Life As The Witch – Spell-Writing Basics

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Spell-Writing Basics

Don’t worry if you are not the world’s greatest writer. Spells don’t have to be long and complicated in order to work, and the Gods don’t care if you can spell correctly! The most common complaint I get is from people who can’t get their spells to rhyme. But that’s okay—-they don’t have to.

Rhyming is nice for some spells. Traditionally, rhyming is used to give the spells a little more power through the rhythms of the words and to make them easier to memorize. But it certainly isn’t necessary. I’ll give you an example of a prosperity spell done both ways, just make it clear.

Prosperity Spell 1 – Rhyming

God and Goddess hear my plea

Rain prosperity down on me

Bring in monies large and small

To pay my bills one and all

Money earned and gifts for free

As I Will, So Mote It Be.

(Originally published in Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice, Llewellyn, 2007.)

Prosperity Spell 2 – Not Rhyming

Money I need and money I want

So let it come to me

In positive ways, at perfect times

As I need it, as I want it

As I Will It, So It Is.

As you can see, both spells ask for the same thing–they just do it in a slightly different way. The second spell is simpler; it doesn’t rhyme, it is shorter, and it doesn’t get as specific–but there’s no reason it couldn’t work. You could write a spell like that even if writing isn’t your thing.

So the first thing to know about writing spells is that it is fine to do so in whatever style or manner you are comfortable with.

Excerpts from:

“Writing and Casting Spells for the Best Results”
By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac for Everyday Living

Life As The Witch – Things That Can Weaken or Ruin Our Spellcasting

 Things that Weaken or Ruin Spellcasting

There are some circumstances that can weaken or even destroy the spell you have worked so hard to cast, so you want to be aware of and avoid the following:

*Drug or alcohol use: You should never cast a spell with anything other than a clear head. For one thing, it is insulting to the Gods to come into sacred space under the influence of mind-altering substances. For another, it interferes with focus. (Yes, there are some folks who believe in the use of drugs deepens spiritual practice, they are entitled to their opinions, and I would never argue with them, but it has been my experience that nothing destroys magickal concentration and focus faster than coming into a circle high or drunk.)

*Extreme emotional states: As I said above, you need to have a clear head in order to do your best spell casting. Coming in to your sacred space filled with anger or fear or any other very strong emotion will not only stand in the way of clarity and focus, but you may cast a spell you later wished you hadn’t. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do spell work when things are bad–sometimes this is when we need magick the most. But try to achieve as calm a state as possible before starting the work. Do some meditation, take a long bath or walk, repeat some calming affirmations. At the very least, take slow, deep breaths and concentrate on the light and love of the Gods until your head is in a better place.

*Mixed feelings about the spell work: If you’re not sure whether the spell you are casting is the right thing to do or not, that doubt may undermine the will you need to feed the spell. Never cast a spell unless you are certain of your path in that instance. This is also true of the times when you are uncertain of your goal. That confusion will sap your spell of strength, so it is better to wait until you have a solid goal in mind, and the will to back it up.

*Negative intent:  This is not to say that you can’t cast a spell that would have a negative impace on someone else, for better or for worse, free will allows for this. However, you should be in mind that not only do the powers of the Universe often not allow these types of spells to work, it is not unusual for them to rebound on the one what casts them–either immediately or sometime down the line.

*Lack of focus: This is the main reason for not coming into circle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or heavy emotions, they will simply make it too difficult to maintain the focus needed to create a powerful spell and send it out into the world. But other thing can get in the way of focus, too. If you can’t find a quiet, private place to cast your spell (the kids are running around screaming, the dog is barking, the neighbors ae arguing at the top of their lungs) you are better off waiting for a different time. It is almost impossible to get good results when you cast a spell in the midst of chaos.

Reference:

Excerpt from:

“Writing and Casting Spells
  For the Best Results”
  By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s Magical 2013 Magical Almanac

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Life As The Witch – Kitchen Alchemy

Kitchen Alchemy

 

Kitchen alchemy is really a very simple form of magickal work: it doesn’t require circle casting or the invocation of elements, and you don’t even need to use a spell for most basic everyday dishes. (You may want to use one of the truly important occasions, like having your boss to dinner or the first meal you cook for a new lover, but that’s up to you.)

Like all magick, kitchen alchemy is primarily a matter of intent, focus, and will. You start by choosing your intention–increasing prosperity, for instance, or creating an atmosphere of love and peace in your home. Then, as you are cooking, you add the magickal ingredients you have chosen to use while focusing on your intention and directing your will into the dish. As with other magickal workings, the more intent, focus, and will you bring to your food preparation, the more effective your kitchen alchemy will be.

Almost everything in your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets has some magickal association. Here are a few of the most common and easiest to integrate into everyday meals. These associations are based primarily on “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen”– if you only get one resource. I highly recommend this one. But different sources gives various other associations; always follow your own internal wisdom when it come to witchcraft.

Apple:  love, health, peace

Basil:  love, protection, prosperity

Beans:  prosperity, sexuality

Black pepper:  protection, purification

Cayenne pepper:  energy, creativity

Chocolate:  love, prosperity

Cinnamon:  love, psychic awareness, prosperity

Coffee:  conscious mind, physical energy

Dill:  conscious mind, prosperity, weight loss, love

Garlic:  protection, health

Ginger:  love, prosperity

Lemon:  love, happiness, purification

Milk:  love, spirituality

Olives:  health, peace, sexuality, spirituality

Parsley:  prosperity, protection, sexuality

Peppermint:  healing, purification, sexuality

Pomegranate:  creativity, fertility, prosperity

Potato:  protection

Rosemary:  conscious mind, healing, love, protection

Sage: health, protection

Salt:  grounding, protection

Spinach:  prosperity

Sugar/honey/maple syrup:  love, prosperity

Thyme:  love, psychic ability, purification

Tomato: health, love, prosperity, protection

Vanilla: love, sexuality

Reference:

Simple Kitchen Alchemy
By Deborah Blake
Llewellyn’s 2012 The Magical Companion

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Morning Ritual To Get Back In Touch With The Elements

Morning Ritual

This ritual can be used to get back in touch with the elements. Have a representation of each element around you.

Go outside if possible, face North and say:

“Good morning Spirits of the North.
I am successful
The cornucopia showers blessings into my life.”
 

Stand for a moment and let the energy of the Earth pour into your body and soul.

Turn to the East and say:

“Good morning Spirits of the East
I am creative
I am the spirit of the wind
My mind soars to other realms and back again.”
 

Turn to the South and say:

“Good morning Spirits of the South
I am passionate
I am the glow of the flame and lava
I magnetize and inflame the senses as I heal.”
 

Turn to the West and say:

“Good morning Spirits of the West.
I am beautiful
My blood contains the tears of the Mother
I am joy and hidden depths transcend from the Moon.
 

Look to the Sky and say:

“Good morning Spirits of Spirit I am balance
My body, mind, and spirits are in harmony
I stand in the center of my web, weaving.
Good morning Lord and Lady
I am your son/daughter/child
Guide me and guard me throughout this and every day.”
Blessed Be!
 

Stand for a moment and feel yourself coming to a place of balance. When you are ready salute and begin your day. You don’t need to cast a circle and this takes about 10 minutes.

Magickal Hours of the Day

Magickal Hours of the Day

 

As analogy of how the hours of the day influence magick can be drawn to a day in the life of a flower.With the first rays of sunshine, the flower begins to open. The, it fully opens, and stays open until closing again at dusk. The flower quietly sleeps, yet it still continue to grow and develop all through the night, until the dawn comes once again.

Magickal timing by the hour of the day follows the flower pattern. Although some of us are morning people, while others are night owls, you will discover that there are certain times during the day and night that you do your most successful magick. Pay attention to you own natural rhythms, and honor them, choosing the times when you have the most energy for magick making. The following is correspondences for the daily timing of potions and spells.

Dawn

A time of renewal, rebirth, new ideas dawning, new beginnings, and consecration. Over the centuries, people have collected the dew on the grass and plants at dawn to use as a magick love potion.

Morning

This is a good time for setting patterns in play for preparing potions, and casting spells for attaining goals. The day’s light is growing strong and your magick grows accordingly. Mid-morning is a good time to harvest flowers.

Noon

The solar energy is most powerful at high noon, and there is a tremendous amount of energy for magick making. Noon is also a good time to gather flowers for magickal uses.

Afternoon

This is a time of harvesting magickal goals. The heat of the afternoon sun is a good time for harvesting herbs for potions.

Dusk

A powerful junction point between solar and lunar energies, dusk is the time when the portals to all worlds are thrown open and you can freely enter them. This is a very potent time for any magick making because the portals are open and communication with Divine energies is particularly strong.

Dark of Night

The lunar and stellar energies are strongest at night. Throughout history, witches have always cast their spells under the cloak of night. This is also a good time to map out magickal potions and spells.

Midnight

Traditionally called “the witching hour,” midnight is a good time to let go of old habits or negative relationships and banish negativity from your life. This is also the time for updating your life patterns and practicing dream magick.

The Hour Before Dawn

This is the time of the Otherworld of fairies and when many predators hunt. It is a good time to stay indoors.

 

Drawing Down the Sun

Drawing Down the Sun

 

Choose the time of day that is best for your purpose. Clear conditions are ideal though of course you cannot look directly at the Sun at any time. Eventually you will be able to visualize the orb. Though Sunday is the special day of the Sun, you can choose any day that feels right.

Decide on the kind of Sun energy you want to focus on for this particular ceremony, a loving Sun Mother to bring joy, abundance and a sense of well-being, and aesthetic Sun God for spiritual and mental clarity and focused creativity or a warrior to empower you and give you the courage of purpose. You don’t have to pick a God or Goddess from a particular culture but can picture you own or use the Sun itself as your focus of light, life and health bringing powers. You can adapt your chant accordingly or use one that refers to these attributes.

1.  Occasionally, just draw down the Sun or recite your chant as a way of giving thanks for life or to send the Sun to those who need it spiritually or in actuality.

2.  Find your Sun place where at particular times of the year the Sun casts radiating beams or dancing rays. You may have to wait for just the right conditions for your first Sun encounter.

3.  Mediterranean and oceanic tropical sunrises can be spectacular and can be appreciated while on vacation. A few minutes of solitary sunset connection can be a very deep healing experience.

4.  It may help to hold a clear crystal or rainbow quartz (any with fractures inside will reflect rainbows).

5.  Set on the ground, on a rock or on your outdoor altar a dish of any gold jewelry, golden crystals, gold-colored coins, flowers and fruit to be empowered by the Sun.

6.  Next to it place a glass bowl of sparkling mineral water Afterwards the water will be charged with the power of the Sun and you can use it in baths or to splash on pulse points.

7.  Raise your arms high and wide, palms uppermost and set your feet quite widely apart.

8.  Speak your words aloud, unless there are too many people around.

9.  Then wait until you feel the light beginning to enter you.

10.  Now move your arms so they are extended horizontally either side of your body with your palms still upward to absorb the light. At this point breathe in the golden light through your nose, slowly and gently, and exhale the darkness through your mouth.

11. As you continue breathing, visualize the light spreading to every part of your body from your toes right to the tips of your fingers and the crown of you head.

12.  Allow the light to extend now beyond your body, forming a shield of golden rays all around you and above you so that you are enclosed in a shimmering sphere.

13.  Gradually move your arms and hands so they cross at about waist height. Repeat this in succession and in the rhythm that is right for you, raising, extending and enfolding yourself with light as if you were splashing it over yourself.

14.  When you feel that you are completely filled with the radiance, cease to breathe in gold deliberately. Stand with your arms still raised, close together in front of your body with elbows bent.

15.  Say slowly and with confidence three times:

“I am filled with the light of the Sun. I am pure light.”

16.  Allow the energies to flow between your body, the pool of light and the golden sphere.

17.  Kneel or reach down and splash a few drops of the newly made Sun water on your hairline, brow, throat and wrist, saying:

“The Sun enters my spirit, enriches my mind, transforms my words and warms my heart. Blessings Be.”

18.  Listen and you may hear a message from the Sun Mother of Father.

19.  If you face opposition or spite, shake your fingers and see golden sparks emanate from your fingertips like miniature Sun rays.

20.  Extend your arms in a circle over your head so you create a psychic protective force field of sparks all around you that will gently repel any malice.

21.  Make a sign, perhaps touching the place between and just above your eyes that is your third eye. Or you may prefer to touch your heart or make a circle in the palm of you hand.

22.  As you do so, say:

“When I touch my brow/heart, I will invoke the Power of the Sun with me.”

23.  Look upwards and picture the  Sun Mother or Father or a whirling, spinning solar disc and gradually allow the radiance and the Goddess to fade, knowing that you can recall the Sun into your life any time you are in need, just by making your psychic sign.

24.  Spend the rest of the day or at least part of it in the Sunshine and the next day do something amazingly brave to make the most of your new power.

 

Drawing Down the Power of the Sun Goddess or God

Drawing Down The Power of the Sun Goddess or God

 

In witchcraft, as you know, there is a ceremony known as ‘drawing down the moon’ in which the High Priestess takes into herself the power and wisdom of the Moon. In some traditions the power of the Sun is called down by the High Priest at the beginning of the Esbat or monthly celebration and on other major seasonal ceremonies into the Priestess. There is another ceremony where Sun power is called down into the Priest by the High Priestess or into herself, especially at seasonal solar change points such as the Equinoxes or Solstices.

However, in both cases, whether you work alone as a witch or in a coven or practice less formally, you can at any time of the day or year call into yourself the strength, fertility and joy of your chosen Sun God or Goddess.

At dawn:  Draw down the powers of the rising Sun for a new beginning or for a fresh approach or for optimism or inspiration

At noon:  Plug into the rush of pure life and light force for a make or break situation or to spur yourself on if you are tired or dispirited – or for sudden illumination.

At dusk.  The Sun consoles, heals and harmonizes desperate demands or people and draws gentle abundance to you.

How Do We Include Kids in Ritual Without Making Adults Run Screaming?

How Do We Include Kids in Ritual Without Making Adults Run Screaming?

 

by L. Lisa Harris

Ask a group of ritual facilitators what their philosophy on children in ritual is, and at best you’ll get as many different opinions as there are people in the room. At worst, you will have pushed a hot button that operates an opener attached to a huge can of worms. This topic is near the top of my “ways to start an argument at a pagan gathering” list. I’ve seen this issue turn a harmless candle-making party and ritual planning session into a virtual war zone, and don’t even get me started on what it can do to an e-mail list.

Groups that put on large public rituals, those who work in small family coven structures and every sized group in between all eventually face this issue. Public ritual comes to most people’s minds first when they think about controversy over kids in circle. But even in small covens, where all of the members consider themselves a family and parents or “aunties and uncles” to the children of other circle members, disagreements as to if and when children should be in circle do crop up.

One of the many issues that parents who want to include their children in ritual can run into is what circle members wear (or don’t wear). Bob, a member of a “medium-sized traditional coven” is concerned about the legal ramifications involved in having children present in a group that works skyclad.

“There are certain considerations when allowing children in ritual,” he said. “For instance, being skyclad in front of a child can get a person charged with sexual abuse in many states.” Just because a child is taught that nudity is perfectly normal and not necessarily sexual, it doesn’t mean that society as a whole and the judicial system will see it that way. If a small child casually mentions seeing “Uncle John’s wee-wee” to a teacher or member of the medical profession, the parents are likely to receive a visit from Child Protective Services.

A greater danger arises when the parents of a child are separated or divorced. Even if there is no ritual nudity, a parent who wants full custody can claim that what goes on in ritual is damaging to the child. Seeing someone hold a blade to Mommy’s throat and issue a challenge to her when she enters a circle, or even witnessing a light ritual scourging, can not only be frightening to a child, these things are also not going to look good if a complaint is filed by an ex-spouse with an axe to grind.

Some small groups prefer that ritual be a place for adults only. “Circle is a place for women to relax and take a break from their daily parenting responsibilities and nurture themselves,” said Luna, who facilitates a women’s circle. She doesn’t want new mothers to be left out of circle but has very clear rules regarding the presence of children. “Babies at the breast are welcome in our women’s circle, but once a child is old enough to be left with family or a sitter, we expect that mothers will come alone. They need to be able to bond with other women and to have time that is theirs alone.”

Sage, a father of two, feels strongly that children should be included in circle. “It is vital that we teach our traditions to our children, or they will be left open to conversion by more aggressive religions and there will be no one to carry on after us.” His partner Oana agrees: “We have a responsibility to provide for the spiritual education of our children. Christian churches have Sunday school, so why is it wrong for us to teach our religion to our kids?”

When it comes to public ritual, not everyone has or understands children, and many people have very different ideas as to what is appropriate behavior and how much parental discipline is called for. Stardancer, a mother of three, feels “watching children joyfully play in a circle is a beautiful sight. We don’t want to suppress their natural energy, it can be quite infectious.” Kim, who is married and “childless by choice” does not agree. “Poorly supervised kids in ritual distract everyone else, and they don’t learn or experience anything. Don’t get me wrong, I like kids, but ritual should be a sacred space that is not filled with running around and yelling.” She doesn’t place the blame for disruptive behavior on the kids. “It’s ludicrous to expect a 3-year-old to stand quietly in a circle or to understand what’s going on.”

Some groups don’t allow anyone under the age of 18 at any event. “Our circles can get a little wild and crazy sometimes, and the owner of the place where we meet doesn’t want to worry about having minors around,” said Wolfehawk, a member of a small group that hosts open events. Other groups restrict the age of the children to middle-school-age or older and specify which events are appropriate for kids. Freya, a Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans member, said, “We let older kids par-ticipate in most of our rituals, with the excep-tion of Samhain, as it tends to be a bit too intense. Although middle school seems to be a good cut-off point, it’s not always that easy. Reaching a chronological age or grade in school is not always a good indicator as to how a child will behave in circle. I’ve seen very young children pay attention and be respectful, while older kids in middle school have behaved atrociously. It’s really all about the individual level of maturity and how the child has been allowed to behave in public by their parents.”

A few groups have experimented with various forms of paid and shared childcare. “The problem with the concept of co-op child care is that one or two parents get stuck with all the kids all the time while the parents that tend to have the most badly behaved kids just dump them off and go have fun,” advised Morgan, a solitary witch and mother of two. “Sooner or later, you get tired of doing all the work and missing out on the festivities and ritual workings.”

Some groups that have considered hiring a babysitter to provide paid childcare have run into liability concerns. They are afraid that if a child gets hurt when childcare is being paid for at an event they sponsor that the group members will get sued. Anne, an attorney, advised, “The fear of lawsuits for an injury or allegation of abuse is very real, particularly if someone is providing care without a license. People will sue over anything, and you never know what a jury will do. Liability releases aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.” Another problem with paid childcare is the policy that most pagan groups have of not turning anyone away due to inability to pay. Either you give some people free childcare and not others, or you allow some parents to bypass childcare. Either way, someone is going to feel that it’s unfair.

Yet another possible solution is making all kids under a certain age check into childcare and requiring all parents to work a shift. This concept did not go over well with me at all when one local group suggested it about a year and a half ago. My daughter, 11 years old at the time, was still in elementary school and would have been required to check in as a kid. I have trained her as a witch, taught her circle etiquette and even given her small roles in ritual at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Tacoma (UUAT). She generally behaves better than many adults in circle, and I most certainly was not going to “reward” her hard work and good behavior by allowing her to be labeled and treated as a “child.” My rule is that if a young person has continually behaved like a responsible adult in circle, then he or she deserves to be treated as such. In addition to my objection to what I considered an insult to the maturity of my daughter, an older, well-behaved young woman, I didn’t feel that I should be required to baby-sit the children of parents who couldn’t be bothered to teach their children manners or to supervise them.

Several local groups have had great success with separate rituals specially designed for kids. I was at a Mabon event earlier this year where just such a ritual was put on. The quarters were marked with colorful balloons, and the adult leaders led the children in a merry dance to lively music. I overheard several adults say, “I wish I was a kid, so that I could be in that ritual.” In this case, the children’s ritual, along with other kid’s activities, was held before the adult ritual, which still left the issue of what to do with the kids during the adult ritual.

One of the major obstacles to successfully including children in ritual with adults is the lack of a standard of behavior. What one adult interprets as children freely expressing themselves is often viewed by other adults as a lack of parenting. “I have to ask myself, do these parents let their children behave like this in school, restaurants or in other peoples’ homes?” said Laura, a mother of a 7-year-old daughter whom she is raising in a goddess tradition.

David, whose children are grown, has had negative experiences at public festivals where children were not supervised by their parents. He said, “I was at one outdoor festival where a very expensive drum was ruined by kids whose parents were nowhere in sight. There was a band of unsupervised kids running around all over the place banging on the drums and playing with things on the altars. It was like their parents just walked off and figured that the community would take care of their kids for them.”

I am one who feels very strongly that we should include our children in our rituals when possible. I tried for almost three years to bill events at the UUAT as child-friendly and trust that parents would ensure reasonable behavior from their children. It became increasing apparent to me that this was not going to work. After several complaints from adults who felt that ritual was disrupted and after having to clean up several messes left by unsupervised kids, the Gaia’s Grove earth-spirituality group had to implement a set of rules for at UUAT events. The following statement is available at the check-in table, is posted on our Web site under the heading “parents please read” and is also addressed in pre-ritual discussion:

We love our children.

We want them to be part of our community and events.

We design our rituals to be child/family friendly.

Due to past damage to chairs, carpet and other UUAT property, and to ensure that all ritual guests get the most out of their experience, we must now abide by the following rules.

  • Children must physically be with a parent or adult guardian at all times.
  • Children must respect altars, drums and personal item as hands-off.
  • Children must not climb on stacked chairs.
  • Children must not walk on the furniture.
  • Children may not run nor roughhouse in the building.
  • Children in circle should participate in the circle, not play with other children and/or disrupt the person/people who are speaking.
  • Children may play in the nursery downstairs WITH ADULT SUPERVISION. The nursery must be picked up afterward.
  • The circle guardian will gladly cut parents with fussy kids in and out of the circle as necessary.

Even with the new rules in place, it seems that some parents are just not sure exactly where the line of “disrupting the ritual” gets crossed. I found that often the parents with the most disruptive children were oblivious and did not think their kids were a problem, while the parents with well-behaved kids, who weren’t quite perfect, stressed out trying to make them behave well. We decided to enlist the help of a circle guardian who gently and discreetly offers assistance to parents whose kids are pushing the limits of being disruptive. After Gaia’s Grove implemented the rule, a handful of people decided not to bring their kids anymore, which is too bad. The ones that still bring their kids are making a concerted effort to help them to respect the ritual and others in the circle.

The challenge to groups of any size is to balance the needs and desires of parents and communities to involve children in ritual with the needs of adults who don’t want their ritual experience disrupted. It is ultimately up to parents to decide if their children’s behavior is appropriate for the circle they are bringing them to, but it is also vital that ritual facilitators address this issue and make expectations and behavioral standards clear in a supportive, yet firm, manner.

Full Moon Ritual

Full Moon Ritual

 

The full and new moon rites are a celebration of the moon and Her cycles, as well as a celebration of us.

What you will need:

Your tools

Silver or white candle

White altar candle

A view or picture of the moon

 

Setup:

Place the silver or white candle next to your altar candle.

Position your altar so that you can see the moon.

Perform a meditation.

Cast your circle.

Raise your arms over your head, palms up, while saying:

“OH GREAT MOON,I AM HERE BEFORE YOU,IN YOUR LOVING GRACE.”

Take the cauldron of earth hold it toward the moon and say:

“OH GREAT MOON,BLESS THIS EARTH.”

Take the silver or white candle and place it in the cauldron. Light it and say:

“OH GREAT MOON,HEAR ME.””OH GREAT MOON,THEE I ADORE,I HONOR,I RESPECT.”

Kneel and say:

“I HONOR YOU ON THIS SPEACIAL NIGHT.””HEAR ME. BLESSED BE.”

Now close your circle. Point your athame down and release while saying:

“MAY THIS ENERGY BE USED BY OTHER ON THEIR PATH.” “SO MOTE IT BE.”

Let the silver or white candle burn itself out.If you decide to do a spell, perform it before closing the circle and point your athame up instead of down. Then close your circle.

Witches’ Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

Witches’ Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

by Paul Hume

The following text was an addendum to some Wiccan friends of mine  written in 1986. It followed a fairly standard instruction in the  Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, with which they were not  familiar. We were feeling out some linking techniques leading to a  proposed joint ritual involving several Wiccans and two ceremonial  qabalists (one Thelemite — ie. myself, and another). While events  conspired to torpedo this project, some interesting ideas came along  on both sides. The goal was a set of brief rituals meaningful to both traditions which we could practice individually, thus building up a group current prior to the date of the proposed rite (Samhain of that year). Herewith my notes on “The Wiccan Pentagram” ritual which evolved during this project. My primary source of God Forms was Paul Huson’s “Mastering Witchcraft” which was my main source of information on Wicca at the time (I’ve done considerable study elsewhere since).

Non-Solar symbolism

A ritual can be modified in many ways, to refit it for a different set of symbols, for example. I have taken the liberty of doing some  research into alternate symbols for the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram since I know that you work a lunar-feminine current (Wicca) whereas I use more solar-masculine symbols in my current (Thelemite). The  Qabalistic Cross This might be used as is, though you could use the  English if you don’t feel that the Hebrew is relevant. I am sure you recognize the words as being similar to the end of the Lord’s Prayer in the King James Version: ‘Unto thee, the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever! Amen.’ I would point out that this formula was around a long time before Christ, much less the translators of the  Standard Revised Version of the Bible. If you dislike such a  specifically Christian form, it may be replaced with the words KETHER (KEH-THER), MALKUTH, GEBURAH, GEDULAH (or Crown, Kingdom, Power,  Mercy), the spheres of occult energy that you are invoking with the  Q-Cross. The mental images remain the same. You could even avoid these Hebrew symbols entirely, using Names and formulae more suitable to raising the Cone of Power, which is what you are doing here in Wiccan terms. See the ‘Wiccan Cross,’ below.

The principle is:

  1. Invoke strongly the presence of the Supreme Creative  Principle as you conceive it (or in your case, Her) to be.  Your Name for the Goddess as Creatrix would be most suitable.
  2. Draw down power from this Godhead and project it through  your body into the Earth. Invoke strongly the Supreme symbol of Creation in your Tradition: maybe the God — as Son of the  Goddess and Lord of the Trees, and as John Barleycorn, the ever-born and dying One.
  3. Establish on your right side the Active Principle — Yang — the Projective Energy of the Universe. A God image, I should think.
  4. Establish on yourleft side thePassive Principle — Yin — the Receiving Energy of the Universe. A Goddess force I feel.
  5. Strongly visualize yourself at the center of these axes  between the Infinities. This centers you at the middle of the  Sacred Space to be created — the still point at the center of the  universe.

 

The Pentagrams

Again, the pentagram should be used. This symbol is universal to many, many systems of magick, including Wicca, as you know. The  five-pointed star has supreme power over the Elements: Spirit, Fire, Water, Air and Earth. It drives off negative influences and attracts positive ones. It is an essential part of the rite and there is no symbol that can take its place as effectively.

The Names

I prefer using the Hebrew God-Names as is. In this connection  they express formulae that govern the Elements and are no more  religious than E=MC squared. However, there are equivalent Wiccan  God-Names, which I describe in the next section, as substitutes for  the Archangels. The use of the same Names to activate the stars and to invoke the Elemental force is quite in keeping with the Wiccan  tradition, which does not use the same hierarchical system of  God-Name, Archangel, Angel, Ruler, Spirit, etc. that Qabalism does.

The Archangelic Invocation

Instead of the Hebrew Archangels I described, you could use  Wiccan Deities to invoke the ‘pure’ form of the Elements.

AIR-EAST: The Air image in Wicca seems to be masculine and  relates to Herne, the Black Man, the messenger of the Gods, or  the Sky Gods: Odin, or Lugh as the rising Sun God. The God can be imagined as riding through the night sky, at the head of the Wild Hunt, or rising above the branches of the world-ash. Instead of the Sword given to Raphael, the God might carry a staff, spear or wand, which is attributed to Air in most Wiccan traditions.

FIRE-SOUTH: The Fire image is definitely masculine and relates  to the Horned God: Cernunnos, Lucifer, call Him what you will.  He stands in the hot light of the noonday sun, radiating fiery  energy. He would bear an Athame or sword, which is the weapon of Fire in most Wiccan styles.

WATER-WEST: The Water image is the Maiden, the mistress of the  Moon and the Tides: Aradia, Artemis, Venus rising from the  waves. Her image is lit by the silver light of the moon, upon a  tranquil reach of water or the foaming sea. She might hold the  chalice, symbol of water (alternatively, the cauldron might be  envisioned).

EARTH-NORTH: The Goddess in Her aspect as Earth Mother is here:  Hertha, Habondia, Demeter. She stands beneath the golden, life-giving sun surrounded by the fruits of the Earth. Before her, a platter flows with good things of the Earth, for the  disk/shield/platter is the pentacle, magick instrument of Earth.  These are only bare sketches of the magickal images that a witch  might use to replace the Qabalistic images of the traditional  pentagram ritual. I offer them for what they are worth.

A few points to note:

  1. The phases of the sun used in the Archangelic images  (East:Dawn; South:Noon; West:Sunset; North:Midnight) are not the same, nor are they as important to Wicca. Instead, the poles of day and night are established: Night for the East-West axis and Day for the North-South axis.
  2. The male-female poles are established with the masculine images (Herne and Cernunnos) attributed to the active Elements (Air  and Fire) and the feminine images (Aradia and Habondia) to the passive Elements (Water and Earth). Note that one figure of each gender stands in light, and one in darkness. This male-female/positive-negative/active-passive polarity is central to  virtually all systems of magick, eg. the yin/yang symbol in oriental systems. I may be betraying solar-phallic tendencies by these  assignments, and you may want to use different attributions: The  Maiden can be Air and the Mother switch to Water, with the Hunter  moving into Earth, for example. Heck, the dual God Forms should  perhaps be invoked in each quarter. eg. Venus/Adonis imagery in East or South, Hertha/Herne in West, etc.

 

The Star Of David

The last line of the Invocation refers to a ‘six-rayed star’ and the mental work calls for imagining a Star of David. This is not a specifically Jewish symbol in this context. The six-pointed star, or hexagram, is the Qabalistic symbol par excellence of initiation and  spiritual illumination. The upward-pointing triangle represents the aspiration of the magician to the Gods, and the downward-pointing  triangle represents the divine power, flowing down to the world.  These meet at the moment of magick and the interlaced triangles  forming the hexagram symbolize the power of this meeting. Should you prefer not to use the Star of David, you can replace the mental image with any symbol showing the meeting of your soul and the power of the Goddess. This can even be a private symbol, one that is meaningful  only to you. Alternatively, you can just envision the sphere of white light from the Q-Cross, as a symbol of divine power. Replace the words about the ‘six-rayed star’ with some descriptive form: ‘the seal of the Goddess,’ or ‘the sign of my Awakening,’ or simply ‘the light Divine.’

Wiccan Pentagram ritual

Rubric [This is a form of the rite incorporating the changes in symbolism discussed above]

WICCAN CROSS

 

Face East. Touch forehead. Say IO EVOE HERTHA  (‘Blessed be Hertha,’ or other Name by which you worship the Goddess as Creatrix) Touch solar plexus or genitals. Say IO EVOE CERNUNNOS (‘Blessed be Cernunnos,’ or other name by which you worship the Horned God as the Earth) Touch right shoulder. Say EKO EKO AZARAK (‘Hail, hail force of fire’) Touch left shoulder. Say EKO EKO AMELAK (‘Hail, hail to the glory’) Extend arms in form of a cross. Say IO EVOE (‘Blessed be.’) Clasp hands upon breast and say ‘So mote it be.’

CIRCLE OF PROTECTION

 

Trace pentagram in East. Say HERNE. Trace circle of protection until facing South. Trace pentagram in South. Say CERNUNNOS. Trace circle of protection until facing West. Trace  pentagram in West. Say ARADIA. Trace circle of protection until facing North. Trace pentagram in North. Say HABONDIA. Finish tracing circle, closing it in the East.

INVOCATION OF THE GREAT GODS

 

Return to center of circle and face East. Extend arms in form of a cross. Chant: Before me HERNE The Huntsman Behind me ARADIA The Maiden On my right hand CERNUNNOS, the Horned God On my left hand HABONDIA, the Great Mother About me flame the pentagrams And above me shines the light of the Goddess.

Repeat the Wiccan Cross. Rather than performing this in the rather  measured cadences of Qabalistic Ritual, a form of dancing and chanting more pleasing to the God-forms of Wicca might profitably be devised.