CANDLES AND SYMPATHETIC MAGIC

CANDLES AND SYMPATHETIC MAGIC

When candles are molded into shapes, it is called sympathetic magic.

To assist in finding a familiar, burn a candle in the shape of the animal you desire

Fertility spells can be cast with a phallus-shaped or womb-shaped candle. Healing uses human-shaped candles or skull candles. White ones are for healing, black ones for reversing spells and warding off negativity. Different animal-shaped candles can be used for a specific purpose. Some examples are: dog – loyalty, cat – cleanliness, wolf – wisdom, bear – motherhood, rabbit – fertility.

Another type of candle magic uses pins. Stick a pin in as close to the top as you can without breaking the wax. As you insert it, say:
“When this candle burns to the pin,
The process of (name the desire) will begin.”
Insert a secont pin close to the first and say:
“When this candles burns to this pin
The process of (name the desire) will come to a successful completion and end.”
-This idea came from Silver RavenWolf

You can use birthday candles or very small candles for a spell that needs to be done quickly. You can also put drops of colored oil or food coloring into small tealite candles which also burn quickly.

HOW TO DESIGN RITUALS AND SPELLS

The Lesser Banishing Pentagram Can Be Used To Cleanse A Working Area When
Preparing, Or To Close A Spell Or Ritual Down. Be sure that all energies are
removed from the area. The LBR can also be written in before the opening and at
the closing. The LBR should definitely be incorporated in the following
instances:

There has been an argument or an extremely emotional outburst in the same room
you are working in within the last 24 hours.

There are guests attending that you have never met before.

One of your guests occasionally follows the left hand path (they could be
dragging something along with them).

The group contains possible inflammatory personalities.

Whenever you sense negative energies or the presence of hostility.

All Rituals Should Invoke A Deity. If other forces are invoked as well, always
invoke the deity first (this does not apply to calling the quarters). Elemental
energies should normally be invoked last (they are most likely the lowest form you will ever use). If calling elemental forces, always call on the Kings of the
Elementals before the elementals themselves.

Don’t Overkill In A Ritual/Spell. Figure out the ritual/spells purpose and build
slowly, incorporating all necessary items. Recheck your work. Add only a few
asides if necessary. Do not include overly long passages, poems, etc. No one
likes to stand around for forty-five minutes listening to a droning recitation.

Make Sure the Ritual Officers Are Not The Only Ones Doing The Work. At the very
least, every one should be joining in responses (such as so mote it be’ or ‘hail
and farewell’). Group participation can also be called upon at the calling of a
quarter. The group minds works together better if everyone is included at some
point.

Never Put Anything In A Ritual/Spell That You Do Not Understand. For example, if
you have never worked with elementals and don’t know how to address them or what
they are to do, don’t throw them in because it makes the ritual/spell look
elaborate. If invocations or other passages are in foreign tongue, don’t use
them because they sound cool. First, you must know exactly what you are saying.
Second, you must know how to say it. Often passages are important for their
tonal quality as well as their meaning.

Outline A Ritual/Spell Before You Write It, whether it is short or complex. You
do not want to miss any steps.

Make Sure You Know What Sort Of Energies and Step Elements Your Ritual/Spell
Needs For The Purpose You Have In Mind. You wouldn’t be dealing with ghosts at
Beltane. Keep the elements, steps, and goal in mind when writing rituals/spells.
You should have several source books from which to work. The best rituals/spells
are those you write yourself, or those the group mind has written for your
Tradition. However, in the past, groups and covens have dissolved out of sheer
boredom. Don’t let this happen to your group. Keep it interesting and keep it
Fun!

Major Rituals And Most Minor Works Should Have A High Point Or Climax Of Some
Sort. Ritual is dramatic vehicle and the intent of the participants is
strengthened by the excitement. The climax of the ritual should coincide with
something goal related to the group, the deity, or the season. If your ritual is
casting a spell, the climax of the ritual is the body of the spell, the rest of
the ritual should revolve around it. At Yule, the climax is the Goddess giving
birth to the new Son/Sun. Everything in ritual should revolve around a
particular theme.

Make Sure That The Words And Gestures Of The Ritual Suit Each Other. For
example, you wouldn’t cast a spell for Universal Love with a sword, or display
fruits or harvest props at a Yule ritual. Choose the correct incense, candle
colors, etc. These are as important as the invocation, which should be
especially designed for the ritual/spell.

Be Able To Recite Your Altar Devotion, Circle Casting, And Quarter Calls In Your
Sleep. Even if you mess up the rest of the ritual/spell or stumble somewhere
else, YOU SHOULD NEVER MAKE A MISTAKE ON THESE.

Try Not To Throw Rituals/Spells Together If You Can Help It. Good planning leads
to a great ritual. However, be prepared for missing people, upsets of various
kinds, missing notes, forgotten lines, etc. Humans are not perfect and errors
will occur. Do not act like it is the end of the world if a glitch nuzzles its
way into the ritual. A good high priest or high priestess can overcome all
difficulties without emotion.

Choose Your Quarter People And Other Players Wisely. Don’t always let the
experienced people do it. Make sure everyone in the group has several chances to
fill these positions. It is the only way they can learn. When you are teaching
someone else, or an entire group, learn when to step back and allow them to
perform, even if it is your favorite thing to do. When Overseeing A
Ritual/Spell, Learn When To Let Your Student Sink Or Swim. Sometimes the only
way you can tell if they are learning is to let them make mistakes. Likewise,
learn when to step in without being a know it all. When Overseeing A
Ritual/Spell, Learn When To Let Your Student Sink Or Swim. When Overseeing A
Ritual/Spell, Learn When To Let Your Student Sink Or Swim.

If You Are Working With A Mixed Group (Yes, Boys and Girls) Try To Keep The
Ritual/Spell In Balance As Much As Possible. However it is okay to design a
ritual/spell where only the three faces of the Goddess, or the three faces of
the God, are the focal point. This will keep your rituals/spells interesting and
refreshing. Just don’t do it all the time.

Do Not Throw Your Degree Around In Rituals. In home rituals (seat of the coven)
do not delineate with unusual garb between degrees and do not relegate them to
special quarters.

When Attending Someone Elses Rituals/Spells Do Not Tell The Host How Bad Their
Ritual/Spell Was. Neither should you give it a rave review, then pick apart the
finer points. This is very bad breeding. They went to a great deal of trouble to
have you as a guest. Don’t consider yourself the most important person there,
because you are not. If you think they did a good job, say so. If you think you
could have done better, thats your business, but do not share this opinion on
your host. If you do, you’ve just put yourself beneath anything they could have
done wrong. If you are attending one of your own students rituals, likewise say
nothing that evening. Later, when the rush is over, you can go over the ritual,
step by step, and work out any bugs.

From 1996 Lwellyn Magical Almanac, by MaraKay Rogers and Silver Ravenwolf, page
200-203

Making Sacred Space Sacred

Author: Phoenix Forestsong

Have you ever been in your sacred space, just starting to raise your energy, and felt that maybe this space wasn’t really sacred enough, or maybe not at all? It’s happened to me, I’m sure it’s happened to you, but here are some thoughts on the matter to help put away the fear and uncertainty of that aspect of your workings. Let’s begin with two examples.

It is twilight; the sun has disappeared below his horizon, leaving burning golden fire in the purpling evening sky. The glittering diamond light of the night sky is just beginning to make itself known, and the Goddess, her silvery countenance shining proudly down upon her people, rides high and full in the sky. The faint smell of jasmine fills the air, as the twitter and chirp of evening birds can be heard for miles around. A dog howls in the distance, though the natural world is animated this beautiful twilight evening, the mere fact that the sound carries declares just how quiet the world is right now.

You find yourself in an old forgotten garden. Wildflowers bloom in the old natural planters, blue and gold and red and purple petals greet you, dripping with evening moisture. A well-worn stone altar faces to the north, while dark green ivy creeps along the ground and up and around the large Oak that marks the boundaries of this great secret glade. Humming birds dance their spiral rhythm while the babble of a small brook can be heard to the west. To the south, a small campfire burns off the chill that threatens from the coming night. In the center of it all stands you, the Witch, at the precise heart of this most sacred of spaces, a space most pleasing to the Gods.

Or…

It is after midnight, the sun is closer now to its rising than that of its setting, the night sky is dark, heavy clouds can be seen in the shadows of the sky, delivering rain upon the earth below. The full moon, hidden, is a pale silver ball of light, while it remains obscured, the light and love of the Goddess still shines down upon the Earth. The sizzle and thump of rain drops upon glass fills the quiet room. The wind, a howling gale, rushes and whistles in through cracks in the poorly fitting window frames. The smell of fresh rain and thunderstorm greet your nose as sit relaxing, enjoying nature’s display of power and fertility.

You sit in a well-worn computer chair, the smell of faux-leather long gone from the chair. In front of you is a flat-panel computer monitor, a well-used keyboard, and a trusty mouse sitting upon a pressed wood, cherry finished desk. The soothing and relaxing sound of Nick Drake plays through black plastic speakers.

To your right, a pink and purple painted psychedelic mushroom incense burner sits; the purifying smoke of Dragon’s Blood drifts outward and upward from under the blue-edged cap, spiraling and swirling in a faerie dance amongst the currents of the room.

To your left an electric powered water fountain churns and burbles fresh tap water over river stones, atop the fountain stands a candle, its flame dances as though alive, quivering and flicking with vigor and energy.

Directly in front rests one of the largest pieces of raw Citrine you’ve ever seen, the sunny energy that it projects fills you with confidence and warmth. In the center of it all sits you, the Witch, at the precise heart of this most sacred of spaces, a space most pleasing to the Gods.

Which Witch Are You?

I think that if any Witch were to have our preference, our personal sacred space would be the first option. The chance to worship amongst nature, to go between the worlds and commune with our Gods in such a pastoral and natural setting; I think every Witch would love the first. However, in the real world, our sacred space is much more like the second example.

In my home I have several sacred spaces from which I work. I have a full ritual space in my basement, mainly because I only have the room for it down there. I also have my desk, described above, with the homemade incense burner, the water fountain, and the candle, and the large citrine stone. Nick Drake is usually playing, or if not, the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Pink Floyd, or Loreena McKennett, regardless, there is always music coming from this area at all times of the day, everyday. It is a sacred working space where I write and perform light magick.

Elsewhere in the house I have the music room, where much of my creativity and spiritual freedom are let loose, this too is a sacred space. Across the hall there is the bedroom, which is also sacred, for among other things, I do my all dream and most of my astral work in there. Also, in the Living Room, I have a small corner set up where I work on pottery and painting. I consider this to be a sacred space as well, as I do a good bit of meditating, thinking, and creating in this space. Most of my work in this area is also Craft related, or at least Craft inspired.

Perhaps the most sacred of all spaces that I keep is the shower. Many people would not consider their shower to be a sacred space, considering all the soap scum, mold, hair clogs, and other nasty, icky things that can, could, and probably do reside there whenever I’m not around. However, I consider this to be my most sacred space. I keep nothing magickal in the shower, I have no wiccan-made soaps, herbal shampoos, or magick lotions…nothing except for myself.

In my shower you will find a regular store brand bar of soap, a name-brand moisturizing bar of soap, a bottle of Pert, bottles of some swanky shampoo and conditioner set that my wife uses, and a washcloth. That’s all. So what makes this space so sacred to me and how can such a mundane utilitarian space be sacred? First of all, let us look at what sacred space truly is.

Sacred Space is a clean space, it is an area scrubbed free from negativity that is suitable to work magick from and to commune with the divine. Additionally this space will be saturated with your personal energy, so that it is your personal sacred space. It is a place for you, personally, to worship and work with the energies of the universe in absolute comfort for the most effective results. So how can a shower be sacred?

I begin my day with meditation, and usually that meditation is performed while showering, it works best for me, and it saves time. While the space itself may not be the most pleasing or comfortable, it is I that created this sacred space. It has been said before, by Silver Ravenwolf I believe, that the Witch is the Magick, well in the same vein, where the Witch is, is sacred. When standing before the universe, I am creating a bond, not only with my Gods and the natural world around me, but with the space that I reside in as well.

Making It Sacred

To begin to make a space sacred one must use a little energy and a lot of visualization. Begin by closing your eyes, grounding, centering, and start to feeling your surroundings. In your mind, see it flooded with a purifying white light, scouring away all traces of its previous energy. Raise your energy, slowly at first, and begin to think of the sacredness of the new place, the cleanness, and concentrate on how holy a place it should be.

Allow your energy to build, little by little, then, when you know the time is right, release that energy into the area; see it being absorbed into the materials of the space, see it infused with your power and the power of the Divine. Exert your will and make this space clean for your use.

But how can this now be a sacred space, must it not be cleansed, purified, and empowered just like a ritual tool? No. As stated above, the Witch is the Magick, and where the Witch is, is sacred. Ritual cleansing, consecrating, and empowering is a very important and required process, however, the space that you are using, the space where you will reside for a working, is inhabited by you.

Whether you realize it or not, anywhere the Witch is, is sacred. Wherever the Witch goes, he or she brings their sacredness with them, wherever the Witch stands, he or she stands on holy ground.

As a solitary practitioner of Wicca, I must be reminded sometimes that I am a Priest in my religion, aside from all the other roles that I will play during a ritual. I am, within the circle or without, a Priest of the Gods. Therefore, as a living, breathing, sentient individual, I contain within me Life, the spark of the Divine, the essence of that which is holy. Using this logic, it makes sense that I carry the spark with me at all times, that as long as I use this body in this incarnation I will always carry that Divine Spark within me. Therefore, as a living being, I bring that same Divine energy with me wherever I go, thus making every place that I go sacred, at least while I inhabit the location.

Does it sound a little too simple? Good. The truth of a thing can be determined upon how simple its explanation is. While the argument that got us there might not stand up in a court of law, the heart of the matter is that it is so simple it makes sense. Because we are living, and all life is divine, then we too are divine.

As a people we contain within us Life, Life that is aware of more than just our physical bodies and our meat instincts. Life beats strongly and flows deep from within to interact with the living world around us. It is this Life, this Divine energy that allows us to make a space sacred, just as we are sacred to the Gods.

Are there situations where a quickie cleansing won’t work? You bet! Especially in an area heavily trafficked by the public or in a place where something bad has happened. But for normal everyday, anywhere and any when cleansing, the quickie cleanse works just fine.

It was this line of reasoning that allowed be to become comfortable, not just with spell casting and ritual working, but with living in general. It used to be that I would go somewhere and feel like I really didn’t belong there. Now, knowing that I can make any space sacred, and that where I am, is sacred, I no longer worry about such issues.

If I’m spell casting and the question of “is it sacred enough?” enters my mind, I quickly cleanse the area again and get back to work. If I’m out and begin to feel uncomfortable, well, I just make my own personal area sacred, I make it mine, and that uncomfortable feeling fades.

So, what makes a sacred space, sacred? The answer, of course, is You!

Blessed Be,

-Phoenix Forestsong



Footnotes:
Silver Ravenwolf: To Ride a Silver Broomstick

Awakening the Tool

Awakening the Tool
 
 
Many magickal people believe that once the tool has been cleansed and consecrated (dedicated to Spirit) and blessed (asking Spirit to fill the object with positive energy), the tool should also be “awakened” before each use. The activation process is often governed by the group that the Witch belongs to, meaning one coven may have a special chant while another group may “alert” the tool by tappping it one to three times on the altar, or they may simple pass hands over the tools and say, “Waken ye unto life.” No matter how it is achieved, this process serves as a trigger to the mind that the time for magick has begun.
 
 
 
The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation, Solitary Witch
Silver RavenWolf

Youth or Truth – Will History Repeat Itself in Wiccan Witchcraft?

Youth or Truth – Will History Repeat Itself in Wiccan Witchcraft?

Author: Roninwolf

Several observations I have made about the religion of Wicca-witchcraft-paganism-neo-paganism or what-you-will have caused me deep distress and I fear for the viability of a path I wish to continue walking upon. Questions have come to me in reading works of the elders that I cannot put aside and I believe must be answered now or in the furtherance of the future.

The first is that Wiccan witchcraft has no mechanism for theocracy. In the tenets of a faith-that-is-many faiths in a faith among all faiths, there is crime and no punishment.

In the few common words of our faith “an it harm none, do what thou wilt, ” there is “harm” which is the acknowledgement of one of the two truths of the human condition — analogous to the building of a prison (along with the building of a cemetery) — yet there is nothing written which says what societal punishment harm shall yield.

Phrases such as “separation of church and state” and “the laws of God are higher than the laws of man” come into my recollection and I wonder why we have no punishments save banishment. Surely theft is a crime we acknowledge as a people, why then is it not mentioned by name? It does fit under the category of harm, and as such is a violation of out tenet “an it harm none”, but nowhere is it written so plainly as “thou shalt not steal” as it is written in the cannons of Christian, Jewish, Islamic and many other religions.

Is it sufficient to say, “harm none” and let it be the whole of the law? Aren’t we simply passing the buck, so to speak, to the state? And if that is so, what state: A state that demands remunerations and fines or a state that demands the hand of the perpetrator?

This and other questions occurred to me when I heard a certain Republican congressman talking about the fact that new and small businesses do not need to concern themselves with retirement benefits. I am concerned that the youth of our faith (or youth of our “organized faith” for those who believe their faith to be pre-historic) may blind us to reality.

Near the subject of crime and punishment, there is also the subject of heresy. To any monotheist’s query, we would flatly reply that we have no heresy, that all paths are equal, valid (for lack of a better term) and right.

Yet, when Christianity was less than a century old, it had no heresy either. Then Titus sacked the second temple of Jerusalem, the cult of Mary (J.C.’s mother) lost power in the city and the cult of Paul grew and flourished. Judeo-Islamism too, had no heresy before the schism between Isaac and Ishmael. I do not know the specifics, but Islam had no heresy before there was a falling out between the descendants of Muhammad. Monothiest-versus-polythiest aside, I believe the same “heretical” schism may befall witchcraft.

Already we have seen something like heresy when Alex Sanders began his own coven using the rituals of Gerald Gardner. Is it the inevitable fate of faith to split and if so, how long will it be before the followers of, for example, Gardner, call the followers of Silver Ravenwolf or Christopher Penzak heretics?

Yes, we believe that all Gods are one God and all Goddesses are one Goddess, but is the strength of our faith in the universality of our pan-fraternal/sororal kinship strong enough to supercede a dissention of faith? I wonder.

Again, I ask these questions because I have asked them of myself and I cannot find answers that do not assuage my fears. It is my hope that these questions are answered before circumstances demand that we answer them hastily.

All faiths, in some manner or another, must answer to one another: That is, what do “we” think of “them”? That question has taken many forms and has been the subject of many debates; such as “are all paths valid”. In the same way that English recognition of the United States in 1783 gave credence to the existence of a new country, one faith’s acknowledgement of another gives tacit approval of that faith.

An example of that is that Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus all consider the others to be “people of the book”; this suggests collusion if not camaraderie between them (despite infighting also between them). What do we say of the follower’s of Heaven’s Gate or the Moonies? We call them cults (in the derisive sense). But what does that say about our tenet “all paths are valid”?

I have been wondering on this subject and believe that no one law can encompass the outlook of our faith on other faiths. Certain paths of Christianity and Islam call us evil agents of the devil. Still others say because their path is right, our must be wrong. Albeit, a certain “sticks and stones” maxim comes to my mind, words other people use to describe us become valid as we all inhabit the same planet.

I thought for a time that the law “all paths are valid that do not contradict the law that all paths are valid, ” but this seems unusable to me. Must we then interview (as it were) each faith and draw our battle-lines in ink? Would we not then be the same as all other faiths?

Even though our faith does not require that others believe as we do in order for it to be valid to us, our inalienable rights as citizens of the world should require us stand up and declare that we are valid and here are our reasons.

The question that faces me is: Whether our faith of non-denominationalism and non-judgementalism allows us to even declare, as a faith, what is right and wrong?

The final question I posit is this: Can we not answer these questions because we are right (and potentially original in the history of religion) or because we are young and cannot look beyond the next ten generations? Civilization and state collapse: are we transplantable or are we flash-in-the-pan?

We know we are a different faith, but are we different because we are unlike any other faith in our acceptance of other paths or are we simply children who cannot accept the positions held by millennia-old religions?

Note: Inasmuch as I write this to flesh out my own thoughts, I write this to invite others to correct me if I have erred.