ca always turn out bad. Make sure that after each spell chant thrice:
"In no way will this spell reverse
Or place upon me any curse.
So mote it be!"

Spells are almost always performed within the cast circle and may be performed during any ritual except the dedication ritual.

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